(No, I have not yet seen enough Avatar: The Last Airbender to pick a ship. I just like the image)
I was considering writing a nice, leisurely post on Ian and Barbara, the first humans ever to travel the TARDIS--even if they were kidnapped--when I came across this image:
Well, I was planning a post on shipping at some point anyway--now's as good a time as any.
For the uninitiated, "shipping" is a term used among a fandom to indicate romantically paring individuals, regardless of gender, orientation, culture, personality, age...anything goes. And I do mean anything. I will not provide details, because I want this blog to remain family-friendly.
Anyway, I will start by discussing the Tolkienverse, where I support all the canon couples (Aragorn/Arwen, Eowyn/Faramir, Sam/Rosie, Luthien/Beren etc), which were straight and intended to be lifelong. Tolkien was a Catholic, after all, and even if authorial beliefs aren't always shown in text, interpreting his works against his religious views is absurd. Unfortunately, the abundance of male main characters (especially in the Silmarillion) means that the ships are slash. Lots and lots of slash. Or Mary Sues. Or even just wrong ships, such as Aragorn/Eowyn. But Bilbo/Smaug? Youch. I've seen Sherlock, so I understand the crossover Sherlock/John shipping, but please. Think logically for once. I don't read Lord of the Rings for romance, though, (actually, I rarely read/watch anything for pure romance), so I just get annoyed by the shipping.
Doctor Who, though, is another story. Partially because it's a TV show, partially because I began watching it at college, and partially because it is that kind of fandom. With the classic episodes, I don't really ship the Doctor with anyone, partially because most of them are older and because the Time Lords are still around. Basically, if the Doctor wanted to "dance" with anyone, he might have found the prospect of doing so with humans slightly gross. Plus, his wife (Susan's grandmother) might have still been in the picture. Maybe he had feelings for Romana somewhat, but I never really saw their relationship in that way. Most of classic who, I see the Doctor's relationship with his companions as wise mentor/mentee. Maybe clever uncle sometimes, but not romantic.
NuWho shipping is a huge pile of worms, really. My "Best of Me" series pretty much covered shipping, but I do ship Doctor/River in a big way, partially because they're both so complicated and also because they do have on-screen chemistry. Eleven is just so adorable and awkward with River, it's so cute. Since The Doctor's Wife, I've also been a huge Doctor/TARDIS shipper, but I think that covers most of the fandom, because it doesn't really interfere with any other ship. I think the Doctor only began to look at humans as possible romantic partners after the Time War; not only was he guilty and self-loathing, he was lonely. But I don't think he has flings with his companions, because he knows they move on and it would just make him lonelier.
Bonus Bit: In Which Truly Ridiculous Parings are Mocked