|Doctor Who character|
|Home era||Early 21st century|
|First appearance||"Rose" (2005)|
|Portrayed by||Billie Piper|
Rose Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies. With the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, Rose was introduced in the eponymous series one premiere as a new companion of series protagonist the Doctor, in his ninth and tenth incarnations. The companion character, intended to act as an audience surrogate, was key in the first series more so than any other to introduce new viewers to Doctor Who, which had not aired regularly since 1989. The series saw Billie Piper receive top billing alongside Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, both of whom portrayed the Doctor. A regular companion of the Doctor for all of series one and series two, Rose also returned in the programme's fourth series having developed into a harder character.
In the series' narrative, Rose is introduced as a 19-year-old working class shop assistant from London, alongside her own supporting cast in the form of her mother Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) and her boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke). Over the course of the first series Rose's human actions and responses contrast against the Doctor's alien perspectives. He comes to value and depend on her and sacrifices his Ninth incarnation for her. Rose grows increasingly trusting of the new Doctor and comes to realise she has fallen in love with him. The two appear to be forever separated in the 2006 series two finale, although Rose eventually made a temporary return late in the fourth series in which her relationship to the Doctor is given resolution.
In promoting the series, both Piper and Eccleston stressed Rose's heroic characteristics whilst Davies highlighted her down to earth qualities and quintessential Britishness. Critical reaction noted that the character was more developed, independent and equal to the Doctor than previous companions had been, whilst the character's overall role in the narrative of the first two series was praised. However, reaction to the character's 2008 return was more mixed. Piper won numerous awards for her portrayal of Rose —including two National Television Awards —and since her initial role in the series has ranked highly in numerous 'best companion' polls. After leaving as a series regular Piper experienced success in other high profile roles as an actress which has been partly attributed to her performances in Doctor Who.
Rose's first television appearance comes in the eponymous premiere episode of the 2005 series. There, she is saved from an Auton invasion of Earth by the mysterious alien Time Lord known as the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), and assists him in defeating the Nestene Consciousness. Following this, the Doctor offers Rose the option of travelling with him, taking her to see the end of the world and giving her a "superphone" so she can remain in contact with her mother Jackie (Camille Coduri), and boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke). In their travels through time and space, Rose learns the importance of not tampering with history, when she attempts to save the life of her father Pete Tyler (Shaun Dingwall), who had died when she was a baby. Throughout these journeys, she and the Doctor are haunted by two mysterious recurring words: "Bad Wolf". Rose, the Doctor, and new companion Captain Jack (John Barrowman) come to understand the meaning of this phrase when they encounter an unstoppable army of evil alien Daleks on the space station Satellite 5. To return to the Doctor after he sends her home to Earth in the series finale "The Parting of the Ways", Rose is forced to tear open the TARDIS console and stare into its heart, becoming suffused with the power of the time vortex. Returning, she uses her power over the infinity of time and space to spread the words "Bad Wolf" over its entirety, leading herself to the moment where she can save the universe from the Dalek invasion using her godlike power. Rose resurrects Jack, who died from Dalek fire, and destroys the Dalek fleet before the Doctor drains the energy out of her—by kissing her—to save her life from its harmful effects. Rose is horrified as the Doctor appears to die and regenerates into a new man (David Tennant), who proceeds to take the TARDIS and a terrified Rose to Earth, abandoning Jack on Satellite 5.
The new Doctor and Rose arrive on Earth on Christmas Day, where he passes out from the strain of regeneration in the midst of a Sycorax invasion in the 2005 Christmas special "The Christmas Invasion". Having woken up and saved Earth, the Doctor enjoys Christmas dinner with Rose before the two once again depart to parts unknown. Over the second series (2006), Rose and the Doctor grow increasingly close to one another. After defeating a werewolf, they are knighted by Queen Victoria (Pauline Collins), who banishes them as threats to the Empire whilst setting up the Torchwood Institute, which aims to track the Doctor and other aliens. Their relationship proves a source of tension once Mickey joins the pair in their travels, at the suggestion of the Doctor's former companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen). Whilst stranded in a parallel universe, Rose meets a rich, entrepreneur version of her father who never died. Mickey decides to stay behind on this world to battle the Cybermen—emotionless cyborgs which seek to convert humans to their ranks—as he no longer wants to feel like a spare part. Alone with the Doctor again, Rose faces the mythical Beast (Gabriel Woolf), who prophesies that Rose will soon die in battle. This day comes when, in the present day, the Torchwood Institute's director Yvonne Hartman (Tracy-Ann Oberman) accidentally allows the Cybermen army and Dalek Cult of Skaro into Rose's reality, where they begin a war. In sealing the Cybermen and Daleks back into the "void" through which they came, Rose ends up in the parallel universe with Jackie and the alternate universe Pete as the walls between universes seal: she is later declared dead in her own universe. Months later, the Doctor is able to transmit Rose a goodbye message; she reveals she now works for that universe's Torchwood, and confesses her love for him. Before he can reply, their connection is lost.
In spin-off series Torchwood (2006–), the audience learns that Rose's act of resurrecting Jack cursed him with being unable to die. Her absence and the Doctor's pained estrangement from her proves a point of contention for the Doctor's series 3 companion Martha (Freema Agyeman); when Martha protects the Doctor, living as a human without his memories, it is still Rose that he dreams of. When the Doctor is reunited with Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) in the show's fourth series (2008), Rose mysteriously begins to appear in the Doctor's life—first seen only by Donna, and later in silent video messages which the Doctor fails to notice. When Donna is tricked by an alien fortune teller (Chipo Chung) into creating a timeline where the Doctor has died, it is Rose who arrives from her parallel world to correct the timeline, working alongside the paranormal military organisation UNIT to return Donna to the correct timeline. She tells Donna to give the Doctor a warning: 'Bad Wolf'. The Doctor concludes this is a sign that reality itself is under threat. Later, in the midst of Davros' (Julian Bleach) plot to obliterate existence, Rose unites with the Doctor and his companions Donna, Martha, Jack and Sarah Jane to make a stand against him. In the battle against the Daleks, a part-human clone of the Doctor is created from the hand that was cut off in the Christmas Invasion. After saving the universe, the Doctor returns Rose and Jackie to the alternate universe, along with the clone, who the Doctor considers a danger to the universe, as he was created in war. The Doctor decides to leave the clone with Rose so that she can do for the clone what she did when she first met the Doctor, who had still not recovered from the trauma of the Time War. Rose challenges him to say the words he didn't get the chance to say previously. The Doctor declines to answer, but the clone whispers the words in her ear. She immediately kisses him. As the walls between realities are repaired, the fully Time Lord Doctor leaves, allowing Rose and her mortal ageing Doctor to live out their lives together in the parallel universe. In the closing scenes of the The End of Time (2010), just prior to his eventual regeneration, the Tenth Doctor travels to Rose's estate in the first minutes of 2005, prior to when she first met him. He speaks to her from the shadows, promising that she will have a fantastic year ahead.
Rose is featured in the first twelve Doctor Who New Series Adventures novels, which expand on her characterisation. The first three of these novels—The Clockwise Man, The Monsters Inside and Winner Takes All—were published in May 2005 and feature solely the Ninth Doctor and Rose.The Monsters Inside depicts Rose's first visit to an alien planet, her travels previously having been confined to earth and orbiting space stations. Rose mentions this visit to the planet Justicia in the first series television episode "Boom Town" which aired 4 June 2005. The second batch of Ninth Doctor novels —comprising The Deviant Strain, Only Human and The Stealers of Dreams—were released in September 2005 and expand on the Doctor and Rose's travels with Jack Harkness. The novel Only Human mentions that Rose was engaged to a previous love interest before becoming involved with Mickey. The events of "Boom Town" are addressed in The Stealers of Dreams in which Jackie complains that Rose did not alert her to her recent visit to modern day Cardiff. The first three novels to feature Rose and the Tenth Doctor—The Stone Rose, The Feast of the Drowned and The Resurrection Casket—were released in April 2006 to coincide with the broadcast of the second television series.The Feast of the Drowned explores the context of Rose's shifting relationship with Jackie and Mickey in light of her frequent absences from earth. Her relationship with a school friend, Keisha, is also explored; Rose is irritated to find out she and Mickey have become involved in her absence. The last three New Series Adventures novels to feature Rose —The Nightmare of Black Island The Art of Destruction and The Price of Paradise—were published in September 2006. In addition to the regular range of novels, Rose is featured in the first Doctor Who Quick Reads Initiative novella, I am a Dalek in which she and the Doctor must deal with a human-Dalek hybrid.
The Doctor Who Annual 2006, published in August 2005, gives further biographical information on Rose in an article written by the programme's chief writer and executive producer Russell T Davies, including the middle name "Marion", and information about her mother, school life and ex-boyfriends. The character also appears in short stories featured in the Doctor Who annuals for 2006 and 2007, in addition to an issue of the series' sanctioned companion magazine, Doctor Who Magazine. She has additionally been featured in comic book sequences which feature in the annuals, Doctor Who Magazine, and children's magazines Doctor Who Adventures and Doctor Who – Battles in Time. In one Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, "The Green-Eyed Monster", Rose is possessed by a creature that feeds on jealousy. In order to arouse enough jealousy to defeat this creature the Tenth Doctor feigns a romance with Rose's mother and sets up Mickey with a group of actors who pose as beautiful amazonian girlfriends. The character also appears in a panel of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight's second story, "No Future for You".
Lead writer and executive producer Russell T Davies chose the name Rose because he considered it a "good luck charm" after he used it for Lesley Sharp's character in Bob & Rose. His desire to make the show "essentially British" was another justification: he considered Rose to be "the most British name in the world" and feminine enough to subvert a recent trend of female companions having "boyish" names, such as Benny, Charley, and Ace. Davies also frequently uses the surname "Tyler" in his work —previous characters he created with the surname include Ruth Tyler in Revelations (1994), Vince Tyler in Queer as Folk (1999), and Johnny Tyler in The Second Coming (2003) —due to his affection for how the surname is spelled and pronounced. The casting of Piper as Rose was announced on by the BBC on 24 May 2004. Head of Drama for BBC Wales Julie Gardner commented that the former pop star "fits the bill perfectly" as a "unique, dynamic partner for Christopher Eccleston". Whilst some fans —including a representative of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society —were enthusiastic about the announcement, others felt it was "publicity stunt" casting and questioned Piper's acting credentials. One of the factors that influenced Piper's acceptance of the role was the fact she was able to relate the character of Rose to her own experiences as a teenager.
The British media had regularly released conflicting reports about how long Piper would be staying with the programme. In March 2006, she claimed that she would continue on Doctor Who into its third series in 2007. The BBC announced on 15 June 2006 that Piper was to depart in the final episode of the second series, "Doomsday". Piper's decision to leave had been taken a year previously but remained a secret until news of her departure became public. Following "Doomsday", Piper as Rose was greenlit to be the star of the spin-off series Rose Tyler: Earth Defence, set in her parallel universe and to air as a bank holiday special, but Davies deemed the concept "a spin-off too far" after Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Piper's eventual return during series four was planned during filming of the second series; in January 2006, she made a pact promising to return to film several more episodes. Davies and Piper cited her commitment to other projects—specifically, her roles as Belle de Jour in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, the lead character in the BBC adaptations of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart quartet, and Fanny Price in the ITV adaptation of Mansfield Park—as explanations behind her departure appearing permanent.
Rose is used by Davies as an introduction to the shows mythos and fantasy elements. He later underlined similarities between Rose and Gwen Cooper —the leading lady he created for Torchwood — describing both as "the ordinary person who stumbles into something extraordinary and finds herself their equal." Like her successor Martha, Rose is from London; Brett Mills from the University of East Anglia makes the assumption that this is because characters from the capital of the country are "relatable to all British people" because they are seen as "neutral". Rose is introduced alongside a supporting cast in the form of her boyfriend Mickey and mother Jackie which James Chapman cites as "evidence of Davies' attempt to create a social context for the companion". Davies states that the inclusion of these two characters was part of his desire to "make her real" and to "give her a life". He later stated that in giving Rose a mother, a boyfriend and a "sad story with her father" the character has "her own mythology, to match the Doctor." Lindy A. Orthia observes that Rose, like the other companions in Davies' era of Doctor Who, is "drawn from a cosmopolitan vision" in her case because of her class background. Orthia contends that whilst working-class companions had featured previously in the show "none were unskilled workers nor chronically under- or unemployed like Rose, Jackie and Donna". Looking back at the two characters, Davies felt Jackie to be someone who is "holding Rose back" right from the first episode due to her suggestions her daughter be content with menial employment. Piper states that this causes Rose to resent her mum somewhat, although she loves her.
Kay McFadden of The Seattle Times felt Rose to resemble "the Bridget Jones type of Englishwoman, albeit a few pegs down the socioeconomic scale" waiting to be awakened "not by some Mark Darcy … but by adventure incarnate." Piper stated that at the start of the series Rose is "looking for something to happen" and that once the Doctor arrives she becomes "ruthless" in her decision to "completely drop her life as she knows it." At a media preview of the series she characterised Rose as being "positive, ambitious and full of conviction and confidence." She felt additionally that Rose is "a good character to relate to or aspire to." Eccleston, who played the Ninth Doctor described the character as a "heroine" who "teaches [the Doctor] huge emotional lessons". In an episode of Doctor Who Confidential he expanded on this, describing her as "the Doctor's equal in every way" except for the fact she lacks his scientific knowledge. He felt that the relationship between the two characters was "love at first sight" although in a more mysterious fashion than a conventional love affair. Lynette Porter, in her book Tarnished Heroes, Charming Villains and Modern Monsters: Science Fiction in Shades of Gray on 21st Century Television observed that Rose's role "humanizes the Doctor and makes him less alien, not only to other characters, but to the audience". Rose's narrative role in series one was later compared to that of Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special "The Snowmen". Jon Cooper of The Mirror observed that both characters provide "a great foil for a Doctor who’s given up on the universe". In the first series finale, Rose takes on deadly energies to save the Doctor and planet Earth. Script editor Helen Raynor felt the episode gave Rose a chance to “again be the Doctor’s equal” and “to finally match him with a gesture that is so noble, and strong, and heroic, and clever”. Davies describes Rose in the context of this scene, and the whole of the first series, as being “braver than brave and more loyal than anyone else in the universe”. The Doctor repays her loyalty by sacrificing his ninth incarnation in turn to save her; Davies states unequivocally that "he gives his life for her". Elements of Rose's characterisation in the first series were originally different. Paul Abbott was scheduled to write an episode which would have revealed that Rose's entire life had been manipulated by the Doctor in order to mould her into an ideal companion. Davies wrote the episode "Boom Town" to replace it when Abbott realised he was too busy to work on the script.
With the Tenth Doctor
In an interview with SFX producer Phil Collinson stated that after the Doctor regenerates the "initial dynamic changes because [Rose] has to learn to trust him again". However, any mistrust between the pair is resolved by the end of the Christmas Special. Davies had scripted dialogue in "The Christmas Invasion" explaining the newly regenerated Doctor's estuary English accent by stating he had imprinted on Rose and adopted her way of speaking. However, due to time constraints this sequence was not filmed. Discussing how Rose had developed by the second series, Piper described her as having "come on in leaps and bounds" and stated she is now "a lot more proactive." She felt that there is a "different kind of energy" between Rose and the Tenth Doctor, whilst Tennant remarked that the audience would get to see the Doctor-companion relationship "developing and becoming something that it maybe hasn't before." Piper stated that with the Tenth Doctor, Rose is "more tetchy and more possessive over the Doctor because she feels like she's lost him once and doesn't want to lose him again". She cited Rose's "catfight" with former companion Sarah Jane Smith in "School Reunion" as evidence of this. To add to the tragedy of their separation, Davies scripted the series two story arc so that Rose and the Doctor would be indirectly responsible for their separation. "It's deliberate when that happens [the Doctor and Rose's arrogance]", said Davies, "and they do pay the price. In "Tooth and Claw", they set up the very thing — Torchwood — that separates them in the end. It's sort of their own fault." Though Davies left the Doctor's response to Rose's declaration of love in "Doomsday" unstated, Gardner felt strongly that the character reciprocated her feelings. On the commentary for the episode she stated that she would "confirm to the world" that he was going to "say it back."
Davies created the expectation of Rose's return in the fourth series by mentioning her in dialogue and featuring Piper in cameo appearances in "Partners in Crime", "The Poison Sky", and "Midnight". Speaking on how Rose's character had changed between her appearances, Davies described the fourth series Rose as "tougher, more independent, and [she] might, at times, seem a little harder". Piper stated she rewatched her earlier episodes to remember how the character spoke and acted as she felt she had "been playing posh birds" since she left the programme and by contrast "Rose is a bit of a chav". Rose is re-united with the Doctor near the climax of "The Stolen Earth". Director Graeme Harper insisted that the scene appear "mystical" because the characters' reunion was "the most magical moment" in the entire episode and Ernie Vincze, the Director of Photography for the show, compared the scene's feeling to the 1980s science-fiction film Blade Runner. Davies characterised the reunion between Rose and the Doctor as "the biggest romance [the viewer] has ever seen" and joked that seminal films such as Gone with the Wind should have ended with a Dalek shooting the male lead. He had difficulty splitting up the characters for a second time for the necessity of the plot. He felt that "Rose has to be stupid to fall in love with Doctor #2" because "she's doing what the plot demands, not what she'd demand". At one stage he considered giving an explanation that Rose's dimension hopping and the Dalek's meddling with reality had contaminated her with "voidstuff" and that she would die if she stayed in her original universe. In the final episode it is enough for her to stay that the human Doctor needs her and is able to reciprocate her love. Porter felt that the climax of Journey's End indicated that "Rose's role as a sidekick has been completed" as she has a second Doctor to humanise, one who she can be equals with.
After a preview of the first series, The Guardian's Owen Gibson described Rose as "newly empowered" and a "go-getting teen in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer mould." Ahead of the series premiere on Australian Network ABC the Sydney Morning Herald's Robin Oliver described Rose's role in the series as being "more the Doctor's equal than previous companions" and that this was "no mean achievement against Eccleston's acting skills."Seventh Doctor actor Sylvester McCoy opined that Piper was "wonderful in the role" and the relationship between her and the Doctor was "quite extraordinary". Porter suggests in her analysis of the character that the romance between her and the Doctor widened the demographic appeal of the series. She claims that the love story "simmers enough below the surface that adults, especially women who find time-lords sexy, watched the series for Rose's interplay with the Doctor". In their book Who is the Doctor?, Graeme Burk and Robert Smith described the climactic kiss between the Ninth Doctor and Rose in "The Parting of the Ways" as being something "we all secretly wanted, even though it ultimately killed him".
Burk and Smith refer to the Doctor and Rose as "acting like smug idiots" in the episode "Tooth and Claw" and that this made them unlikeable. However they noted that "fortunately there are consequences: the season arc gets kicked off as a direct result of the Doctor and Rose being so irritating". Harry Venning of The Stage commented that the eventual parting scene between Rose and the Doctor in "Doomsday" was "beautifully written and movingly played," with "not a dry eye in the universe". Burk and Smith singled out Piper's performance in the episode for special praise stating she "is astonishing at capturing the reality of someone whose world suddenly, finally collapses." Remarking on Piper's departure, Dek Hogan of Digital Spy stated that "Billie Piper’s energy has undoubtedly been one of the reasons that this revival has been so successful and the difficult third series will be so much more so without her." Stephen Brook of The Guardian commented that "the departure of the much-loved Rose … was brilliantly handled and completely unexpected."
Stephen James Walker, a writer of reference works on Doctor Who, gave an unfavourable review to Rose's return in "Turn Left" in his "unauthorised guide to Doctor Who's fourth series," Monsters Within. He thought that Billie Piper was "distinctly below par", citing her gaunt and malnourished appearance, new hairstyle, and slight lisp as reasons why her acting was not her finest. He criticised her role in the episode, stating it had been "far less well worked out" than Donna's. Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy also noted a change in Piper's enunciation; he compared her accent to "[having] her mouth numbed with local anaesthetic". In Rawson-Jones' review of the series finalé he notes that whilst having the Doctor and Rose 'cop off' would be divisive with the shows audience, "Davies wisely managed to please both parties" by pairing her off with a human Doctor instead. However, IGN's Travis Fickett reacted unfavourably towards Rose's return and her pairing with the part human Doctor. He thought that it undermined her "perfect send off" in "Doomsday" as she was on the sidelines for much of "Journey's End", and her ending up with the part human, part Time Lord Doctor "feels like an insult to the character".
Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times named Rose the ninth best sidekick of all time, referring to her as "the saucy and smart character who was key to the success of the Russell T Davies relaunch of Doctor Who in 2005". She was named the best Doctor Who companion by Digital Spy in 2011, who opined that she worked best alongside the Ninth Doctor. In 2006 she was voted best companion by readers of Doctor Who Magazine. In an online poll in late 2010 conducted by the Radio Times, with over 3,000 participants, Rose was again voted the most popular companion. She was listed as the second-best female companion behind Sarah Jane Smith by The Daily Telegraph's Gavin Fuller, and also by Daniel Martin of The Guardian in 2007. In 2012 Will Salmon of SFX magazine listed Rose's original exit as the greatest companion departure in the history of Doctor Who as he felt it "impossible not to be moved by the sudden severance of their relationship".
At the 2005 National Television Awards, Billie Piper won the "Most Popular Actress" award for her role as Rose. In the BBC Online "Best of Drama" poll in 2005 Piper won the Best Actress category with 59.76% of the vote. She was also voted the Most Desirable Star with 26.47%. In January 2006 she was awarded the Breakthrough Award for Rising British Talent at The South Bank Show Awards. Piper again won the Most Popular Actress category at the 2006 National Television Awards for her work on the second series of Doctor Who. In September 2006, Piper was named Best Actress at the TV Quick and TV Choice Awards.Radio Times's Tom Cole discussed the importance of Doctor Who in boosting Piper's career in an article on how former Doctor Who actors can now expect more than "a life of signing autographs at provincial sci-fi conventions." He notes that Piper's portrayal of Rose "firmly cemented her credentials as an actress" and cited the variety of roles she had taken on since leaving the show as proof that "as far as post-Who careers go, they don't get much healthier than Billie's."
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|Companions of the Ninth Doctor|
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|Companions of the Tenth Doctor|
|Series||Specials||Series 2||Special||Series 3|
|Episodes||CIN||167||168||169||170||171||172A / B||173||174A / B||175||176||177A / B||178||179||180||181||182A / B||183||184|
|Series||Series 3||Specials||Series 4||Specials|
|Episodes||185A / B||186||187A / B / C||188||189||190||191||192A / B||193||194||195A / B||196||197||198A||198B||199||200||201||202|
|(←) Sarah Jane|