Rosa (Doctor Who)
"Rosa" is the third episode of the eleventh series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. It was written by Malorie Blackman and executive producer Chris Chibnall, and directed by Mark Tonderai, and was first broadcast on BBC One on 21 October 2018.
|279 – "Rosa"|
|Doctor Who episode|
Promotional image for the episode, showing Rosa Parks (Robinson)
|Directed by||Mark Tonderai|
|Written by||Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall|
|Script editor||Fiona McAllister|
|Produced by||Nikki Wilson|
|Incidental music composer||Segun Akinola|
|First broadcast||21 October 2018|
In the episode, alien time traveller the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), and her human friends Graham O'Brien (Bradley Walsh), Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), arrive in Alabama in 1955, and find themselves seeking to stop time-travelling criminal Krasko (Joshua Bowman) from preventing Rosa Parks (Vinette Robinson) influencing the American civil rights movement. The episode's plot concerns racial segregation in the United States at the time, including the law upheld in Alabama regarding municipal transit during this period.
The closing credits of "Rosa" were played out with the single "Rise Up" by Andra Day, making it one of few episodes in the programme's history not to end with the traditional closing theme. The episode was watched by 8.41 million viewers, and received positive reviews from critics.
When the Thirteenth Doctor attempts to return to present day Sheffield, the TARDIS instead brings her and her friends to Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Before attempting to leave, the Doctor finds that there are traces of artron energy in the area from another time travel device. Deciding to investigate, the group learn that they have arrived the day before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat as bus driver James F. Blake demanded on 1 December, effectively influencing the civil rights movement. Tracing the energy, the group locate a suitcase of equipment from the future, but are unable to learn more when its male owner forces them to flee. The Doctor suspects he is attempting to change history by ensuring Parks never had to refuse her seat to Blake.
Leaving her friends to research everything behind the critical moment on 1 December, the Doctor returns to examine the suitcase's contents, before using it to shield herself from its owner - a rehabilitated murderer named Krasko. The Doctor learns that Krasko seeks to change Parks' life, since his neural implants prevent him from killing any living being. Unable to convince him to abandon his plan, despite destroying the vortex manipulator he used, she and her friends focus on thwarting his scheme by ensuring Parks refuses her seat to Blake at the appointed time, under exactly the same conditions of the incident. Although Krasko works to counter their efforts, the group stay one step ahead of him, making certain to keep history on track.
While Ryan Sinclair does his best to remove false notices at bus stops, he encounters Krasko blocking the bus route with a car. Ryan learns that the criminal's actions are motivated by his deeply racist views, and so uses his displacement device that he dropped to send him into the past to stop him completely. Removing the blockage, he and the others rejoin the Doctor on the bus as passengers. As the moment arrives, the Doctor realises they have become integral to events, and is forced to keep them aboard the bus. After witnessing Parks being arrested by the police for violating segregation laws, the group return to the TARDIS knowing history has been kept intact.
The prison of Stormcage, mentioned in "Rosa" when the Thirteenth Doctor recognises a tattoo on the arm of Krasko, was featured in episodes of the Eleventh Doctor, primarily as the place where River Song serves time for the "murder" of her husband.
After the premiere episode, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", was broadcast, it was confirmed that Vinette Robinson and Joshua Bowman would be among a number of guest actors that would appear in the series. Vinette Robinson previously appeared on Doctor Who as Abi Lerner in Series 3 episode "42", also written by Chris Chibnall.
Broadcast and receptionEdit
|Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score)||7.99|
|Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer)||96%|
|New York Magazine|||
|The A.V. Club||B+|
"Rosa" was watched by 6.39 million viewers overnight, accounting for an audience share of 29.6%, making it the second-highest overnight viewership for the night, and fifth for the week on overnights across all channels. The episode had an Audience Appreciation Index score of 83. The episode received an official total of 8.41 million viewers across all UK channels, making it the 4th most watched programme of the week.
"Rosa" was met with positive reviews from critics. It holds an approval rating of 96% based on 28 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.99/10. The critical consensus reads "First time Doctor Who writer Malorie Blackman pens an insightful installment that returns the show to its educational roots and serves as a reminder of how powerful purposeful science fiction can be."
In February 2019, the episode won the Visionary Arts Organisation Award for Television Show of the Year at the BAFTA in London. In April 2019, the episode was announced as a finalist (nominee) in the category of Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for the 2019 Hugo Awards.
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- "'Doctor Who' recap: The Doctor meets Rosa Parks in a poignant trip to the past".
- Knight, Lewis (21 October 2018). "Doctor Who review: Rosa Parks meets Jodie Whittaker's Doctor". Daily Mirror.
- Ruediger, Ross (22 October 2018). "Doctor Who Recap: Big Trouble in the Deep South". New York Magazine.
- Mulkern, Patrick (21 October 2018). "Doctor Who Rosa review: "it feels like a throwback to the earliest days of Doctor Who"". Radio Times.
- Siede, Caroline (21 October 2018). "A powerful Doctor Who ensures Rosa Parks is the hero of her own story". The A.V. Club.
- Tate, Gabriel (21 October 2018). "Doctor Who: Rosa, review – a well-intended but poorly executed riff on history" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Power, Ed (21 October 2018). "Doctor Who, Rosa, review: A thoughtful look at the civil rights movement". The Independent.
- "Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 3 Review: Rosa". TV Fanatic. 22 October 2018.
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- "Rosa". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- Marcus (30 October 2018). "Rosa - Official Ratings". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
- "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.21.2018". Showbuzz Daily. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- Marcus (9 February 2019). "Rosa Wins Visionary Arts Award". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- Fullerton, Huw (9 February 2019). "Doctor Who picks up special award for Malorie Blackman episode "Rosa"". RadioTimes. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- unknown, Cheryl (2 April 2019). "2019 Hugo Award & 1944 Retro Hugo Award Finalists". thehugoawards.org. Retrieved 8 April 2019.