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Doctor Who Companion Profile: Rose Tyler

Billie Piper as Doctor Who Companion Rose Tyler

Rose Tyler

Portrayed by: Billie Piper

Doctor(s): Ninth Doctor, Tenth Doctor

Tenure: 20 stories (30 episodes), from “Rose” (March, 2005) to “Army of Ghosts”/“Doomsday” (July, 2006)

Background: Rose is a seemingly normal teenager working in a shop when she runs into the Doctor. She later proves herself as a Companion and the Doctor clearly sees something in her from the start, but to the untrained eye, she is a rather unremarkable young woman.

Family/Friends: Rose is the first Companion to have a recurring, significant family and home dynamic. Her father Pete died when she was only a baby, leaving her mother Jackie to raise her alone. Jackie seems rather immature when we meet her, but this belies her struggles as a single parent. Rose is also close with her boyfriend Mickey, though not enough to stay behind when offered the chance to travel in the TARDIS.

Personality: Rose is brave, adventurous, emotional, and curious. She can be self-centered and she doesn’t treat Mickey particularly well as an on-again-off-again boyfriend and she certainly takes her mother for granted, but these flaws come more from youth and inexperience than intentional cruelty. She is a vocal supporter of the Doctor and his way of life, refusing to allow him to shuttle her off safely to the sidelines first in the series one finale and then again in the series two finale. Rose is shown to have excellent judgment in general and to be a particularly good judge of character. She truly loves the Doctor and traveling with him in the TARDIS and this enthusiasm and happiness is infectious.

Special Skills: Bronze Medalist in Under Sevens Gymnastics at the Jericho Street Junior School, empathy, curiosity

Best Stories: “Father’s Day” is the first series at its most emotional and affecting, “School Reunion” is a blast, and “The Impossible Planet”/“The Satan Pit” shows just how close Rose and the Doctor are and just how great of a Companion she is

Worst Stories: “Aliens of London”/“World War Three”. Even Harriet Jones couldn’t save this one, and that’s saying something. Many fans are also not particularly fond of “Fear Her”

Highlights of tenure: Realizing what she’s gotten herself into in “The End of the World”, getting the Queen to express her lack of amusement in “Tooth and Claw”, mentoring Donna in “Turn Left”, and ripping out our hearts in “Doomsday”

Lowlights of tenure: Pretty much everything about how she treats Mickey. Given the maturity she tends to display in most other aspects of her travels, it’s hard to excuse this just because she’s 19.

Memorable quotes:

The Doctor: “You’ve seen how dangerous it is. Do you want to go home?
Rose: “I don’t know. I want… Can you smell chips? … I want chips. … Come on then, tightwad. Chips are on me. We’ve only got five billion years ‘til the shops close.”  “The End of the World”

– “It was a better life. And I don’t mean all the traveling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things. That don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You know, he showed you too. That you don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away, and I just can’t.”  “The Parting of the Ways”

Other notes: Rose is among the most popular Companions in the series’ run, often vying with Sarah Jane in fan polls. She was designed very specifically to be an unassuming every girl, giving new viewers who were unfamiliar with the series an entry point, and her arc, from shop girl to Defender of the Earth, demonstrates a belief on the part of then-producer Russell T. Davies in the potential for greatness lying within each person.


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