Companions of New Who: Rose (Series 1)

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Guest contributor Mark Spurdle looks back over Rose and her first series.

Since Doctor Who’s revival, we have been graced with a number of companions, some gaining high praise from fans, and others not. In my series of articles I will be talking about the key moments for these companions and giving my overall views.

In 2005 Doctor Who was finally back, but the show would need a strong companion to make it a great comeback. Rose Tyler burst onto the scene as a young blonde girl who felt she had a boring life. She then came across the Autons. Scared and confused, she started to back away, but then she met the Doctor and her whole life changed.

It seemed like Rose was a bit reluctant with the Doctor at first in the episode ‘Rose’ – possibly because he blew up the place where she worked! However, she slowly started trusting him. She wanted to find out about the Doctor (who wouldn’t?). I liked this about her. No matter how dangerous the Doctor is, how much he warned her, she still tried to find out who he was.

At the end of ‘Rose’, she became the hero. She mounts her courage, saying to the Doctor how she isn’t special, but then stops the Nestene Consciousness. This persuaded me that this fiery new companion was the real deal. For saving the Doctor he offered her a trip away to see the galaxy. I have a slight niggle about Rose, and that’s the fact that she so willingly left her boyfriend behind and joined a strange man in a police box. But I was so pumped-up because of the jam-packed episode that I overlooked this.

One of Rose’s more notable performances that really stood out for me was in the episode ‘Dalek’. She really did hit form in this story. Her bravery whilst in a dark room with a weird metal machine that was only just screaming to try and kill the Doctor was something I admired a lot about Rose. She tries to stay in control while the Doctor is gone. Her sympathetic attitude to the Dalek was both good and bad. She proved that she isn’t a heartless companion. However, it wasn’t exactly clever to touch this weird metal machine now was it, as doing this resulted in the Dalek killing nearly everyone in its sight!

Another stand-out story for Rose was in ‘Father’s Day’. This episode conveyed how much of a test it was for Rose when it came to time travel. She had to stand there and watch her Dad die, which would be a test for anyone. But she had to save him, didn’t she? This caused havoc, with the Doctor expressing his displeasure (“I’ve picked up another stupid ape!”). Rose stays calm and once again saves the day. This episode illustrated her emotional side and how much she still had to learn about the rules of time travel.

Rose gave another excellent performance in ‘Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways’. This is probably my favourite ending to a series in new Who. Rose, like in ‘Dalek’, was left alone, playing The Weakest Link (doesn’t seem scary at first does it?); but then the Anne Droid’s laser mouth disintegrated anyone who got voted out (now it seems scary). Rose realised how much trouble she was in but surprisingly, she got to the final round. This is when Rose really did get scared, knowing that she was going to lose with the Anne Droid then disintegrating her! I was on the edge of my seat, distraught as I thought our beloved Rose was going to die.

But she wasn’t dead. Instead, she was sent to a massive Dalek ship, and like her I was surprised to see a Dalek back (“But you’re dead!”). Rose displayed some bravery while being captive in a Dalek ship, filled with insane Daleks, by cracking a joke with the Doctor. The episode ended on a high with the Doctor promising to find Rose.

The Doctor and Captain Jack eventually locate her. Later in the episode, the Doctor realises he has no hope left and sends Rose home. One part that made Rose more likeable was that she put up a fight, struggling to get out of the TARDIS and back to the Doctor. Sadly, she is still sent home. However, Rose isn’t going to leave the Doctor alone against thousands of Daleks. She begins to realize that Bad Wolf is actually a sign that her and the Doctor can’t be apart.

With great determination, she opens the TARDIS console and stares into the Heart of the TARDIS. The TARDIS heads back to the Doctor, and Rose’s crowning moment begins. Rose steps out of the TARDIS with the power of the Vortex inside her. This scene was brilliant in my opinion and demonstrated how an ordinary girl like Rose can save the world. She destroys the Daleks and their Emperor, saying: “You are tiny.” This phrase made me fonder for her, mainly because of how she mocked the Emperor of the most feared race in the universe. To top it off, she brings Jack back to life (however, causing him to be able to never die). She is triumphant.

But no one should stare into the heart of the TARDIS. Rose’s mind was slowly burning up (“It hurts”). It was a beautiful scene as the Doctor finally revealed that he loved Rose. The Doctor absorbed the energy from within Rose. But not even a Time Lord can survive this. He needed to regenerate. Rose showed great bravery: she didn’t even know what he was on about! The man she had traveled the stars with changed his face. It’s no wonder she looked so alarmed after his regeneration!

And so the first series ended. Doctor Who’s revival bought a new Doctor and, perhaps more importantly, a strong companion. Did Rose Tyler tick all the boxes for me? Yes! What I liked most about Rose from series 1 was that, unlike in series 2, she didn’t show her love for the Doctor. This meant that their friendship and charisma was stronger. Doctor Who really had a great revival and a great companion.

But what did you think of Rose? Give your thoughts in the comments.