Companions of New Who: Rose (Series 2 & 4)

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Guest contributor Mark Spurdle continues his companion retrospective on Rose (part 2).

If you missed part one of this article see here.

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.

I suppose to some Who fans (myself included) Series 2 for Rose saw the downfall of a great companion. In Series 1 we had a strong-hearted and brave companion who destroyed a Dalek fleet, whereas in Series 2 we had someone who was flirty, stroppy and self-centred.

At the start of a series we tend to have a new companion to get our head around, but this time we had a new Doctor with David Tennant! This change took me a while to get used to and it seems like it took Rose a while too. In “The Christmas Invasion” we saw the TARDIS crashing down to Earth at the start, and out came a tired Doctor with a bemused Rose.

At first she seemed to treat the Doctor as a stranger, the man who she had known and began to love had completely changed his face, and poor Rose, she had no idea what to do. But as the episode went on Rose slowly began to trust this new man again. Eventually she was back to ‘normal’ with the Doctor.

What went wrong?

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I suppose in a way, Rose went from being the best thing since sliced bread to that mouldy bit that fell down the back of the sofa, and I have to admit that some of her character in Series 2 was very mouldy indeed. The main issue was her new relationship with the Tenth Doctor. I felt that her frequent flirting and advances towards the Doctor were poor moves and I found it hard to take in after Series 1.

Another thing that particularly annoyed me was Rose’s attitude when another woman so much as looked at the Doctor (such as Sarah Jane). Whenever this happened we would see that trademark Rose pout that I and possibly many other Whovians shuddered at. The final thing that tipped me over into the anti-Rose group was her return in Series 4. At first when I heard that Rose was coming back I was over the moon. But now I’ve realised how much seeing her again infuriates me. When she left in Series 2 I was heartbroken; our beloved companion had left us. But it should have stayed like that and she shouldn’t have returned as her story had ended. And I know that may sound harsh, but in my opinion when a companion leaves in such a heartbreakingly way they shouldn’t return.

When she did return again in “The Stolen Earth” she started off by being selfish. I’m referring to the webcam scene with Martha, Captain Jack and the Doctor and Donna (“I was here first!”). When I heard Rose say that, I feared for the worst. I started to wonder if we were going to get more scenes with Rose pining for the Doctor. I hoped that they would see each other again quickly so we could be spared sooner rather than later. But of course, we got that reunion scene where Rose and the Doctor finally saw each other again and I have to admit it was actually heart warming. It’s a shame that pesky Dalek appeared and ruined it! Rose then went into a state, crying because her Doctor was starting to regenerate…

Rose didn’t really do much else in the concluding half until the final scene, where she got dropped off back into her parallel world by the Doctor and Donna. Just to top it off, Rose got herself a human Doctor (bet the Tennant fan girls must have been going crazy). I’ve got to admit the kiss between Rose and human Doctor had me torn between being happy and trying not to vomit in my bucket.

And, thankfully, Rose had finally left Doctor Who (or so we thought).

What went well?

I’ve got to be honest; finding things that went well with Rose after Series 1 was a struggle. I guess one of the good things that Rose carried on from Series 1 was her bravery in terrible situations. In “Tooth and Claw” she showed a commendable amount, as well as leadership when others were scared.

Another part of Rose I liked was her performance in “Rise of the Cybermen” and “The Age of Steel”. The amount of dedication she had to try and find her parallel Mother (well not technically her mother) was exceptional. Also her courage when it came to telling Pete Tyler that he was her father (in her world) and when Mickey told her he was staying in the parallel world.

In addition to this, her caring nature for the Doctor stood out strongly for me. I don’t mean her advances and flirting, I mean her concern for the Doctor’s well being. In “The Impossible Planet”, the way she kisses the top of his spacesuit as he descends down the lift warms my heart. It was the subdued affection towards the Doctor that I could cope with.

Furthermore Rose saved the day in the episode “Fear Her”, she used a great deal of intellect and courage as she worked out that the Pod would need heat and “love”. The moment Rose Tyler says “Feel the love” is possibly my favourite part of the episode (that and the Doctor running with the Olympic torch).

And the best bit about Rose in Series 2 was the way how she left (sounds harsh) in “Doomsday”. I say this because it was utterly heart breaking and featured some wonderful acting between David Tennant and Billie Piper. The emotion that Rose showed reduced me to tears, and that episode still brings me to tears. Another part from that episode that Rose made her own was the beach scene. That was possibly even more emotional than her leaving. And of course she told the Doctor she loved him, and it was greatly upsetting to see the Doctor say “Rose Tyler…” and vanish. It left me wondering what he was going to say, however this was cleared up at the end of Series 4.

Final conclusion

In conclusion I believe that Rose had fallen a considerable amount in standards after Series 1. Instead of her character naturally evolving, the character stayed largely the same and only developed in a poor way. Normally when we get a new companion, the fans take a little bit of time to accept and like them. With Rose it seems it was the other way round.

I think Billie Piper did a commendable performance with the work she was given. I’m sure if Rose were to have developed in a better way then we would have had a better Series 2 and Rose would be a lot higher up in my list of great companions.

Step back in time...