Rose Tyler was the first companion of the Doctor after the “Doctor Who” television series returned from nearly a decade-long hiatus. This was also the first time audiences witnessed the possibility of a Doctor being romantically involved with a companion, though this was never clearly fleshed out in the series. So, the topic of today’s discussion is Rose Tyler, and how exactly she has evolved in the “Doctor Who” television series.
Who Is Rose Tyler?
Rose Tyler, portrayed by former pop star Billie Piper, was a companion of Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth and David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor on the “Doctor Who” television series. Rose, a shop assistant, later knighted as Dame Rose of the Powell Estate in her adventures with the Doctor, became his feisty companion that was ready to sacrifice herself for the Doctor and stand up to him when necessary.
She’s quite possibly the best companion the Doctor ever had, according to the fandom. During her run as the Doctor’s companion, Rose Tyler accompanied the Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness into the year 200,100, where she looked into the heart of the TARDIS and the Time Vortex, becoming an entity known as the Bad Wolf.
The Bad Wolf dispersed its name throughout time, signaling its future connection to both Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, creating a looped paradox in the process. Acting as a Bad Wolf, Rose destroyed the Dalek fleet threatening the Doctor, and brought Captain Jack Harkness back from death, accidentally making him immortal.
Abilities of Rose Tyler
Rose was an average human companion without many specialties, apart from being a skilled gymnast, as described in “Rose” — the first episode of Series 1 of the New Who television show.
Apart from her gymnastics skills, for which she was awarded a bronze medal during her school years, Rose was also acquainted with firearms, as seen in “The Satan Pit” and “The Stolen Earth” episode, but only to a certain extent. Unfortunately, her gun-slinging skills couldn’t really match those of Captain Jack Harkness.
Abilities of Rose Tyler as Bad Wolf
As the Bad Wolf entity, Rose displayed unparalleled destructive capabilities, as she destroyed the entire Dalek fleet by breaking the atomic bonds of the ships and Daleks themselves. Making objects and living organisms disintegrate at an atomic level suggests that the Bad Wolf possessed incredible energy manipulation capabilities.
Of course, rearranging atoms and chemical processes can be used for things other than destruction, as witnessed in “The Parting of Ways” and “Utopia,” when Rose used the Bad Wolf’s energy manipulation to resurrect an already deceased Captain Jack Harkness.
Bad Wolf also has the ability to form force fields that defend itself from Dalek weapons and time manipulation, as it scattered the words “Bad Wolf” throughout various points in time and space, throughout the ninth Doctor’s timeline. This eventually led to Rose becoming the Bad Wolf in a self-fulfilling prophecy grounded in paradox. Confusing? Welcome to Time-Space travel.
Key Appearances of Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler made a total of 25 appearances in the “Doctor Who” television show and several novelizations and audio accounts. However, due to the canonicity issues and the purpose of this article, we’ll focus primarily on her key appearances in the “Doctor Who” television series.
Dalek – Season 1, New Who
The Ninth Doctor, a reincarnation of the War Doctor that has suffered through the Last Great Time War, couldn’t stand the Daleks, and for a good reason. Rose, however, was most probably the series’ first companion to show a Dalek mercy after she encountered one in captivity. Unfortunately, she wasn’t aware of the Dalek’s history with the Doctor, so she pitied the alien mutant, accidentally allowing it to heal itself through physical contact with her.
The Empty Child – Season 1, New Who
The Doctor and Rose time-travel into the 1940s, straight into the middle of World War II. This episode also introduced Captain Jack Harkness, whom Rose teams up with to find the Doctor.
The Doctor Dances – Season 1, New Who
This episode holds some importance, as it’s the first time in Doctor’s numerous adventures that, as far as the Doctor knows, no one died — either advertently or inadvertently. Everybody Lives! The entire episode centers around finding the mother of a gas mask-wearing child, which was horribly transformed by the alien nanogenes in London during the Blitz.
Bad Wolf – Season 1, New Who
This episode centers around Rose, the Doctor, and Captain Jack Harkness trapped playing a series of deadly game tv shows on the alien television network. This episode establishes Rose as the Bad Wolf and explains why the words “Bad Wolf ” followed Rose and the Doctor during their adventures.
The Parting of Ways – Season 1, New Who
This episode continues the Bad Wolf narrative, in which Rose, acting as Bad Wolf, destroys the Daleks. This is also the episode in which Rose and the Ninth Doctor kiss. However, while sprinkled with romantic undertones, the kiss was done so that the Doctor could absorb the Time Vortex Energy so it wouldn’t kill Rose.
The Girl in the Fireplace – Season 2, New Who
In this episode, Rose and the Doctor land on a spaceship in the 51st century that’s connected to an aristocratic Madame De Pompadour from pre-revolutionary France.
The Impossible Planet – Season 2, New Who
The Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler find themselves stuck on the impossible planet where they discuss settling down somewhere, giving up traveling, and getting a house — perhaps even with each other.
The Satan Pit – Season 2, New Who
In conclusion to “The Impossible Planet,” the Doctor asks one of the side characters to relay a message to Rose, implying he would say he loves her, before changing his mind and saying, “She knows.” And she gives him a smooch on his space helmet in this episode.
Doomsday – Season 2, New Who
“Doomsday” is Rose’s last appearance as the Doctor’s regular companion. She and her family got stuck on another Earth after she helped the Doctor send both Daleks and Cybermen through a breach into a space between universes.
Journey’s End – Season 4, New Who
An interesting conclusion to Rose’s arc in which she gets to live happily ever after with the Human Doctor in a Bad Wolf Bay on a parallel Earth, while the original Doctor returns to his TARDIS.
The Doctor And Rose Tyler Connection
Billie Piper’s Rose was a shop assistant living with her mother, Jackie Tyler — portrayed by Camille Coduri — when the Doctor saved her from an Auton. He encouraged her to accompany him on his journey. Despite their adventures often being risky, Rose developed an affection towards the Doctor and stated that she would stay with him forever.
They were later separated when she got stuck on a parallel earth, where she attempted to use a Dimension Cannon to contact the Doctor. She eventually encountered him during a particularly bad run-in between the Doctor and the Daleks. He later reunited her with her family and the half-human version of himself to live the rest of their lives together.
How Rose Tyler Changed Over Time
Rose started out as a teenage girl emotionally shaped by living with a single mother and stories about a father whom she never met. However, throughout the “Doctor Who” television show, Rose realized her bravery, passion, inner strength, and heroism as she witnessed what life means throughout the universe.
But perhaps the most important aspect of Rose Tyler’s evolution in the “Doctor Who” television show is going from a naive and coddled young woman to a passionate adult, through a discovery of purpose and womanhood.
What More Can We Speculate About Rose Tyler in the Future
Rose Tyler is one of the most popular companions to ever have graced a TARDIS control room. However, after concluding her run as Rose, Billie Piper stated that she was uncomfortable with mainstream fame and being a role model for young people.
However, she made a recent U-turn on her comments stating that she spent enough time away from the show to the point that she really wanted back in on it. Her comments coincided with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor’s interesting references towards the character, penned by Chris Chibnall, which prompted the fandom into believing that Rose might return to the show. Whether or not Rose is returning to the show remains to be seen.