Today is a celebration! Why? Well, it’s simple because without what happened ten years ago today on the BBC, I would not be writing this blog. (Or, at least, a blog titled HR to WHO.) Today is the 10th anniversary of Rose, the episode that brought introduced us to Rose Tyler and brought back Doctor Who.
Happy 10th Anniversary, Rose Tyler
It had been sixteen years since Doctor Who the airing of a regular episode, and it had been nine years since Sylvester McCoy handed over control of the TARDIS to Paul McGann in the TV movie. On March 26, 2005, something magical happened. The BBC broadcast “Rose” to a UK viewership of 10.81 million. Today, on the episode’s 10th Anniversary, I take a look back on the regeneration of a phenomenon. (Information provided, in part, via Wikipedia.org.)
The Ninth Doctor
It could be said that Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor was unlike any previous incarnation. Yet, I think he was the right Doctor for the right time. His wardrobe was not bright, had no scarves, had no vegetables, no question marks – nothing..but black. He was friendly and furious all at once. “Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life.”
He was a Doctor for the 21st century and, for many, he was their first Doctor.
Camille Coduri brought domestication to the program, but in a good way that, for me, worked. Thinking back now on the episode I wonder if fans had any idea that we would see her return as a recurring character throughout the first two series? (She also made a guest appearance in the fourth series two-part finale.) Jackie Tyler was feisty, insecure, and longed for love. It was Jackie Tyler who grew from a shallow character into someone who fought Daleks three years later.
A bumbling idiot. This generation’s K-9. He’s been called a lot, but Mickey Smith was one of my favorite recurring characters because of how much he grew in the years after this first appearance. Noel Clarke did an amazing job of giving this character depth and turned the helpless boyfriend into a mercenary warrior.
And, then, there is Rose, the episode’s titular character. And, as I write this, I realize something I had forgotten. The first episode of the revival carries a title that is the name of the new companion. If anything, this should show there was a serious new direction for Doctor Who.
Billie Piper’s portrayal secured Rose Tyler’s spot as one of the great characters of Doctor Who. She was a breath of fresh air and someone who was immediately relatable. It was Rose who fans met first and it was through her eyes that we met the Ninth Doctor. The fact that the episode began non-Doctor with Rose instead – wise choice.
Russell T. Davies & Company
Russell T. Davies wrote the episode and was executive producer of the first four series. He may not have been a companion and may not have appeared as a character; yet, he was, in my opinion, the force behind the revival and helped bring Doctor Who to new heights.
The Rest is History
Did anyone suspect in 2005 that Doctor Who would be the worldwide phenomenon it is today? Think of all the great moments we may have missed had this episode not been a success! To name a just a few:
- The Tenth Doctor
- The Eleventh Doctor
- The return of the Eighth Doctor
- The War Doctor
- The Return of Sarah Jane Smith AND the Sarah Jane Adventures
- Captain Jack and Torchwood
- River Song
- Amy Pond
- Donna Noble
- Clara Oswald
- Martha Jones
- Harriet Jones, Prime Minister (We know who you are!)
- The Weeping Angels
- The Silence
- The Day of the Doctor
- TOM BAKER RETURNS!
- and many, MANY, more
It began with one word and, ten years on, we are still running! Happy 10th Anniversary, “Rose”!
Podshock To Review Rose
A review of this episode is scheduled for an upcoming episode of Doctor Who: Podshock. I’ll post a link to the episode as soon as it is available. In the meantime, subscribe to the mailing list for all updates.