On 26th March 2005, Doctor Who made its epic comeback. Christopher Eccleston took the keys to the TARDIS and made the role of the Doctor his own (still one of the most underrated Doctors, but that’s a conversation for another time). Joining him was pop-princess Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, a strange choice for many, but Piper was outstanding in her two series of Doctor Who and quickly became a fan favourite.
24th June 2006. In Leeds, I couldn’t get to sleep. My mum, an avid Whovian, had left my dad in charge of the bedtime routine – this was before the days of pausing or recording. I stayed upstairs for a bit until boredom brought me back downstairs. There my mum was watching Fear Her, so I watched the last bit of it with her. It was confusing, and to be honest, I had no idea what was going on, but I was enthralled. The next week I watched Army of Ghosts, had nightmares for a week but still insisted I was brave enough to watch Doomsday (spoiler alert: I wasn’t).
That was it. From that moment on Doctor Who has consumed my life. It was my childhood and I still love it now. It wasn’t just Doctor Who, it was Rose.
A friend of my mums lent us the DVD for series one and two. They were on constantly. I tried to dress like Rose, mimic how she talked and acted. If I could’ve dyed my hair blonde I would’ve done. Everything about her was the epitome of greatness for me.
Yes, the Doctor is an ancient Time Lord, arguably the most intelligent person in the universe, but that never stopped Rose from standing up to him, for what she believes and thinks is right.
In her first episode, she saves the Doctor and the UK from the autons whilst delivering this incredible line: “I’ve got no A-Levels. No job. No future. But I’ll tell you what I have got. Jericho Street Junior School under-sevens gymnastics team. I got the bronze.” Rose made me realise that you don’t need the typical qualifications to be successful, you don’t even need the Doctor, you just need faith in yourself.
The older I get, the more I love Rose. She is fearless and unafraid to show her emotions. She stands in front of the Dalek the Doctor is about to kill because she sees something else in it. She stands in front of the Sycorax because the Doctor hasn’t finished regenerating. She inspires me to push myself every day, to not let other people define who I am. She is feminine but also strong-willed. I’m incredibly grateful I grew up with Rose as my role model.
“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 even when everyone else runs away.”Rose tyler, ‘the parting of the ways’ (2005)
This is my favourite Rose quote; for me, it encapsulates everything about her character and everything she learnt whilst with the Doctor. The world isn’t always fair but if you have any power or chance to change it you should try. No matter how scared you might be.
When I decided I wanted to write, it was this quote that inspired me. I knew that I didn’t want to sit back and watch things happen around me, I wanted (and still want to) make a difference no matter how big or small. One year into my career I know I’m not there yet, but hopefully one day.
Whether I’m feeling anxious, depressed, or happy, I still turn to Doctor Who. It helped me become the person I am today; it makes me smile. I have so many memories surrounding Doctor Who. A personal favourite is dressing up as Rose for World Book Day and just carrying around a copy of a Doctor Who book, telling everyone that she is a TV character and a book one.
Rose Tyler, you are a Doctor Who icon. The Bad Wolf arc is still (in my unbiased opinion) the best Doctor Who storyline. Growing up, I would lay in bed listening out for the TARDIS just waiting for Rose and the Doctor to turn up in my garden. Although I know that probably can’t happen (never say never, right?), Rose Tyler has remained my hero. I hope that I can be as fearless as she is.