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article imageBillie Piper keen on Rose Tyler ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off

By Mathew Wace Peck     Apr 30, 2014 in Entertainment
Billie Piper is keen to return to the “Doctor Who” role that made her TV name, in another spin-off of the BBC’s long-running science-fiction drama series.
Piper, who was a guest on a panel at last week’s Awesome Con, was fielding questions relating to her role as Rose Tyler, the Doctor Who companion she played to, initially, Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor and, then, David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor(s).
Specifically, she was asked about how Rose’s story ended — with her settling into a new life on an alternative Earth (“Pete’s World”) with Tennant’s Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor, in 2008’s Russell T Davies-scripted adventure, Journey’s End — and whether she’d be interested in returning to it in a Doctor Who spin-off.
To the possibility, and to working opposite Tennant again, DoctorWhoTV says that Piper replied, “That would be interesting … I’d be game!”
Rose Tyler was first introduced in Rose, the first Doctor Who story to air on television after a nine-year gap. Written by Davies, the person responsible for returning the show to TV screens, Rose redefined Doctor Who for the 21st century. Piper played the part for the first two seasons, leaving in 2006 — in Doomsday — after being separated from the Doctor for ever in an alternative universe.
Such had become the popularity of Rose Tyler that the BBC requested an alt-universe spin-off and, initially, Davies considered a one-off special — Rose Tyler, Defender of Earth. Subsequently, having already created two Doctor Who spin-offs – Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures — the showrunner changed his mind, joking at the time that having a series titled with his own initials — “RTD” — would have come over as a little egocentric!
The Doctor's and, subsequently, Sarah Jane's robot companion, K9 (voiced by John Leeson), stars in a third spin-off, K9. Created by Paul Tams and Bob Baker (Wallace an Gromit); however, to date, the BBC have not been involved in its production.
Forever Doctor Who
Back to the parent show and, two years later, for ever turned out not to be “for ever,” after all, when Rose was reunited with her “plus one” in The Stolen Earth; the story that saw the Tenth Doctor, after being exterminated by a Dalek, begin to regenerate.
Normally, such an event would lead to a whole new incarnation, a whole different body — as was most recently witnessed in last year’s The Night of the Doctor and, again, in the 2013 Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor.
However, in 2008, the Doctor somehow averted the inevitable, somehow managing to save his current incarnation by harnessing the regenerative energy. Although, in doing so, a clone of Tennant’s Tenth Doctor was created — the incarnation known as the Meta-Crisis Doctor.
Subsequently, in Journey’s End, in order to avoid two “Tenth” Doctors continuing to exist in one reality, the Meta-Crisis Doctor returns with Rose to the alternative universe.
In 2010, Rose returned again, in the closing moments of The End of Time, the story that saw Tennant’s Doctor regenerate into that of Matt Smith’s. Poignantly, this short scene was set before the events in Rose — meaning that Rose hadn’t actually met the Ninth Doctor yet and didn’t know who the Tenth Doctor was.
Back to the Awesome Con panel, where Tyler also talked at length about her most recent return to Doctor Who — last year’s 50th-anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.
On this occasion, however, she wasn’t playing Rose Tyler but the Moment — the interface of a sentient weapon of mass destruction held by the Doctor’s people, the Time Lords — who took on the form of the Doctor’s former companion.
As DoctorWhoTV reports, Piper responded to questions from the audience, saying, “I’ve heard a lot of [fans saying], ‘Why couldn’t you just be Rose and actually see [the Tenth Doctor] and be with him?’ I think to come back and do something slightly different [this time] was welcome for me because I’d come back so many times [before] that even though I loved Rose, I thought it probably needed a bit of a shift. And that’s what Steven Moffat wanted, he brought something very different.”
The Moment of the Doctor
Of being the Moment, instead of Rose, Piper concluded, “I really enjoyed playing it because I could be a bit mad and a bit strange.”
Piper wasn’t the only actor returning to Doctor Who for the anniversary, playing a different character from the one they were famous for. Tom Baker — best known for playing the Fourth Doctor – made a surprise appearance in The Day of the Doctor, too; his character being referred to as the Curator.
Whether or not the Curator is in fact the Doctor has yet to be explained. Moffat has so far kept tight-lipped and Baker does not know. However, all could be revealed if the character returns alongside the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Speaking earlier this month, at the launch of the Horror Channel’s first season of Classic Doctor Who, Baker said he was keen to make another return to the show that made him a household name.
Capaldi, who took over from Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor last year, is currently filming his first season of Doctor Who. His Twelfth Doctor will be joined by two companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), who has been travelling with the Eleventh Doctor since 2012; and Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), who will be introduced this year.
Doctor Who Season 8 is due to air later this year, beginning with a story directed by Ben Wheatley, the British film director whose most recent film, A Field in England, starred Reece Shearsmith, the actor responsible for recreating the role of the late Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor for Mark Gatiss’s celebrated Doctor Who biopic, An Adventure in Space and Time.
Gatiss has penned two new Doctor Who scripts for Capaldi’s Doctor, with other writers lined up including Moffat himself, Phil Ford (Wizards vs Aliens), Mark Gatiss (Game of Thrones), Gareth Roberts (The Sarah Jane Adventures) and Steve Thompson (Sherlock). A Christmas special — the tenth in a row since 2005 — is also planned.
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