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Billie Piper Doesn’t Want to Return to Doctor Who (So You Can Put Away Your “Rose is Back” Theories)

Sorry Doctor/Rose shippers, but Billie Tyler has confirmed in a recent interview for the Guardian that she has no interest in returning to Doctor Who – presumably not to TV anyway, given that she recently did just that on audio for Big Finish in Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon, set in-between two of her TV appearances.

She said:

“I wouldn’t go back. It’s a great role, but you’re away from your kids for so long. My experience was that you were in Wales for nine months solid. And as a job it dominates your life. It’s mainstream family viewing so you can’t really escape it. It feels like it makes you very, very famous.”

Piper has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the nature of her character’s departure from the series – feeling that the Meta Crisis Tenth Doctor she left with was somehow a “lesser” version of the real Doctor that she couldn’t quite “take so seriously”.

There were also briefly plans to bring Rose back to the TV in a spin-off tentatively named “Rose Tyler: Earth Defence” which never got beyond the initial planning phase, and a fleeting mention by Piper’s character that she intended to join her new home universe’s version of Torchwood.

To date, the only spin-off material to deal with Rose’s life after leaving the Tenth Doctor for the last time have been a pair of Big Finish Short Trip audios which feature the Meta Crisis Doctor and Jackie Tyler as the central characters, rather than Rose herself.

Billie Piper has also returned to appear in TV Doctor Who – albeit as a different character in The Day of the Doctor, which, along with her Big Finish appearances, suggests that it might not be her lack of interest in the part that’s the ultimate barrier to Rose Tyler’s return, but rather that it might be a storyline that the series producers themselves don’t want to pursue.

Perhaps not all fans might agree, but given the nature of Rose Tyler’s relationship with the Doctor – i.e. an apparently somewhat reciprocated romance – it might be problematic in fact to bring her back. Unlike River Song’s nomadic journey through the Doctor’s past, a returned Rose Tyler would more likely want to remain by the Doctor’s side until one of their deaths. That, or the series writers would have to find yet another reason to split them up – or else have them officially break up and cease to be interested in each other. It has to be wondered whether any of those outcomes are ultimately things that fans would really want to see on screen.

As well as all of that, Billie Piper is in any case going through something of a renaissance in her own career, having recently received critical acclaim for her TV series I Hate Suzie, so it probably wouldn’t be the best time for her to commit to several more years of Doctor Who, even if it were a good idea to bring back her character.

Doctor Who is expected to return either in late 2021 or early 2022. The only confirmed characters besides the Doctor herself are Yaz (Mandip Gill) and new companion Dan (John Bishop) for a reduced 8 episode run.

Simon Painter

Billie Piper Doesn’t Want to Return to Doctor Who (So You Can Put Away Your “Rose is Back” Theories)

by Simon Painter time to read: 2 min
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