It’s International Women’s Day, so this is the perfect opportunity to revisit Billie Piper’s time on Doctor Who as one of the most popular companions, Rose Tyler.
Rose was very much a 2005 audience’s “way in” to the mad world of the Doctor, as she discovered aliens are real, plastic is a killer, and “the trip of a lifetime” awaited her… in a blue box that’s bigger on the inside.
To demonstrate how important the Doctor’s companions are to both the Time Lord and to the show, showrunner Russell T Davies even named the debut episode of Doctor Who Series 1, i.e. the first episodes of 21st Century Who, Rose — the first story also named after a companion. Sort of. I explored this in my book, 100 Objects of Dr Who:
“Only three companions have had their first names included in titles: Rose Tyler (Rose) Amy Pond (Amy’s Choice), and River Song (The Wedding of River Song, The Husbands of River Song), although Martha gets her surname in Smith and Jones. An Unearthly Child alludes to Susan; The Runaway Bride and Partners in Crime to Donna; The Girl Who Waited also to Amy; The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar to Clara; and The Pilot, debatably, to Bill (at least after she joins Heather in The Doctor Falls).
“Okay, we can’t forget The Feast of Steven in The Daleks’ Master Plan!”
But enough of that! Here’s to Rose Tyler, who introduced millions of new viewers (including me) to Doctor Who.