Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rose From Doctor Who "Just A Needy Girlfriend?"


Steven Moffatt, the head writer of the current Doctor Who TV series, confirmed that spunky "Who" sidekick Rose will not return to the show.

Further, he referred to the popular character, who appeared in the first two seasons, as:

"...a slightly needy girlfriend..."

I think to refer to the character in this fashion sort of trivializes all she did on the show. At least with the spinoff "Sarah Jane Adventures" they put another former Who sidekick in a starring role.

I love the show, but the only problem I have with it is the concept of these female assistants. It often turns into "I like you babe, but Freebird and all that," and then Doctor Who sorta goes off.

And as much of an active role as characters like Rose or Martha have had on the show, they always seem sort of transitory. Look, I know we get different Doctors -- but how many "companions" has it been for this current show so far?

I mean...if I had my choice to play the Doctor or one of his companions, I'd put on the glasses and the Chucks in one second.

And I have Chucks. Well, not real ones. But good enough.


  1. Hm. From reading the link, it doesn't look like there's much context beyond that quote. And Moffat is, after all, the guy who wrote Coupling, and that show took no prisoners when it came to making fun of relationship issues.

    But, I've been concerned about the Chaste Romantic Novel aspect this new series has taken on. I tend to agree with an old-school Whovian friend of mine who says, "The Doctor just needs to find a funny dude and do cool shit."

  2. I love Rose. She's my British GF

  3. To give context, the comment can be found among the video clips here:

    He's making a funny, as is the wont of a good many writers with a strong background in comedy.

  4. A Doctor-Buffy analogy posted on a friend's LJ:

    Rose is Angel - the One True Love that ends in tragedy and heartache. Martha is Riley - logically a better match, but the title character isn't ready to commit. A lovestruck Donna, therefore, would be Spike.

    The biggest fault in that logic, of course, is that Donna really never became lovestruck.

  5. The problem has been that the new series has decided to make the companions girlfriends, for which I may be labeled as a nostalgic fanboy who can't get used to change, is completely different from the relationship he had with them in the old series. There, the Doctor was a father figure, the wise mentor who could help out and protect them and be comforting to, but never someone you wanted to be romantically involved with.

    Donna was a great companion because of the fact that she wasn't a romantic partner for him - she was just an independent person who had her own opinions and didn't fancy the Doctor as much as the adventurous lifestyle.

  6. Rose was needy and young.

    Donna Nobel is where it's at.

  7. I like Rose. I like the romance element between her and the Doctor. And to all the old school fanboys, please go back to Four with Sarah Jane and Romana. There are some elements that aren't healthy about the relationship, but his entire race has ceased to exist and he possibly had to pull the trigger of what wiped them out and saved the universe.

    If that doesn't spell middle-age crisis; I don't know what does. ;) Not my original idea, Rich Morris used it first in his fancomic The Ten Doctors. Cannot stop recommending to all Doctor Who fans.

    But I was so thankful they didn't go the romance route with Donna. After Martha's mooning it would have been annoying.

    My real request for Moffet is to get away from the horrid mother motif. Jackie was unique and fun. Martha's mom was a pain in the ass and the season finale part one is the first time when Donna's mother didn't make me cringe. Let's have an orphan as a companion or someone with a normal family, kay?

  8. KLC: Thanks for the link to The Ten Doctors. I've been reading it all day :)

  9. If I'm not mistaken, if you include the original series, the Doctor's longest running companion was actually a guy, Jamie McCrimmon. (Of course, he was in a kilt.)

  10. but the doctor actually loved rose!
    he almost said it, then he cried!!!
    hell, i love rose too!
    i never viewed her as needy!
    martha on the other hand....

  11. Well, I think there's a difference between Rose Series 1 and Rose Series 2. Series 1, she was pretty cool and independent. Series 2, she was clingy and stupid. So joking or not, Moffat got it right, basically. Throughout the second series, they portray her as clingy — a big point is made of it.

    And then Martha is clingy as well and only became a likable character after she stopped being a doormat.

    The whole point is that the Doctor is a bit of a dick. He's always been a bit of a dick. And that's why the romance overtones have been so lame — if he falls for someone, it at least has to be someone who is believable. I believe he might fall for Sarah Jane or Romana, say. I believed he would fall for Madam de Pompadour or whoever Jessica Hynes played. I do not for one second believe that he would fall for Rose Tyler at all. He'd quicker fall for Captain Jack.

    I'd also add that describing the Doctor solely in terms of his female companions really belittles some strong male ones from the series new and old - Ian, the Brig, Mickey, Captain Jack. He treated all of them like crap at times too.

  12. Have to agree with Lewis--I've always thought that the Doctor looked for young women as an attempt to recreate the relationship he had with his grand-daughter, who abandoned him all the way back in the first season. (In fact, the first time it was made overtly clear that this was the case; the Doctor's other two companions convinced him to take in an oprhaned girl because they believed he needed her as much as she needed him.)

  13. The longest-running companion is the terrific Sarah Jane Smith if you count by number of episodes, Jamie if you count by number of stories. Then again, if you count by number of stories, Rose would have 30 or so, in the new format! I really don't like the romantic focus - a Time Lord/human relationship seems awfully like a human having romantic feelings about their loving, smart dog.

  14. Er, didn't he abandon his granddaughter, and not the other way around? Left her behind on Earth after they defeated the Daleks, gave her the "One day, I shall come back. Until then, go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine" speech.

    (Yes, I've watched entirely too much of the old series.)

    Haven't seen Series 4, so I can't comment on what's happened in it, but I feel the Doctor falling in love, romantically, is a card that shouldn't be played too often, and probably only once. (Kind of like the old kill-off-a-superhero card.)

    As a viewer familiar with the old series, I found that that's one thing that made the first two seasons of the new season so great - the Doctor really fell for Rose. He'd never really fallen for someone before, not that we'd seen. (Even the stuff with Romana II was more about bounding about and having a good time.)

    That's probably why I didn't like the Martha Jones stories as much, even though some were quite good (Blink!) - it felt too much like RTD was trying to keep the lightning firmly captured in the bottle, rather than move on and figure out someting new to do.

    Still, the Who abides. I'm sure Moffat will do a good job, and the franchise will last til at least Doctor 13.

  15. You know that bit where people say Americans don't get irony?

    He's making a joke.

  16. Yes, it was a joke, so we should all lie back and enjoy it! [/sarky]

    See, the thing of it is, Doctor Who at its heart is a subset of Mary Sue fiction, and no Mary Sue can be clingy because that would mean she wasn't the perfect character who always saved the day. Moffat and Davies have occasionally done real wrong by female characters; io9 has some good analysis of this. It's not intentional, it's just among the pitfalls of guys writing from a guy's point of view.

  17. He closed the doors on Susan, yes, but she was in the midst of saying that she was sorry, she'd love to stay with David but she could never abandon her grandfather like that, so although she'd be heart-broken, et cetera et cetera. :)

    Basically, he recognized the decision she wanted to make and made it for her.

    For the most part, though, old-school Doctor Who companions left him, not the other way around; Sarah Jane was the exception to a general rule of companions sticking around until they found someone else or it stopped being fun. It's only in the new series that "Oh, I'm going to travel with you forever, Doctor, and really stick the writer into a corner when my actress decides to leave the series!" :)

  18. I always found Martha to be much more interesting than Rose, and I still think its stupid they got rid of her as the character had really found her feet.

    Donna only became a good character for me in the final few episodes, and by then it was too late - and they ditched her in spectacular fashion anyway with that mind wipe, so I'm not sure what the point of it all was.

    Rose? Always found her irritating. Her "I'm possessed by the time vortex" speech thing at the end of the first series is jaw droppingly embarrassing and cringe-inducing. Billy Piper regularly failed to step up with the acting chops when it was demanded of her.

    And oh my God, that lisp! Did they ever reveal what that lisp was all about?