Canceled Doctor Who Spinoff Would Have Been Perfect Continuation Of Fan-Favorite Character

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

The success of the 2005 Doctor Who revival has led to multiple spinoffs, including Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. However, one fascinating franchise fact is that we almost had a very different spinoff featuring one of the most popular Companions. Originally, Doctor Who was going to have a Rose Tyler: Earth Defence spinoff, but that show was killed by showrunner Russell T. Davies before it could ever get off the ground.

The Rose Spinoff That Almost Was

Doctor Who Rose Tyler

For those who have loved the Doctor Who revival from the beginning, it may not be much of a surprise that a Rose spinoff was once in serious consideration. Thanks to the lovely and talented Billie Piper, audiences around the world fell in love with the Doctor’s plucky new Companion. In those early days of the revival, it’s more than far to say that audiences were tuning in just as much to see the plucky teen hero played by Billie Piper as they were to see the immortal and sometimes cranky Time Lord played by Christopher Eccleston.

Let’s hop to it, then: what was this Doctor Who Rose spinoff even going to be about? In short, Rose Tyler: Earth Defence was going to focus on the title character trying to keep the planet safe without the Doctor. To understand why this spinoff was even in consideration, though, we need to return to one of the sadder moments in franchise history.

Love Hurts

After the Doctor regenerated into the hunky and downright adorkable David Tennant, Rose understandably ended up falling in love with him. It wasn’t meant to be, though: at the end of the second season, she was trapped on a parallel Earth with no way back home to her own dimension. The Doctor burns up an entire sun just to say goodbye to her; their communication shuts off right before he can confess his love to her, and I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Protecting A Planet Without A Doctor

doctor who rose tyler

Believe it or not, this completely heartbreaking Doctor Who moment was going to be the impetus for a Rose spinoff. The new dimension that Rose was stranded in faced its own alien threats (they had their own Torchwood, after all), but they notably didn’t have a brilliant Time Lord to help defend them (not at first, anyway…spoilers, sweetie). In this way, Rose Tyler: Earth Defence was going to be quite literal, and the show would focus on how this Companion helped to protect the planet without the Doctor by her side.

Why Was It Axed?

Interestingly, this Doctor Who Rose Tyler spinoff was canceled by showrunner Russell T. Davies despite already getting commissioned by BBC One. His reason for canceling the spinoff was simple: he felt that it would have lessened the emotional impact of “Doomsday,” including that insanely sad farewell scene. Reading between the lines, he may have also been a bit concerned that this spinoff would be too similar to Torchwood, which at its core is also about a former Companion of the Doctor fighting alien threats without the help of a Time Lord.

Rose Got Her Happy Ending

doctor who

Doctor Who fans eventually got to see the return of Rose not in a spinoff but in the proper show. This culminated with her getting a somewhat happy ending because she gets to run off into the sunset with a human version of David Tennant’s Doctor, one who could age and grow old alongside her.

With all that being said, I’d love for the newest Doctor to find a way to visit this dimension and see what Rose and Tennant’s human Doctor have been doing all this time (er, the activities Disney will allow them to put onscreen, that is).