The Best Doctor Who Companion Getting A Spinoff Series?
Billie Piper goes on record to say she would reprise the role of Rose Tyler for a spin-off series, but only a short one.
When Doctor Who regenerated into a new series in 2005, Rose Tyler (played by Billie Piper) was the Doctor’s erstwhile companion under the direction of showrunner Russel T. Davies. Now that Davies will be running Doctor Who once more, Buzzfeed asked Piper if she would be willing to return to reprise her role as Rose Tyler for her own spin-off series. The actor replied that she would be willing to do it only if it was a few episodes long and shot entirely in London.
While Piper seems ambivalent about returning to the role in a long-term capacity, there are countless fans who would love to see the return of Rose. Fans had to say farewell to her character back in Season 4’s finale which saw her trapped in a different universe with a different version of the Tenth Doctor (the original, meanwhile, is making a return). While Billie Piper returned for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, she played the Bad Wolf persona instead of Rose Tyler.
In other words, fans have been craving more detail and closure about her character for many long years. Did Rose Tyler finally get her own “happily ever after” with a version of the Doctor who loves her and is actually human? Or have the various “timey-wimey” forces in the wider world of the show disrupted the peace they hoped to enjoy in a parallel world?
Interestingly, a final resolution to her story may fit Piper’s needs as an actor. In the interview, she was very self-deprecating about her work ethic, claiming “I don’t want to work much” but that if “It was like four episodes all shot in London, then yeah, I’d be like a rat-up-a-drainpipe for that.” Rose Tyler doesn’t necessarily need an entire season of stories like we expect with Doctor Who, and four episodes to wrap everything up would make both fans and Piper happy.
It would also make Disney executives happy as well. Since Disney+ acquired the rights to Doctor Who, fans have been speculating about the spin-off series possibilities for characters like Rose Tyler. With their Marvel content, Disney has enjoyed releasing smaller batches of episodes focused on lesser-known characters such as Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel.
And with the wide world of Doctor Who to play with, there are plenty of characters who could use their own time in the spotlight even as we learn more about the Doctor and his companion in the new series.
Long before the Disney acquisition, Russel T. Davies dreamed of creating a “Whoniverse,” which is why he produced spin-off series like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. Understandably, some fans have been skeptical about Doctor Who moving to Disney+, with some joking that this will be the Community joke about an American version of Inspector Spacetime coming to life. But the goals of Disney and Davies seem very aligned here (important since Disney is providing creative input), and we are definitely down for anything that brings Rose Tyler back to the world of Doctor Who.
Even if you’re not a huge Rose Tyler fan, it’s worth considering what wild Doctor Who spin-offs we might get if her show is a success. A Loki-style series about The Master, or perhaps a series focusing on the excellent-but-underutilized Eighth Doctor? If Disney is really serious about opening up this big blue box of possibilities, we can only say “let’s go”…or, as the Tenth Doctor preferred to say, “allons-y!”