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How Billie Piper's Worst Doctor Who Moment Can Be Fixed

CBR 12/23/2022 Joshua M. Patton
© Provided by CBR

When Russell T. Davies first brought back Doctor Who, Billie Piper's Rose Tyler had the toughest job. After Christopher Eccleston left, she was the main bit of consistency for David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and fans to latch onto. Now that Davies and Tennant are back, they can fix Piper's self-described "worst" moment on the series.

During a recent interview with the actor, Piper revealed what she thought was the worst story choice for Rose. In her final episodes, not counting Piper's appearance in the 50th Anniversary Special, she is left in a parallel universe with a human clone of The Doctor. Piper thinks Rose should have at least gotten to stay in the same reality as The Doctor, and that the human version was a poor imitation of the real thing. Of course, Rose has always been very special to Davies, so much so that when he left he shunted her off to another universe so that Steven Moffat couldn't touch her in his stories. Yet, if the actor who helped make that iconic companion real is upset with the ending, Davies can fix it now that he's back. Since David Tennant is already running around as the Fourteenth Doctor, he's not afraid to look back while going forward. And, just because Davies needs to "fix" the story to please Piper and the fans who agree with her, it doesn't mean he needs to change his story.

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Russell T. Davies Can Make the Human Doctor a Worthy Match for Rose

There is no reason to doubt that Davies ended that story as he did because he thought it was the right ending. Many fans accepted the Consolation Prize Doctor. The real Doctor couldn't just settle down with Rose until she dies. Yet, that was a busy finale. Consolation Doctor seemed every bit as clever, adept and funny as the real Doctor. So, writing a story about those characters not only allows Davies to bring Tennant back again, but it is also the perfect way for him to share the screen with Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor even more.

The way Davies does this, of course, is by making Consolation Doctor what the companions are: human beings just zany enough to emulate The Doctor without his two hearts and alien tech. Yaz, Clara Oswald, Sarah Jane Smith and Rose Tyler herself are all companions who are just as heroic as their favorite Time Lord. However, the Consolation Doctor actually thinks like The Doctor, at least David Tennant's version anyway. If Davies brings them back, fans (and Piper) can see that the human Doctor is no consolation prize.

Part of what makes Doctor Who the greatest franchise on TV is that the timey-wimey, parallel reality wibbly-wobbly nature of the series makes this perfectly sensical. Davies could bring back the entire gang: Camille Coduri's Jackie, Shaun Dingwall's Pete, Noel Clarke's Mickey and even Freema Agyeman's Martha Jones. Everyone can take a bow, and when Rose and the Consolation Doctor walk off-stage together, Billie Piper can be satisfied she's with the right guy after all.

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It's Not Just Billie Piper or Russell T. Davies Who Can't Move Past Rose Tyler

Of course, Davies could be perfectly happy with his original ending. And getting the actor to come back could be tough since Billie Piper doesn't "want to work much." Yet, as special as Rose is to Davies, she's special to the fans as well. Even if Davies doesn't want to mess too much with the ending or prove something with the Consolation Doctor's character, he could give them a nice coda. Rose and Bad Wolf and all these things have run through Doctor Who since it returned 17 years ago. Also, Millie Gibson's new character Ruby Sunday sent Whovians into a spiral because, like Rose, she is young, has blond hair and likes denim.

Part of this is because no one ever really goes away on Doctor Who, but also because of how Rose's story ended. Davies and company left her bawling on the beach with the poor Consolation Doctor forever certain he's her second choice. Peeking back in on these characters could give fans better closure with Rose's story. Then Piper can happily record audio dramas or whatever other Doctor Who Expanded Universe projects she's interested in. But, for the majority of Doctor Who fans, Rose will get a proper ending where fans can know she's happy and thriving.

The first era of Doctor Who under Davies remains some of the series' best, and what's to come with Gatwa's Doctor is exciting. Yet, since Davies is back, he could take advantage of the chance to, at the very least, reaffirm the ending that someone like Rose Tyler deserves.

Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary Specials are expected in late 2023.

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