Rose Tyler

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Name: Rose Tyler
Occupation: Doctor's companion, Torchwood (parallel world)
Relationships: The Doctor, Mickey Smith, Captain Jack Harkness
Fandom: Doctor Who
Other: Portrayed by Billie Piper.
"illustration of Rose Tyler in a leather jacket, behind her is the Tardis against a purple background"
Rose Super study by A-Little-Tiktokzin (2013)
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Rose Tyler, portrayed by Billie Piper, becomes the Doctor's first companion of the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who. She is the first companion to have a family as a significant part of her life, and the first to experience domestic conflict surrounding her travels with the Doctor. While she is not the first companion to kiss the Doctor, she is the first companion to canonically consider a romantic relationship with the Doctor; for this, and other reasons, her character is a source of conflict among fans, and she is often a victim of character bashing.

Character Biography

In Series 1 Rose is established as being 19 years old. This makes her the first contemporary Earth teenager to travel with the Doctor since Dodo Chaplet in 1966.

Rose grew up on the Powell Estate in London. Her father died when she was a baby, leaving her mother Jackie to raise her alone. When the Doctor first meets her, she is working in a retail shop, and dating Mickey Smith, a neighbor she has known all her life after leaving school early.

As the Bad Wolf, Rose is briefly able to see all of time and space. What she does with this ability outside of canon - and how much she remembers afterwards - are open to fannish speculation.

Left behind in Pete's World, Rose goes to work for Torchwood.


For many new fans, Rose was their first companion and took on a special significance. She appears regularly on the first two seasons of the new Doctor Who series, and has several guest appearances in later seasons.

Some, including showrunner Steven Moffat, give Rose and actress Billie Piper a share of the credit for the successful return of Doctor Who.[1]

Fan Reaction

For much of seasons 1 & 2, Rose was the primary companion of the Doctor and as with any new addition to the canon of Doctor Who, her character was not universally loved. There were many fans who identified with Rose's regular-girl origins. Plenty of people have unexciting jobs and annoying family members, and dream of running away with the Doctor. Rose has her flaws - for example, she is unkind to Sarah Jane before finally befriending her - and her struggles make her human.

Still other fans disliked Rose as a character, believing her to be a Mary Sue.[2] In the first season, Rose was able to absorb the energies of the TARDIS. While this almost killed her, and did not leave her with lasting powers, the fandom reaction was split. Some fans disliked the idea that the human companion had saved the day, believing it was not reflective of her actual ability. While in other sections of fandom, this scene led to Mary Sue-ish tropes gaining popularity in Rose centric fanfiction. It also led some fans to view Rose as a companion who was essentially the Doctor's equal.

Many fans disliked this focus on Rose, as the one true companion to the Doctor. They also disliked the focus on her romantic attraction to the Doctor and their relationship.


Rose is commonly shipped with some incarnation of the Doctor, usually Nine, Ten, or Ten II (the meta-crisis Tenth Doctor). She has not canonically met other incarnations, but she's shipped with them as well.

She is also sometimes paired in crossover fic with other characters played by Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant, such as Alec Hardy of Broadchurch. These works are often tagged Teninch. Works pairing any version of the Doctor with a character played by Rose Tyler actress Billie Piper is tagged Doctor Piper. RPF pairing Piper and Tennant is popular as well.

Rose has also been shipped with Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith, and Donna Noble. The threesome pairing of Rose/Jack/Doctor was also quite popular, particularly during Nine's run.

Common Tropes & Storylines

  • Bad Wolf Altered Rose sometimes becomes a Timelady, with a Timelords lifespan and telepathic ability
  • Dimension hopping Rose often meets different iterations of the Doctor, other companions or River Song.
    • During the time Rose was trapped in Pete's World, she made numerous efforts to contact the Doctor. Evidence of these efforts appeared in S4. Beyond that, little is explained in canon about what she did in that time, leaving it a rich setting for fanworks. While she is working for Torchwood, some fans believe that she studied physics and engineering, becoming adept enough to build the dimension cannon that allowed her to return to the Doctor's universe.
  • Post-Doomsday many works focused on her life with the half-human Metacrisis Doctor (Tentoo) on Pete's World.
  • Rose's former boyfriend Jimmy Stone often appears in fanfic, even though he never appeared on screen. Fandom consensus is that Jimmy was not a good boyfriend.





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  1. ^ Moffat Explains
  2. ^ Rose Tyler post at the CanonSues on Livejournal, 2008. This post inspired considerable debate.