|Script release:||The Shooting Scripts|
|Main enemy:||Nestene Consciousness|
|Main setting:||London, 2005|
|Writer:||Russell T Davies|
|Premiere broadcast:||26 March 2005|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x45 minute episode|
|Confidential:||Doctor Who: A New Dimension, Bringing Back the Doctor|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Doctor Who||The End of the World|
|Doctor Who||Aliens of London|
|Another memorable moment|
- You may wish to consult
Rosefor other, similarly-named pages.
Rose was the first episode of BBC Wales Doctor Who, and was the first new episode of Doctor Who since the 1996 telemovie. It introduced Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, and recurring supporting cast Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler and Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith.
An immediate success, it remains, as of September 2013[update], the most-watched first episode for any new incarnation of the Doctor. Its 10.81 million BBC One rating bested the previous record-holder, Robot, and was not outdone by either The Christmas Invasion or The Eleventh Hour. It is also the second-highest rated series-opener of all time, second only to Destiny of the Daleks. Due to the fact that ITV were on strike at the top of season 17, however, Destiny's numbers are often discounted. Rose is certainly the top-rating series opener when Doctor Who actually had competition from another broadcaster. The first Doctor Who story to be produced in widescreen, it was also the first single-episode, 45-minute story. It was the Doctor Who debut for almost everyone who worked on it — except for model unit supervisor Mike Tucker, who worked as a visual effects assistant on the original series from 1985 to 1989. Though it was not the Doctor Who debut for visual effects company, The Mill — that had actually come on The Curse of Fatal Death — it did feature the premiere of their title sequence. (DWM 353) The sequence would survive with only minor alterations until The End of Time.
Narratively, it portrayed the Nestene Consciousness and Autons for the first time on television since Terror of the Autons in 1971. It also introduced a new recurring element in the form of the Shadow Proclamation, contained the first reference to the Last Great Time War, and introduced elements about Rose's character that would be directly referenced in later episodes.
Unusually, the introduction of the Ninth Doctor in no way explained what had happened to his predecessor, nor did it illuminate the life he led during wartime, and failed to explain much of anything about who the Doctor was. Indeed, Rose started a mild story arc surrounding the mystery — from Rose's perspective — about the Doctor's identity. New audiences would not have known until the series' final episode that the Doctor could regenerate, and wouldn't get their first glimpse of other Doctors until two years later, in Human Nature.
Rose Tyler wakes up one morning, gets ready for work, and kisses her mother Jackie goodbye. She walks to Henrik's, the department store where she works. In the evening, as the store nears closing time, Rose is about to walk home when she is stopped by a security guard who is holding the lottery winnings for Wilson, the chief electrician. She goes to the basement in search of him, but Wilson is nowhere to be found. She enters a storage room and is disturbed to see a group of moving shop window mannequins that soon surround her. All of a sudden, someone takes hold of her hand and tells her to "run!"
She quickly obliges, and they both run to a lift whilst being pursued by the mannequins. Before the doors can close, one of the Autons reaches for them, but the man quickly pulls its arm off before it can do them any harm. On the way up, he informs Rose that Wilson's dead. When they arrive at ground level, the man holds up a bomb and tells Rose that he plans to destroy a relay device to stop the Autons. He offers a quick introduction — he is the Doctor — and reminds her to run for her life.
Rose heeds his advice, and runs from the vicinity, carrying the plastic arm with her. Once she's at a safe distance, she watches in shock as Henrik's explodes in a huge ball of flame. She returns home, and her boyfriend Mickey Smith comes in to check she's okay. He eventually leaves to watch football, and is asked to take the arm with him. He throws the plastic piece into one of the bins outside.
The next morning, Rose awakens, before realising that she no longer has a job to go to. Walking around the house, she suddenly hears a scratching noise from the cat flap. She assumes her mother hasn't screwed it shut, and that it's a stray cat.
She opens it up to find the Doctor; he tells her he's been tracing a signal from the plastic arm. Rose invites him in. While Rose is making the tea, he peers behind the sofa, and is attacked by the arm. Rose notices the strangulation, but ignores it, thinking it a jest — that is until it lets go and flies towards her. Thankfully, the Doctor manages to deactivate the Auton arm with his sonic screwdriver. He throws the piece at her, and hastily rushes out.
Rose runs down the stairs to chase after him, demanding to know what's going on. He tells her that the living plastic is here to start a war that would overthrow and destroy the human race, so that they can claim the Earth as their own. The Doctor then departs in a mysterious blue box in the car park, ordering her to forget about him. Rose turns away for a second; when she looks back, both he and the box are gone.
Rose cannot let go, and decides to use Mickey's computer. She tries different keywords on search-wise.net, eventually settling on "doctor blue box". She follows a link to whoisdoctorwho.co.uk, a website owned by a conspiracy theorist named Clive. Mickey drives her to the man's house, where she is invited in by his son. Out in his shed, Clive shows her images from many points in Earth's past, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the sinking of the Titanic and the explosion of Krakatoa. He goes through the facts: "the Doctor is a legend woven throughout history; when disaster comes, he's there." Clive states that he believes the Doctor is an immortal alien. He tells her he is dangerous, and that he has only one constant companion: death.
Meanwhile, Mickey is keeping an eye on the house from his car. He suddenly gets distracted by a bin wheeling forwards on its own. He gets out of the car and opens the bin, expecting to see someone playing a joke. He surprisingly finds it completely empty. As he tries to close the lid, he finds that it's stuck to his hands. The plastic merely stretches as he tries to pull away. After a few attempts at breaking free, the bin suddenly tosses him into the air and swallows him whole.
Sometime later, Rose returns to the car, convinced that she's wasted her time, that this man really is just a conspiracy nutter. They decide to go for pizza. What she doesn't realise is that her Mickey has been swapped, replaced by a shiny, plastic duplicate...
The two arrive at the restaurant and plastic Mickey starts to grill Rose about the Doctor. They are interrupted twice by the offer of champagne. Mickey finally looks up, only to find the Doctor holding the bottle. The Doctor fires the cork at Mickey's forehead, but it moulds into his plastic skull, and simply makes its way down to his mouth, where he spits it out. His hands morph into paddles, and he begins attacking all those around him. There is a brief struggle until the Doctor pulls his head off. Rose hits the fire alarm, and, while the others evacuate, the Doctor and Rose are chased out of the building by a now-headless Nestene duplicate of Mickey, who flips over tables in the process.
They escape to the back courtyard, and the Doctor enters his little blue box. With nowhere to go, Rose follows him inside at the last second. The second she enters, though, she rushes back outside, thinking she has just gone mad. The inside of the box is bigger than the outside! The Doctor explains that his blue box is called the TARDIS, and that both it and he are alien.
As the Doctor wired Mickey's head to the console, Rose wonders if the real Mickey is dead; the Doctor didn't even consider this. The couple's conversation is cut short when Rose points out that the head is melting; he had hoped to use it to track down the Nestene Consciousness — the entity controlling the Autons. He still manages to follow a trace of the signal, but the head is completely melted before they can find the precise location of the Consciousness. They land somewhere nearby their destination, by the edge of the River Thames. Rose is shocked to learn that they have moved.
The Doctor explains that he needs to find a transmitter of some kind, very big and round. He figures it must be "completely invisible", but Rose identifies it instantly: the London Eye would be the perfect transmitter for the Nestene. The two run together across Westminster Bridge, and Rose quickly finds an entrance to an underground base beneath the Eye.
Rose immediately notices Mickey when they enter, and runs down to him; the Doctor rolls his eyes. The Doctor tries to reason with the Nestene, but the Consciousness has two of its Autons capture him when it detects the presence of the TARDIS, which it identifies as terrifyingly superior technology. They discover a vial of anti-plastic in his pocket — which he had intended to use only as a last resort.
The Nestene confronts his Time Lord enemy about its lost planet. He responds, "I couldn't save your world. I couldn't save any of them!" Terrified, it decides to start the invasion ahead of schedule.
Rose calls her mother to get her to go home to safety. Jackie doesn't hear, though, and continues into the Queen's Arcade mall for some late-night shopping. Much to her surprise, the shop-window dummies come to life, and begin to massacre everyone in sight.
Below the London Eye, Rose decides to take some initiative. He breaks free one of the chains on the wall with an axe, and swings down to the Autons, both freeing the Doctor and pushing the Autons, along with the anti-plastic, into the vat containing the Nestene Consciousness. The vial leaks, and the Nestene Consciousness dies in pain.
Back in the mall, Jackie runs around in a panic and tries to take cover behind a car, as three bride Autons crash through the window behind her. Suddenly, when they are just about to shoot her dead, the transmitter shuts down and all the Autons return to lifeless mannequins again. Underneath the London Eye, the Nestene's base starts to collapse and explode. The Doctor, Mickey and Rose board the TARDIS and, just in time, escape a huge explosion.
With the Earth saved, the Doctor suggests Rose join him on his adventures; they can go anywhere in the whole universe. Rose, much to his disappointment, refuses. He bids her farewell and leaves. Rose almost instantly regrets her decision, but carries on getting a terrified Mickey back home.
As she leaves, though, she hears a familiar wheezing noise behind her. Turning around, she sees the TARDIS reappear in front of her. The Doctor emerges to tell Rose that the TARDIS can also travel in time. Without much thought, she kisses her boyfriend goodbye and runs straight into the TARDIS, to start her new life in time and space.
- Doctor Who - Christopher Eccleston
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Jackie Tyler - Camille Coduri
- Mickey Smith - Noel Clarke
- Clive - Mark Benton
- Caroline - Elli Garnett
- Clive's Son - Adam McCoy
- Autons - Alan Ruscoe, Paul Kasey, David Sant, Elizabeth Fost, Helen Otway
- Voice of the Nestene Consciousness - Nicholas Briggs
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Mal Young|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor has been to several major events in his ninth incarnation, including the launching of the Titanic in 1912, the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, and the eruption of the volcano at Krakatoa in 1883.
- The Doctor reads the novel The Lovely Bones in Jackie's flat by flipping through it.
- The Doctor starts to sing Luck Be a Lady before shuffling a deck of cards in Jackie's flat.
Foods and beverages Edit
- Mickey offers to make Rose a cup of tea.
- Rose offers to make the Doctor a cup of coffee which she is preparing in the kitchen when he is attacked by the Auton arm.
- Rose and Mickey's Auton double go out for pizza.
- H. P. Wilson is dead, killed by the Autons.
- The Autons make a copy of Mickey Smith.
- Clive suggests that the title "Doctor" is passed down from father to son.
- Rose's friend Suki says there are jobs going at the local hospital.
- Jackie's friend Arianna successfully sued the council.
- Rose thinks the dummies are a practical joke set up by Derek.
- Jackie's friend Beth phones to make sure Rose is okay.
- Jackie's friend Debbie knows someone from the Mirror.
- The sonic screwdriver makes an appearance and is again an all-purpose tool.
- The Nestene Consciousness used warp shunt technology to get to Earth.
- Rose uses search-wise.net to search the Internet.
- The Nestene Consciousness is destroyed by the Doctor's anti-plastic.
Story notes Edit
- This is the first story featuring the new TARDIS console room, which has a far more organic appearance than its predecessors. Initially questioned by fans, the later mini-episode Time Crash would confirm this as a new "desktop theme" for the TARDIS interior, which the Fifth Doctor called "coral".
- The story itself could be a close sequel to Spearhead from Space, and has thematic similarities to the earlier story, as both feature a new Doctor, a new companion, and the Auton invasion in London. The Autons had also appeared in Terror of the Autons, the story that introduced the Master, another new companion, and recurring UNIT character Mike Yates. All three Auton stories featured the debut appearance of an incarnation for either the Doctor or the Master.
- A copy of this story was available to download on the Internet on various p2p networks several weeks before it was released. The preview version was essentially the broadcast version; however it did not contain the new credits and had the original series theme music as opposed to the new version. In 2005, the illegal distribution of TV series episodes via p2p was nowhere near as widespread as it became with the later rise of torrents; Rose was one of the first major TV productions to be "leaked" in this fashion.
- The word "Auton" is not used in the dialogue of the story, but does appear in the episode credits.
- The surname Finch was used for Clive and his wife in the production notes, but not in the on-screen version.
- The episode, like the 1996 TV movie, breaks with what had become the tradition of including the Doctor's image in the title sequence.
- For this, the first episode, the opening credits follow the UK standard of title sequence then programme. The rest of the season would include a teaser before the main title sequence.
- There were problems during the first broadcast of this episode in the UK which meant that sound from a BBC Three program, Strictly Dance Fever hosted by Graham Norton, was heard over the scene in which Rose first encounters the Autons.
- As part of the launch of the new series, the BBC screened the documentary Doctor Who: A New Dimension on BBC One — coincidentally narrated by David Tennant, the future Tenth Doctor.
- Following this episode, Doctor Who Confidential Episode 1 was broadcast on BBC 3.
- The reference to the Doctor having a Northern accent relates to the media attention generated around Christopher Eccleston — who had always retained his native Lancashire accent — not conforming to people's perception of what the Doctor should be like. It also references the fact the different actors who had previously played the Doctor had, themselves, differing accents, most notably Sylvester McCoy, whose Doctor spoke with a light Scottish accent.
- In the scene where the Doctor is in Rose's flat, the original script called for the Doctor to stick his entire head in the cat flap. When it arrived, however, it was far too small.
- Rose's comment about the Doctor sounding like he was from the north marks the second time Earth geography has been applied to the Doctor's demeanour (previously, he was referred to as being from England in the TV movie).
- Similarly, Rose and the Doctor's exchange regarding his accent also echoes a similar discussion between the Fourth Doctor and fellow Time Lord Drax in TV: The Armageddon Factor regarding the latter's affected Cockney accent.
- A special effects milestone occurs when the Doctor is shown standing in the door of the TARDIS and the interior is clearly visible behind him. In the original series, the interior of the TARDIS was usually shown as a dark void whenever a head-on view of the open doors — a rarity — occurred (though this has previously been done in the pilot version of the first episode of the original series; however curiously enough not in its broadcast version). For the first time, elements of the exterior of the TARDIS — specifically the inside of the doors and the POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX lettering along the roofline — are visible from the console room.
- Between the final scene and the closing credits, the episode incorporates a "Next Time..." trailer for the next episode. This is the first time this device has been used in Doctor Who. This becomes a regular feature, omitted only on rare occasions, or occasionally moved to the end of the closing credits.
- Actor Nicholas Briggs makes his debut on the revived series, providing the voice of the Nestene Consciousness. He would go to be the show's designated voice actor, remaining the Daleks and Cybermen's voice actor As of 2013[update]. Rose is far from Briggs' first Doctor Who-related work, as he had been an active participant in independent, unofficial, and licensed spin-off productions dating back to the 1980s, most notably hosting the Myth Makers interview video series, writing and directing films for BBV Productions and Reeltime Pictures, and as producer of the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio dramas, a project that had its roots in Audio Visuals, a series of fan-made Doctor Who audio adventures in which Briggs himself played the Doctor. In 2009, Briggs would have his first official on-screen appearance in a Who franchise production with a supporting role in Torchwood: Children of Earth.
- Russell T Davies becomes the first author of original Doctor Who spin-off fiction to write for the official TV series. A decade earlier, he wrote the Seventh Doctor novel Damaged Goods for the Virgin New Adventures line of novels. Numerous other writers of licensed spin-off fiction and Big Finish Productions audio dramas would go on to write for the revival, including Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss (who would also guest star in three episodes), Steven Moffat (who would ultimately succeed Davies as lead writer in 2009), Robert Shearman, and Gareth Roberts.
- This is the first episode of Doctor Who to use the name of a companion in its title.
- The scene in which Rose wanders through the basement of the department store alone was the first scene Billie Piper shot as Rose Tyler (per Project Who).
- The "UNIT website" would reveal that the Auton assault was commonly believed to be an attack by "disguised members of a terrorist coalition", though some people did believe it was aliens; UNIT would not "confirm or deny" that. 
- Clive's website, Who is Doctor Who?, marks the first time a character has directly referred to the Doctor by the name "Doctor Who" on screen since WOTAN in TV: The War Machines. Clive's use is clearly meant in the form of a question, with "Doctor Who" being more or less a nickname.
- The original preview trailers for Series 1 include a scene where the Ninth Doctor is narrowly outrunning a fireball behind him down a concrete tunnel. This is likely set moments after he set off the explosives he laid in Henrik's, and details his escape from the doomed building.
- Executive producer Russell T Davies stated that he chose to have Christopher Eccelston depict a new incarnation of the Doctor so he could have a fresh start for both the new viewers and the narratives he wanted to implant in the series, and because Eccelston was a good friend of his who wanted to help Doctor Who gain momentum to become successful again.
- Paul McGann, who portrayed the Eighth Doctor in the telemovie, said that he would have returned to the series if given the chance, but Russel T Davies did not want to depict a regeneration with first-time viewers tuning in, who would be unable to identify why the Doctor changed appearances. Eventually, he was given a chance to reprise the Eighth Doctor in 2013 for the mini episode TV: The Night of the Doctor, which dealt with the lingering mystery of his regeneration.
- This story implies that the Ninth Doctor has recently undergone regeneration from a past incarnation, when he comments about the features of his face while looking at a mirror in Rose's flat. The logical assumption at the time of his debut among viewers was that he had regenerated from the Eighth Doctor. However, this was disproven in 2013 when Steven Moffat conceived a new incarnation to retroactively insert between the Eighth and Ninth Doctors. The so-called War Doctor, played by John Hurt, did not call himself the Doctor until the end of his life, and was an honourary, unumbered inclusion among the other incarnations who carried the title fully throughout their lives. The War Doctor was cemented as the Ninth Doctor's predecessor when he regenerated into him near the end of TV: The Day of the Doctor.
- This is the only episode introducing a new Doctor in the revived series to not run longer than average.
- 10.81 million, with a 43.2% audience share.
Myths and rumours Edit
- It is often speculated that the Nestene Consciousness can be heard to utter the words "Bad Wolf". (The subtitles and DVD commentary for the episode state that is says "Time Lord".)
- Due to the widescreen format introduced with this episode, it was often erroneously stated that this episode and those that followed were filmed in high-definition. In fact, the first high-definition Doctor Who episode wasn't produced until Planet of the Dead in 2009. The spinoff series Torchwood, however, had always been produced in high definition. In 2010, the first standard-definition Doctor Who episode to be "upconverted" to HD, The Next Doctor, was released on Blu-Ray; this opened the door for Rose and other episodes of the first four seasons to undergo similar conversion at a later date.
Filming locations Edit
- The scenes in which Rose is at work were filmed in Howells in the centre of Cardiff.
- The scene in which the Autons attack people in a shopping centre was filmed in The Queens Arcade.
- The scene in which Rose agrees to go travelling with the Doctor was filmed at Cardiff's outdoor market.
- The Yard where the TARDIS is parked was filmed at the back of the Cardiff Royal Infirmary.
- The Nestene Consciousness' lair was filmed in a disused paper mill in Cardiff.
- Exterior scenes of the London Eye and the Doctor and Rose running through London were filmed, unsuprisingly, in London.
- The Powell Estate and streets where the Doctor tells Rose of the Autons were filmed around Lydstep Crescent in Cardiff.
Production errors Edit
- The BBC news report incorrectly spells Henrik's as Henrick's.
- In the news report, it shows the time as 20:45, two minutes pass by and it still says 20:45.
- If one looks carefully, the eyeholes in the faces of the Auton costumes are visible.
- When the Doctor pulls off the Auton's arm, the sleeve vanishes. There's no sound of it ripping and it wasn't on the arm when it got pulled off.
- When the Auton's arm gets pulled off, it's obviously its right arm. But when Rose carries it home, it is now a left arm, which turns back into a right arm when she gets home.
- While Rose is making coffee, the milk is in her right hand. It cuts to the Doctor shuffling cards, then cuts back and we see that now she has a teaspoon in her right hand. Again, it cuts back to him trying to shuffle them, and the milk is back in her right hand.
- While Mickey is trying to escape from the bin, he turns around 180 degrees, twisting the strands of plastic attached to his hands. It cuts to another angle and the strands are un-twisted.
- When Rose sets off the fire alarm in the restaurant, the glass cover doesn't break.
- When Rose first enters the TARDIS, there is only one handrail near the door. Then as she exits the TARDIS there is a handrail on both sides of the entrance.
- As the Doctor and Rose run across Westminster Bridge, two buses pass by on their right. Another shot shows them from the other side of the road, and the buses have disappeared.
- After the Nestene identifies the TARDIS, one can see a microphone above the Doctor's head.
- When the three Auton brides close in on Jackie, their hands fall off one-by-one, but as the second one falls off, the third one has already fallen off, and in the next shot it falls again.
- The sonic screwdriver makes a reappearance on screen in a new shape but with the same sound effect. The screwdriver was first introduced in TV: Fury from the Deep and destroyed in TV: The Visitation, then reappeared in TV: Doctor Who.
- People similar to Clive who are obsessed with the Doctor were depicted in PROSE: Return of the Living Dad. Clive is clearly corresponding by e-mail with others like himself and refers to the Doctor appearing in numerous conspiracy theories. (TV: Love & Monsters).
- The Doctor has at some time in his past been involved in a war which led to the destruction of the Nestene Homeworld, likely the Last Great Time War.
- The Doctor once again speed reads a book in a matter of seconds. (TV: City of Death, The Time of Angels, AUDIO: Invaders from Mars)
- Rose returns to London in TV: Aliens of London.
- The Auton invasion is referenced in TV: Love & Monsters.
- Rose tells the Doctor she had a cat. This is confirmed in PROSE: The Cat Came Back.
- The Nestene Consciousness is shown to have survived the events of this episode and attempts another invasion of Earth eight years after this episode fighting the Doctor's next incarnation. (PROSE: Autonomy)
- Unbeknownst to Rose, this is not the first time that she met the Doctor. She previously encountered the Tenth Doctor on 1 January 2005, immediately before his regeneration into his eleventh incarnation. (TV: The End of Time)
- The Doctor once again claims that the TARDIS withstood an attack from the assembled hordes of Genghis Khan. (AUDIO: City of Spires)
- The Doctor's ability to sense the movement of the Earth is similar to his previous ability to sense the movement of a space station in PROSE: The Murder Game and feel the effects of a drill twenty-one thousand kilometres beneath the ground in TV: The Hungry Earth. Similarly, in his eleventh incarnation, he was keenly aware of the suspicious lack of engine vibrations onboard the Starship UK.
- The Ninth Doctor had at least one adventure without Rose before returning and telling her the TARDIS can travel in time. (PROSE: The Beast of Babylon)
Home video releases Edit
- This story was released on a DVD along with The End of the World and The Unquiet Dead as Doctor Who - Series 1: Volume 1. However, in Portugal and Russia Series 1: Volume 1 also included the contents of Series 1: Volume 2.
- Series 1: Volume 1 was also the first to be released in the UMD format for Playstation Portable.
- This story was also released as part of the series 1 DVD box set, Doctor Who - The Complete First Series.
- This story was also released with Issue 1 of the Doctor Who DVD Files.
- This story was released in the Series 1 Bluray set in November 2013 along with the rest of the series.
- This release was initially bundled with the first seven series of the revived Doctor Who.
- This story is available for streaming via Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.
DVD releases Edit
Series 1: Volume 1 Edit
UMD releases Edit
Series 1: Volume 1 Edit
- BBC - Doctor Who - Episode Guide - Rose
- Rose at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Rose at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Rose at The Whoniverse
- Rose at The Locations Guide
- Christopher Stilson's Rose novelisation (fan-made)