a real world point of view
|Script release:||The Shooting Scripts|
|Main enemy:||Autons, 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 and 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 May 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.
When Rose Tyler meets a mysterious stranger called the Doctor, her life will never be the same again. Soon, she realises that her mum, her boyfriend and the whole of planet Earth are in danger. The only hope of salvation lies inside a strange blue box.
Rose Tyler wakes up one morning, gets ready for work, then kisses her mother, Jackie, goodbye and walks to Henriks, 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 (called Autons) 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 pulls its arm off so they can escape. On the way up, the man informs her 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 listens to his advice and runs from the vicinity, carrying the arm of the plastic mannequin. When she is at a safe distance, she sees her place of work exploding. She returns home and Mickey Smith, her boyfriend, comes in to check if she’s okay. When he decides to leave, he takes the plastic arm and throws it in the bins outside.
The next morning, Rose awakens, not having a job to go to and, walking around the house, she suddenly hears a noise from the front door. She opens it up to find the Doctor and he tells her he’s been tracing a signal from the plastic arm. While Rose makes tea for him, he hears a rustle from behind the couch and goes over to have a look. Peering behind, he sees the plastic arm, which starts strangling him. Rose thought Mickey threw it out last night, but it must have made its way back up to the house. It lets go of the Doctor and starts attacking Rose. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to disable the arm and deactivate it, and then starts to leave.
Rose chases after him, demanding to know what’s going on. He mentions that the living plastic isn't here to start a war, but to overthrow and destroy the human race and claim the Earth as their own. The Doctor tells her to forget about him, before leaving and walking to a blue box in the car park. Rose turns back and walks the other way, but when she turns to look back at him, but both he and the blue box have vanished.
Rose cannot let go, and decides to use her boyfriend’s computer. She researches the Doctor on the internet and eventually finds a hit while typing “doctor blue box”. She follows the link to an address at the bottom of the page and gets Mickey to drop her off at the address of the website’s owner, Clive Finch. When she arrives, Clive invites her in. Out in his shed, Clive states that he believes the Doctor is dangerous and has one constant companion: death.
Meanwhile, Mickey keeps an eye on the house until distracted by a wheelie bin moving on its own. He gets out of the car only to find it empty. As he tries to close the lid, he finds that it sticks to his hands, the plastic stretching as he pulls 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, thinking she’s wasted her time. Not knowing that Mickey has been replaced with a plastic duplicate, they decide to have dinner at a pizza restaurant.
The two arrive at the restaurant and plastic Mickey starts to grill Rose about the Doctor. A man tries to give them a bottle of champagne and after he comes back twice, plastic Mickey looks up to tell him they didn't order any, only to find the Doctor holding the bottle. The Doctor uses the bottle’s gas to fire the cork at plastic Mickey’s forehead, but it goes straight through and makes its way down to his mouth, where he spits it out. His hands morph into paddles and there is a brief struggle until the Doctor pulls his head off. He and Rose flee while the headless plastic Mickey causes havoc in the restaurant.
They escape to the back courtyard and the Doctor enters his blue box. With nowhere to go, Rose follows him inside, but the second she enters, she rushes back outside, to make sure she hadn't just gone mad. The inside of the box is bigger than the outside and the Doctor explains that the blue box is the TARDIS and that both it and he are alien.
Rose wonders if the real Mickey is dead, something the Doctor didn’t consider. Rose points out, to the Doctor’s frustration, that the head is melting; he wanted to use it to track down the Nestene Consciousness – the entity controlling the Autons. He manages to follow it, but the head is completely melted before they find the precise location of the Consciousness. They arrive on the edge of the River Thames and exit the TARDIS.
While trying to deduce the exact location of the Nestene Consciousness, the Doctor explains that he wants to find a transmitter of some kind, very big and round. Rose points out that behind him is the London Eye, the perfect transmitter for the Nestene. The two run across a bridge to the other side of the Thames and Rose finds an entrance to an underground base beneath the Eye. The Doctor has brought with him a vial of anti-plastic as a last resort; he wishes to appeal to the Nestene Consciousness first.
When they enter, Rose immediately notices Mickey and runs down to him. As the Doctor talks with the Nestene, it has two of the Autons capture him, as it detects the TARDIS and the anti-plastic. Angered, it decides to start the invasion ahead of plans and uses a lightning bolt from the vat to the London Eye, powering the transmission. Knowing everybody is in danger, Rose calls her mother to tell her to go home. Jackie instead tells her she’s going late night shopping and hangs up. Inside the mall, the Autons come to life and begin to massacre everyone in sight.
Below the London Eye, the Autons that are holding the Doctor are slowly pushing him towards the edge of the platform they’re on. Rose takes an axe and breaks free one of the chains on the wall. She swings down to the Autons holding the Doctor and collides with them; the one holding the anti-plastic falls down into the vat containing the Nestene Consciousness and the Doctor throws the other Auton into the vat as well. The vial of anti-plastic breaks and spills onto the Nestene Consciousness which kills it.
Jackie takes cover behind a car as three bride Autons crash through the window behind her and try to shoot her. Fortunately, the transmitter shuts down and all the Autons turn into lifeless mannequins once again. Underneath the London Eye, the base starts to collapse and explode. Before it is destroyed, the Doctor, Mickey and Rose board the TARDIS and escape.
With the Earth saved, the Doctor suggests Rose come with him on his adventures. Rose refuses at first and the Doctor bids her farewell and leaves. However, the TARDIS appears in front of them again and the Doctor emerges to tell Rose, that the TARDIS can also travel in time. Without much thought, she runs 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 has been traveling alone for an undisclosed amount of time.
- The Doctor reacts with surprise to seeing his reflection, implying he has either recently regenerated, or isn't used to this incarnation's appearance.
- The Doctor reads the novel The Lovely Bones 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.
- H. P. Wilson is dead, killed by the Autons
- The Autons make a copy of Mickey Smith.
- Clive Finch suggests that the title "Doctor" is passed down from father to son, and points to his website, saying to Rose Tyler, "That's your Doctor there, isn't it?" This indicates he has information on the Doctor's other incarnations.
- Rose's friend Suki says there are jobs going at the local hospital.
- The Doctor indicates that an unnamed but presumably well-known celebrity is actually an alien in disguise. He doesn't seem too concerned.
- Jackie's friend Arianna successfully sued the council.
- Henrik's is located on Regent Street.
- The Doctor, whilst shuffling a deck of cards in Rose's house, sings a line from the song Luck be a Lady from the Broadway production Guys and Dolls.
- 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 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.
- 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 is used 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 program. 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 - coincidently 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. For the first time, elements of the exterior of the TARDIS -- specifically the inside of the doors and the POLICE 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).
- This is the second time the Autons have initiated a new Doctor. Jon Pertwee faced them in his debut story Spearhead from Space.
- With this story the Autons became the second adversary, after the Daleks, to appear in three season premieres: Spearhead from Space (Season 7), Terror of the Autons (Season 8), and Rose (Series 1). The Daleks had already launched three seasons: Day of the Daleks (Season 9), Destiny of the Daleks (Season 17), and Remembrance of the Daleks (Season 25). The Daleks would later also launch Series 7 with Asylum of the Daleks.
- 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.
- As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
- 10.81 million (43.2% audience share)
- Repeat - 0.48 million (3.5% 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 for the episode show 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, has 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 opens 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
- In the first shot where it zooms out from space into Rose's room, it says 7:30am on her alarm clock. But in space, it's daylight in North America, while in reality it would be around midnight to 3:00am.
- 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.
- Jackie blow-dries her hair when it's not even wet.
- 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.
- The Doctor shakes the champagne bottle, but manages not to spill a single drop when he pops the cork.
- 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 (possibly an early reference to LINDA - TV: Love & Monsters).
- It is implied but never stated that the Doctor has rather recently regenerated. When he is in Rose's flat he checks his appearance in the mirror as if he is unused to it. He also notes the way in which his ears stick out; this is similar to a scene in the first episode of Tom Baker's debut story, TV: Robot.
- The Autons and the Nestene have previously featured in TV: Spearhead from Space and TV: Terror of the Autons, both of which were Third Doctor stories. The Nestenes also feature in the PROSE: Business Unusual and Synthespians™ which are both Sixth Doctor stories. The Autons later reappear in PROSE: Autonomy, and TV: The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang.
- 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 is shown to have been a witness at the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on 22 November 1963. During his eighth incarnation, he claimed to have been accused of the assassination at one point. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
- The Doctor once again speed reads a book in a matter of seconds. (TV: City of Death, AUDIO: Invaders from Mars, TV: The Time of Angels)
- 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.
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.
DVD releases Edit
Series 1: Volume 1 Edit
UMD releases Edit
Series 1: Volume 1 Edit
- BBC - Doctor Who - Episode Guide - Rose
- Detailed synopsis of 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)