Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rose (Doctor Who)
Rose is an episode in the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on March 26, 2005. This story marked the debut of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as his companion, Rose Tyler. It is the first episode of the 2005 series and was the first new television episode of Doctor Who to be produced anywhere in the world since the since the end of the original series in 1989 and the American-made TV Movie Doctor Who in 1996.
Rose Tyler is a 19-year-old shop assistant in London who encounters murderous mannequins that come to life. She is saved by a mysterious stranger who calls himself the Doctor, and together they stop the destruction of the human race by living plastic constructs animated by the alien Nestene Consciousness.
Rose Tyler is a shop assistant at Henrik's, a department store in present-day London. One evening, she is about to go home when the security guard passes her a packet containing lottery money, presumably to be given to whoever runs the staff syndicate. Rose goes to the basement to find Wilson, the chief electrician, but he is nowhere to be found. She hears a noise and goes to see what it is, entering a room filled with plastic store dummies. The door slams shut, locking her in, and the mannequins come to life, backing her into a corner. Before the lead one can strike her, someone grabs Rose's hand: a tall, strange-looking man in a leather jacket and crew cut, who tells her to run.
Rose and the stranger burst through another set of doors and race down the corridors of the basement, pursued by the dummies. They reach the lifts, and a mannequin's arm lunges through the closing doors. The stranger grapples with the arm, and with a jerk, yanks it off. The doors shut, and the stranger tosses the now lifeless plastic arm to Rose. She still believes that it is some kind of student prank, but the stranger shakes his head. They are living plastic, and Wilson is dead.
Reaching the ground level, the stranger disables the lift buttons with a pen-like device that projects a high-pitched whine. The stranger explains the plastic creatures are being controlled by a relay on the roof, and he is going to destroy it with an explosive device. He ushers Rose out and before he goes back into the building, he introduces himself as the Doctor. He asks for her name, and she tells him it is Rose. "Nice to meet you, Rose," the Doctor says, adding, "Run for your life!" Rose reaches the other side of the street, still holding onto the arm, and looks up at the Henrik's building as the top floors and roof explode. She runs off in the confusion, not noticing an anachronistic police box standing off to the side.
Later, Rose watches the report of the fire on television at her council flat, her mother Jackie telling friends on the telephone about her daughter's narrow escape. Rose's boyfriend Mickey arrives, expressing concern, but she tells him she is fine. Rose asks him to dispose of the plastic arm, which Mickey tosses in a rubbish bin at the foot of Rose's apartment block when he leaves.
The next morning, Jackie suggests Rose take a new job or ask for compensation. Rose hears someone at the door, and peeks through the catflap to see the Doctor's face. The Doctor seems as startled to see her — he appears to have gotten the wrong signal. Rose drags him in, wanting answers so she can tell the police. Jackie is fascinated by the new arrival and tries, awkwardly, to seduce him. The Doctor simply says "No," and steps away, to Jackie's irritation.
Rose fixes coffee while the Doctor waits in the living room, peering at his own reflection in the mirror as if for the first time. The Doctor hears a scuttling behind Rose's sofa, and when he looks, the plastic arm which has somehow returned leaps up to strangle him. Rose thinks the Doctor is just play acting with the arm until it attacks her. Jackie, drying her hair in the other room, hears nothing as the Doctor and Rose crash around with the arm. Managing to pull it away from Rose, the Doctor uses the same tube-like device — his sonic screwdriver — to shut it down.
Rose follows the Doctor as he leaves. The Doctor tells her that the plastic arm was fixed on him as a target and only attacked Rose because she got in the way. It was controlled by something that projected life into the arm by thought, and he simply cut off the signal. Their purpose is to destroy the human race. Rose does not believe him, but the Doctor notes that she's still listening.
Rose asks the Doctor once again who he is as he walks towards a police box. The Doctor tells her that it's like when you are a child and are first told the world revolves. You cannot quite believe it because everything looks like it is standing still. He takes her hand, telling her that he can feel it, the Earth turning, the world itself spinning around the Sun, everyone falling through space and clinging to the surface of this tiny planet, and if they let go... That's who he is. The Doctor tells Rose to forget him and go home. She walks away but when she hears a strange, grating sound and runs back, the Doctor has disappeared.
Rose goes to Mickey's flat, and uses his computer to search the Internet for the Doctor. She finds a website with the Doctor's picture asking people to contact Clive. Rose goes to see Clive while Mickey waits suspiciously in the car outside.
In Clive's study, he tells her that the name of the Doctor keeps cropping up through the years in diaries, journals and conspiracy theories. No names, just the Doctor, perhaps a title that is passed along from father to son. He shows her photographs that show the Doctor in the crowd at the Kennedy assassination, at Southampton on the eve of the Titanic's sailing, and in a drawing from 1883 that was washed up on the coast of Sumatra after the eruption of Krakatoa. Clive explains that the Doctor is a name woven throughout history, bringing storms in his wake, death his constant companion.
As Mickey waits impatiently outside, he goes to investigate a plastic rubbish bin that he saw moving on its own, but it is empty. As he tries to return to the car, he finds his hands stuck to the lid, the plastic stretching but not letting him go. He is yankled into the bin, which shuts with a loud burp.
Clive warns Rose that they are all in danger. He believes that these pictures all portray the same man, and that the Doctor is an immortal alien. Rose thinks Clive is delusional. She returns to Mickey's car and tells him to drive somewhere for lunch, not realizing he has been replaced by an automaton.
At the restaurant, "Mickey" wants to know more about the Doctor. The automaton isn't quite perfect, and stutters, but she does not want to discuss the Doctor, saying she thinks he is dangerous. A waiter offers Mickey and Rose champagne. "Mickey" says they did not order any — then looks up and sees the waiter is the Doctor. The Doctor pops the cork on the bottle, sending it flying into "Mickey"'s head, which absorbs it, then spits it out. "Mickey" morphs his hand into a heavy spade-shape, slicing the table in half. The Doctor gets "Mickey" in a choke hold and manages to pull his head off. The headless automaton rampages through the restaurant. Rose tells the other patrons to run, then follows the Doctor, who is holding onto the head.
Reaching the yard, the Doctor seals the door behind them with the sonic screwdriver, but the automaton is soon pumelling it with inhuman force. The Doctor suggests they go into the police box standing there. Rose incredulously follows him in, but stops short as she sees the interior. She runs around the box, assuring herself of its ordinary size before going in again just as the automaton breaks through.
Inside the much larger interior of the ship, the Doctor assures Rose that nothing can get through the doors. He attaches the plastic head to the console, telling Rose that the head can be used to trace the signal back to the source. Rose asks if the ship and the Doctor are alien and he answers yes to both questions. The ship is his TARDIS — Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Rose chokes back a sob, and asks if "they" have killed Mickey. The Doctor is taken aback as he had not considered this, and Rose is shocked he has not. "Mickey"'s head starts to melt, and the Doctor frantically runs to the console, trying to lock on to the signal before it fades. The TARDIS starts up, and then stops.
The Doctor rushes through the doors, with Rose shouting that it's not safe. When she follows him, however, they are not in the yard anymore but on the banks of the River Thames. The Doctor says the TARDIS is able to disappear and reappear in a different place. He is angry because he's lost the signal. Rose is worried about the automaton, but the Doctor says it would have melted along with the head. Rose mutters that she is going to have to tell Mickey's mother that he is dead, and when the Doctor asks who, Rose realizes the Doctor has forgotten Mickey again. They have a confrontation about his lack of empathy, the Doctor shouting that he is more concerned about saving the life of "every stupid ape blundering about on top of this planet." Rose asks if the Doctor's an alien, why he sounds like he's from the North. The Doctor retorts that lots of planets have a North. This seems to defuse the tension.
Rose stares at the exterior of the TARDIS and asks what a police public call box is. The Doctor, cheerful again, explains that it is a disguise, a telephone box for the police from the 1950s. Rose, curious again, asks what the living plastic creatures have against the Earth. The Doctor replies that they love the Earth because it has plenty of pollutants. The Nestene Consciousness — the intelligence animating the plastic — lost its food supply during a war, when all its protein planets rotted. Earth is dinner. Rose asks if there is any way to stop it, and the Doctor produces a clear cylinder of blue liquid. "Anti-plastic," he announces.
However, the Doctor has to find the Consciousness. He wonders aloud that the transmitter to control the plastic has to be huge, and round... Rose indicates behind him, and the Doctor turns to see the London Eye. Hand in hand, they run across the bridge to it. Rose spots a hatchway that leads below the Eye, and they both go below to find a giant vat of pulsing, molten plastic — the Nestene Consciousness. The Doctor wants to give it a chance and applies for an audience, citing Convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation. The vat roars its assent in an unintelligle alien language. Rose spots the real Mickey, sitting terrified on one of the walkways. The Nestenes kept him alive to maintain the replica.
The Doctor tells the Consciousness to leave Earth, brushing aside its claims of constitutional rights and characterizing its actions as an invasion. The Doctor pleads on humanity's behalf — they are primitive, but capable of much more. Hoever, two automatons grab hold of the Doctor, one removing the container of anti-plastic from his jacket.
The Doctor protests that that the vial was just insurance and he is not their enemy. The Consciousness responds by unveiling the TARDIS, and makes an accusatory howl. The Doctor admits that it is his ship, but says that it was not his fault — he fought in the war, but he could not save the Nestenes' world. The Consciousness does not believe the Doctor and goes to the final phase of the invasion. Bolts of electricity stab up across the London Eye as it pulses a signal across London. Rose tries to warn her mother on her mobile phone, but the call breaks up and Jackie, who is at a shopping arcade, cuts it off.
Clive and his family are also at the arcade when the shop dummies come to life, crashing through the windows. Clive realizes that all the stories he has read are true, just as a mannequin's hand flips open, revealing a weapon that shoots him point-blank. People scream as the automatons start killing everyone in sight. Beneath the Eye, the stairs out collapse. Rose and Mickey rush to the TARDIS, but the door is locked. As she and the Doctor lock eyes helplessly, outside in the streets the massacre continues. Jackie is trapped by a group of mannequins in wedding dresses, who prepare to shoot her.
Mickey tells Rose to abandon the Doctor, but Rose rushes up a flight of stairs to a chain on the wall. She may have no A-levels, no job and no future, but she has a bronze medal in under-sevens gymnastics. She frees the chain with a blow from a fire axe, and swings across to knock the automaton holding the anti-plastic over the railing. While the Doctor flips the one holding him over as well, the anti-plastic falls into the vat, causing the Consciousness to writhe in pain. The Eye stops transmitting, and the automatons across London jerk spastically and drop, including the ones menacing Jackie, leaving the streets scattered with debris and the dead. The Nestenes' vat explodes as Rose, Mickey and the Doctor enter the TARDIS and it dematerialises.
The TARDIS rematerialises on a side street, Mickey stumbling out, still terrified. Rose calls up her mother on her mobile phone and smiles in relief as she hears Jackie's voice. Rose hangs up without saying anything, and tells the Doctor that he would have been dead if not for her. The Doctor smiles from the TARDIS doorway in agreement and thanks her. He offers to take her with him to see the universe — Mickey is not invited. Rose asks if it will always be this dangerous, and the Doctor gleefully answers yes. Rose hesitates but declines, saying that she has to find her mother and look after Mickey. The Doctor nods, disappointed and closes the door. The TARDIS dematerialises with a rush of wind filling the empty space where it was.
As Mickey and Rose turn to leave, the TARDIS appears again. The Doctor pops his head out and asks Rose if he had mentioned that the TARDIS also travels in time. Rose smiles and turns to tell Mickey, "Thanks." Mickey, puzzled, asks, "Thanks for what?" Rose replies, "Exactly." She kisses his cheek and happily runs into the TARDIS.
- Rose was an in-house production by BBC Wales for BBC One, and produced in Cardiff, Wales over July and August 2004. For more details on the development of the 2005 series, see History of Doctor Who. The series also returns to a 45-minute format for the first time since 1985.
- On March 8, 2005, Reuters reported that a copy of the episode had been leaked onto the Internet, and was being widely traded via the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. The leaked episode did not contain the new arrangement of the theme tune by Murray Gold . The leak was ultimately traced to a third party company in Canada which had a legitimate preview copy. The employee responsible was fired by the company and the BBC is considering further legal action.
- The original BBC broadcast of the episode on March 26 was marred (although reportedly not in Scotland) by the accidental mixing of a few seconds of sound from Graham Norton hosting Strictly Dance Fever over portions of the first few minutes of Rose.
- Murray Gold 's new arrangement of the theme contains sounds and elements from the Delia Derbyshire arrangement of the theme introduced in 1963 and last heard in 1980.
- Although not named in the episode, the plastic servants of the Nestene Consciousness were credited as Autons. The Nestenes and the Autons previously appeared in the 1970s serials Spearhead from Space (1970) and Terror of the Autons (1971), both written by Robert Holmes.
- The Doctor is travelling alone and already in his ninth incarnation as the story begins, although his remarks about his appearance as he looks in the mirror in Rose's flat imply that the regeneration was a very recent one. Jon Pertwee's debut as the Third Doctor in Spearhead from Space also began with him already regenerated and without a companion. This is the first occasion, however, in which the series does not explain the circumstances behind the regeneration.
- The Doctor says that he can feel the ground beneath his feet spinning at "a thousand miles an hour". The figure of 1,041 miles an hour would be accurate at the equator. However, as the Earth spins at different speeds at different latitudes, for London it would actually be about 650 miles an hour. 
- Christopher Eccleston was credited as "Doctor Who" in the end credits, the last time the character had been listed with that name was at the end of Season 18. For the first time, the names of two of the actors (Eccleston and Piper) preceded the series name in the opening titles, and the materialisation and dematerialisation of the TARDIS is accompanied by a flurry of wind. The TARDIS console room and sonic screwdriver have also been redesigned.
- The new series is complemented by a 13-part documentary series, Doctor Who Confidential, which is broadcast on BBC Three at 7.45 PM, immediately after the weekly episode on BBC One.
- Unofficial overnight viewing figures from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board showed that the episode attracted an average of 9.9 million viewers - 43.2% of the available television audience - over the course of the evening. At its peak, it had 10.5 million viewers, a 44.3% share. In comparison, the last serial of the original series, Survival, had an average rating of 4.93 million viewers, the 30th anniversary charity special Dimensions in Time averaged 13.7 million viewers and the 1996 television movie had 9.08 million. Rose was competing with ITV's Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which attracted an audience of up to 8.5 million.. The final figure for the episode, including video recordings watched within a week of transmission, was 10.81 million, No. 3 for BBC One that week and No. 7 across all channels.
- On March 30, the BBC announced that a full second series had been commissioned. On the same day, the BBC released a statement, apparently from Eccleston, that he would be leaving the role at Christmas, for fear of being typecast. The BBC later revealed this was not an official statement from Eccleston, whom they had failed to contact before responding to press questions after the story broke.
- Rose was the first Doctor Who episode to be produced in widescreen.
- The next episode, End of the World establishes that Rose takes place in 2005. Although Rose does not give details as to how the Nestene Consciousness came to be on Earth nor for how long it had been here, a trilogy of made-for-video films in the late 1990s produced by BBV entitled Auton, Auton 2: Sentinel and Auton 3 feature UNIT battling the Consciousness. The first film takes place in the year 2001, while the second (and possibly the third) take place in 2003 or 2004. As with most licensed productions, the canonicity of these films is unclear.
- Although we never actually see Clive die on screen, a notation at his website, http://www.whoisdoctorwho.co.uk (a mock website run by the BBC) dedicates the site to the "late" Clive.
- The BBC-produced website for the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce indicates that the events of this story occur contemporaneously with its original broadcast, on March 26, 2005. However, a poster seen in Aliens of London indicates that Rose has been missing since March 6.
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