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Rose and the Autons
I was a newcomer to ‘Doctor Who’ when it returned in 2005.
I saw the time traveller in his blue box through the original new series DVDs. The first DVD had the first three episodes of new series ‘Doctor Who’ starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. This is a brilliant start to a new series for a young audience.
Back in 2005, ‘Doctor Who’ had just been revived. Now it has become more popular today thanks to the first series. The first three episodes are cherished and treasured for the years to come.
I found ‘Rose’ by Russell T. Davies to be a good start to the new series of ‘Doctor Who’. We meet Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s companion, for the first time and see the series through her eyes.
Rose drives the story forward, as she meets the Doctor when she gets attacked by living plastic shop-window dummies. She gets rescued by the Doctor and gets curious about who this man is.
This is a wonderful start to the series with some lovely performances from Billie Piper as Rose. It’s a great introduction to Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor and is well-written by Russell T Davies.
Billie Piper is lovely as Rose Tyler in this episode. I liked how Billie as Rose connects to the audience and how she gets introduced. I also liked how she meets the Doctor for the first time.
Rose gets curious about what’s going on with the Doctor and why living plastic creatures attack her. She gets resourceful and brave when at a restaurant and in the Nestene Consciousness’ lair.
Christopher Eccleston delivers a fantastic performance as the Doctor. He’s a joy to watch as he’s funny, clever and gets to show a vulnerable, brooding side to his Doctor since he hides a dark past.
I liked it when the Doctor meets Rose for the first time. Despite sending her away, the Doctor clearly likes Rose and considers her a companion. He invites her to join him in the TARDIS at the end.
Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler, Rose’s mum for the first time. Camile is really funny as Rose’s mum. She delivers the light relief in ‘Doctor Who’ and doesn’t know when Rose meets the Doctor.
Noel Clarke guest stars as Mickey Smith for the first time. Mickey is Rose’s boyfriend. He seems to be tough outwardly, but inside he’s a coward and gets scared when thrown into the Doctor’s world.
In the episode, the monsters are the Autons – living plastic creatures animated by the Nestene Consciousness. They can take the form of anything that’s plastic such as shop-window dummies.
The Autons appeared in the Jon Pertwee era of ‘Doctor Who’ and featured in two stories in the ‘Mannequin Mania’ DVD box set. It was great to see the Autons in this first new series episode.
Mark Benton guest stars as Clive, an expert on the Doctor. Rose meets him after she visits his website about the Doctor. Clive tells Rose all he knows about the Doctor which was so intriguing.
I enjoyed seeing the familiar locations in Cardiff used as the backdrops of London. The Queen’s Arcade building where Jackie does some shopping in ‘London’ was familiar and thrilling to see.
‘Rose’ has been a great opening episode to watch in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper deliver excellent performances and the writing is so well-done by RTD.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘The Complete Series 1’, there’s ‘Destroying the Lair’, a behind-the-scenes look on how the episode’s climax was done. There’s also a commentary with writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies, executive producer Julie Gardner and producer Phil Collinson.
On Disc 5, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Bringing Back The Doctor’.
‘Rose’ rating – 8/10
‘DOCTOR WHO – ROSE’
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Rose Tyler’s Journey Begins
This is something I thought would never happen with new series ‘Doctor Who’!
I was delighted and pleased to hear that BBC Books were releasing a brand-new range of Target novelizations for the new series of ‘Doctor Who’. I was over-the-moon and was really looking forward to reading these four brand-new Target novelizations of four ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the new series.
Beforehand, I’d been reading/listening to a lot of ‘Doctor Who’ Target novelizations/audiobooks for the classic series. I didn’t think it would happen for the new series to have Target novelizations/audiobooks for their TV stories. For the simple reason being that they didn’t need them.
The reason the Target novelizations were made back in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s was because of the limited availability of ‘Doctor Who’ stories being shown on TV with lack of VHSs and DVDs. The new series of ‘Doctor Who’ doesn’t have that problem as we can watch the stories anytime anywhere.
But with the BBC audio division releasing audiobooks of Target novelizations for classic series stories and with reprints of Target novelizations of classic series stories for people to enjoy, the prospect of new series Target novelizations for ‘Doctor Who’ was inevitable. For me, it was a welcome one at that.
I’ve always wanted to find out more about my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the new series and dreamed that novelizations of those stories would be made. I even considered doing novelizations of those new series TV stories myself. Thankfully I don’t have to do that as it is now definitely happening.
BBC Books decided to start off with novelizations of four ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the new series featuring each of the four new series Doctors that have already been on TV. This works well for me since it’s only fair we have novelizations focusing on each of the four specific eras of the new TV series.
These four brand-new ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations include ‘Rose’ with the Ninth Doctor, ‘The Christmas Invasion’ with the Tenth Doctor, ‘The Day of the Doctor’ with the Eleventh Doctor and ‘Twice Upon A Time’ with the Twelfth Doctor. These are interesting choices, but they’re welcome ones at that here.
By the way, I had these four brand-new ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations of new series stories as well as the junior novelization for ‘City of Death’ by James Goss for my birthday in May 2018. I was happy to have these books as I knew I could take my time reading/listening to the novelizations/audiobooks of them.
What was even more exciting for ‘Doctor Who’ fans was that two of these novelizations would be done by the two showrunners of the new series. ‘Rose’ was novelized by Russell T. Davies and ‘The Day of the Doctor’ was novelized by Steven Moffat. The other two stories were done by other writers.
I was especially looking forward to reading ‘Rose’ the novelization by Russell T. Davies, since his era of ‘Doctor Who’ was the one I grew up with and is my overall favourite. I was looking forward to find out how RTD expands his story for the first new series TV episode and what changes he would make to it.
This isn’t the first time that Russell has written a ‘Doctor Who’ book before. Oh no! The first one he did was a Virgin ‘New Adventures’ novel called ‘Damaged Goods’ featuring the Seventh Doctor, published in 1996 and has become an audio drama. It’s nice this has come full circle for RTD the man!!!
This Target novelization is of course on the very first TV episode of the new series shown when ‘Doctor Who’ was revived back in 2005. It was exciting to read this novelization of a TV episode that deemed whether the show was going to a hit or not with audiences new to the series when Mr. RTD revived it.
I was curious how RTD was going to embellish his first ‘Doctor Who’ TV episode into a novelization, considering it was 45 minutes long compared to a traditional four-part story from the classic series. But I did trust RTD with his writing and as he is a ‘Doctor Who’ fan, he clearly relishes writing the book.
‘Rose’ the book is divided into 20 chapters with a prologue at the beginning. I found how each chapter focuses on each scene featured in the story. RTD uses the opportunity to enhance each scene with character development; introducing new characters and even foreshadowing other new series stories.
There is an audiobook provided for ‘Rose’ the novelization and it is read by Camile Coduri who plays Jackie Tyler in the series. I enjoyed Camile’s reading of the story and it was a pleasure to have the audiobook as a download via Audible. This is how I usually hear audiobooks in the background nowadays.
Camile has a fine, clear reading voice when she does ‘Doctor Who’ audiobooks and has done some before even for the Ninth Doctor ‘New Series Adventures’ books. She’s good providing her Jackie Tyler voice for the ‘Rose’ novelization/audiobook, especially as she knows her character well inside and out.
I don’t think Camile provides good voices for Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, Rose and even Mickey. But she at least gets the tone of what the characters sound like especially from working with the actors. I especially like the rounded Northern voice she provides for Clive in certain scenes of the tale.
So how much is improved and what’s different in the Target novelization of ‘Rose’ compared to the TV story? Well, Russell T. Davies provides a lot of brand-new embellishments in the story that makes it so refreshing. It makes me even want to novelize ‘The Railway of Time’ the same way RTD novelizes this.
The book begins with a prologue focusing on Wilson, the man Rose was looking for at the beginning of the story when she went down to the basement of Henrik’s clothes shop. It depicts what happened to Wilson when he got killed off by the Autons and also depicts him as a less savoury character in book.
A notable inclusion is the scene from the end of ‘The End of Time’ where Rose Tyler sees the Tenth Doctor before his regeneration. I like how RTD includes this scene since it ties everything together with what occurs in his era of ‘Doctor Who’. I liked how the Tenth Doctor is put in shadow before Rose.
There’s more development given to Mickey’s character especially with regards to his family. A history is given on what happened to his family including his mother and father. There’s even an inclusion of Mickey’s grandmother from ‘Rise of the Cybermen’. I do like how Rose reacts to Mickey over his family.
The novelization introduces us to three of Mickey’s mate in the flat he lives in. These include Sally, Mook and Patrique. These characters were never featured in the TV story. I like how RTD expands on the scene where Rose visits Mickey at his flat and not just have her look up the Doctor on his computer.
These three characters in Mickey’s flat also form the Bad Wolf band. Ah, so there’s the ‘Bad Wolf’ reference featured in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. I did wonder why I didn’t hear a mention of ‘Bad Wolf’ in the TV story. Now I know. There wasn’t one. Thanks RTD for including it for this Target novelization.
A thing I’ve noticed about this novelization is RTD’s inclusion of homosexuality which wasn’t in the TV tale. This includes Sally who is a trans-woman and Mook and Patrique being gay and attracted to each other. This is something common in RTD’s writing, especially with ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Damaged Goods’.
The chapter where Clive shows Rose pictures of the Doctor includes other incarnations as well as Christopher Eccleston’s. This was never in the TV story and I like how RTD does it here in the novelization. These of course include images of the first twelve incarnations of the Doctor in the series.
The War Doctor isn’t included though, which is interesting. Most importantly however is the inclusion of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor which at this point we’ve not seen yet on TV. RTD describes her ‘a blond woman in braces running away from a giant frog in front of Buckingham Palace’. I’d like to see this. 😀
RTD also includes images of future Doctors we’ve not seen at all before. This includes ‘a tall, bald black woman wielding a flaming sword’ and a ‘young girl or boy in a hi-tech wheelchair with what looked like a robot dog at their side’. My goodness! Russell T. Davies is the man, isn’t he? He predicts the future!!!
Hey, wait a second! I’ve just realised something. ‘A tall, bald black woman’. The only woman I know of who fits that description is Josette Simon who played Sarana Teel in ‘The Sontaran Ordeal’. My goodness again! RTD knows who’s going to play the Fourteenth Doctor in the TV series! Josette Simon! 😀
Anyway, it was interesting to see Rose’s reactions to the images of the Doctor but she clearly is only interested in her Doctor – the Ninth. This I can appreciate since she would only be interested in the one she met and get confused by seeing the others. Clearly she isn’t taken with the Tenth at this point.
It was also nice to have some development for Clive’s character in the novelization. Apparently his father was present during the Shoreditch Incident of 1963 in ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’. It was interesting how Clive’s dad got killed by a Dalek and how Clive has done research on the Doctor since.
There’s a moment when Clive begs Rose to take him with her to see the Doctor since he knows she’ll be seeing him again. This freaks Rose as she politely takes her leave of him. I’m glad that moment wasn’t included in the TV version of the story since that would’ve been quite disturbing to watch here.
Certain minor changes in the novelization include Clive having two sons called Ben and Michael, whereas in the TV version of the story he had only one son. Jackie also walks in when the Doctor and Rose are in a compromising position after fighting an Auton arm. She get very upset about a broken coffee table.
There’s a variety of Autons featured in this novelization of the story compared to the TV version. For example, when the Doctor and Rose are looking for the Auton base under the London Eye, a group of Autons pose as statue people near the river. I wouldn’t consider statue people as plastic, but I’ll dig it.
More history is given about how the Time War rewriting the Nestene’s history by the Doctor to Rose. It was interesting to read/listen to this in the novelization/audiobook. It could explain a lot of things on why the Nestenes and the Autons invaded Earth in ‘Spearhead From Space’ and ‘Terror of the Autons’.
An interesting inclusion in the novelization is that Rose notices the cut the Doctor gets when he smashed into the coffee table in the Tylers’ flat. By the time Rose sees the Doctor again with the first duplicate Mickey in the restaurant, the cut is gone. It’s been two weeks since the Doctor last saw Rose.
The scene where Rose and the Doctor find Mickey in the Auton base underneath the London Eye is handled differently in the novelization. It turns out that Mickey is actually an Auton duplicate when Rose reveals the Doctor’s plans to him. That duplicate gets melted and the real Mickey turns up again.
There’s more delved into the Auton invasion of Earth in the last number of chapters of the story. There are some gruesome moments when the Auton decapitate people as they can turn their hands into sharp blades as well as turning them into guns. Thank goodness that wasn’t included in the TV version.
It was also interesting to see the Auton invasion from three viewpoints in the city of London away from the Doctor, Rose and Mickey under the London Eye. These include Jackie Tyler, Clive and his family and the Bad Wolf band/Mickey’s mates. Seeing it from those perspectives was pretty engaging.
A big inclusion during the Auton invasion is the cameo appearance of Donna Noble as well as her granddad Wilfred Mott. I was pleased to find out what happened to Donna during the Auton invasion in ‘Rose’. And what does she do? Donna sleeps right through it with no knowledge of what happened that night.
After the Auton invasion is over, Rose speaks to her mum Jackie on the phone instead of hanging up when she answers. I actually prefer this in the novelization since it would be strange of Rose not to talk to her mum to reassure she’s alright. But I suppose episode timing prevented that from occurring.
There’s an extra scene where the Doctor shows Rose and Mickey the view outside the TARDIS doors after dealing with the Auton invasion. Mickey is cowardly and afraid whilst Rose is in awe and delighted to see the view. She tells the Doctor she can feel the Earth tilt. This echoes the Doctor’s line from earlier.
The book ends with Rose being invited to join the Doctor to travel in the TARDIS. After the Doctor returns to tell Rose the TARDIS travels in time, she kisses Mickey and, being less dismissive of him, simply says “Thank you” before she runs off to ‘the rest of her life’. Great way to end the book, Russell!
Wow! I’ve said a lot, haven’t I? I know I’ve missed some things out but this is the best place to stop. Otherwise, ‘Rose’ the novelization is awesome! It’s a very fulfilling novelization of the first TV episode of the new series by Russell T. Davies and I’m extremely pleased he has embellished the story to a tee.
I hope this isn’t the last time Russell T. Davies novelizes one of his ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the TV series since he clearly enjoyed embellishing it with great character development and story and I’ve greatly enjoyed reading/listening to it. I’d like to see how RTD novelizes ‘The End of Time’ someday. 🙂
‘Doctor Who – Rose’ rating – 9/10
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