Doctor Who: Russell T Davies reveals the scene he wishes he could change in ‘Rose’

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May 13, 2018

Back in 2005, Doctor Who triumphantly returned to our TV screens with showrunner Russell T Davies’ premiere episode titled “Rose.” Time travel 13 years later and Davies has revealed the one change he wishes he had made to his TV script.

“Rose” introduced us to the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), his new companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), her mom Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri), and Rose’s boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke).

Davies recently revisited said episode by adapting the script in novel form for BBC Books and in a recent interview with Digital Spy for A Very English Scandal (starring Hugh Grant), explained why he took the opportunity to reimagine the episode instead of just translating it in book form.

“If I'm sitting there bored, just typing out old dialogue, the reader's going to be bored too,” Davies explained. “So I think everything's got a little spin, every bit of dialogue's got something new.” And this is where Davies made a change to a scene from the BBC series' premiere.

“Jackie Tyler finds Rose on the floor, on top of a broken coffee table with the ninth Doctor, rolling around with a plastic arm... and Jackie says, ‘Rose Tyler - you tart!’” Davies said. “Why didn't I think of that in 2003? Why? I love that line. I literally sat there banging my head going, ‘That's the end of that scene!,’ because if you watch that scene [on television], it just kind of ends... so you go, ‘That’s it, she comes out the bedroom and finds them, rolling on the floor!’ Brilliant! So little moments like that were a joy.”

In the broadcast episode, the Doctor and Rose get attacked in Jackie’s apartment by the disembodied arm of an Auton (the Autons are plastic automatons that look like mannequins and are animated by the Nestene Consciousness). At one point, they crash through a glass table, rolling around the floor before the Doctor disarms it by using his Sonic Screwdriver. Jackie, who is drying her hair in another room, remains oblivious to the tussle going on in the living room the whole time and the newly formed dynamic duo leaves the scene running down some stairs. End of scene.

Davies also revealed that adapting the script ended up being harder than he expected. “It was actually hard work, I've got to be honest,” Davies admitted. “I kind of thought, ‘This'll be a laugh!’ and then as I sat down with an empty page and realised it had to be 40,000 words, the horror set in. After 1,000 words, I was sitting there going, ‘39,000 more?!’ – I was glad I was allowed enough time. It was great fun, though... and it's kind of a kick up the arse for it as well.”

What do you think of the changes Davies wishes he could have made to that Doctor Who scene when he originally wrote the script?

(via Digital Spy)