Farewell Rose: Billie Piper Leaves Doctor Who
Confirming rumors that have been flying around for months, BBC Wales has issued a press release today that Billie Piper will be leaving her role as Rose Tyler at the end of the current series. “Billie Piper who has played Rose Tyler, the feisty young companion of both the ninth and tenth doctors, will leave Doctor Who in a nail biting series two finale. Over the past two years Rose has been on an adventure of a lifetime, travelling across the galaxy with the Doctor. She’s visited far-off futuristic cities in the year five billion and beyond; landed on space stations where she’s been a contestant in a deadly version of ëThe Weakest Link’; travelled back in time and met Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Madame de Pompadour and her dead father; she has battled against the Doctor’s deadliest foes the Daleks and Cybermen; taken on Slitheen, Sycorax and Krillitanes and survived the end of the world and the blitz. Now, in what is set to be the TARDIS’s most terrifying adventure, The Doctor and Rose will face their biggest challenge to date. Back on Earth the human race rejoices as the ghosts of loved ones return home. But as the Doctor, Rose and Jackie investigate Torchwood Tower, a trap is being sprung; an almighty invasion is being put into motion which is set to destroy the whole of modern-day Earth.”
The press release continues: “Billie Piper says: ‘Rose and I have gone on the most incredible journey with Russell T Davies and the cast and crew of Doctor Who over the past two years. It has been an amazing adventure, and I can confirm it comes to an end, for now at least, as series two climaxes. I am truly indebted to Russell for giving me the chance to play Rose Tyler, and to all the Doctor Who fans old and new who have been so supportive of me in this amazing role. Thank you so much.’ Russell T Davies writer and Executive producer adds: ‘It has been a wonderful experience working with Billie — we will miss her — and wish her all the success in the world for her future. However, the Doctor Who team have had a whole year to plan this final scene and have created a stunning exit for Rose Tyler. The Doctor lives a dangerous life and when Rose joined him on his adventures she was aware of this. With a series climax called Doomsday on its way, I can’t guarantee who will survive and who won’t, but I can assure you the TARDIS is going on its scariest journey yet!’ Since taking on the role of Rose Tyler, Billie has received both critical and popular acclaim. She was awarded The National Television Award for ëMost Popular Actress’ 2005 and The South Bank Show’s ëBreakthrough Award for Rising British Talent’. Billie is currently filming the BBC’s adaptation of multi award-winning writer Philip Pullman’s The Ruby In The Smoke in which she plays the title role, Sally Lockhart. Filming on the second novel The Shadow In The North will commence later this summer. Doctor Who series three also starts filming again later this summer and will return to our screens with a Christmas special in 2006 and another series of 13 episodes for 2007.”
There have been rumors circulated for nearly a year that Piper would be leaving at some point during the second series; Dreamwatch magazine originally made this statement last summer, though its report was discounted, while various tabloids suggested that Piper’s tenure on the series would come to an end this year. Some news outlets are reporting the character might be killed off, although the BBC Wales press release suggests an air of mystery and does not state that Rose will be killed (taking Piper’s comments that her trip “comes to an end” somewhat literally), although the release does ask the question, “Does saving the world mean the death of Rose Tyler?” (noting that “Billie Piper who has played Rose Tyler – the feisty young companion of the ninth and tenth doctors – will leave Doctor Who in a nail-biting series two finale”). The “death” report appears to originate in the Sun’s early report today, being merely speculative. However, the production is being very strict about information regarding the finale; in fact, there may be no advance press screening of “Doomsday” to prevent the surprise from being released.
There are rumors elsewhere that this was a recent decision (including speculation on some fan sites that this was a dispute over money) although Outpost Gallifrey has been told that Piper’s departure was planned as early as last autumn and that the script for “Doomsday” as originally written did contain the departure for the character (instead of a hasty rewrite that would have been needed if it had been a recent choice). A new co-star for David Tennant will likely be seen in the 2006 Christmas special.
The official Doctor Who website is carrying this story. The first report came from The Sun, and it has been reported today at a variety of sources including BBC News, CBBC News, The Times, Ananova, Manchester Evening News, Daily Mail, The Scotsman, Irish Examiner, Sky Showbiz, The Is London, Evening Echo, Ireland Online, The Stage, Hollywood News, Waveguide, Daily Mail, EntertainmentWise, U.TV, ITV, ITN, RTE, Contact Music, Edinburgh News. Also CBBCNews is asking viewers, “Are you gutted?” with reader responses to be posted soon. (Thanks to all of our readers who have been sending in news clips all day!)
Noooooo!!!! Please stay Billie, please stay!!
Farewell Rose: Billie Piper Leaves Doctor Who