Later this year, we’ll get to meet Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor properly for the first time, but for the moment, let’s cast our minds back to 2005, when Doctor Who returned to our screens with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in the lead roles. The pilot episode, “Rose,” did a fantastic job of bringing the show back better than ever, but all these years later, writer Russell T. Davies still regrets not changing one scene.
Recently, Davies revisited “Rose” in order to novelize it for BBC Books. During the process, he decided to create some new material and twist established scenes in order to switch things up. One such change he made included adding a comedic end to a moment from the TV episode which involves the Doctor and Rose being attacked by the arm of a shop window mannequin (just roll with it).
Davies loves the joke he came up with so much though that he wishes he thought of it 13 years ago. Here’s how he explained it to Digital Spy:
“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!’ 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.”
Like Davies says, there’s no punchline to the scene in the televised version. As the Doctor attempts to deactivate the belligerent plastic arm, Jackie – Rose’s mother – is left oblivious as to what’s going on as she blow dries her hair in the bedroom. Jackie often stole the show with her utter lack of understanding of the Doctor’s world, so this would have been another classic moment for the character.
At least this improved version of the scene can now be read in the novelization of “Rose,” which is available from BBC Books. Television’s Doctor Who, meanwhile, is set to return this October.