Rose gets a lot of hate in Doctor Who fandom. She's accused of being boring, annoying, selfish, hormonal, bland, stupid, whiny, and anything else I've missed that I'm sure will be covered in the comments. People get crazy about Rose--on this very site, writers regularly accuse Rose of all of the above negative qualities. Leaving aside the fact that one can easily imagine the Doctor smacking anyone who insulted Rose like this, I disagree. I actually like Rose a lot. I had to come around to this liking, but eventually I concluded that she was a fantastic character, and totally worthy of being the hero of the show's first season, the love of 9 and 10's lives, and the only returning companion for the 50th. No, I am not demanding that you agree with me. Nobody's perfect, and Rose had her flaws (especially towards the end, when Billie Piper forgot how to play her). She could be intensely air-headed, and there were days when you really wished she would listen to the Doctor and not wander off. Still, she gave the Doctor something he needed more than anything else: someone to believe in. She gave him a chance at faith in another being, and in doing so she made him a better person. So, without further ado, here are 8 reasons Rose doesn't deserve any of the hate and does deserve all of the love:
8. She Gave The Companion Role Weight
Companions weren't very important to the classic Who. I've watched a random selection of episodes, and I stopped bothering to pay attention to the companion's names because they kept changing so often. Sure, I liked some of them more than others, but they were never ever the lead, and even Romana could pretty easily be swapped with another pretty young woman. But when the show returned, the first episode was called "Rose." She was the lead, the one we followed, the one without secrets. She was someone we could latch onto and understand as she, and we, stepped into the world of the Doctor. That wasn't an easy role to pull off, and it could have gone disastrously wrong. Rose did it and made it look easy. She was not only a companion with a distinct personality, she was also an actor in her relationship with the Doctor, and she could not be removed from the show without fundamentally altering its dynamic--at least not at first. Later the show and the Doctor found its footing again, and was able to go on without her. But while she was there, she was a star, and she proved that the companion is just as important as the Doctor. She made the Companion a Big Deal. She paved the way for a companion to be a hero. And that was a serious and welcome change to the new series.
Rebecca Kulik lives in Iowa, reads an obsence amount, watches way too much television, and occasionally studies for her BA in History. Come by her personal pop culture blog at tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com and her reading blog at journalofimaginarypeople.wordpress.com.