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Cybermen battle is the last for Rose

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2006-06-16 Times.jpg


SHE has vanquished the Daleks and survived the Slitheen, but now Billie Piper is abandoning Doctor Who to pursue a career in Hollywood. Piper, who plays the Time Lord's feisty assistant, will make the ultimate sacrifice next month when her character, Rose Tyler, battles against the return of the Cybermen in next month's climax to the series.

The 23-year-old former teen pop star, whose marriage to the DJ Chris Evans lasted three years, was a surprise choice for the high-profile role.

But she became central to the success of the revived classic. The resourceful Tyler often outshone the Doctor and made the show credible to younger audiences unfamiliar with its history. The hot favourite to replace her in the third series is Freema Agyeman, who played a femme fatale in the ITV soap Crossroads. Ms Agyeman, 26, will appear alongside Ms Piper and the Doctor in the final two episodes of the present series.

Ms Piper has been described as "Britain's Marilyn Monroe" and is set for bigger things. She will star as the 19th-century sleuth Sally Lockhart in a BBC adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke by the award-winning author Philip Pullman.

ITV has cast Piper as Fanny Price, the heroine of Mansfield Park, in a multimillion-pound adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. But with Doctor Who now screened on the US Sci-Fi Channel, offers are arriving from Hollywood.

Piper has appeared in The Calcium Kid, as the romantic interest of Orlando Bloom's character. Russell T. Davies, Doctor Who's head writer, predicted: "I think in five years' time' we'll be sitting discussing her Hollywood career."

Piper, winner of the Most Popular Actress prize at the National Television Awards last year, has sufficient material for an autobiography. She has signed a six-figure deal with Hodder and Stoughton.

The BBC has selected a replacement for Piper, who dies when the Cybermen return at the head of a huge invasion set to destroy Earth. Davies said: "We have created a stunning exit for Rose. 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."

But in science fiction, death need not be a permanent condition. Piper said: "It has been an amazing adventure and I can confirm it comes to an end, for now at least, as Series 2 climaxes. Rose and I have gone on the most incredible journey over the past two years."

Caption: Moving on: Billie Piper with David Tennant in Doctor Who


TV listings, times2 Clayton Hickman, Doctor Who Magazine editor, rates Rose Tyler against some of the Time Lord's past assistants iconic rating of 10


Peter Purves (1965-66)

"I'm gonna see if there's an invisible barrier around his backside"

Steven Taylor, a hunky space pilot of the future, met the first Doctor (William Hartnell) while imprisoned by the lumbering robot Mechanoids. Initially a sarcastic hothead, Steven soon settled down into ... well, a bit of a bore. Good with his hands, which came in useful in his next incarnation as a Blue Peter presenter

Rating: 4

SARAH JANE SMITH Elisabeth Sladen (1974-76) "There's nothing 'only' about being a girl!"

Journalist and feminist Sarah Jane met the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) after sneaking into a scientific research centre posing as her own aunt. Everything a Doctor Who girl should be — pretty, feisty, funny, loveable, good at running and screaming with a shot of Liverpudlian wit and a good line in putdowns. Tom Baker dumped her on Earth. 10


Louise Jameson (1977-78) "These 'taxes' — they are like sacrifices to tribal gods?" The one in the chamois leather bikini. A warrior woman from the tribe of the Sevateem, she killed people with knives. The first Doctor Who girl to be more scary than the monsters. Eventually married off to a dreadful drippy guard for no discernible reason. 7


Bonnie Langford (1986-87) "I'm as honest, truthful ... and about as boring as they come"

Shrill, bubbly, ginger fitness fanatic Mel smoothed over the regeneration from Colin Baker to Sylvester McCoy, and is a dead cert as the worst-dressed companion ever. Amazingly, the very first time the Doctor landed on a spaceship with Mel there was a gym on board. And an aerobics tape. Langford gamely did her best 5


Voiced by John Leeson (1977-81)

"Your silliness is noted" Built by 51st-century space boffin Professor Marius, robo-pooch K-9 trundled into the Tardis at a time when quirky robot characters were becoming de rigueur, thanks to Star Wars' R2-D2. With his dinky nose laser, waggling ears and prissily camp voice, he squealed noisily down corridors and into the nation's hearts. Will be getting his own CGI cartoon series.

Affirmative! 9


Billie Piper (2005-06)

"Can I just say, travelling with you ... I love it!"

The ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) rescued 19-year-old Rose Tyler from marauding shop window dummies in the London department store where she worked. She left her mundane life on Earth far behind, much to the concern of mother, Jackie, and her hapless boyfriend, Mickey. The first to bring the baggage of a home life —and a love triangle — into the tardis, Rose often seemed like more than a friend to the Doctor, and the hints of romance have grown stronger as the series progressed. A combination of the best bits of all before her — brave, cheeky, clever and sarky — combined with a stunningly natural performance from former teen popster Piper, Rose has done the impossible — made Doctor Who into a programme that even girls like. A tough act to follow. 10

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  • APA 6th ed.: Sherwin, Adam (2006-06-16). Cybermen battle is the last for Rose. The Times p. 29.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Sherwin, Adam. "Cybermen battle is the last for Rose." The Times [add city] 2006-06-16, 29. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Sherwin, Adam. "Cybermen battle is the last for Rose." The Times, edition, sec., 2006-06-16
  • Turabian: Sherwin, Adam. "Cybermen battle is the last for Rose." The Times, 2006-06-16, section, 29 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Cybermen battle is the last for Rose | url= | work=The Times | pages=29 | date=2006-06-16 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 March 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Cybermen battle is the last for Rose | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 March 2023}}</ref>