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June 27th, 2006


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08:07 pm - First impressions and Point of View characters
Okay, this is an idea that originally came up as a throw-away remark in the comments to someone, and just sort of... built in my head, until I realised it sort of explained a huge amount about how I feel about the characters in Doctor Who, especially Rose.

And what it all comes down to is first impressions.


Rose was designed from the very start to be a viewpoint character - that's pretty obvious from Rose, when the story is almost all told from her POV, and for the next few episodes, which are all about her experiences as she discovers time and space. And she's the touchstone for most emotional moments throughout S1, and getting us through the regeneration.

Rose is our eyes for the show. We see what she sees, empathise with her emotions, feel her joys and hurts.

At least, we are supposed to.

As I said, the first few episodes are designed to set up Rose as a POV character, and as far as I can tell, and at that, at least, they were a great success. The response to having Rose as viewpoint is more varied - you get the rabid "I AM Rose" over-associating fangirls, who vow to never watch after Rose leaves, and write Sue!Rose shipperfics; you have the initial Rose fans, who have been struggling as of late with her because they have been seeing things through her eyes for so long, and are getting frustrated with her character developments (as in the character feels inconstant with the things that have been experienced/seen); and you have the people who would se things through her eyes, but whatever reasons can't, and thus tend to dislike her for being a jarring presence.

Now, this doesn't describe everyone, but it does account for an awful lot of people. And the groups, despite diverse opinions between and within themselves, have one constant - Rose being the viewpoint character (supposedly, at least), and thus central to viewing.

And here's where I differ from the majority, because I don't have Rose as a viepoint character, or even as a central character. Which sounds bizarre, what with equal status to the Doctor and all that, but it's true. And I think a lot of it comes from when I started watching the show.

See, unlike most people, I didn't start with episode 1.01, "Rose". The first ever episode I saw of New Who was, of all things, World War Three. Yes, that one with the Slitheen.

No, it isn't the best episode - or for that matter particularly high on the list of best episodes. No, it's not the episode that go tme hooked, that'd be the next week, with Dalek. But what it was - not alone, but in conjunction with the upcoming episodes, I will admit - was the very first episode of New Who that I saw, and thus an awful lot of my opinions about the characters was based on it.

In WW3 we see Mickey saving the day. All with huge amounts of assisstance from others, of course, but he is brave and heroic, he saves Jackie's life, he is responsible for the Slitheen's destruction, he turns down the Doctor's offer because he knows himself that well. In WW3 we see the Ninth Doctor as knowledgable, clever, alien, and also horribly manipulative, indecisive, and completely hung up on some blonde girl for absolutely no apparent reason.

And then, of course, we have Rose. Who in WW3 does what, exactly? Nothing. Well, nothing of huge value. She runs and hides and talks and answers questions, and has the Doctor obsessing over her and has people worried about her. But plot wise, she does nothing. She's just there. The only way she really seems to matter in this episode is how other people are effected by her.

I'll admit this is not the strongest episode for Rose's character. But I'll also admit that it's the first one I saw, and as the saying goes, first impressions count. And so my first impression of these characters were of Mickey as a reluctant and not too brave hero, Nine as a smart alien who obsessed over a human girl to the point of unhealthiness, Jackie as the amusing but caring mother, and Rose as just being there.

And so what was my first impression of Rose? Not as POV character like people had with the earlier episodes. I never had that chance to get into her head, and find out if I loved it or hated it or whatever. For other people who were looking on from Rose's viepoint, perhaps this episode showed her in a better light, but what I saw then? Was not a show-leading character. What I saw was a MacGuffin.

"A MacGuffin is a plot device that motivates the characters and advances the story, but has little other relevance to the story itself." Yes, Wikipedia is hardly the most reputable source. But it's description of a MacGuffin is exactly what Rose was to me in that first episode. Her importance to the story had nothing to do with who she was, but was entirely due to how she effected other characters. And the next few episodes only served to back this up.

I mean, Dalek? Rose gets Adam's attention, gives the Dalek the source of it's power, had Nine emo over her, and causes him to not fire and the Dalek to kill itself, before getting Adam invited on board. The Long Game? Um... is called the best, and is who Adam is compared to?

They didn't do a lot to change the Rose = MacGuffin in my head, and by the time Father's Day came along, where she did have an actual character part, it was too little, to late for me. Perhaps that's why that episode leaves me cold - I had no emotional investment in the Rose. She was in my head a MacGuffin, and by Hitchcock's definition of MacGuffin, even though the plot revolves around them, "The audience don't care" about the specifics of the object itself.

Quite simply, because I haven't that viewpoint character tie to Rose, because she started out for me as just a MacGuffin, I don't care about her.

I care about what happens around her, about how she effects the plot and all that, about how characters are effected by her actions, but her herself? I don't care. Which explains a lot of things about my views on her that I have had difficulty explaining to others.

For all that she has equal status in the credits, Rose has never been to me anywhere near as important as the Doctor. She was designed as viewpoint character, specifically on an emotional level, but I never got that, I never had that investment in her. The viewpoint, the emotional heart for me has been the Doctor. (Which is probably why I am less fond of Nine - his emotional states was always a sort of background emo, and so wasn't quite as Ten and his sheer exuberance and variety of emotion).

And because I have no emotional investment in Rose, I can treat her in ways that baffle some of my friends. I can ignore her when she is annoying, which has bewildered certain people who can't see how I can ignore a central character (but of course, to me she isn't central in herself but only as a device to move the plot forward). I had no problems at all with the shifting away from Rose, and towards the Doctor's POV during S2, inevitable because of Rose's departure, but has caused some problems for people invested in Rose's POV. Whereas for some of them this is new territory, and thus are less fond of the shows new angle, this is heading to what I always had going on.

And I am not sorry that she is leaving, because firstly I saw it coming way off, and secondly because I have never cared enough about her to be sorry she is going.

Of course, just as there are people like me who have no emotional investment in Rose, there are those who are over-invested in her. Those who have difficulty with the shifts in POV away from Rose, and towards the Doctor. Those who can't see how the show can possibly be good without Rose, and will quit watching then. Those certain people who believe they are Rose in that little subconcious self, and feel she is OOC if she does something they wouldn't do (or say they wouldn't do). Just as my lack of investment in Rose-as-character, and having the Doctor as POV character has meant I prefer S2 for it's Doctor focus, I can start to see why those who have invested in Rose perhaps a little too have such antipathy towards parts of it.

It can't be easy having the entire foundations on the show as you know it shift on you. It's Rose's emotions that they are keyed into, and for an episode such as Girl in the Fireplace, in which Rose's emotions are of no importance, are disregarded it must feel like a personal betrayal, almost. Or at the very least, it leaves them as cold as Father's Day left me.

The thing about POV characters is that we are supposed to empathise with them, to feel for them, so we don't just see through their eyes but feel what they feel. And to do this, a certain amount of emotional investment is required - without that, the character looses all their significance. And the introduction of the character is supposed to trigger that investment. And for Rose, I never had that.

Instead of Rose as emotional heart, I had Rose as Maguffin. Perhaps it's my fault for not watching the episodes in order, for having the wrong start. But it's interesting how different my perspective on a lot of things seems to be because of this first impression and it's results.

And I am wondering, what other people's first impressions of the characters were, who they have invested in, and how they will be effected by Rose's departure. And how the changes in show have affected them.


Wow. That's a lot of words, in which I say... not very much, really. However, I would like to hear from people on how different or similar their experiences have been compared to mine.

ETA: Read the comments. I've got some very diverse and interesting perspectives on Rose and just companions in general.

(111 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:van
Date:June 27th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
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This is such an interesting look into the character! I didn't know anything about Doctor Who when I started watching. I'd seen the TVM years earlier, but I'd basically forgotten all about it by then. I didn't even remember what the TARDIS looked like, or anything. So I started with "Rose" and was completely smitten with it. I liked the equal footing Rose was given, and the way we got to see her mother and friends and life. I definitely could identify with her a person who goes, "It's bigger on the inside. It's alien. Are you alien? Okay, I'm cool with this . . ."

And while I sort of wanted to ship her with the Doctor, I didn't really care if they hooked up or not. It wasn't until much later that I got into old Who to see how it "used to be done." I have to admit that I wish we'd seen more of some of the Doctor's previous companion's lives more. But I also like that Rose is unique in a sense. She fixed the Doctor and I think that was important. Her usefulness is now over, really. And, you know, she's a companion. Even the longest lasting companions haven't lasted more than three or four seasons. You've got to expect them all to leave, eventually. And, the Doctor too. It's canonical that he regenerates. Of course, that was a bit of surprise to me (I knew he could regenerate, I didn't know he was going to so soon), but, hey, I got over it. XD

Anyway, I definitely think you have a different view, and that it's a good one. All the same, I'm glad I got in when I did. I'd rather really like Rose and slowly grow detached from her than to have never liked her in the first place.

But, I bet that's why you enjoy Ten more and I enjoy Nine more. I liked the way Nine reacted to Rose. I don't care as much about how Ten reacts to her. Nine needed her. Ten just acts like he needs her. It's weird.

Anyway. :)
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From:drakyndra
Date:June 27th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
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I had an interesting introduction to Doctor Who - a few years back when the ABC (the Australian version) started repeating all the remaining Doctor Who eps from the very start, one of my friends, whose mum was a big fan, recommended them to me as something I would like. So I watched the first few Hartnell episodes, before life and school and ballet got in the way and I forgot all about it. And then I was at my parents about this time last year, and I saw the new series was on...

Though I get huge flashes of deja vu from certain clips of Tom Baker episodes, and I am starting to think I may have actually seen some of them in passing when I was 2 or 3 years old, perhaps.

Anyway, I knew the concepts behind the show, and had been interested, but wasn't a fan per se. So I had no spoilers about S1 whatsoever. I didn't even know the regeneration was coming (though I knew about the concept), so I was utterly shocked when Nine went up in flames and Ten appeared. Guess I was lucky he just clicked for me instantly, then.

But I also like that Rose is unique in a sense. She fixed the Doctor and I think that was important. Her usefulness is now over, really. And, you know, she's a companion.

She is unique in that sense, she did help the Doctor recover his joie de vivre as it were - well, her and the choice in PotW and the regeneration - and so she does have a bit of a second-hand companion vibe. Her real usefulness has passed with Ten, and so for all he cares for her, he doesn't need her. I can understand how that might be less compelling for some people, but I also always found that Nine and Rose had a slightly creepy and unhealthy codependance thing going on, so I think I prefer having a Doctor who isn't quite so... needy.

And as I think I mentioned in passing, one reason I prefer Ten is I can get into his headspace a bit better. Nine was always tricky for me to empathise with, to get into, and since I didn't have that investment in Rose, my preference for characters always came down to how I related to them, rather than how Rose did.
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From:wiliqueen
Date:June 27th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)
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Wow. This is very very cool and insightful.

To me, of course, as a Who fan since age 7, Rose is a companion. One I like better than some, not as well as others, but ultimately, by definition, someone who will leave. I enjoy her while I have her, but her specific presence is by no means essential to the show.

She is also an audience-identification character by definition for the same reason, which isn't (as you point out implicitly, if not specifically) the same as a POV character, although the two can overlap to a point that can sometimes be confusing to the audience.

If there's a single biggest miscalculation RTD & Co. have made, it's in assuming that people know "the companion" is the audience ID character, as opposed to specifically Rose. Part of this is that, even now, Who is so endemic to British pop culture that they have some basis for thinking it's a reasonable assumtpion. But outside the UK, the new folks had absolutely no way of knowing that truism until "School Reunion." And even then, the message is that Sarah Jane is cool and special to the Doctor, and that companions leave...but not necessarily that she WAS the audience identification character for a generation of viewers.
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From:drakyndra
Date:June 27th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. I never really talked about old school fans - mainly because I am not one, and wouldn't deign to understand their experiences, but I expect that for most of you, there is a lot more balance in your perspectives on Rose? I've seen a few that were somewhat over-invested in her, but none with quite the crazy dedication that some of the newer fans have.

If there's a single biggest miscalculation RTD & Co. have made, it's in assuming that people know "the companion" is the audience ID character, as opposed to specifically Rose.

Yes, that is a very good point. Some of it comes down to the extreme over-hyping of Rose as the Most Wonderful Special Companion EverTM. If you're using her as an identification figure, and then hearing all this stuff from the production team, of course you are going to buy into it - it validates your opinion of Rose at the least, and of you if you are one of those who over-identify to extreme levels. So when you start to hear that special isn't just a term reserved for Rose, it could take the wind out of your sales - in the same way that certain shippers in other fandoms seem to think that even the description of a character's flaws is bashing.

But the reactions seem a mixture of, like you said, the Production Team miscalculating the separation of Rose-as-companion with Rose-as-character. Which might explain why certain people seemed to have missed the entire point of stories like School Reunion.

An interesting quote I heard about School Reunion a while back was that it could be seen from two different emotional perspectives: Rose for the new fans, and the Doctor's for the old school fans. Interesting, huh?

Also, that icon never stops being cool. Even if it may need modification in the not-so-distant future.
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From:nostalgia_lj
Date:June 27th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
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My first impressions of Rose were omgsolongago. "Billie Piper as a Buffylike character with martial arts skillz and telepathic powers" was, I believe, the first I heard.

Like I always say, I am sadly in the group who went cold when Rusty sold Rose as the new black. She would never scream or twist her ankle, she would be clever and compassionate and productive, she would be better than anyone ever and she would be the Doctor's soulmate eternal lifebond love. Cue montage of selected "stupid companion" moments ending on Rose pwning everyone mightily as she swings on a chain.

Sometimes I feel like if we hadn't had the Adam debacle and they'd saved the shippery for S2 I could have liked her a lot more? But then I've liked her more in her last few eps where she was Useful and Clever so I don't think it's just the hard-sell. She never lived up to it for me because no one could. And the more Rusty said "she's the Doctor's equal" the more glaring it was when she blatantly wasn't. He took a fairly okay, fairly average character and treated her as though she was perfect and wonderful and everyone loved her.

I do think some of the h8rs will grow to like her more once she's gone, once we get an idea of how much has been changed by the prescence of Rose and how much is just Rusty's Vision Of Who. (There's them that resent the Earthbound adventuring and the entourage of the Tyler family, for instance.)

She's not a character-type I tend to go for, so I doubt I could ever have loved her. And (as with Sam and Charley in the spinoff-media stuff) I get a "WTF" moment when someone tries to sell that type as the Doctor's emotional core. It gives her an awful lot to live up to and I think pushing it so early didn't even give me a chance to get to know Rose on her own terms. I felt a bit more at ease with her after GitF'ace and the Sarah retcon, so it seems to be Quite Massive in my Rose!h8 that I just couldn't buy the emotional connection it seemed I was supposed to be seeing. She was... I could never believe she was as good as she was being presented as? And, again, who could be?

I had... basically the worst possible first impressions on Rose. She was sold to me by dissing characters I already cared about, set up with impossible standard, and then seemed to warp the entire 'verse around her right down to the main character being in love with her. So I was a lost cause after all that.

But I doubt I could ever have loved her anyway.
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From:drakyndra
Date:June 27th, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I'd comment on what you had to say, but you seem to have a pretty good handle of the reasons for your opinions. ;)

But seriously, I can understand why you hate her. I think the advantage of my perspective on things is that because I don't care about her in terms of herself, I haven't got the investment in me to hate her. I think my least favourite moments of her's were during the Cyber-eps, and her horrific treatment of Mickey, who I was invested in.

But I never had that much past companion experience, never saw any of the first series confidentials or publicity, and so I never got that "You must love her" vibe that has had such a bad effect on her for you. Though I can imagine I might have had a similar response - I know I've said it before, but I tend to be contrary about characters, the more they are hyped, the more skeptical I am about them, and a similar sort of thing seems to have gone on with you.
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From:dune_drd
Date:June 27th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
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A lot of words, but worth it. I understand your viewpoint and share it in a way, although started watching Doctor Who with 'Rose'.

POV characters are good, it's what gets you hooked, interested and the really good ones just take you, shake you hard and throw you right out at the other side of fandom. That's how all my obessions start at least.

That's why I got out onto the 'net after Farscape's Premiere, that's what hooked me to Doctor Who.

In the beginning, you need POV characters like her, because in a way you're new to as well, so seeing everything through a Sue makes it easier. So I see why they designed Rose the way she is and she doesn't really bother me in season 1. Maybe because her reactions are mostly mine, I don't know.

Strangely, my perception seems to shift after some time. I don't need to watch people beng like me on TV, I'm like me the entire week and I don't always like it.

I think 'Dalek' was the ultimate episode that made me a Whovian and not just a Rose fan. Maybe the last scene of 'End of the World' was the start, but 'Dalek' made me realize which one of the two protagonists this show is about. He was the one interesting, he was the one out there, living this life, while Rose's story was told in about a season and mainly just tagged along.

I like things complicated (my ships as well) and I seriously have something for older men (the last one I fell for was 5000 years old).

So because my main focus is the Doctor now (oh, the wonderful ANGST!), even more so after watching a bunch of Old School Who, I kind of grew aware that Rose wasn't really eternal. Or necessary. She'll leave, like everyone. It's just the way it is.

It can't be easy having the entire foundations on the show as you know it shift on you. It's Rose's emotions that they are keyed into, and for an episode such as Girl in the Fireplace, in which Rose's emotions are of no importance, are disregarded it must feel like a personal betrayal, almost.

Maybe that's why Father's Day did nothing for me and I liked Dalek and Girl in the Fireplace so much. Maybe that's why she's annoying all through season 2, because she just doesn't understand the Doctor's POV at all.
She thinks she'll be with him forever, blahblah. I liked her more when she was frightened and scared of the life he led.

Maybe it's me projecting again, maybe I can't see her as me anymore (because honestly, I would never be that oblivious). Maybe I got thrown out of RosePOV somewhere along the way. Maybe it was a conscious decision, I don't know. Maybe I was lucky.

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From:drakyndra
Date:June 27th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
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You are dead on about POV characters, you need them to start with, especially when you have a sci-fi or fantasy concept, because you need someone ordinary to whom the world can be gradually exposed and explained.

But the thing about them, is that once you are involved in the story, once you have had the world explained and exposed to you, they sort of lose a lot of their purpose. And you can either move the character deeper into the world with you - hence BadWolf!Rose, TimeLady!Rose - or they become a bit dull. But that looses touch with the themes of the series, the yay humans stuff, and the extraordinary in the ordinary. Which is why Rose is leaving - there's nowhere else for her to go as a character, really.

Also, I agree totally with you on the Doctor as identification figure, and also with your opinions of episodes. I think these two facts are most likely connected. ;)

But Rose has sort of outlived her initial purpose. For all we were sold on her as the ultimate companion, and the OTP love and all, her main purpose was to bring the audience into the Doctor's world. And she's done that, and so we are moving on from her. And I think there was a definite shift in S2 away from Rose as POV character, and towards the Doctor. So I don't think it's so much you being lucky, as picking up on what was intended. I'm pretty certain the next companion will be introduced via the Doctor's POV, anyway.

Here's a really stupid analogy for you: getting into Doctor Who is like learning to swim. Rose is the hand-rail we have to guide us deeper into the pool. But sooner or later, you have to let go and swim on you own.

...Damn, that was an awful metaphor.
From:cryptile
Date:June 27th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
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This is an exceptionally interesting and well-thought out post and has made me think.

Thanks.
[User Picture]
From:drakyndra
Date:June 27th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
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Well, my exams are over, so I've got to think about something. It might as well be something that interests me. And if it makes other people think, so much the better.
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From:njelruch
Date:June 27th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
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That's very insightful and makes a lot of sense. I'm in the US, so I missed a lot of the hype for the new series. I just managed to catch 'Dalek' on the Sci Fi channel one night, and decided I had to watch the rest of them. I think I'd have liked her less if I'd had her presented to me as the great saviour or some such. I like her as a viewpoint character. She generally keeps her head in a crisis, runs when she's told except when she shouldn't, and asks the good questions.

I'm not sure what I would have thought of her if I'd seen WWIII first. Actually, I think the way that I viewed Rose in it was influenced by the fact that I saw it after Dalek. I think that WWIII was when I decided what Rose was for. Nine had a bit of a death wish, and Rose's job was to say "Great job saving the world, Doctor. Now let's get into this cupboard because we're too young to die." I'm not caught up on S2 yet (although like everyone else, I've heard The Spoiler), but Rose lost her purpose after POTW.

In a way, I think this has made the show better. Even though Nine is my Doctor, I think that the show is better with Ten (and I feel like a big traitor for saying it). Ten's just more Doctory. And a big part of that is that he's not the tragic figure that Nine was and doesn't need Rose the same way.

But the change was so abrupt, and once Rose lost her big purpose it sort of felt like they weren't quite sure what to do with her. When I heard that she was leaving, I was sort of sad because I like Rose, but kind of glad because I think she's done what she was meant to do and the story has been moving on without her all season. Of course, I'm sure that the writers are more than capable of giving Rose one last hurrah and sending her out in a blaze of glory. But part of me wishes that they'd just let her find something important that she'd rather be doing and let her walk away quietly.
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From:tavella
Date:June 27th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
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I think that WWIII was when I decided what Rose was for. Nine had a bit of a death wish, and Rose's job was to say "Great job saving the world, Doctor. Now let's get into this cupboard because we're too young to die."

This, and also very early on, I think her job was to remind him about the Mickeys, and to worry about the Gwens. He had pretty much rediscovered his compassion and joy in small lives by Father's Day, when he's being so delighted over the young couple, but he was pretty damn broken when the series started.
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From:claireoujisama
Date:June 27th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for sharing these thoughts; it's great to see something so insightful up here for all to read. I myself don't have much to add, aside from the fact I hope that next season they give the Doctor several companions. I just...after Rose, I think we need to move away from the one-on-one thing. Because I personally loved it when we had Nine, Rose, Jack and Mickey in the TARDIS; I found the dynamics more interesting that way. I think Sarah-Jane's comment, too, about the Doctor travelling with an "entourage" got me hoping that this might come to pass. Because while I accept Nine needed Rose to himself in the beginning, I think Ten's a more vibrant and social character who would love the extra company. I mean, he wanted to keep the horse...
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From:drakyndra
Date:June 28th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
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*grins* Yes, I can see Ten with a couple of companions as well, it'd certaonly be entertaining. He'd run off to do something mad, and the two of them would just roll their eyes at one another. And it'd make for some fabulously fun conversations...
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From:redstarrobot
Date:June 28th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
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You're right, actually... Rose is very much the McGuffin, that's precisely what she is. And, in terms of character development, that's... unfortunate.
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From:drakyndra
Date:June 28th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
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It is a bit unfortunate, because it means that I care about pretty much every other character more than I do Rose, Mickey and Jackie included.

Which means I was at odds with quite a bit of fandom for a long time, but means I'm coping with her impending departure quite well. Pluses and Minuses, I suppose.
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From:fyrdrakken
Date:June 28th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
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Hi, over here from nostalgia_lj's link, and since I read over all the other comments before making my own on the main post, I find that most of what I might have had worth saying is already covered by someone else (frequently in better depth).

I'm in major agreement on Rose as plot device rather than fully-realized character -- and also on the points raised about viewing order being vital in whether one identifies with her, to say nothing of her purpose having been served when Nine became Ten. I think a large part of my own dissatisfaction with this season has had to do with the writers indeed having problems handling Rose without taking the Time Lady road, so they're resorting to a sort of Sex in the City/Bridget Jones default model of female characterization that does not fit into the Doctor/Companion established structure -- so we keep getting hammered with Rose-thinks-this-is-permanent/Ten-can't-bring-himself-to-give-her-the-bad-news-yet.
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From:drakyndra
Date:June 28th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. I can see how the development - or lack thereof - this series can influence enjoyment of this season. Aren't I lucky, then, that what with Rose being Rose being so much of a MacGuffin to me that I can easily ignore her and so my enjoyment of the rest of the show has no connection with what goes on with her? Add that with my preference for Tennant over Eccleston, and my reasons for preferring this series seem obvious to me.

But it's a pity you aren't enjoying it as much.
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From:thedorkygirl
Date:June 28th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
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And because I have no emotional investment in Rose, I can treat her in ways that baffle some of my friends. I can ignore her when she is annoying, which has bewildered certain people who can't see how I can ignore a central character (but of course, to me she isn't central in herself but only as a device to move the plot forward).

I went into Doctor Who excited. I had been explained the series by Nostalgia late in 2004, I believe. I read her news clippings on it and was aware of the vaguest of things -- but she did not spoil me. I have no idea how, but I talked to her about it and lamented my lack of it until January 2006 without knowing anything about Rose or what happened in the new show (or even really anything that happened in the old -- just vague discussions on character traits, yeah).

So I went in thinking of the Doctor. This was his show. It kinda annoyed me the first series couple times when Rose went home ... over ... and over ... again. I didn't know why, exactly, but I knew that I wanted the adventures on OTHER PLANETS! just like they promised a hint of in End of the World. Now that I realize how rare a trip home was (see how tramatic it was for Ace!), I realize I was a mad that he kept showing a lovely home to return to when they were supposed to be having all those adventures. now i am exited for home, yay! and not for h8ful reasons

I think that because I marathoned Who the first time I watched it, it didn't allow me to obsess and really emotionally connect with Rose's character. I went in thinking of the Doctor, and I was done up to Xmas in three days (of staying up until three in the morning ...). Rose wasn't it for me. I was about the Doctor.

Ah, and according to my LJ, I was drunk two of the days; weekends! Also I did not watch Dalek (about which I am mehy) and the Long Game (and so could not hate it immediately). Did not watch means I passed out between middle of Dalek and the beginning of Father's Day (which sobered us up, ys). I went from

And then most pretty much every bit of my fandom experience was just Steve, and we all heard her pitiful little "I think I might hate Rose!" comments before she ever admitted to being a h8aholic. So I didn't get involved in fandom until about two weeks before the series two premier? And so from January 13 to April (20?), I was totally in her grasp.
[User Picture]
From:drakyndra
Date:June 29th, 2006 03:15 am (UTC)
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You were seduced by the Dark Side of Nos's opinions?

But you seem to have sorta-kinda seen a lot of it the way I did initially. Doctor POV, rather than Rose, seeing her more as a plot device than emotion-lead character. Though I never had a problem with the going home thing, oddly enough... I think I just liked Jackie and Mickey.
[User Picture]
From:plsteward
Date:July 2nd, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
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Ah, I'm coming to this table as a late comer US scifi fan. I was bored & thought that maybe my hatred of the S9 Stargate was waining so I tuned into the scifi channel & found on it something compleatly unexpected, a tall darkly dressed guy, a shorter bubblegum girl, & my true lurve, a booth that's not a booth at all, but rather a semi-aware time machine that makes a noise not unlike my father & mother's combined snores. That's right, I get into my fandoms in a completely different way; not by the characters, but by the places, the tech, & the backstories.

I think it was part way through the Aliens of London ep that I first found DrWho, which in and of itself wasn't the bit to impress me. But it did intrege me, made me wonder if I needed a second or third taste before I made a decision about it (which admitadly is more of a chance than I've ever given to any show b/c I actually had to schedule freetime at that point.)

So I watched WW3, then drifted into the fandom comms here & learned more because while I did think that the end product wasn't totally rubbish, I saw potential & imagination (2 things I thought were dead in modern media.) I then skipped around DLing a few, catching bits like the Doctor Dances & the end of Dalek & really not following the chronologoy at all but falling in love with the idea of Time Lords, of Tardisi, of a future Time Agency, of sonic screwdrivers too.

All in all I guess I went about this in the same way I did with my Harry Potter, Monty Python, & Diskworld fannish loves. It's only now that I'm seeing the 2005 season in it's intended order & I can't argue against your veiw of Rose, but then again I never expected much from an unemployed shopgirl who dated Adam (even if it was briefly), keeps leaving Mickey behind to wait, & who seems to show little remorse about the stress she puts on everyone else while she goes off to have fun or maybe just chase a guy that I don't think can ever see her as more than a friend b/c she is just human & not the greatest example of humanity either.

I don't hate her, but like I said, I just thought of her as a typical teen beauty queen & kinda picked up early on that either she needed to grow up quick or eventually she'd be replaced b/c there is only so much you can do with some on who is almost always rather flat before it gets too tiresome. She does her job as far as making it possible to connect to a main character who is so alien that if there wasn't a translater character to ask him 'why', we'd be lost in trying to figure out his motivations. She did provide a contrast to nine's emotional issues (he should have just gone to grief counciling or something of the like, but what do I know.) But ten is down right chipper compared to nine & not in need of, well, a pet, for lack of a better term (I know people are going to be angry with me for likening Rose to a cat or a dog, but really she served the same purpose as a pet does for someone who suffers a major loss.)

I guess what I'm saying is that you're right & the above is why I agree, & also a bit about the other reasons why I'm amazed that anyone actually thought that Rose is central to the show (gawd, 30yrs of canon & they think that one 18yrold girl is what makes it good?! Where do I even start on how it's just stupid to make that kind of assumption?)
[User Picture]
From:drakyndra
Date:July 2nd, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
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That's right, I get into my fandoms in a completely different way; not by the characters, but by the places, the tech, & the backstories.

Well, that certainly different from most people I know of. Then again, it was Daleks that captured my difference, so for all my soppy fangirling, I can sort of see where you are coming from.

You are dead on about a couple of points - Rose was initially needed as a "translator" as you put it for Nine's motivations and emotions, to get the audience into his head, and she has now served her purpose on that level. On an in-story level, again, you are on about how Ten doesn't need Rose that desperately, and for all he'd be sorry to see her go, I don't think it'd break him the way it would Nine.

I guess what I'm saying is that you're right & the above is why I agree, & also a bit about the other reasons why I'm amazed that anyone actually thought that Rose is central to the show (gawd, 30yrs of canon & they think that one 18yrold girl is what makes it good?! Where do I even start on how it's just stupid to make that kind of assumption?)

I think the problem is both, as I mentioned, the overidentification with Rose, and also the tendncy for a lot of new fans to have come from ensemble shows in which the characters are around for years. Because of the way the show was publicised, it probably seems to a lot of them as if the show is losing it's star not it's co-star.

Also, there seems to be a bit of confusion of the reasons that Rose is less of a cypher than many other companions. They think it's because she's the oh-so-special!Rose that she is a more 3-dimensional character, and assume that with her departure, the replacement will be as 2D as a lot of the past ones were, when really it's the writers that made Rose 3D, and they aren't changing.

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