Rose Tyler and River Song

So, I’m not to keen on doing things like this- posting my opinions on why certain people are better than other people- but I really needed to get this out.
First, let me illustrate how I’m watching Doctor Who.

Watched Series 5 the summer it finished.
Went back and watched Series 1
Watched Series 2 (last few episodes, Doomsday included, with my parents. Mistake.)
Watched Series 3, with my parents
Went back and watched Series 1 with my parents because they wanted to see the change from Eccleston to Tennant
Finally back on schedule, going to watch Series 4,
Then I’ll have to rewatch Series 5. Great.

Moving on!

I love Rose Tyler. I love Billie Piper, I love how her hair style changes, everything. I especially love how Rose was a normal girl, downright frumpy even, and the Doctor found her and fell in love with her. She always said the right thing, she grew from her mistakes and grew from being with the Doctor. She learned of a better way to live her life being with him. Isn’t that the type of growth we all hope to go through? All of the companions have been changed by the Doctor, yes. And some of them were just normal people. But Rose is this generation of Whovian’s Sarah Jane Smith, our Jamie McCrimmon.
So, when I watched Doomsday, I cried my eyes out. Two full seasons of Rose and the Doctor, gone in a flash. Gone in the press of a button. Hardly fair to anyone. Russell T. Davies said that Rose would’ve stayed with the Doctor forever (True), and that they needed a whole universe just to contain her (also true). I understand that they had to get rid of her because it would be boring without other companions. Martha had big shoes to fill, but I liked her. She was funny and smart. I liked Amelia Pond, too. I’ve only seen one season of her, but still. She’s funny, witty, puts the Doctor in his place.
So, I was on Wikipedia one day, curious as to how long certain companions had been companions, and who had been a companion the longest. Alright, well, that’s Jamie McCrimmon, played by Frazer Hines. Jamie was in 116 episodes of Doctor Who, the most any companion had ever been on. He was the companion of the Second Doctor. Many people would say Sarah Jane Smith, but I’m not going to count her because she’s only got more episodes on McCrimmon if you count her spin-off. Nothing doing.
So, okay, Rose Tyler wasn’t around for 116 episodes. But she was around for 31 episodes as the Doctor’s companion. That is the same amount as Amelia Pond, who the Doctor did not fall in love with and who did not fall in love with the Doctor.
I feel as though the marriage of the Doctor and River Song was kind of… I’m not even sure. I’m obviously biased, but look at it like this- the Tenth Doctor became that way for Rose. It’s everywhere- he’s her Doctor. But that’s okay, I get that; the two of them bonded, he loved her, she loved him. He wanted her to be happy, which is why he changed like that. So, okay, 31 episodes as a companion later, she’s in another universe, away from him. But she still loves him. Then she gets a human version of him to grow old with, which is fantastic. She deserved that, that happiness. But River Song… I don’t know. Maybe I don’t know enough of her story, but I’ll base it on a fact: River Song was only a companion in 5 episodes. Also, she’s only in about 11 episodes (According to Wikipedia). That is 20 episodes less than Rose Tyler.
Rose didn’t marry the Doctor. She would have, but, you know, she didn’t. We barely know River Song. We didn’t grow with her. Every time we see her, she knows the Doctor more, but he knows her less. So, how can they be married?
I feel as though Moffat was trying to depart fully from David Tennant’s Doctor, and from everything Rose was to the Doctor. He’s been known to call Tennant’s outfit and hair as the Doctor stupid, so I guess it makes sense that Moffat would do such a thing like marry off the Doctor.
But, you know what else? Moffat closed about 600 different doors by marrying off the Doctor. I saw on Pinterest a meme with the Doctor kissing his new companion, Clara. The person wrote as a caption, “But he’s married! I understand she started it, but the Doctor didn’t have to like it so much.” That is exactly it. Now, people will think the Doctor can’t control himself. I mean, if my husband was travelling around with a different woman every episode, I wouldn’t be happy about it. Now, the viewer won’t be able to watch an episode where the Doctor’s flirting with another character because the viewer will scream, “He’s married to River Song! How can he just do that!” Well, yep, they’re married. There goes that.
If I’m wrong in hating River Song, alright. I don’t think I am, but maybe there’s some information I’ve missed. I guess it’s all in the writing, really. Moffat’s trying to make the Doctor something he’s not. He never seemed like the type to get married because getting married implies settling down. Apparently a lot of British people who watch Doctor Who don’t like Matt Smith. This type of writing is probably why. Also could be because the Smithster is super quirky. But I don’t mind that.
Eccleston is my favourite Doctor, if you’re wondering. He was a jerk, but without him, we wouldn’t be watching the show the way we are.
I guess this was a random rant, so I’m sorry.
Thanks for reading!

Ps, I hope Moffat never brings back Captain Jack. I love him too much, and his writing would just ruin the pleasant memories.

//

16 thoughts on “Rose Tyler and River Song

  1. Lani Alvarado says:

    I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU JUST SAID

  2. Charlotte says:

    They didn’t want to get rid of Rose, Stevan Moffat even said recently that when Roses character left it was like they lost the star of the show. Billie Piper chose not to stay on for another season as she didn’t want to be typecast, and she wanted to try different things. I wish she stayed for at least one more season though :-(

    • danielaacas says:

      Wow! I actually didn’t know that, but it does make sense. I mean, whenever I look at Billie Piper I jokingly call her Rose Tyler, and not even because I’m obsessed with Rose, even though I am.
      Thanks for weighing in! :)

  3. Jen says:

    Well, River’s dead…she died in the episode he met her. So the Doctor can basically decide whether he wants to be married or a widower depending on the situation. This is not a compliment to the writing, by the way…I think the whole relationship with River is ridiculously contrived and beat over our heads, especially since all of the “good stuff” that’s supposed to make a relationship happened off screen. Moffat is not good at writing development, for characters or their relationships, not when he has shiny, clever plot ideas that are far more important. Also, yes, Billie left, but Steven Moffat never liked her. He said she was the Doctor’s “whiny girlfriend”. So clearly, the first thing he has to do is pair up the Doctor with a BAMF Mary Sue character to show how he could only care about someone extraordinary. But River and the Doctor’s marriage was a half ass hand-fasting in a universe that doesn’t even exist anymore, and only existed at all because River is a selfish little psychopath. Really, she’s the embodiment of everything the Doctor would usually hate. Their relationship makes no sense, and that’s putting it kindly…to put it more bluntly, it’s downright abusive. She tells him all the time what a shit person he is even while her world revolves around him, and he leaves her to rot in prison for not killing him…except for when he springs her for a booty call. It’s nauseating, and setting up a comparison between that relationship and the one Ten shared with Rose just shows more starkly how unhealthy it is.

    Sorry to rant on your rant…I agree with everything you said, I just thought I’d add my two cents to it.

    • danielaacas says:

      How could I not approve this comment, you agreed with everything I said, and more! Thank you so much for you input; I love rants! :)

    • Zara says:

      I completely agree with you on this one! river’s relationship with the doctor was fun and quirky, but when it comes to the doctor getting married to river the only word that comes to my mind is NO. Just NO. I love 11 and I love river as individual characters (although my favourites happen to be 10 and rose),but river and the doctor together just don’t work out as each other’s soulmate and stuff. rose and the doctor had so much more chemistry, their love grew and developed into something strong. when you see the doctor and river, you picture one of those typical flings that people have. when you picture rose and the doctor, you think of love. honestly the whole doctor-river thing was underdeveloped as a story, and i just don’t buy it. also if the doctor left river to live out the rest of her life in a prison cell just so that he could pretend to be dead, and never eventually came back to get her out of prison for good instead of just visiting her at night to have fun with her, he obviously didn’t care about her that much. the doctor would never have done that to rose. also when he regenerated into 11, the last face he chose to see was that of rose. when he thought he was going to die, he thought of helping rose with her homework. not visiting the river to pay a ‘booty call’ as you rightly put it. when 11 was regenerating into 12, he didn’t even think of river once. he thought of amy.

      • Zara says:

        also anyone who thought rose was whiny and clingy should know that she was being as human as a girl especially a girl her age can be. that is as human as it gets. when you are in love you are just as emotional, somewhat possessive on some level and yes, when you lose that person, you cry your eyes out and you’d do anything to meet that person again. sorry, but if anyone thinks that’s whiny or annoying, honestly love entails all such feelings.

  4. no one says:

    Completely agree with you. There is a chemistry between rose and the doctor that just cannot be managed by anyone else. Also you can imagine rose with eleven but river with ten or nine? (Nine would never be able to tolerate her). Rose potrays how a humble character with her simplistic charm and fierce loyalty can ground the ever-running doctor. River just ends up showing that the doctor is only compatible with someone like himself. Eleven was really good but the river parts really dampened his character for me.

  5. Tonya says:

    Thank you for such an insightful and brilliant post. I am on series 3 with Ten (just lost Rose about 7 episodes back.) I loved, loved, loved Rose and the Doctor together. I know she shows up in series 4 (I couldn’t help but do some reading to the Tardis Wiki website; read about Ms. River Song too…don’t think I’ll like her.) I just can’t fathom how anyone can’t see that Rose and the Doctor were made for one another. They were the perfect team. Their love was mutual; not one person lording over the other. I love Donna Noble. Not a big fan of Martha Jones. The chemistry between Rose and the Doctor is just there. The subtle glances. They laugh. He was so jovial when he was with her. That’s love. Plus, the last person Ten visits before regeneration (I had to watch that on YouTube, couldn’t wait): Rose. Who is the last person you would choose to see if you knew you were changing/dying? Makes me tear up just thinking about it. I have no Whovian friends; it’s nice to be able to discuss all these Doctor thoughts in my head.

  6. Riverfan says:

    it seems that everyone who has commented on here so far are River haters!!

    I’m not I love River, to me she is the ultimate companion she doesn’t need saving like Rose, Donna, Martha and Amy did, she can think for herself, doesn’t need to have every thing spelled out to her and she can put the doctors ego in its place when it gets out of control, I’m sure if River was in the place of the first three then a lot less people would have died because River has a brain and knows how to keep her emotion’s to herself in order to help the doctor.

    also when you compare the number of episodes Rose and River have done are you including the mini episodes? i think there are six or seven of them.

    and another thing the doctor has known River her whole life he met her the day she was born he tried to save her when she was eight or nine years old but didn’t because the grown up future version of her told him not to (“not one line don’t you dear!!”) in season 4.

    also he did not leave her to rot in prison he took her out for birthdays and party’s and other adventures and he did ask River to travel with him (“you could come with us?”) and she said no (“i break out of prison often enough thank you”) in season 5 (i think) and they were together for over 200 years at least by the time River breaks out of Prison to watch her past self murder him. and if she didn’t go to prison then the silence would have murdered her for not doing what she was trained to do he was saving her life.

    now onto the marriage issue!!!

    Just because you get married it doesn’t mean you have to settle down ‘in that sense’ River understands that she will never have that linear relationship with him which is why she told him not to travel alone she knows the doctor will not grow old with her.

    when she is pardoned from Prison in season seven after Amy and Rory die she tell’s the doctor not to travel alone and he says “Travel with me then?” but again she turns him down while implying that she will travel with him but not all the time and by the time Clara kiss’s the doctor River has already died in the library.

    • Nakego says:

      Nothing of what you said really helped the case of River song being a ‘good’ character or not. You just droned her plot at us. Everything about River’s life revolves around the Doctor. At no point are we shown any aspect of her life that doesn’t in some way revolve around the Doctor. She was conceived in his TARDIS. She was stolen away and trained to kill him. She was raised by her parents on idolized stories her mother told her about the Doctor. I’m surprised no one really brings this up. That her mother constantly talked about the Doctor to Melody. She fell in love with the Doctor while she was still brainwashed.

      Let me drive this in: Brainwashed. Conditioned. Taught her entire life she was going to kill this man. Yet she snapped out of it like all those years of child grooming were nothing. Because at the same time she was being groomed to love the Doctor. Wow isn’t she amazing she can so easily break years of abuse with the snap of her fingers. Why? Because she was told she would one day fall in love with the Doctor? She already kind of is it just took a simple robot showing River her own face to prove whether she likes it or not she’s going to love that man.

      So she does. Practically instantly. Then she goes on to study archaeology not because she finds it fascinating, but because she’s looking for the Doctor to learn about him. Wow, so everything she is isn’t because she wants to, but because of the Doctor. Her whole life. There isn’t a single aspect about her life that doesn’t revolve around him. I suspect even her quip about dating an android was about the fact that the Tesseract was used on more than one occasion to take on the Doctor’s appearance. Why not? No part of her life outside of the Doctor is ever shown. Ever.

      Let’s talk about how special River is. Special in the Mary Sue kind of way. Probably the only baby we know of to ever be conceived in the TARDIS so she becomes part Time Lord (Gallifreyan, technically, but hey if the writers aren’t going to use the correct terminology than neither shall I). Only in the sense that she can regenerate, though. Jenny is more Time Lord than she is because unlike River, she is biologically Gallifreyan. Jenny only had one parent and that parent was the Doctor. She has the Doctor’s Time Lord DNA, she has the body of a Time Lord and she can do some form of regeneration. I’m getting sidetracked though.
      River is incredibly intelligent enough to outsmart the Doctor. She manipulates him to do what she wants him to because she knows what he’s like. She even somehow makes him think gun-toting is attractive!

      -muffled screaming-
      The Doctor has hated guns since the Hartnell Era. I should know! I am only halfway through Season 5 with Jamie, Victoria and the Second Doctor. That’s like the equivalent of Jack Harkness just throwing his hands up and saying he now only thinks one gender is attractive. It’s against his character.

      Their relationship is nothing but teaching each other that they have a part in each other’s lives. River doesn’t even seem to care that much about her parents. Wow. The only time being called a psychopath and a sociopath really work. She doesn’t give much of a shit about her own parents in comparison to the Doctor.

      She has no positive human characteristics to make us identify with her. Other than the fact that she’s just as mindlessly devoted to the Doctor as Bella is to Edward. Even to the extent of endangering the universe because she is being a selfish brat. Why? She doesn’t know him. This moment is really early in her timeline. Even the Doctor said he doesn’t want to marry her. But he does because it’s some petty little celebration to get this petulant child to kiss him and set things right. Even in SitL/FotD She had this bitchy condescending undertone of ‘my Doctor’ doing this and ‘my Doctor’ being so superior to Ten as if they were two completely different people and she wasn’t speaking to the same man she claims to love. I wouldn’t be surprised if Eleven took all of that into consideration when dealing with River. None of her negative traits are necessarily called out on as bad. In fact, many traits that should be bad or the Doctor

      The Doctor saves her plenty of times, just from messes she gets herself into because she’s cocky enough to know for a fact that he’ll come to her rescue. The only time she did ask for his help he was too pissed off at her to do it and told her to get out of her own mess. But there’s no repercussions because minutes later he uses his own regeneration abilities to heal her broken wrist. She can leave jail whenever she wants to but she always returns. It’s not any kind of punishment so she’s never suffering. She even knows how to fly the TARDIS better than the Doctor can. She screams Mary Sue and in any other media the fans would be screaming Sue especially if she was created by a fan. But because she’s Canon that automatically saves her from her terrible characterization and writing? No. She’s still a Sue. She’s just an accepted Sue simply due to the fact that she’s canon.

      Should I even touch on the fact that she’s highly sexualized? Wearing sexy outfits and always making sex jokes at the Doctor, even in front of her own parents. Eww. But I guess that’s all she is in the end. A jumbled mess of quips, one-liners, sex jokes and faux ‘strong female character’. Most people who were interested in her started because of the mystery to her. But there’s no substance to keep her interesting after the reveal of who she is. Because she’s not a character. She’s a sock. A prettily decorated stocking filled to the brim with nothing but packing peanuts.

      Adding onto her special list is the fact that she’s the only person who knows the Doctor’s name and trusts her enough with his old sonic screwdriver (which doesn’t look anything like either of his wth?) and she’s just a mess of special snowflake. It’s very irksome.

  7. Riverfan says:

    the point i was trying to make is that by the time Clara or Jenny or any other female kiss the doctor River has died so its a moot point really.

    Also she must of had a life out side of the doctor i don’t believe that she would be studying quietly while in uni instead of going to party’s and stuff.

    How can you like Jack but hate River they are so much alike both were hunting down the doctor (for different reason’s) and both were attracted to him and were willing to die for him.

    and as for the jokes if a relationship is too serious it wouldn’t work so they have to keep it light and flirty.

    Also i don’t think she see’s Amy and Rory as her parents I think she see’s them as her best friends. she would call them mum/mother and dad/father out of respect not because they raised her (which they didn’t) they got to see her grow up but that’s not the same as raising her.

    They even forgot they had a daughter because they see her as a best friend.

    • Nakego says:

      Jenny was before River and she nor Clara ever kissed the Doctor from my recollection. In a non-platonic way, anyway.

      You say that she must have but you aren’t certain. Because the problem is we never see it. We never see any life River has outside of the Doctor. She’s just a thing that specifically exists in all aspects by and for the Doctor. That’s a contrast to Jack. Jack didn’t join the Time Agency because of the Doctor. He didn’t become a con man because of the Doctor. He both claimed and was shown in the show to have interests and relationships outside of the Doctor. Jack is hyper-sexual. He flirts with everyone and yes while he did have romantic or sexual interest in the Doctor, he also had the same sort of interest in Rose, Allonso and many many others.

      Jack joined and later fixed up Torchwood, and while he claimed he made it different inspired by the Doctor he didn’t focus his whole time there pining after the Doctor. He waited for his timeline to match up with the Doctor, hoping to travel with him again, yes. Any of the Doctor’s companions would. Jack’s goal of hooking up with the Doctor didn’t change for more than a century after he found out his immortality. When having a prophesy about the Doctor shown to him, why not wait? He only has pretty much all of eternity. We also see his life outside of the Doctor, primarily in Torchwood. We see him dedicate himself to something that isn’t the Doctor even inside the episodes of Doctor Who itself just the same as Rose joining her world’s Torchwood, Martha joining UNIT and later both she and Mickey going more freelance. There’s a difference between being inspired by the Doctor and having your whole life revolve around him.

      Yeah. That’s one of the major problems I have with River and to an extent the only thing I disliked about Amy and Rory. None of them seem to care. And I really don’t buy the bull about Amy and Rory ‘raising’ Mels when she was growing up with them. There’s a difference between being a friend and being a parent. It really brings to mind Renessmee and how Edward and Bella didn’t have to raise her so they could continue acting all lovey dovey. Or Jenna and Link from a LoZ badfic where their children were so special it was a cakewalk to raise them though kudos for actually making the couple actually raise their children. I mean you only had your baby stolen traumatically from you and now you find out this woman is your daughter and… barely anything. There was so much wasted potential.

      You’d think with how everything changed with NuWho with the families and the lives of the companions outside of the Doctor something like this would be much more important. But there was so much crap jumbled together I guess the message of family got lost. I mean they almost divorced because Amy couldn’t have biological offspring with Rory yet they barely care about their one biological daughter they do have. Wow. Now I really don’t care about their petty marriage squabbles. I’m sorry but that’s how I viewed it and if I and so many others can see these kinds of problems, then maybe there is a fault somewhere in there.

      As for the ‘have to keep the relationship light and flirty’ who says that? Who says that you have to force ‘light and flirty’ to make a relationship work? There are beautifully angstful and dramatic relationships out there with pinpricks of fluff. But that fluff has its place. It’s not forced. I don’t want light and flirty when the characters should be reacting to the world around them and being affected by it and I really don’t mean just the Doctor. It makes the drama cheap and plastic and the flirty and fluffy too unbearable.

      Basic rule of storytelling: Show; don’t tell.

  8. Ale says:

    Wow. I couldn’t have said it better my self! You’re absolutely right. Rivers whole existence revolves around the Doctor. That’s why her story is so tragic. She never got a real life and because of this their whole relationship feels forced and unnatural. At least to me. The Doctor not only knew all this had to happen but felt bad because of the type of life she had so he went along with it. Their relationship was not real. Did he care about her? Sure. Did he truly love her? No. I don’t know if River was either. Was she in love with him or was she just obsessed?

    River fans will always disagree on this. I don’t understand how they do that see all this. How they don’t see how terribly wrong they are for each other.

    With Rose it was so different. We saw them grow not only together but apart. The Doctor grow out of that darkness he had after the war. He became so much lighter. Rose grew into herself; she became so strong and resilient. She saw that she didn’t have to be a just a shop girl. She could and did become so much more. And, as they both grew they formed this much bigger bond together. You could see their connection. You could see their friendship. You could see their chemistry. You could see their love. Most importantly Rose’s life did not revolve around The Doctor. She had a life outside of him. Was she “Clingy and Possessive” maybe but she was/is in love with him. That’s how relationships are at one point or another and I hate how Moffat just uses that as a way to put Rose down because he doesn’t like her. I hate that he uses that as a way to make River seem so much more important then she really is.

    I’m sorry River fans but everytime I think of them being together I feel sick. I feel nauseous. I cringe. The Doctor will never be hers. He will always be Rose Tylers.

    Is she a good character? Sure.
    Is her story good? Sure. Some of it. It’s so tragic and in some ways touching.
    Could it have been better? Absolutely, yes.

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