In the long-running BBC television series, Doctor Who, the Doctor is well-known for travelling through time and space with a number of companions, who accompany the Doctor on his travels.
Every Doctor Who fan has their favourite companion and if you ask a hardcore fan who their favourite companion, they're most likely to answer with one of the companions from the revived era, which began in 2005. When the BBC brought the show back onto our screens, Billie Piper was the first companion to accompany the Doctor. Piper played Rose Tyler from 2005-2006, before returning again in 2008. Today, Rose Tyler remains a popular companion in the hit show, but did you know she almost got her own spin-off show?
When Rose was trapped on a parallel Earth in the Series 2 finale, fans hoped this wasn't the end of Rose Tyler, and it's been made clear that it wasn't going to be. Based on the quote from the Tenth Doctor, "Rose Tyler, defender of the Earth," a spin-off show emerged, which was titled Rose Tyler: Earth Defence.
The brief premise of the show reads:
"Rose Tyler: Earth Defence focuses on Rose Tyler and her new life as a member of the Torchwood Institute in Pete's World."
The spin-off show, which could've been a huge hit for the BBC, was actually commissioned and budgeted back in 2006, before Russell T. Davies, the showrunner of Doctor Who at the time, decided to cancel the show before it made it onto our screens. After watching Piper film her final scenes, Davies decided to brush the show under the carpet because he felt it would lessen the impact the Series 2 finale would have on fans.
Rose Tyler: Earth Defence was originally going to be a one-off holiday special on BBC One, which had a proposed run-time of 90 minutes. However, if the demand was high enough, Davies would've written more episodes to keep Doctor Who fans on the edge of their seats for more gripping stories.
Just as the BBC were about to start casting for the show, Davies put a stop to the show. This means Billie Piper never got the chance to be cast for the show or did she get to start filming what could've been a phenomenal series. Despite Piper not being cast for the show, Davies revealed that he actually "mentioned" it to her in 2006 when the idea came around.
Speaking to the Doctor Who Magazine over ten years ago, Russell T. Davies said this:
"It was going to be fantastic. We'd have had a lovely budget and done brilliant things with it, maybe one Bank Holiday special a year. It was actually commissioned by the controller of BBC One and budgeted. It spoils Doctor Who if we can see Rose... if we see as a concrete fact that her life continues to be as exciting without the Doctor."
Even though her spin-off never went ahead, Rose was welcomed back into the Doctor Who universe in 2008 when she returned to find the Doctor throughout Season 4, where she joined all of the Doctor's companions to save the world from the deadly Daleks.
Even though Rose Tyler: Earth Defence never went ahead because it would cost them "a fortune," the other very popular spin-off show, Torchwood, went ahead and actually made it onto our screens. Torchwood ran for four seasons before getting cancelled. But, the series has returned and is now an audio series as part of Big Finish Productions.
With Rose trapped in "Pete's World," would you liked to have seen Rose return in her own Bank Holiday spin-off show?