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11 April 2006 @ 14:02
There's been a lot of talk on time_and_chips about what's going to happen once Rose leaves.

(Which is not a spoiler, folks. It's just a fact.)

Here's the thing: Companions leave.

I think that it's always hard when your first companion leaves. Just as hard, in some cases, as losing your first incarnation of the Doctor. But that's the nature of Doctor Who. Companions leave. Some die, some marry, some get fed up of the constant death, some get stranded in alternate dimensions. Some are left behind to start their lives over. But the fact is: companions leave. Change is your constant. And we'll miss them (well, some of them), but we'll love the new ones that come along, too. After all, I started off with Romana and Adric and Tegan and Nyssa, etc. etc. But that doesn't mean I love them MORE than Rose and Jack and Mickey just because they were there first. (In fact, you don't want to get me started on Adric and Nyssa. You really don't.) And yes, your first companion is special because he or she is your first, the same way your first Doctor is special cos he was your first. No-one is saying they weren't special. Or that you're wrong to grieve. But that's not the same as saying no-one else can be as special, in a different way. Who knows? There could be a decade or more of wonderful companions in store for us. On this series, people change. It's just built into the concept.

Now, yes, people who are solely Rose fans and possibly only in it for the Rose & Doctor relationship (however you perceive that to be--be it romantic or filial) may leave. And that's fair. If that's their only draw and the only reason they're emotionally invested in the programme, it's understandable that they'd perhaps not want to stay once the show they fell in love with evolved into a different dynamic with different castmembers. Speaking as someone who adored first season of Angel, but really only vaguely liked the series it later became through a complete cast change and retooling of the premise, I can understand that. It's not that the other Angel series was necessarily a bad series. In some ways, it was better. It was certainly better crafted, and had some excellent actors, and it had a lot going for it. But it wasn't the a hardboiled noir detective show with a quirky sense of humour about a vampire, a demon, and a prom queen I had fallen in love with, had lost my head and my heart to, and mourned when every trace of it vanished completely.

So for some folks, I can see why, if they signed on for The (Possibly Romantic) Adventures of the Doctor and Rose wouldn't feel the same about The Adventures of the Doctor And Other People. But that doesn't mean they might not fall in love all over again with The Adventures of the Doctor And Other People. Let's not discount the possibility, k? Have a tiny bit of faith that the same team of people might actually bring you more characters you love, played by excellent actors, and just as well written, and you might just lose your head and heart over it as much or more than the show you first fell in love with.

Rose and Jack and Mickey and Jackie are just the beginning. Not an ending. And different isn't always bad. It can be just as good. It can even be better. But let's not throw out the baby with the bath water 18 months before we have to.

ETA: susanmgarrett told me at Gally this year that (paraphrasing here) the Doctor is Peter Pan, and Wendy always goes back to the nursery and grows up, and he always comes back and takes her daughter. Because that's who he is. And Wendy lets him, because that's who she is. And it doesn't mean she doesn't ever regret her choices. But it is just the way things are. And I think that's an excellent comparison.

Also, I personally think of the TARDIS as Tink. But that's just me.
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Hil: TV - DW - 4/S - ZOMG!hercircumstance on 11th April 2006 19:11 (UTC)
I remember the wank last year when people found out Jack was going to show up and somehow ruin Doctor/Rose, show, universe etc. *checks barricade against fandom* Yup, not much has changed.
cornfields: satine79: nine/rose glowcornfields on 11th April 2006 19:13 (UTC)
WORD! Thanks for this. As a long-time Whovian, I still boggle over the violent reactions of newer fans to losing "their" Doctor/Companions.
ljc: further than you thinktaraljc on 11th April 2006 19:22 (UTC)
I understadn being upset--and folks are allowed to mourn. But it's the "and now I shall never love again" lack of hope I think that depresses me most.

I fully expect there will be a mass exodus once Rose leaves of the folks for whom ROse/DOctor was their only reason for watching, much like how The X-Files had a fannish turnover when the cast changed (tho really, most sane people left much earlier, ocne it became apparent that the quality of the writing took a nosedive once the Wongs and Darin left, and the world realsied Chris Carter was nowhere near as good as he'd been given credit for being).

But so long as the writing remains consistantly high quality, I'm all in.
tarkheena lizzeeen: dw [nos made me do it]liminalliz on 11th April 2006 19:19 (UTC)
I really really love this post. It also reminds me to watch some oldskool, damnit.
Mireillemireille719 on 11th April 2006 19:22 (UTC)
RE: your ETA--that's *exactly* it.
ljc: pocket!actingtaraljc on 11th April 2006 19:26 (UTC)
(no subject) - neadods on 12th April 2006 12:10 (UTC) (Expand)
hooker 13: rose says what the fuck arm?amberlynne on 11th April 2006 19:23 (UTC)
I have to admit it's a new experience for me, this losing, but not really losing, the main character of a show I'm enjoying. The only thing I can sort of compare it to was when George Clooney left ER, they brought on a new hot doctor and I kept watching. But that's not even close.

I am not angry that it happens or anything. It will just take some getting used to, especially if I seem to have developed an attachment to the actor playing the part for whatever reason. For me, it was "that guy is kind of hot and that girl is pretty cute and they seem to have good chemistry, so I will watch!" The history of the show didn't really factor into my decision.

But if I am going to keep watching through actor change after actor change, it probably will. Then my enjoyment is fueled by the mythology of The Doctor, not by the person who plays him. I just haven't reached that level quite yet. But I'm getting there!
ljc: dw_challengetaraljc on 11th April 2006 19:25 (UTC)
DS9 fans at least had Dax as a sort of "oh, so that's how this works" when Jadzia died and Ezri came, and was still Dax. But for otehr fandoms... yeah. Doctor Who is unique in the way the programme routinely survives what would kill another series.
lunaris1013 on 11th April 2006 19:28 (UTC)
And here you've hit on exactly why I have no interest in shipping the Doctor and anyone (with the possible exception of K9, but I'm weird that way). It was hard for me when Sarah Jane left, but I fell madly for the Romanas and Leela - it wasn't until Adric (sorry!) that I wanted to boot somebody out into the space-time continuum.

I can't wait to see Ten and Jack and whomever comes after Rose. It's all part of the fun!
Azar: time machines are my crackazarsuerte on 11th April 2006 19:37 (UTC)
Now, see, to me cast changes help keep a show fresh. I was one of those people who left The X-Files before David Duchovny (OMG, can we say season 7 was the worst of the entire series???) but Robert Patrick brought me back, and even though it *wasn't* the same level of quality as the early seasons, it was comparable to season 6, and there was a new character that I cared about enough to want to know more, as opposed to Mulder and Scully about whom I knew everything there was to know, or so I felt.

There are some characters I get attached to and mourn after they're gone, but even those won't make me stop watching a show unless a) the death or departure is done in a way that is to me in very poor taste (see Highlander) or b) the replacement character and/or the writing that follows are not nearly as good (see Profiler).

So yeah...I'm just getting to know DW, but I'm not overly worried about the cast changes in the future. I went from desperately missing Christopher Eccleston to adoring David Tennant in the amount of time it took me to download and watch "The Christmas Invasion" so I think I'll be okay. *g*

On an OT note, the layout for girl_doctor seems to have disappeared...thought you might want to know. :-o Oh, and is there anyway I can still get that Deviant Strain or whatever font from you? I've been hunting all over for the freeware version to no avail. :-/
ljc: girl!doctor (no bra)taraljc on 11th April 2006 19:48 (UTC)

I moved a bunch of files around, and accidently moved and renamed the directory where the girl_doctor fiels lived. Cos I M SMRT.

Email me? ljconstantine at hotmail dot com. I can email you the look-alike fan-made font.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - taraljc on 13th April 2006 03:41 (UTC) (Expand)
Bud-Clare: doctor smiling - by khallandrabudclare on 11th April 2006 20:32 (UTC)
The TARDIS is totally Tink. Though Tink is probably less likely to get lost (i.e. show up, for instance, 364 1/2 days late). Or maybe not. I don't know Tink personally or anything, so I've no clue.

*has just realized that it's 4:30 and no food whatsoever has been consumed so far today and is so very hungry all of a sudden*
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on 11th April 2006 20:58 (UTC)
I've got a pound on there being a Peter Pan reference in School Reunion. And if they don't do it, I will.

We need a name for The Next One. Umm... *thinks* Juanita?
ljc: TARDIS (spinny)taraljc on 11th April 2006 20:59 (UTC)
(no subject) - nostalgia_lj on 11th April 2006 21:00 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 11th April 2006 21:03 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nostalgia_lj on 11th April 2006 21:10 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 11th April 2006 21:28 (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
HawkMoth: monkeyhawkmoth on 11th April 2006 22:28 (UTC)
Oooh, having just watched the very two first episodes, I totally agree on the sexy, stalwart manly hotness of Ian.
(Anonymous) on 11th April 2006 21:21 (UTC)
but maybe it’s just me
Thank you for writing this. Sometimes I think new-school fans and old-school fans talk past each other (when we're not talking *down* to each other), and it really frustrates me. And thank you for acknowledging that for new-school fans, Rose leaving will *change the premise of the show*. A lot of old-school fans don't seem to realize that, and as a new-school fan, that frustrates me, too.

I think part of the problem is the different ways that old-school and new-school fans see Rose. Most old-school fans see Rose as a secondary character -- sidekick, companion, whatever. But most new-school fans see Rose as a primary character -- maybe *the* primary character. The heroine. I know I do, and if you read Television Without Pity's recap of "Rose," Jacob compares her to Buffy (http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/story.cgi?show=167&story=8995&page=17&sort=&limit=). [1]

So, yeah, most old-school fans see (the possibility of) Rose leaving as no big deal. Which makes sense, actually. Y'all have seen companions come and go, and the show really does go on. But most new-school fans see it as a catastrophe, akin to the death of Beauty on Beauty and the Beast. Maybe the show will survive it. I don't know. I don't know how many fans of the new series are *only* fans of the new series, or how many of those will leave with Rose. I'll probably stay, at least for a little while, just to see what they do. But morbid curiosity != emotional investment.

[1] There's a whole digression about literary analysis, story structure, and the fact that season one of the new series and season twenty-seven of the old were very different (despite being exactly the same) that I'm not going to get into here.
ljc: came to leavetaraljc on 11th April 2006 21:32 (UTC)
Re: but maybe it’s just me
It's not that for Old Skool fans it's "no big deal." I mean, it still is a big deal (I mean, SJS was on the series for a relative age compared to some companions, and it WAS a huge deal when she left), but it's not, to me, a deal-breaker the way it is for some New Skool folks.

You're right. For many new folks, the premise of the series is "Rose and the Doctor". For other folks (both old skool and new skool) it's "the Doctor and a companion", and they'll survive the revolving door of companions, and the eventual regeneration of the Doctor (again).

But I hope that folks who think they are in the first group might be pleased to discover that they are in fact in the 2nd, once Rose's departure and a new companion joining Team TARDIS becomes a reality.
Re: but maybe it’s just me - giglet on 11th April 2006 22:29 (UTC) (Expand)
Lara: doctor wholarakailyn on 11th April 2006 21:47 (UTC)
*loves you for this post*

I run the Doctor/Rose comm, but I went into it knowing that the Doctor would change and at some point Rose would leave (however she leaves) and the show would go on, and I would still love it. Just like I loved the old series through (most of) its changes.
Kathryn A: Doc9-all-things-diekerravonsen on 11th April 2006 22:05 (UTC)
Roseveare: doyle/faithroseveare on 11th April 2006 22:21 (UTC)
But it wasn't the a hardboiled noir detective show with a quirky sense of humour about a vampire, a demon, and a prom queen I had fallen in love with, had lost my head and my heart to, and mourned when every trace of it vanished completely.

Do you know, I kind of feel the same way about season 1 of Angel. I loved season 2 and most of 3, and aspects of 4 that didn't involve Wesley or Cordelia, but season 1 had a quality and heart to it, somehow, that the rest didn't. *sigh*
caffeine-addled brain of smurf: Doctor Who » Nine/Rosepurple_smurf on 11th April 2006 23:08 (UTC)
The obvious problem here is that RTD & co made the first series largely about Rose. They keep stressing about how the series is through Rose's eyes, which I can handle for an introduction/reintroduction of the series because a lot of people were discovering the Doctor and his quirks at the same time as Rose was. What is probably key here is shifting the emphasis away from the companion and back to the Doctor who, after all, is the title character. (and yes, Romana remains my favourite companion and I still obsess over her, so I won't be holding my breath for people to get over Rose too soon)

And I adore the Peter Pan comparison. Will have to remember that.
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on 12th April 2006 06:20 (UTC)

RTD: *writes self into corner*