Thursday, March 26, 2020


Loving Doctor Who – Rose #TripOfALifetime

This is a very lovely moment for what’s written most deeply on my hearts.

My beloved and I have been together for twenty-five years and five months – today!

So he’s working from home and I’m out on the balcony.

Don’t worry – I’m only one metre outside our flat and there’s no-one else about. The party boats have stopped running, and even if they did want to do The Masque of the Red Death on Thames, we were already distancing because the river charts have dangers marked on them like wrecks, whirlpools, Ben Aaronovitch’s goddesses and steer away from the naked gays.

But today it’s another anniversary that’s almost as wonderful, and that’s exactly fifteen years since Doctor Who came back with Rose.

The very first Doctor Who story I ever saw was a fantastic new beginning that started with “Ro”, and I still love Robot and Rose so much that when last week I published a binge-watch Doctor Who playlist, those two were right up at the beginning, because I can’t imagine better introductions to the show.

A few years ago I wrote Ten Reasons To Watch Rose to share my enthusiasm and encourage you to see it.

I mean, I even wrote my Reasons To Watch The Trip of a Lifetime Trailer for it, partly because it’s the most thrilling trailer ever made and partly because I thought it was funny to have an article that took longer to read than the things it was recommending.

Today is a fantastic day to watch Rose again and realise just how outstanding it really is, or to watch it for the first time and see what all the fuss is about for Doctor Who. Thousands of people will be watching all over the world and will welcome you in.

Because that’s something I adore about Rose.

In my reasons to watch it, well, it was more simply reasons I love it, and I went from the most obvious things like Rose, and the Doctor, and introducing the TARDIS, and if you don’t know what they are just watch the story, to getting passionate and political and just a bit angry and how Rose is not just welcoming but defiant in championing a life of change and strangeness and danger, but the tenth and last reason I want to share with you, even though it’s a bit of a spoiler.

With anything you love you can get jealous and possessive instead of saying, Wow, how awesome, and being delighted when someone else sees this the way you do.

And fifteen years ago it was tempting to say, but what about me?! Never mind ten million new viewers, I was here first! And to remember not fifteen years but sixteen years, sixteen long years where there was no spring of a new Doctor Who series on TV.

But Rose is open and welcoming and isn’t just a brilliant introduction but has one inspired moment, right at the end, where it answers that question and makes it absolutely clear that Doctor Who can be for you. We’ve seen a new world open up through Rose’s eyes and fallen in love with the idea, and then at the end – Doctor Who goes away again.

And Rose has made the Doctor’s world so utterly compelling that the endless wait of the next sixteen seconds feels like the yearning of sixteen years.

And then everyone shares the joy – when Doctor Who comes back.

I bloody love Rose, and I’m watching it tonight.

I thought of this all in one go this afternoon.

I got out of the bath and wrote it down.

I realised it would be better to camera.

I realised I couldn’t print it or learn it.

I did one take.

I was lucky not to trip over and make it the #TripOfALifetime…

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