Doctor Who: Billie Piper Reveals Why She Won't Return to the Series

Billie Piper played Rose Tyler, the beloved companion to Chistopher Eccleston's Ninth and David Tennant's fan-favorite Tenth Doctors, during the first two seasons of BBC's relaunched Doctor Who series. She later returned to see Tennant off in the show's fourth season and again for another role in the show's 50th-anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor." But even after one of her old TARDIS roommates, John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, made his highly anticipated return to the show and remains eager for more, Piper says she wouldn't sign up for another trip through space and time with the Doctor if offered.

"I wouldn't go back," Piper tells The Guardian in a profile interview looking back on her career. "It's a great role, but you're away from your kids for so long. My experience was that you were in Wales for nine months solid. And as a job it dominates your life. It's mainstream family viewing so you can't really escape it. It feels like it makes you very, very famous."

This news may be disappointing to fans who still ship Rose and the Doctor, a romance that Piper has suggested would not be abated by the Doctor's recent change in gender. Piper has returned as Rose in new Doctor Who stories, but only in Big Finish audio stories, which require considerably less time and are less of a mainstream event.

"I love how normal Rose is, and yet really extraordinary," Piper said in a statement from Big Finish the company announced the Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon serial. "She lived a normal average life but she is incredibly curious and has an enormous capacity for love and empathy and is really spirited. She is extraordinary… That's the great thing about Doctor Who. It challenges new-thinking. It's progressive and it can be political in amongst these human emotions and relationships. I think that's its greatest appeal."

According to Barrowman, there was some discussion at one point about a Doctor Who movie reuniting him with Piper and Tennant, though that seemed mostly like him and former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies reminiscing about the good old days. "I can't remember what ceremony it was," Barrowman told, "but I was speaking to [Davies] – he'd picked up an award for A Very English Scandal – and we said: 'Wouldn't it be great if we could do a Torchwood or Doctor Who movie with Jack, David, and Billie?... If I can boast, the three of us, we all call each other 'The Golden Age." The three of us made such an impact that people still talk about us to this day, which is great!"


Doctor Who is streaming now on HBO Max. The series is currently filming its thirteenth season.