Doctor Who returned to BBC One in 2005 after many years in the wilderness (resurrected by Russell T Davies) and was an overnight hit. Modern audiences lapped up the Saturday evening family drama and any concerns that the show would be a flop were blown away.
Headlining the revived Doctor Who was Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor and Billie Piper as companion Rose Tyler. Piper won much critical acclaim for her role of Rose and since leaving – though she’s reprised the role several times – the actress has gone on to have a successful career.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat praised Piper and stated she was key to the show’s success. The writer told reporters “Probably because when the show first came back I think it was Billie Piper who brought it back. I think those first two years, that was Billie Piper’s show…It was all about Billie, and Billie as Rose”
Moffat also had praise for her predecessor Russell T Davies who bought the series back to screen and created the character of Rose. “Russell [T Davies] was so clever in creating that character and casting that character so perfectly. He’s allowed an audience who would not naturally have watched Doctor Who, which was practically everybody at the time, to find a way into the show, so she has an iconic status partly because it was a brilliant performance and a brilliantly written part but it was also the way back in”
Although Piper bowed out of Doctor Who at the conclusion of its second season in 2006 she has returned on several occasions. The actress will reprise the role once more in the 50th Anniversary Special in November alongside David Tennant, Matt Smith, Jenna Louise Coleman and John Hurt.
Piper was also recently cast in Showtime’s new horror series Penny Dreadful.