As if to confirm that Doctor Who is undergoing some major, major changes with its fifth series this year, Billie Piper has revealed that she won’t be returning to the series.
The actress, who played the Doctor’s companion (and love interest) Rose Tyler throughout the revived series, is busy starring in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and has no intentions of reprising her role as Rose.
“I think it’s done now, isn’t it? I think that ship has sailed. That old, wooden ship!” Piper told DigitalSpy.
The massive changeover that the show has undergone is also a factor in her decision not to return. “I really loved doing it, but Doctor Who has moved on – it’s different people, different crew, different production team and I can’t keep going back. It’s ridiculous! It’s time to move on…”
She’s talking, of course, about the departure of showrunner Russell T. Davies, who was replaced by writer Steven Moffat, as well as the fact that star David Tennant is gone. Tennant wasn’t Piper’s first Doctor; her first was Tennant’s predecessor, Christopher Eccleston. However, she spent more time working with Tennant; she appeared as his regular companion throughout series two, and then recurred in the final two episodes of the fourth series. Her most recent and final appearance was in the final moments of “The End of Time,” right before the dying Doctor entered his TARDIS to regenerate.
“I hate it that he’s left!” the 27-year-old actress said of Tennant, before admitting that she hasn’t seen Tennant’s heartbreaking final scene yet. “I haven’t seen it yet! I went away for Christmas and New Year and it’s a bit weird trying to sly off and watch an episode of Doctor Who on my own! I definitely will, though,” she confessed.
But Piper certainly has no hard feelings against Tennant’s successor, Matt Smith. He appeared with her on Call Girl, and according to Piper, they know each other “really well.” “I love him and I think he’s such a brilliant actor,” Piper said. “The role couldn’t have gone to a better guy. He’s capable of that. He’s got big shoes to fill, but I’m certain he can do it.”