On Sunday, Emily Cook (writer for Doctor Who Magazine) tweeted that former showrunner Russell T. Davies will join a global fan rewatch of "Rose". The event will take place on Thursday March 26th at 7pm U.K. Time.
This follows the successful and hugely popular global rewatch of the 50th Anniversary Special "The Day of the Doctor." Showrunner and writer Steven Moffat not only joined, but also wrote a funny new introduction short for fans to watch before starting the stream. It featured actor Dan Starkey reprising the role of Sontaran Strax from the Paternoster gang. Neve MacIntosh, who played Madame Vastra, also contributed a voice cameo.
Moffat reactivated his Twitter account to provide a running commentary as he watched. His retelling of the writing and production process provide a lot of insights into how the show came together. It was like the Twitter version of a Criterion Collection commentary.
Russell T. Davies Returns to the Beginning
"Rose" brought Doctor Who back to television back in 2005. British television was a very different landscape at the time. The show was taken off the air in 1989 and Science Fiction had been scarce ever since. The few efforts at Science Fiction were half-hearted at best, with weak attempts to ape The X-Files. The rest of British television consisted of cop dramas chasing serial killers, variety shows and reality shows. The rest were prestige period dramas that sold internationally to the likes of PBS in America.
Russell T. Davies achieved A-list showrunner status with the success of the original Queer as Folk. That bought him a ticket to pitch any show he wanted. Jane Tranter at the BBC encouraged him to pitch a revival of Doctor Who and the rest is history. Queer as Folk also enjoyed a US remake on cable channel Showtime that lasted multiple seasons more than Davies' original British version.
"Rose" actually changed the British TV landscape In ways we take for granted now. It practically saved the BBC from ratings and cultural obscurity. Doctor Who made Science Fiction popular again on British TV for the first time in more than ten years. Casting an A-list actor like Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor gave the show new credibility. It made family shows important and relevant again. The show turned Billie Piper into a TV star after her teen pop music career ended.
This is what makes Davies live-tweeting a rewatch this Thursday special. He recently revisited it when he wrote the novelization for Target Books. To see him actually walk down memory lane in real time should be especially interesting. According to Radiotimes.com, he has promised "surprise extra material".