Billie Piper to leave Dr Who

Posted by karne (15th Jun 2006, 11:53) -

Shame to see her go.

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read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 15th Jun 2006, 17:59, Rank: Nazgul )  reply

I don't understand why Dr Who can't keep it's lead actors. It's a hugely successful series (in terms of critics, awards and ratings, which is pretty much the holy trinity of tv) both here and in the US. It's not like they're tied into it for 52 weeks a year or anything - there's plenty of time for the actors to go off and do films and guest spots on other shows during their off-time. I just don't get it. What are they going to go and do instead? I guess they could be faking it on the Confidentials and it's actually a really horrific working environment or something.

read biography for - John Kirk

 John Kirk ( 15th Jun 2006, 21:38, Rank: Patrician )  reply

I haven't read the linked article, but I think she does well on the series, so I'll be sorry to see her go. That said, I'm used to the idea that the Doctor has a fairly high turnover of companions. There's a handy list here: (, and it looks as if two years is about par for the course.

I don't know about reasons for leaving, but maybe she's just tired? Since Dr Who has quite a small core cast, she'll be in most of the scenes, whereas with an ensemble cast like Lost there are people who may only turn up for 2 minutes in a particular episode. Also, 26 episodes is quite long for a British TV series (e.g. Red Dwarf was 6-8 episodes per series).

What I would say, though, is that I'm a bit disappointed to see this announced in advance. That's not a dig at karne, because I saw the same headline on the BBC website, but it ties into my general spoiler-phobia. For instance, when Rose was dying at the end of the last series, it would have been a lot tenser if I didn't know that she was already signed up for the Christmas special and the first few episodes of the following series (ditto for the imminent regeneration). When I was a kid, those things always took me by surprise. I don't know whether that's just because I'm spending more time on the internet nowadays, or whether the same information would have appeared in tabloids back in the day ("Bonnie Langford to quit Dr Who!"), but it's a shame. It doesn't matter for something like a Bond film, but it actually ties into the story here.

Ending on a more positive note, I wouldn't discount the possibility of Rose and/or the 9th Doctor showing up again - now that they've done a regeneration in the "new" series, and brought in a former assistant, they've laid the groundwork for a "The N doctors" story.

read biography for - Sulkyblue

 Sulkyblue ( 16th Jun 2006, 09:08, Rank: Nazgul )  reply

Also, 26 episodes is quite long for a British TV series Remember that's two seasons - 13 in the 2005 season, 13 in the (current) 2006 season (plus a couple of specials). While this is still a little long for a UK season and short for most US seasons, many US series are now 13 episodes (HBO has them as standard so that covers Shield, Big Love, Sopranos...). It still leaves plenty of time for her to do to do things in the off season, or just sleep.

It's fair enough if she's tired and/or just wants a break, she's allowed to be selfish and do what she wants, it's a free country obviously. My rant comes from an unjustifiable "actors should have a commitment to their shows/audiences" position. I like the amount of character development this series of Dr Who has, it's lack in previous series is one of the things that put me off a bit. To be honest I was much more annoyed at Christopher Ecclestone (who's hardly lighting up the tv listings at the moment) than at Billie Piper, they've put so much emphasis on Rose that maybe she thinks the character's completed her story.

I guess I'm too used to the US where actors in series usually sign a contract for 5 years and have to jump through hoops to get out of them early.

As for the announcement in advance... that's a side effect of living in a news rich world. It's definately news so papers have a responsibility to print it. Personally I don't consider major casting changes to be spoilers... maybe though that's just because they're hard to miss.

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