Rose Tyler is a 19-year-old shopgirl from London, who lives with her mother Jackie in a council estate. At one point, they adopted one of the stray cats that used to wander the estate. Rose's father, Pete, died when she was only a baby, and she has idolized him ever since. Rose dropped out of school before her A-levels because of a boy named Jimmy Stone, and ended up taking a job in Henrik's department store. She has a steady boyfriend named Mickey Smith, and a longtime friend named Shareen. She has apparently done some travelling abroad, or at least acquired a passport in anticipation of travelling.
Bored by her life of drudgery, which she finds unfulfilling and unlikely to lead to better things, Rose takes little persuading to join the TARDIS crew after she helps the Doctor foil a Nestene invasion of London. Initially, she is taken aback by the Doctor's dangerous and unfamiliar lifestyle, but she rapidly becomes accustomed to time-travel, although she never loses her sense of wonder about the experience. Rose is able to take surprising news in stride with little more than a breathless "Okay" (the Doctor is alien, the Steward is blue, Charles Dickens has just helped to rescue her from zombies, Mickey has been going out with Tricia Delaney...), possibly because she files the information away to process later.
Rose quickly finds herself becoming the Doctor's moral compass; she is occasionally astonished by what little understanding the Doctor has of human emotions, and she often finds herself objecting to his lack of empathy or what she perceives as his slightly-immoral methods. She doesn't understand how he can ignore the individual in favor of the bigger picture, and strives valiantly to keep him from crossing any lines, such as using people for his own ends. In contrast to the Doctor's standoffish alien nature, Rose has a ready smile and makes friends easily. She is a very compassionate person, and seems to feel an empathy for the working class that society tends to ignore, probably out of a dislike of inequality. However, she is no shrinking violet, and is quick to confront people whose actions she considers immoral or unwise. Rose thinks on her feet, and is quick to jump into a dangerous situation if she thinks she can be of use. She can be rather jealousy-prone, whether it involves a new girlfriend for Mickey or someone like Lynda who seems to have a similarly close relationship with the Doctor as Rose does.
Rose and the Doctor have a very close relationship that could almost be interpreted as flirtatious - they frequently hold hands, stare into each other's eyes, and make declarations of the deep feelings they have for one another. However, neither Rose nor the Doctor have any sort of sexual desire for each other; Rose considers the Doctor to be even more important than a boyfriend. She trusts him implicitly, and is willing without question to put her life in his hands because she believes that he is a truly good person and what he's doing is right. Over the course of her travels with the Doctor, Rose comes to realize that the life he leads is a better one; she discovers the importants of standing your ground and fighting for what's right, rather than giving up, or running away. When they encounter a person or a civilization in trouble, Rose dedicates herself to helping out just as much as the Doctor does; leaving them to their fate is not even an option to her. Impressively, Rose is not afraid to die in the fight for good. Once she realizes her level of involvement in universal do-gooding, Rose comes to the realization that living a linear existence on Earth no longer holds any appeal for her, when she knows that she could be crusading throughout time and space making the universe a better place. Among her many good deeds, Rose manages to single-handedly end the Time War when she annihilates the Daleks using the energy of the Time Vortex.
Rose likes coffee, chips, pizza and Chinese food, but is certainly open to trying new foods. On men, she likes a nice smile and a nice bottom. She and Shareen used to skip school to go to the shops and look at boys. (In fact, she was attracted to both Adam and, in particular, Jack, which may have played a factor in her persuading the Doctor to let them join the crew.) She also enjoys dancing. When she was younger, she earned a bronze medal on the Jericho Street Junior School under-sevens gymnastics team.
Rose is 5'4", with long blonde hair (naturally dark, but she colors it), brown eyes, and a wide smiling mouth. She seems to prefer the colors red and pink, and usually wears comfortable clothes - often a hoodie, flared trousers and trainers - but she also likes to dress up, given the opportunity. She is never to be found without her red Nokia cell phone, which - thanks to some jiggery-pokery by the Doctor - she can use to call home from across space and time.
Rose continues to accompany the tenth Doctor on his travels.
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