I wasn’t disappointed in the budding relationship between the Ninth Doctor Who and Rose Tyler until the last episode of the season.
Warning: There may be spoilers ahead...
As a romance novelist, the dynamics of any relationship intrigue me. It wasn’t the baby-faced aliens or the manic sounding Daleks that kept me coming back to Dr. Who, but naturally the ‘ship’ that was hinted at over the course of the way too short first season.
From the beginning, Rose and the Doctor were thrown together in tight situations and everyone around them saw that little spark between them – even Rose’s long suffering boyfriend Mickey [or is it Rickey?] - soon figured out no one was going to come between Rose and her Time Lord. Despite their cavernous age gap – she’s 19 and he’s ...forever and a day - they became the best of friends, a couple who didn’t quite know they were a couple. Naturally I rooted for them right up until the supremely satisfying moment that the Doctor takes a tearful, TARDIS-infused Rose into his arms and kisses her...SIGH.
Moments later, poof. He’s somebody else. The Tenth Doctor is born.
How does a hopeless romantic deal with this? Naturally I spent some time working out what I would do if I were writing Dr. Who’s second season and forced to put a new face on an existing character. I’d have the Doctor [depending on how much he remembers from his Ninth incarnation] still carry a torch for Rose, and Rose mourn for the man she’d obviously loves, not being quite able to accept his new ‘self.’ Over time, she’d come around, get used to his less hawkish new face and piercing brown eyes and realize she still felt the same way about him no matter what he looked like on the outside.
How a similar plot would work in a romance novel? If the hero’s appearance changed dramatically in the middle of the story, what would the average romance heroine do? Well, she’d probably have to be above average, much like the adventurous Rose Tyler, in order to make the relationship work. I explored that very idea in my first published story, Hunter’s Moon where Adam, an alien visitor to earth, uses his ability to shapeshift from his native feline form to human form. My heroine, Alliana has already fallen in love with the six foot tall panther-black felinoid, and when he puts on a new, and equally gorgeous face, she’s not quite sure what to make of him. Ultimately love prevails for Adam and Alliana, despite coming from two vastly different worlds.