Update: Billie Piper has no plans to return to Doctor Who. Scroll down for further details.
Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper may be set for a return to the show in season 11, after a social media post sparked speculation online. In perhaps her best known on-screen role, Piper portrayed companion Rose Tyler when Doctor Who was regenerated back in 2005 and stayed for two full seasons, after which she tragically became trapped in a parallel universe. Despite initial trepidation surrounding Piper's casting - largely due to her history as a popstar - the character of Rose went on to become a fan favorite and has been voted among the most popular Doctor Who companions of all time.
Rose has made several returns to the show over the years, the first of which saw the former companion helping the Tenth Doctor fight off Dalek invasion in season four. Tyler's second return was a mere cameo, with the companion appearing during David Tennant's pre-regeneration farewell tour. Most recently, Rose appeared as part of the show's 50th anniversary episode "The Day Of The Doctor" in her Moment-powered guise, helping to shape the events of Time War.
However, it appears that Rose may be making another return to Doctor Who ahead of its forthcoming eleventh season, which will star Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. In a recent post on her official Snapchat account (via Digital Spy), Piper shared a photo of herself with the caption "Billie Piper Has News" and then "What could it beeee?!!" Crucially, this caption was followed by a number of facial expression emojis and, finally, a single rose.
UPDATE: It turns out Piper was really teasing a raffle to raise money for an acting school, with the grand prize being a trip to meet her and see her new show on Broadway. You can watch the related video below:
So... who fancies hanging out with me on Broadway? 😁🎭 pic.twitter.com/rMXBdrDFBV— Billie Piper (@billiepiper) February 8, 2018
Obviously, the announcement could be anything at this stage, especially since Piper has a number of projects on the boil, such as an appearance on Broadway and the forthcoming BBC2 series Collateral. However, the significance of the rose emoji wouldn't have been lost on Piper, as any actor who has worked on Doctor Who will know that the show has a dedicated fan base with incredible attention to detail. It could also be possible that, rather than returning to the TARDIS on screen, Piper will be featured in one of the many Doctor Who audio adventures which have enticed a number of former television stars back to reprise their roles.
If Piper did return to Doctor Who proper, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise as the actress has previously expressed a willingness to work with Whittaker's new Doctor. Piper has also stated that she doesn't believe Rose's love for the Doctor would disappear simply because the Time Lord has swapped genders since they last met, which could create an interesting story line in future episodes. Of course, Doctor Who would still need to address exactly how and why Rose might return. Although travel to and from Rose's dimension has been established as possible, it's also incredibly risky and causes any number of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey problems. Perhaps this would suggest that any future return for Rose would be for a limited number of episodes only, especially since the new Doctor already has three companions cast.
Doctor Who season 11 premieres later this year.
Source: Billie Piper (via Digital Spy)