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07 May 2012 @ 10:00 am
Nu Who Meta: did Mickey 'deserve' to lose Rose?  

In The Writer's Tale, speaking of the episode Rose, RTD states:

"Oh and look at Mickey saying to Rose, 'Don't read my e-mails!' (Some people think that Rose treated Mickey badly, like she was the selfish one, but will you look at that line?! What on Earth do you think that line means? Seriously? That boy deserved to lose his girlfriend, right from the start!)"

... so, what DO you think RTD is implying that line meant? Was Mickey hiding something? Or just naturally shy? Do you agree with RTD that he 'deserved to lose his girlfriend?' Or is RTD being too harsh on Mickey for wanting his privacy? (Please note that the intent is simply to evaluate RTD's statement on Mickey - we're not trying to cast dispersions on Mickey, Rose, or any other characters).

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kilodalton: rose gigglekilodalton on May 7th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
After reading that quote, it is now my head canon that Mickey and Tricia Delaney were exchanging inappropriate emails waaaaay before Boomtown XD
fogsblue: rosefogsblue on May 7th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
That was pretty much what I thought too... Or at the very least, he didn't want Rose seeing his porn subscription ;)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 02:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on May 7th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
BRB, raging.
harder, harder, hardest; i am the artist: dr who -- cushing!doctor | DNWradiantbaby on May 9th, 2012 09:14 am (UTC)
+ 1

I mean, I'm utterly speechless...
Mathilda: Time And Nyan In Spacetaiyou_to_tsuki on May 7th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
I don't let anyone read my e-mails and might blurt out something similar in that situation. I wasn't aware that my inbox is full of incriminating evidence of an affair.
Annissaannissag on May 7th, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
I've told this story so many times, so I apologize to anyone who has heard it before.

I started watching Doctor Who on accident. My husband and I were flipping channels looking for something interesting when we stumbled upon "Rose." We started watching around the time Henrick's blows up, so I didn't realize it was Doctor Who until shortly after the "Turn of the Earth" speech.

I mention this just to illustrate that I came into the new series with absolutely no idea what was happening and no idea how the characters would turn out. I didn't like Mickey in the beginning, specifically because of that line. Also, the way he says "kit off!" when Rose goes to see him. I was also unimpressed with the way he clings to her when the Doctor offers to take Rose with him. So I cheered at the end of the episode when Rose says, "Exactly," and runs to the Doctor. Thank you for what?

The relationship Mickey and Rose have always struck me as one of those relationships you fall into because you're there and people expect it. It's comfortable, but there's no real passion and no real direction. So leaving that behind for something unexpected, unknown, and possibly amazing sucked me in hard.

But none of that really answers the topic question: Did Mickey deserve to lose Rose? I don't know if I can really answer the question because it assumes that Mickey and Rose belonged together and I don't think they did. It wasn't really a matter of deserving someone; it was more a matter of being right for each other. I thought the first episode illustrated that they were wrong for each other, from Mickey being concerned more about the football match at the pub to Rose leaving Mickey behind for someone else.

It was this starting point that makes Mickey such an amazing character. He grew so much in so few episodes and I love where they went with him.
fogsblue: atardisfogsblue on May 7th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
Well, I think you've about covered everything. I agree with all this.

Mickey was probably the character that needed to grow the most. I mean Rose had her moments of selfishness etc, but Mickey really needed to grow up too.

(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Siedemnasty Doktor: [dw] crazy time lord victoriouspitrah606 on May 7th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Stop your character bashing, it doesn't make anyone smart.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 7th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kelkat9 on May 7th, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
You know, I never gave much thought to that line other than he had something inappropriate in his e-mail that he knew would upset her. Um, I've been responsible for cleaning out email accounts from former employees and have seen what some male employees have in their email accounts and well, some of it tends to be very inappropriate so I just assumed it was something of that nature. Not that Rose is a wilting flower, but I think Mickey would have protected her from anything inappropriate.

As to did he "deserve" to lose her, I don't think I would use the word "deserve." I think they both were destined to out grow one another. Pretty much from the episode "Rose," I had the impression she was unhappy with her life and wanted a change. Mickey, on the other hand, was somewhat content although may have wanted more from her - maybe he wanted stability and didn't think beyond that. It was sort of presented that Jackie and Rose were his family and his soft place to fall. I think he clung to that.

I never thought Rose was the kind to settle down. She seemed to want more out of life and was at the point where she wasn't afraid to take that first step into the world and leaving the safety of her mother behind. I don't think Mickey was ready for that yet.
Circe: superdork!redcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
I've been responsible for cleaning out email accounts from former employees and have seen what some male employees have in their email accounts

OT, but people actually have stuff like that in their WORK PROVIDED email accounts? D:
(no subject) - annissag on May 8th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kelkat9 on May 8th, 2012 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spikewriter on May 10th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
appropriate icon is appropriate - redcirce on May 10th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
fogsblue: atardisfogsblue on May 7th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
'Rose' was the first episode I saw and I admit, between the lines 'don't look at my emails' and 'kit off' I can't say I particularly had a good opinion of him. The whole football match at the pub over your girlfriend who just almost got blown up. Yeah.... I was completely with Rose running off with the Doctor.

Admittedly not completely ok with the whole 'thanks for nothing' approach. Though I'm not entirely sure Rose owed him much, possibly a proper 'we're over'. But at 19, with a boyfriend she's obviously with because it was expected/easy/convenient... I really don't see many people doing it much differently.

tenthrosetenthrose on May 7th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
I take that question, and give you instead my thoughts on Rose Tyler.

She's not actually a very loyal person. Yes, she rips open the heart of the TARDIS and bursts through universes for the Doctor's sake, but that's not loyalty. As soon as she was offered something bigger and better than her life at home, she took it- with some regret about not having it both ways, but without really looking back. Additionally, when the Doctor regenerated, it took her all of a day to just completely accept that. Whenever Rose had a better option (being in the TARDIS as opposed to being in London, having a Doctor who was much happier and bouncier) she took it with very little thought of what came before it. In fact, I'm of the opinion that Rose absolutely loved and was extremely loyal to life in the TARDIS, and that's where most of what she considered as loving the Doctor came from. (I ship Doctor/Rose as MASSIVELY unhealthy and screwed up. She loves him for his stuff, he's traumatized and emotionally dependent, hence the shape he's in when she's gone)

So, the point of that being that I think Mickey was going to lose Rose, Doctor or not. If she went back to school (she seemed to be highly considering it in 'Rose'), and found someone with higher prospects, she'd have left him anyway.

(FTR- I LIKE Rose. I like her a lot. I just think she's a flawed person)
fannishliss: rose/nine laughingfannishliss on May 7th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
So when Rose first told the Doctor she couldn't go with him, she wasn't demonstrating loyalty? In my mind, loyalty to Mickey and her mum was the ONLY reason for her not to go... and, imho, it was misguided loyalty to Mickey for her not to immediately break it off with him the second she saw him again. (That's the one thing I fault her for). I agree with you that Mickey was always going to lose Rose -- and for them to stay together in their tepid way, would have been a bigger tragedy.

I do think Rose is pretty loyal... I also think she's 19, and I can't fault her for taking the chance for an amazing adventure. I'm sure most people are wise not to stay with their first serious boy or girlfriends out of "loyalty".... especially if they do manage to meet and commit themselves to the partner of their dreams.
(no subject) - bitter_suite24 on May 7th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annissag on May 7th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bitter_suite24 on May 7th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annissag on May 8th, 2012 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annissag on May 8th, 2012 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fogsblue on May 8th, 2012 07:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Dark Impressive Respected Sweetiecookiemuffin: Clyde and Ranilycoris on May 7th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
I... I think it just means Mickey doesn't want Rose to read his E-mails and why not? When I let other people use my laptop, I make it clear that I don't want people to to look at my things on there because they are mine and it's nobody else's buisness! I don't think that means Mickey doesn't deserve Rose at all. Now, I think they were probably never destined to be a true-love-together-forever thing but Mickey "deserved" to lose Rose? No. He did nothing wrong in "Rose" except be a normal person which is one of the reasons I like him so much.
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on May 8th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Mickey has a completely different experience of "Rose" than people seem to realise, because we mostly saw what Rose saw. Mickey got kidnapped, replaced, threatened... I'm not surprised he was scared.

Mostly I am kind of squicked out at the shadier implications of "Mickey didn't deserve Rose." I'd like to be colour-blind about it (as I think RTD was) but post-Martha I find that a bit impossible.

Mickey's great! He learns stuff, gets brave, has a Tragic Backstory that he copes with, he deals with rejection by someone he loves, he was wanted for murder at one point and he never held that against anyone.

Stand aside, Rose, he's mine!
(no subject) - lycoris on May 8th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
fannishliss: Marth/Mickeyfannishliss on May 7th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
I feel like the relationship that Mickey and Rose had was one based on being long-term friends, that kind of slipped into a love affair that probably didn't suit either of them all that much. I don't think either one of them was really meant for the other, and for them to break up was a good thing for both of them. There are plenty of good reasons to keep your emails private -- you know, maybe he had ordered her a birthday present or something!! So I really don't feel it's a question of deserving. I think that was a poor choice of words on RTD's part. Maybe RTD was just reflecting on the nature of their relationship and that it was in fact time for them to move on.

The one thing I would love to see would be some back story as to how Mickey and Martha ended up together. Shocker! But really, Mickey does grow a lot and ends up being a man Martha could esteem (as they used to say!) -- and Martha, of course, is an amazing human being.

Taxicab Messiahdonna_c_punk on May 8th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
I agree with this statement.

I've always wondered about how Mickey and Martha ended up together, too. I don't hold out much hope Moffat will ever address it, though.
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 9th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Circe: SERIOUSredcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
hmm, I need a Mickey icon...
Lol. Oh RTD, you're such a jerk sometimes. I think there were two things going on in this quote:
1. I think Mickey is supposed to be, although sweet and innocuous, sort of a jerk. The things that everyone else pointed out, like the kit line, and the email line, and the clinging at the end, I think are supposed to make us think that although Mickey's not a terrible person, he's not an especially wonderful one either. I feel like this didn't really come across so well. It might just be me, but I found NC to be really charming, so all of the "hints" didn't really work for me. I also think part of it is that sort of issue you get when a character has just been introduced, and the writer isn't exactly sure where they want to go with the character (Kind of like how Anya on Buffy was totally portrayed differently once they figured out her character) I feel like Mickey's character didn't solidify for a while. But I do believe that's what we were supposed to think (that he kind of sucks, thereby starting a dramatic character arc where he gets more awesome); it just didn't work. For me, anyway.

2. Being that this is commentary after the fact, RTD is being defensive ("Some people think that Rose treated Mickey...") because certain plot points in the pilot weren't received the way he intended. I think RTD totally underestimated the tendency of fandom to scrutinize and hate on female characters. For him to mention it, he must have gotten a lot of comments that Rose was terrible and selfish for running off in Rose and leaving Mickey all alone.

The thing is, if it were a teenage BOY with no responsibilities heading off into crazy fantastic adventures leaving behind his self sufficient dad and a clingy (LITERALLY) girlfriend, everyone would have been all "LOL Boys will be boys!" or calling it a great "coming of age" story since he's "setting out on his own" and learning to be a Man. I bet not one single person would have been like "OMG WHY IS HE SO SELFISH AND A TERRIBLE BOYFRIEND AND SON GOD HE'S SUCH AN UNFEELING ASSHOLE". And at best, his pining girlfriend would be mildly tragic and people would either feel bad for her (but respect her ~loyalty to her man~) or say she was stupid and needed to get over him and get a life. So when people go on and on about Rose being terrible for leaving, I tend to side-eye like mad. Especially since she said no the first time citing her girlfriend responsibilities, and only said yes the second time. (I'm baffled; do people honestly prefer a female character saying "I know you're offering me wild amazing adventures beyond my wildest dreams, and I don't really have any obligations, but sorry, I really need to stay here because my (casual) boyfriend <3 needs me?" Because that's what I hear when people complain about Rose's actions in Rose.) I will say though that because of that he should have maybe made his point a little clearer; Rose is supposed to be the audience surrogate, so the audience should not be having doubts about her going off with the Doctor.

Circe: SERIOUSredcirce on May 8th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
part II!
So that's why I think RTD said that. As to the Mickey/Rose relationship status in general which he sort of touches on in that comment, I think there really isn't much to stay. I think that people that overanalyze it to death and go into who's right and wrong are missing the point- the point being that they are teenagers, and it's a mundane/dramatic teenage relationship. Yes, Rose is shitty to Mickey. Yes, Mickey is shitty to Rose. They are both shitty to each other in that way that is unique to teenagers who haven't yet learned how to have an adult relationship. Yes, Rose, get your head out of your ass for a moment and recognize that Mickey spent a year as a murder suspect (to be fair, I do think she got it, it just took her a while which is understandable being that it must be difficult to process if you've never time traveled before that 12 months have really passed in a day). Yes Mickey, perhaps just maybe you should have broken it off with your gf explicitly before starting to bang Tricia Delaney. (Or, again, Rose should have broken it off with Mickey.) But really, people, dumb teenage relationship drama. They weren't right for each other, they clung to each other anyway (LOL at Mickey pretty much having to point out to Rose that she was in love with the Doctor, not him), they broke up, and they became better people. Neither of them is a horrible person. Thank goodness the Doctor came around or they might have stayed together forever and never fulfilled their potential. (Let me just add that ss someone that works with teenagers in a professional capacity let me say right now that I would rather gouge my eyes out that sit and listen to teenage relationship drama.)

Also- I mean, this isn't just RTD, it applies to practically everyone, everywhere- I really take issue with the idea of "losing" your significant other. A significant other is not some loose change you lost under the couch. It's not like there's this one "whoops" moment, and oh no, they're gone. Relationships end for reasons, and people are not property. "Losing" implies a lack of agency, like it's a mistake. Maybe the two people aren't right for each other, maybe the relationship comes to a natural end, maybe it's not the right time or place, or one person (or both) isn't in the right headspace to carry on a (or that) relationship. Mickey didn't lose his girlfriend, their relationship ended.

Edited at 2012-05-08 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: part II! - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: part II! - fogsblue on May 8th, 2012 07:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: part II! - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: part II! - kilodalton on May 9th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
happy icon to make up for it - redcirce on May 10th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: happy icon to make up for it - kilodalton on May 10th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - kilodalton on May 8th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - kilodalton on May 9th, 2012 04:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - fogsblue on May 8th, 2012 07:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - fogsblue on May 9th, 2012 08:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - fallen_scholar on May 8th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - fallen_scholar on May 9th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: hmm, I need a Mickey icon... - redcirce on May 10th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
I Happen To Have No Dress In My Cabin: [drwho] little mickeysarah531 on May 8th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
(Which version of The Writer's Tale is this in? I don't remember it from mine!)

Recent meta on Mickey and Rose (over on Tumblr as well as here) has actually made me rethink my opinion on both of them. I'll always be a big fan of Mickey, but I do feel a lot more charitable towards Rose now- Mickey wasn't that great of a boyfriend, I guess. A good person, but not a good boyfriend...

But I guess now it's as good as officially stated that Mickey was, at least, sort-of cheating on Rose? That makes me very disappointed. :( I always assumed he was just signed up to an embarassing mailing list or something. Oh man...character-wise, that doesn't even make sense! He loved her enough to jump across a whole universe!

I suppose it's also canon that Rose cheated on Mickey with Jimmy Stone, though? It was written, by RTD himself, in the 2005 Annual. I guess that adds yet another dimension to things...

Also: I think the person I feel sorriest for, especially considering all this new information, is Trisha Delaney! Mickey even calls her "some stupid girl from the shop" in Boomtown. (I once wrote a massive multi-part fic series about Trisha's relationship with Mickey, I grew to love her so much...but these days, I'm kinda glad we never actually met her in the show!)
fogsblue: atardisfogsblue on May 8th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
(Which version of The Writer's Tale is this in? I don't remember it from mine!)

'The Final Chapter' edition, pg 683. It's part of RTD rewatching 'Rose' after he's finished his time on Doctor Who.

A good person, but not a good boyfriend...

I actually really like this definition. I think Mickey, like Rose, was a good person, but like Rose he was young. Neither of them acted that well towards each other, in terms of a romantic relationship. Side effect I think, that it was a relationships of expectation/convenience, based on a long term friendship.
(no subject) - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 9th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 9th, 2012 05:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 10th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kilodalton on May 10th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Poetry: feminismjoking on May 8th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
For my part, I hate the idea of "deserving" or "not deserving" a girlfriend. You don't deserve a girlfriend (or boyfriend, or genderqueerfriend) the way you deserve a salary if you do a job, or deserve to get a cookie if you help bake them. Rose is a person who makes her own decisions, not a prize for Mickey to deserve or not deserve. Even if Mickey were the best boyfriend in the world, Rose would have the right to decide that she wanted to end the relationship and go off on travels through time and space (or for any other reason). No one deserves a significant other; no matter who you are, you're lucky that someone has been generous enough to share their heart with you.
Circe: Cute Feminismredcirce on May 9th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
Word to all of this. It also implies that when he does get a significant other later on he has somehow "earned" it and is somehow more worthy then, which is a pretty terrible idea.
(no subject) - joking on May 9th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - redcirce on May 9th, 2012 05:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Climbing on the table full of emptiesfallen_scholar on May 9th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Two Words:
Tin Dog. No, really.

There's two aspects to Mickey: Mickey as a character, and Mickey as a foil. A lot of NuWho focuses on the question of the safe but mundane or the dangerous but fantastic. Rose is more or less premised around that idea.

Mickey is the most tangible representation of that, of the safe but boring. He's not a good boyfriend and he's not a bad one. He's average. Worst of all, he's predictable. The above interaction, and a lot of the others, have a rather 'sit-com' feel to it. In the final choice of Rose in that episode to go with the Doctor, it's hard to say which the choice really is, whether it's between new interesting man vs. safe and easily controlled man or between adventure vs. duty. The concepts are mixed with the characters.

Likewise, when Mickey joins the TARDIS crew, he continues to play this role. He's the one who can be less adventurous and more scared so that Rose has someone to push against in both directions, the Doctor, who's always more, and Mickey, who's always less. Even the resolution of his plot (well, the temporary one in Rise/Age) is more to do with his weird tension of him discovering a him that's adventurous, discovering he's not, then getting in this sort of tension over whether he can be that cool person and not limited to his mundane identity.

tl;dr - Mickey is K9, but for emotions. Like K9 is hovering around with a ready stazer and the occasional plot device scanner, Mickey is there to be someone who Rose can play against in her personal development.

...but the problem is that Mickey is also a character in his own right, so his role as foil just doesn't sit easily. K9 could just be the robot in the corner, but leaving Mickey playing Scoobie to Rose's Daphne just doesn't sit well in a show that otherwise has fleshed out characters. This really only gets worse over time.
Circe: Gwen surrealredcirce on May 10th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Two Words:
..but the problem is that Mickey is also a character in his own right, so his role as foil just doesn't sit easily.

Yeah, this. I like Mickey a lot, but I feel like at times the writers couldn't decide if he was "Rose's boyfriend" or his own character. I think they did a much better job with Jackie on that front.
(Anonymous) on August 21st, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
I think Mickey did deserve to lose Rose after that quote. but before i noticed that, i didn't think he necessarily DESERVED to lose Rose, but he NEEDED to. He was too human for Rose after she started traveling with the Doctor. I don't think she could ever go back to her normal life. Even at the end of Doomsday when the Doctor comes back to say goodbye, she didn't look "in a relationship'' with Mickey. Mickey wasn't going to be good enough after she met the doctor. I actually fel bad for him because when she left for good with the Doctor, she kissed him goodbye, but to me it was obvious already she was going to fall for the doctor. Even Cassandra said so when she was in Tennant's body, that rose liked him. Mickey didn't necessarily deserve it, but it was going to happen anyway