The Instigator
tatamg
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
LotusNG
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

River Song is the best companion on Doctor Who

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Post Voting Period
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,519 times Debate No: 33396
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

tatamg

Pro

My argument is that River Song is the best companion on Doctor Who, for reasons I'll give in the next round. The debate is over River Song and the companion chosen by Con, and the goal is to prove that one character is at least better than the other.

Rules:
Revived series only, no classic Who.
The companion chosen must therefore be exclusively from the revived series, and must have appeared in more than one story.
Only the TV episodes count, prose or comics do not.
72 hours to post argument
6000 character limit
3000 character limit in round 4
Only accept if you have time to debate all four rounds.

Rounds:
Round 1: Acceptance and picking a companion
Round 2: Outlining main points
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Some rebuttal, summary of points, & conclusion

Any takers?
LotusNG

Con

I accept this debate, wish you luck, and choose Rose Tyler as the companion.
Debate Round No. 1
tatamg

Pro

Thank you for accepting; I wish you the best of luck as well.
I forgot to mention in round 1 that my opponent is free to refute my points in this round, but she must make points of her own as well. I’d also like to say that although I’ve been watching this site for a while, this is my first time participating, so please let me know in the comments if I’m doing something wrong. Anyway, on to the debate.

My points

1. River is the Doctor’s equal.
When the Doctor first meets River Song, she succeeds in handcuffing him against his will and taking his place as a sacrifice. The Doctor has met his match. From that moment on, he recognizes that River doesn’t need sheltering, something he never did with Rose, whom he often tried to send away to safety. [1][2] Rose Tyler can be described as the Doctor’s “helper” of sorts. She follows the Doctor around and picks up the slack, often requiring long explanations to understand what’s going on. In contrast, River understands the Doctor so well that she is able to explain his thought process to everyone else. [3] River is also able to fly the TARDIS instinctively [4], unlike Rose [1], and mastered that skill to the point where she is better at it than the Doctor. [5]

2. Rose is possessive.
Traveling in the TARDIS, Rose often gets jealous of anyone who the Doctor pays attention to. [6] It’s very clear that she doesn’t want to share him with anyone, and can be very rude to people whom she feels are a threat. She immediately deems Sarah Jane a rival [7], resents Mickey for deciding to tag along [7], and is jealous of Martha. [8] River, however, is shown to be entirely neutral to the Doctor’s companions.

3. Her tangled up timeline is realistic.
Rose’s timeline is entirely synchronized with the Doctor’s (save for their brief encounter in The End of Time), which is rather unrealistic for a man who travels through time and space. River Song is unique in that his first encounter with her is her last. She is the first recurring character with an entirely non-linear timeline, and it surrounds her with unanswered questions. River doesn’t need anything explained to her; she knows it already. For the first time on Doctor Who, a companion knows more than the Doctor, and little by little, we learn more of her mysterious past.

4. She has catchphrases
Although Rose was the Doctor’s companion for two solid seasons, she doesn’t develop any recurring catchphrases that would automatically identify her. [9] River, however, has several phrases she uses with the Doctor, namely “Spoilers,” and “Hello, Sweetie.” [10] Having a unique signature makes her memorable in a way that Rose cannot be.


Sources:
[1] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[2] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[3] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[4] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[5] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[6] http://thatguywiththeglasses.com...
[7] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[8] http://tardis.wikia.com...
[9] http://en.wikiquote.org...
[10] http://en.wikiquote.org...
LotusNG

Con

("I’d also like to say that although I’ve been watching this site for a while, this is my first time participating, so please let me know in the comments if I’m doing something wrong. Anyway, on to the debate."

Don't worry, you're doing great!)

Thank you for all of your arguments, and I'm sorry to have taken so long to reply, school life has not let up on me.

1. Rose is made to be relatable to new viewers.

Rose is a normal person working a low wage job. She has a mom and a boyfriend. She is a completely normal person, and that is attractive to new viewers. She has no idea of the universe around her and, like the Average Joe, probably could care less. She is swept up into the doctor's world in the blink of an eye and, like anyone, would be confused. She is us. She needs explanations, and that is part of what makes her attractive to the viewer.


2. Rose's life is less obvious.

Right off the bat, the episode after we meet her, *SPOILER FOR THOSE NOT FAR IN THE SHOW* River dies. Her story ends, just like that, before it really begins. We know the signs of when she will die, as she brought them up, and we know when we will see her last. That kills any tension around her or the 11th doctor when action ramps up, as we know nothing fatal will happen to them until it is her time.
*SPOILER OVER*

Now for my counterpoints:

" 1. River is the Doctor’s equal.
When the Doctor first meets River Song, she succeeds in handcuffing him against his will and taking his place as a sacrifice. The Doctor has met his match. From that moment on, he recognizes that River doesn’t need sheltering, something he never did with Rose, whom he often tried to send away to safety. Rose Tyler can be described as the Doctor’s “helper” of sorts. She follows the Doctor around and picks up the slack, often requiring long explanations to understand what’s going on. In contrast, River understands the Doctor so well that she is able to explain his thought process to everyone else. River is also able to fly the TARDIS instinctively , unlike Rose , and mastered that skill to the point where she is better at it than the Doctor. "

This was addressed in my first point, but I'll say it again: Rose is made to be relatable to the viewer. River is amazing, don't get me wrong, but she is not relatable. She is alien to the viewer, and at first sight is extremely unrelatable to us. That is her first flaw as a character.

"2. Rose is possessive.
Traveling in the TARDIS, Rose often gets jealous of anyone who the Doctor pays attention to. [It’s very clear that she doesn’t want to share him with anyone, and can be very rude to people whom she feels are a threat. She immediately deems Sarah Jane a rival , resents Mickey for deciding to tag along, and is jealous of Martha. River, however, is shown to be entirely neutral to the Doctor’s companions."

I will concede that Rose is possessive, but note that she does grow up in Journey's End and The Stolen Earth. With the Doctor still around (and before what happens later in Journey's End) she isn't visibly jealous of any of the companions.

3. Her tangled up timeline is realistic.
Rose’s timeline is entirely synchronized with the Doctor’s (save for their brief encounter in The End of Time), which is rather unrealistic for a man who travels through time and space. River Song is unique in that his first encounter with her is her last. She is the first recurring character with an entirely non-linear timeline, and it surrounds her with unanswered questions. River doesn’t need anything explained to her; she knows it already. For the first time on Doctor Who, a companion knows more than the Doctor, and little by little, we learn more of her mysterious past.

I touch on this on part of my second point, but I concede the untouched remainder of your statement.

"4. She has catchphrases
Although Rose was the Doctor’s companion for two solid seasons, she doesn’t develop any recurring catchphrases that would automatically identify her. River, however, has several phrases she uses with the Doctor, namely “Spoilers,” and “Hello, Sweetie.” Having a unique signature makes her memorable in a way that Rose cannot be."

If you see the phrase "Bad Wolf" you are reminded of Rose Tyler. That is her signature, and it is written across time itself. River's catchphrases are brilliant, but nothing can compare to Bad Wolf and Rose.
Debate Round No. 2
tatamg

Pro

(Thanks! Don’t worry about taking a while, I have the same problem.)

A note on spoilers: If anyone reading my arguments for this debate has yet to finish the 6th series, then that person should stop reading now. I’ll give spoiler warnings for anything from the 7th series onwards, but using markers for earlier events is too complicated.



My points:

1. River is the Doctor’s equal.
“This was addressed in my first point, but I'll say it again: Rose is made to be relatable to the viewer. River is amazing, don't get me wrong, but she is not relatable. She is alien to the viewer, and at first sight is extremely unrelatable to us. That is her first flaw as a character.”


River is not so much unrelatable at first sight as she is mysterious. Her first episode is mainly focused on the action, rather than on her. However, River becomes more relatable as time goes on, something I’ll elaborate on when rebutting my opponent’s second point. In any case, having a very relatable character isn’t necessarily good. Jack Harkness, for example, is adored by viewers because of his futuristic attitude towards sex and his inability to die. Being a unique character is often better than being a generalized one. Rose is an average girl living an average life; unremarkable in all respects other than her status as the Doctor’s companion. River, however, is fascinatingly strange, and the mystery surrounding her is appealing to viewers.



2. Rose is possessive.
“I will concede that Rose is possessive, but note that she does grow up in Journey's End and The Stolen Earth. With the Doctor still around (and before what happens later in Journey's End) she isn't visibly jealous of any of the companions.”

On the contrary, it’s during The Stolen Earth that she is envious of the other members of the Sub-Wave Network, and in her final scene, insists that the meta-crisis Doctor isn’t enough. [1]


3. Her tangled up timeline is realistic.
“I touch on this on part of my second point, but I concede the untouched remainder of your statement.”

I have nothing more to add, and close this point.


4. She has catchphrases
“If you see the phrase "Bad Wolf" you are reminded of Rose Tyler. That is her signature, and it is written across time itself. River's catchphrases are brilliant, but nothing can compare to Bad Wolf and Rose.”

I concede that “Bad Wolf” holds deep ties to Rose Tyler, however, I’d like to note that these ties are not revealed until halfway through her tenure on the show, and that the words themselves are not telling of Rose’s personality, unlike River’s catchphrases.




My opponent’s points:

1. Rose is made to be relatable to new viewers.
“Rose is a normal person working a low wage job. She has a mom and a boyfriend. She is a completely normal person, and that is attractive to new viewers. She has no idea of the universe around her and, like the Average Joe, probably could care less. She is swept up into the doctor's world in the blink of an eye and, like anyone, would be confused. She is us. She needs explanations, and that is part of what makes her attractive to the viewer.”


In the same way that Rose is attractive to new viewers, River is attractive to experienced viewers. By the time of River’s introduction, people watching should ideally know an extensive amount about the show. This is mirrored in River’s knowledge of time and space, and the viewer can identify with her as well as her advantage over the Doctor. In addition, by season four, the Doctor Who audience is well used to the “new companion routine.” Character meets the Doctor, is surprised he’s an alien, exclaims that the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, and pinches themselves when they reopen the TARDIS doors. This becomes repetitive and somewhat dull, until River breaks the mold entirely.



2. Rose's life is less obvious.
"Right off the bat, the episode after we meet her, River dies. Her story ends, just like that, before it really begins. We know the signs of when she will die, as she brought them up, and we know when we will see her last. That kills any tension around her or the 11th doctor when action ramps up, as we know nothing fatal will happen to them until it is her time.”

“Time can be rewritten." And it has been on Doctor Who, many times. There is never a guarantee that a character will die at a particular moment. Rory was erased from history in Cold Blood and was later brought back into existence in The Big Bang. The same thing occurred the following season, only this time, the Doctor was thought to have died in The Impossible Astronaut, and was discovered to have faked it at the end of the series. [2] Not only that, but there are plenty of other plot twists and tense moments in River Song’s storyline, such as when she throws herself out of a building hoping for the TARDIS [3], or when her parentage is revealed. [4] River is anything but obvious.


Sources:
[1] http://tardis.wikia.com...(TV_story)
[2] http://tardis.wikia.com...(TV_story)
[3] http://tardis.wikia.com...(TV_story)
[4] http://tardis.wikia.com...(TV_story)


LotusNG

Con

LotusNG forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
tatamg

Pro

tatamg forfeited this round.
LotusNG

Con

LotusNG forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by tatamg 4 years ago
tatamg
Hmm, it's a shame my opponent forfeited the last two rounds. I forfeited as well to make it an evenly distributed debate, hoping they would pick up the final round. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.
Posted by tatamg 4 years ago
tatamg
Well, that was close. Sorry I took so long; I wrote half of this a couple of days ago, but I only just got the chance to finish it up...
Posted by tatamg 4 years ago
tatamg
Well yeah, same. River Song is easily my favorite character on the show, and I had to pick her, even though I know defending her is difficult.
Posted by LotusNG 4 years ago
LotusNG
Actually I chose Rose BECAUSE she was so flawed. It isn't about winning in debates like these, it's about having fun. I will have more fun defending Rose than I will winning.
Posted by tatamg 4 years ago
tatamg
Oh, thanks! I'll definitely use those. Well, I think all three are equally difficult to debate against. Even though Rose has (in my opinion, anyway) more faults in her character than Rory or Donna, she has a huge fan following, and people tend to be biased when voting.
Posted by JonMilne 4 years ago
JonMilne
For Pro's benefit, please check out http://thatguywiththeglasses.com... and http://thatguywiththeglasses.com... which carries out some really great Rose criticisms and explores a LOT of what is seriously wrong with the character.
Posted by JonMilne 4 years ago
JonMilne
I am bitterly disappointed Con did not choose Donna Noble or Rory for their case. That would have been a sure fire win.
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