(Originally posted to the Doctor Who Ratings Guide on May 3rd, 2004. Someone had just posted "Top Ten Outside-the-Box Casting Suggestions for the New Assistant", which I think was shortened for "New Review" link to "Top Ten Suggestions for the New Assistant". I thought this sounded more like actual advice, and so I wrote my top ten suggestions for whoever Rose would turn out to be...)
Although Rose Tyler has not been cast, and as yet remains just an insubstantial wisp in our imaginations, already one person has suggested no less than ten people who could play the part of companion to the new Doctor. Which is nice of him, and all, but I can't help but think it'd be far more valuable to our putative Rose to have a list of suggestions on how to better prepare herself to be the Doctor's assistant. So...
1. Invest in a pair of sensible running shoes. Wear them whenever you leave the TARDIS. It'd probably also be a good idea to take up jogging as a hobby.
2. Talk to a physical therapist about exercises that strengthen the ankle muscles.
3. Practice your delivery of the lines, "But why, Doctor?", "I don't understand, Doctor," and optionally, "I can't believe you've betrayed us to the evil aliens, Doctor!" For the latter, it is recommended that you work with Sophie Aldred to get the exact pitch of shocked indignation.
4. Get some training on resisting hypnosis.
5. Learn how to pick locks. You'll be spending a lot of time in jail cells, and it'll only be longer if you don't know how.
6. In the unlikely event that you possess a stash of Janis thorns, hide them. High explosives are perfectly all right, as he will only express mock indignation at your ownership of them, but Janis thorns are right out.
7. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to kiss him. He probably won't mind, but fans everywhere will try to kill you.
8. If it is at all feasible, purchase a pair of walkie-talkies, splitting them up between the two of you. This simple precaution will pay for itself within the first twenty minutes of your traveling with the Doctor.
9. Do not laugh at the appearance of the Daleks. Yes, we all know they look like salt-shakers. They're also very ill-tempered. In addition, despite their appearance, they can climb stairs... if the budget is high enough. Always check to see how much money the producers have spent on the TARDIS set before running up stairs to escape them. (If they've spent a sufficiently large sum, you may only hear their voices.)
10. Always remember, you are perfectly safe... unless you persist in trying to prove you're better at maths than a race of perfectly logical computer intelligences, to the point of passing up a perfectly good "get out of fiery horrible death" free card in the form of an escape shuttle just so that you can go play with the bomb attached to the steering mechanism. If you do this, you're going to die, and he's not going to come save you.