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Once a Slitheen looked into the heart of TARDIS, she became an egg (I am unable to find the episode name).

But, when Rose looked into the heart of TARDIS, she possessed the entire Time Vortex and literally became a god (2005 season 1 finale).

What's the catch? Why is the rule different? Why didn't Rose turn into a baby girl?

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4  
As of now there are three answers - all of them go in the same direction and I'd consider all of them to be "right". That being said, it should be mentioned that Dr. Who has very little rules except for the rule of cool. It just wouldn't be cool to deliver a remorseful being to her slow and painful death. It's harsh at best. So she becomes an egg. And a god-like Rose with lightning shooting out of her hands - how cool is that?! Just as a (somewhat obvious) out-of-universe explanation... –  Einer Jul 21 at 17:04

4 Answers 4

up vote 18 down vote accepted

In "Boom Town", the episode where the Slitheen (Margaret) turned into an egg, it wasn't because becoming younger was a generic result of looking into the heart of the TARDIS, but rather because the TARDIS is telepathic, and it seems to have read her secret desire to start her life again with a clean slate. Consider the following bits of dialogue from the transcript of "Boom Town" here:

MARGARET: I promise you I've changed since we last met, Doctor. There was this girl, just today. A young thing, something of a danger. She was getting too close. I felt the blood lust rising, just as the family taught me, I was going to kill her without a thought. And then I stopped. She's alive somewhere right now. She's walking around this city because I can change. I did change. I know I can't prove it

DOCTOR: I believe you.

MARGARET: Then you know I'm capable of better.

...

MARGARET: In the family Slitheen, we had no choice. I was made to carry out my first kill at thirteen. If I'd refused, my father would have fed me to the Venom Grubs. If I'm a killer, it's because I was born to kill. It's all I know.

...

DOCTOR: No, I don't think she's dead.

ROSE: Then where'd she go?

DOCTOR: She looked into the heart of the Tardis. Even I don't know how strong that is. And the ship's telepathic, like I told you, Rose. Gets inside your head. Translates alien languages. Maybe the raw energy can translate all sorts of thoughts.

(The Doctor finds a large egg with dreadlocks on the top inside the bodysuit.)

DOCTOR: Here she is.

ROSE: She's an egg?

DOCTOR: Regressed to her childhood.

JACK: She's an egg?

DOCTOR: She can start again. Live her life from scratch. If we take her home, give her to a different family, tell them to bring her up properly, she might be all right!

So presumably when Rose looked into the heart of the TARDIS, it telepathically read her desire to find some way to save the Doctor, and gave her the time vortex energy she would need to be able to do that.

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Because the TARDIS is telepathic

The Heart of the TARDIS is not just a core of energy, it is:

The Heart of the TARDIS (also known as space-time element) was a core element of TARDIS technology. It was the basic life and mind, (PROSE: Falls the Shadow) the "soul" of the ship.

In the transcript for Boom Town, The Doctor notes that TARDIS used its temporal energy to give the Slitheen a second chance because it sensed what to do when the it stared into the heart:

ROSE: What happened to Margaret?

JACK: Must've got burnt up. Carried out her own death sentence.

DOCTOR: No, I don't think she's dead.

ROSE: Then where'd she go?

DOCTOR: She looked into the heart of the Tardis. Even I don't know how strong that is. And the ship's telepathic, like I told you, Rose. Gets inside your head. Translates alien languages. Maybe the raw energy can translate all sorts of thoughts. (The Doctor finds a large egg with dreadlocks on the top inside the bodysuit.)

DOCTOR: Here she is.

ROSE: She's an egg?

DOCTOR: Regressed to her childhood.

JACK: She's an egg?

DOCTOR: She can start again. Live her life from scratch. If we take her home, give her to a different family, tell them to bring her up properly, she might be all right!

JACK: Or she might be worse.

DOCTOR: That's her choice.

ROSE: She's an egg.

DOCTOR: She's an egg.

In Parting of Ways:

DOCTOR: What've you done?

ROSE: I looked into the Tardis, and the Tardis looked into me.

DOCTOR: You looked into the Time Vortex. Rose, no one's meant to see that.

So the TARDIS is responding to the viewer's needs and desires, and probably the TARDIS's own desires.

Out-of-universe, the TARDIS is itself a bit of Swiss Army Superpower for the Doctor, with the core ability being "manipulate time and/or space".

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Well, I don't have a cannon answer, but the way I understand it, the TARDIS is more than just a ship, it's been shown that it is sentient (maybe could even be considered to be alive?). So probably in the case of Rose, the TARDIS chose to give those abilities to Rose so she could help the Doctor.

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Yet, Rose needed a truck to open the heart of TARDIS? –  Sachin Shekhar Jul 21 at 16:00
    
I don't remember if the truck thing actually worked. But I would essentially agree with @Deleteman's answer. The TARDIS is sentient, and I think it gives people what they need. The Slitheen, wanted to try her life again, she was making the argument that she had no choice but a life a crime because of the family she was born into, and so the TARDIS made her a baby. –  user49105 Jul 21 at 16:13
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@Sachin Shekhar -- I think the TARDIS only reads people's thoughts and translates them into reality when it's already been been opened up and people are looking into its heart, otherwise the mental connection isn't as strong and just allows for things like translation of languages. –  Hypnosifl Jul 21 at 16:16
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@Hypnosifl Not necessarily, but it's probably limited to operating within its design parameters when it hasn't been opened. Several episodes show the TARDIS doing odd things that are things you wouldn't quite expect but yet are still the types of things that it is designed to do on the basis that that's what either the Doctor or his companions need at the time. This can include giving them hints as to problems they need to fix by (for example) showing things on the scanner that aren't real, all the way up to travelling to entirely unexpected destinations ("I think this is not Hyde Park."). –  Jules Jul 21 at 18:51

The doctor says the TARDIS translates differently as it is telepathic. It chose not to translate rose but to save the doctor.

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Are you trolling? –  Sachin Shekhar Dec 11 at 13:13

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