Watch this entire presentation: Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse: Paving the Way for a Lady Doctor with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (36:58)
For her 5th Doctor Who lecture to the CPP community, Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses how society – and the show’s writing staff – prepared the audience for a major change in this 50-year franchise – the creation of the first Lady Doctor!
Whether you know new Who or old Who we’re going to talk about a kind of a combination of both of them and looking particularly at how gender has been portrayed and what I think works on the show and why the show has lasted so long. we all know it started in 1963 and so it survived because, if you don’t know Doctor Who, I imagine you do, but if you don’t writers invented the act of regeneration which was a brilliant idea because in the first few years their lead actor got sick and the whole show was going to have to be cancelled and the writers didn’t want to lose their jobs so they smartly sat around the room and said “How can we save this?” and suddenly somebody — and they don’t remember who it was now — said, “Hey, our lead character’s an alien. How about when he dies he doesn’t really die. He just regenerates into another body and then we can hire another actor and we can all keep our jobs?” and the network was agreeable to that and they did it and of course, as we know, they’ve done it and done it and done it over the years.
Dr. Rosanne Welch
Dr. Rosanne Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.
Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.
Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.