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!
I love this quote because this is pretty much my summation of what we learned from Doctor Who is that men and women should be free to be both sensitive and strong. That’s what makes us human. To deny those things or to try to claim those things only belong to one sex. It’s a waste of everybody’s time because that’s not the kind of human being you want to have in your life is it? You want someone who blends it all so yay for back to Hermione it’s all about Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Again, we come back to Jodie Whittaker. This was the quote I mentioned before and this has been chosen as the costume for this character and there’s already some controversy about that because people don’t think it’s quite right. Well that’s what the people have come up with so we’re gonna have to see how they create this character and how this is carried off. My only complaint is where little girl’s gonna find teal culottes for Halloween next year. You know the colors are fun but yeah it’s not I mean hello I could find a tweed jacket anywhere and instantly you’re Matt Smith right? So a little more difficult I think but in the long run I think we’ll be fine. But this was a posted the other day and people had some issues with it. People had issues with everything. Everyone wants to critique the writers but look what a good job they did paving the way for this new character and I think that that proves writers are sensitive and strong and cool. So basically that’s what I have to say about gender diversity. It’s always been there in Doctor Who if we’re able to interpret it and when we’re watching it when we’re seeing it and have those conversations. Art opens conversations for people to think about their world and how they like it and what they want to change about it and I think a show obviously that’s been this influential and lasted this long has had so much more power than even we can imagine. Thank you for coming. If anybody questions? chatting?
Rosanne Welch, PhD
Rosanne Welch PhD 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.