Video: Russell T Davies and Feminism from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Video: Russell T Davies and Feminism from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

Now the other thing that we talk about, and we are going to show a few more examples, Davies is very big on feminism. Again, whether that was because as a gay man he didn’t feel that he was included. He certainly knew from his female friends that they didn’t feel that their strengths were being portrayed on television. When he invented Torchwood, he invented Gwen for us and I mentioned this before, Gwen and her husbands, Rhys, Rhys is the guy who stays home and waits for his cop wife to come back from work and worries about whether she’ll end up dead. That is supposed to go the other way around, right? The girl stays home and wonders about her cop husband. That’s not what’s going to happen in Torchwood and it makes Gwen a very powerful character, but this again wasn’t a one time deal for Russell. All through the course of Doctor Who he gave us female starship captains. Much better ones than Star Trek gave us. Star Trek gave us Captain Janeway with her flopping hair. Every time she had something to do she took that ponytail off and did a little flippy thing. That’s not what a — Captain Kirk never flipped his hair. So, even though they made her a female captain, she had these ridiculous attributes. Here, the women we are going to meet Kathleen McConnell is fro “43” the episode “42” and my my particular favorite Adelaide Brooks who is the captain in “Waters of Mars”. Very, very important women. Very powerful women. women in charge of making decisions and saving people’s lives and sacrificing their own sometime in order to do that. These are captains the way we expected to see captains as men and Russell wrote them as female  characters. I think that is so feminism is a huge theme that wanders through Russell Davies work and again, I think that draws a newer, younger audience to him, because we are ready for that. We’re ready to understand that with women in the military all around the world, we don’t need to see, “Oh I’m so worried — please save me!”

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Interracial relationships on Doctor Who from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Video: Interracial relationship on Doctor Who from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

The other thing that Russell T Davies is known for that has bled into American television better and makes everybody happy is colorblind casting. This business, again of inclusion. In America as I said, sadly, when you have a black and a shote person together in a relationship, the problem in their life is that one of them us white and one of them is black, but, after a while, that’s not your problem anymore or the relationship wouldn’t work. So, in his case, he gave us Mickey and Rose in the very first episode and through that first couple of seasons, we’re going to watch their relationship. Sadly, she eventually falls out of love with Mickey and in love with The Doctor. All right, well, it’s David Tennant. Who wouldn’t fall in love with him. What can I tell you? But, he gives us not one time. It’s recurring thing in Davies’ work. We get to the Next Doctor episode and we see Jackson Lake and his “partner” who, once the episode is over we understand they’re falling in love and are probably going to get marred even though they live in Victorian England and that is going to be taken in a particular way. Although, Belle, that new movie coming out now, is dealing with a multi-racial, a bi-racial woman, in this era. And its based on a true story. So I am very excited to see how that’s going to work out. But he also did this in little moments in episodes. Again, I’m back to Blink, which was written by Steven Moffat, but under the executive producer-ship of Russell T Davies, who made sure that Detective Inspector Billy Shipton, who gets to say the really great line, “Life is short and you are hot!” He’s hot! But they put him together with Cary Mulligan. That’s who he gets to be in love with and she in love with him in a tortuously sad romance that happens way to fast. It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous episode and that is a beautiful moment for that actor. His name is Michael Obiora. He’s an English actor. Again, the English are doing things better than us. It is part of the BBC’s policy, but writers have to remember to do it and in America it is really Grey’s Anatomy where you have to go to to see that happen. So, I think that’s a pretty important thing. Now at the end of Blink, she doesn’t end up with Billy Shipton. She ends up with this dude. Larry. He’s a perfectly nice dude. All right. Whatever. But Billy Shipton was much hotter.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Russell T Davies Anti-War Themes from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Video: Russell T Davies Anti-War Themes from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

I think the deepest theme you find in Russell T Davies work is his anti-war theme. I think that if you look at the first episodes, especially with Eccleston, and as they are later repeated with David Tennant, and we are going to see a little clip from each of those, you find an amazingly deep anti-war strain, because of what war does to human beings — what it turns them into. And that is something that an artist, a writer, dislikes. Because an artist wants to see someone succeed through their creativity and through bringing something important and positive into the world. One of the things I said last time was that I do believe the reason I do believe Who succeeds now at such a level is because its a positive view of our future. As much as y’all like to see zombies eating people and getting shot in barns and all that sort of thing, those are very depressing looks at our potential future. In Doctor Who, the Doctor generally wins and his goal is generally to save humanity. I like that. I would rather live in a future where I get saved than where I turn into a zombie.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Moffat’s Fear of Everyday Things from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Moffat's Fear of Everyday Things from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

What’s interesting to me is Steven we most know from Blink, which is an episode he created won his first BAFTA for and it’s quite the scary thing. What Steven likes to do, if you think about recurring themes, is Steven likes to find the fearful things in everyday life. He doesn’t want to invent cheesy fish monsters. He’s not worried about Godzilla — who I hope isn’t so bad in this current creation, but we can’t be sure. We can’t say anything until we see it. He wants to invent fear in everyday life. So, this was a perfect example of it, because, of course, what’s the rule of Blink? Don’t Blink. Blink and you die! Oh my god, how do you not blink. so, that’s right away makes you crazy. That tension and that really makes you scared of something so normal. It’s fascinating. So, Steven is quite and interesting writer when it comes to that.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Q&A on Television with Dr. Rosanne Welch from PolyTrends Magazine – Summer 2014 Issue

Q&A with Dr. Rosanne Welch from PolyTrends Magazine - Summer 2014

Download the PDF version of PolyTrends Summer 1014


Campus Perspective Q&A with Dr. Rosanne Welch By Esther Chou Tanaka

Rosanne Welch is a professor, television writer and producer, and a longtime fan of “Doctor Who.” She’s given numerous presentations and written articles about the show. Welch sat down with PolyTrends to talk about TV, storytelling and the importance of diversity in the entertainment industry.

Why is “Doctor Who” a good show to discuss race and culture?

It’s an excellent example to talk about race because the Doctor travels through time and space. He meets an assortment of people, sometimes on other planets but largely on Earth. Science fiction works best when it highlights to human beings what they’re doing wrong in their humanity. That’s what “Doctor Who” does very well.

For example, there was an episode in which we discover an alien race that once owned Earth, and they all cryogenically froze themselves. When they come back to life, they realize that humans have taken over. Now there’s this clash of how these two creatures can inhabit the same place. Of course they’re talking about the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. But you can do it with fish creatures and humans.

Why is it important to show diversity on television?

People who watch TV are living in the real world. The nicest thing I read about TV once was from a kid who was from a racist family in the South. He said that TV was the only time he saw African Americans as human beings. He never would have heard that message if he hadn’t seen African Americans on television shows. The same thing can be said about the show “Will and Grace.” Gay rights has moved forward in our country largely because of that program. TV lets people into your home that perhaps your own culture would not have let enter. And that’s a huge responsibility.

When books or real-life stories are made into movies, the minority characters are often replaced with white actors. Why?

The problem is that films are made on large budgets, and they expect to make a lot of money. So the first thing they want is Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford or someone who is guaranteed to bring in an audience. Because fewer films have been made with minority leads, they don’t have a track record of proving they can do that. To make the movie more profitable, they tend to whitewash the lead characters.

What can viewers do to change this?

We have to support the shows that give us a diverse cast. That’s why the success of “Grey’s Anatomy” is so important. Shonda Rhimes, the writer/producer, does blind casting. That literally means that when you write a character, you never say what their ethnicity
is. You ask casting directors to send any good actor to the audition. When you look at that show, you have African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans. They’re all blended together in one place, which is what a real hospital would look like.

It sounds like you have high standards for television. Does television have a responsibility to teach?

TV doesn’t have to teach per se any specific thing. But a good, well-written story, like a good episode of “Doctor Who,” will teach empathy, will teach communications skills, and will teach how people should relate to one another.

My husband and I sit with my son and talk about “Doctor Who,” and we’ve done that since he was 8. He’s met Dickens and Shakespeare through the show. When his high school performed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” he already had an understanding of Shakespeare. When we visited England, we went to Stonehenge. My son had a deeper connection to it because of the show. I think you should use television and films as a steppingstone to get into stories they claim to represent. See the movie, then read the book.

Video: How to study television writers from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

How to study television writers from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

 

Transcript:

To begin with Russell T Davies, right? When people talk about television I get them to try and look at what were your favorite episodes of a program. Now, go to IMDB and find out who wrote those episodes and now look at the rest of their career. What else have they written that you might enjoy, because clearly they speak to you. Their voice speaks to you. So, the idea of this particular talk is to look at two major writer, one who I just said is Russell T Davies and the other, who you all know, is Steven Moffat. We’re going to talk about a couple of themes that recur in their work and I think make the show more interesting in this “reboot”, that came to us in 2005. Both of them have different strengths, which I find interesting as a person who studies television writing and there are reasons why we like and dislike certain things that they do. So, I think that is the fun thing about what’s going on.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Audio: Dog Days of Podcasting 2014 – Dr. Rosanne Welch on Television and Movie Writing – Day 2/30

Careers in New Media LogoDr. Rosanne Welch

A short interview with Dr. Rosanne Welch (my wife) on the most common mistakes made by beginning screenwriters. (20 min)

Listen to this podcast

Previously in the Dog Days of Podcasting 2014:

What is the Dog Days of Podcasting?

“Essentially, it is a challenge to do a podcast for 30 days in a row.

In 2012 Kreg Steppe was looking to give himself a little push in regards to recording his own personal podcast since he wasn’t recording it very often. That turned into a challenge for himself to record a show everyday for 30 days believing that after 30 days it would turn into a habit. Once it was mentioned to Chuck Tomasi he took the challenge too and they decided it would be a great idea to record starting 30 days before Dragon*Con, culminating with the last episode where they would record it together when they saw each other there.”

Video: The Best Book on Writing for Doctor Who from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

The Best Book on Writing for Doctor Who from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

One of the things I focus on right up front is this book, which I have a copy of over there. I highly recommend it if you’re a real fan and you’re interested in the writing of television, because, what it is is a journalist, Benjamin Cook, asked Russel T Davies “Could I email you across the course of the season as your gaining ideas for the show? Could I just ask you what you’re thinking about say at Noon on a Friday night?” And Russell T Davies said, “Sure. That will be fine.” And so he talk about the genesis of his ideas. Starting from the idea of “I want to do an episode where water is dangerous” and suddenly we have Waters of Mars. Right? How do you do that? What is that writer’s process? So that’s what this book is all about. They published, literally, their emails to each another as they discussed and debated each episode of the last season. And so I think it is quite a marvelous book to talk about the art of writing. 

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Why the 50th Anniversary Episode Works from Doctor Who and Culture with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Additional Q&A clips from the presentation “Doctor Who and Culture: with Dr. Rosanne Welch

View the entire presentation

Why the 50th Anniversary Episode Works from Doctor Who and Culture with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

I actually think Steven did an interesting thing because one of the things that makes Doctor Who so popular is its positivity. It has a positive view of the future. I mean, I’m not a fan of the whole dystopian — yeah, yeah, the Walk Dead are fine and all that, but I don’t really think the world is going to be so awful and Hunger Games is a really cool book, but I really don’t think we’re all going to be shooting each other on the streets with crossbows in, like, 40 years. And I think most people (inaudible) so, I think while those are popular, I don’t think they have the same lasting loving — I mean, The Doctor is so positive and I think what Steven considered — and so hopeful — I think he realized that by having all the Time Lords be dead and it was this terrible Time War and this genocidal thing, it put a pall over the universe that really didn’t suit Doctor Who. So, this was his chance, if any, to reboot that pall and now we have a positive movement and, you know, if you think about it, one of the greatest themes of all literature is, “Where does Dorothy want to go? Home!” and now Peter Capaldi will — and we want to reinvent the Gallifreyians. We want to see that world, because it was such a cool world. When I watched Tom Baker back — it was wonderful when he went to Gallifrey and your saw all these — and met other Time Lords. In a way, it became claustrophobic to have lost that connection. So, I mean, I think that’s why he did that and I know there is controversy over it — Oh my god, some people love that episode and some people don’t like it. From a writing standpoint, you teach in writing that all drama is based on a decision. Somebody has to make a choice and that episode is only about a decision. Three guys talking about making a decision and then it’s made and none of us expect the one to be made to be the one that got made. Which is the nice twist that he put in there, which we didn’t assume anyone had the right — but, hello, he’s in charge the universe, so he does have the right.

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education discusses Doctor Who and how the show has changed television writing. Doctor Welch will further discuss how society looks at culture and gender roles with the use of the Doctor and his companions’ adventures.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Will we ever see a female Doctor? from Doctor Who and Culture with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Additional Q&A clips from the presentation “Doctor Who and Culture: with Dr. Rosanne Welch

View the entire presentation

Video: Will we ever see a female Doctor? from Doctor Who and Culture with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

I think the reason we won’t is that any trend, any cult, has its peak and it will eventually fade. At some point, maybe 20 years from now, their won’t be a Doctor Who on television and I, I believe for 2 reasons. I believe the network is afraid that’s the thing that would pull audiences away. I believe the writers are afraid if they took that shot and it happened to accidentally coincide with the time when the show starte to fade, everyone would blame the girl. So, it’s almost too difficult. Now I remember learning — I used to teach high school American Lit years ago and I couldn’t figure out why all the novels we would give girls to read were boy protagonists. So I asked like the lady in charge — it was an all girls school, too, a Catholic school — it’s all girls. They were reading all boy coming-of-age stories. So, I asked the woman who ran — a nun actually — who ran the literature department and she said studies had proven that boy’s will not read or care about stories about young girls, but girls — because they are interested in obtaining boys — will read about boys and what they want and what they need and how they grow. So schools had just adapted to that by choosing these novels. (inaudible) Exactly! And so the institutions actually feed into that instead of trying to break it. And it really, really bugs me, so in many ways, I think they’re supposition at the network is that men who love Doctor Who would not watch if she– if he became a she and I think that’s not true, because I would say for y’alls generation — cause my kid’s sixteen — men are much more feminist these days. Thank goodness. We like that in you. All right. Believe me, chicks like that in a boy. But I don’t think — cause the network is run by — and I don’t mean to pick on guys — cause men are lovely, but its run by men in their late 50’s, early 60’s and they’re still thinking like people thought 40 years ago. So, I just don’t think they’re ready to take a chance and I think the smarter, younger guys, don’t want that to be the thing that is blamed because that will continually convince the network that nobody will watch a girl. It’s a big problem.

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education discusses Doctor Who and how the show has changed television writing. Doctor Welch will further discuss how society looks at culture and gender roles with the use of the Doctor and his companions’ adventures.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”