How Many Female Writers for Doctor Who? from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse [Video Clip]

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch 

How Many Female Writers for Doctor Who from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse

 

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

I do want to talk about this briefly. It should not take women writers to write interesting women characters. We shouldn’t need that. In 50 years of Doctor Who, guess how many female writers they’ve bought? How may women have written episodes of Doctor Who in 50 years? 2? A little bit higher. 5! 50 years. 50 years, they have only found 5 women  that they’ve let write this program and that’s them right there. Go back to 1966. Once in 1985. Twice in 1985. Excuse me. Once in 1989 and twice in 2007. Now Helen Raynor wrote for Torchwood, which was Russell T Davies spin off, so he appreciated her work, obviously, and hired her again. Again, a gay male hired the women to write more episodes than any other female had ever written for that franchise.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Article: New Media, Same Old Misogyny by Dr. Rosanne Welch for Garnet News

New Media, Same Old Misogyny
Sometimes you have to accomplish nothing in order to take credit for something

For another example of old-world misogyny planting its flag in the new world of online media, witness the work of Sam Parr, founder of Hustle Con, a conference that promises “the best non-technical founders (a.k.a. hustlers)” who’ll show you “how they got started and give practical advice on growing your startup.”

New Media, Same Old Misogyny by Dr. Rosanne Welch for Garnet News

Parr recently posted a piece entitled 10 Amazing Entrepreneurs Who Had Accomplished Nothing By Age 30 on his site. The list offered subscribers proof that “you don’t have to be a prodigy to succeed” because those who made his list “had accomplished next to nothing before the age of 30.”

The list managed to include the likes of Henry Ford and Sam Walton (each of whom began their multi-million dollar companies over the age of 40) but did not include a single female entrepreneur, from any era. Some subscribers, such as Abigail Mela Wick, a PR and market researcher in Berlin quickly noticed the lack of female representation, “I liked this article until I realized there weren’t any women in this list.”

Read the entire article on Garnet News 

Star Wars and It’s Impact on Modern Media Panel Discussion from The Redlands Film and Beer Festival [Video]

 Dr. Rosanne Welch was part of this featured panel discussion at the Redlands Film and Beer Festival 2015.

Featuring Daniel Petrie Jr., Dr. Rosanne Welch, Nick Lamb, and Slate Inc., Founder Lucas Cuny.

Star Wars and It's Impact on Modern Media Panel Discussion from The Redlands Film and Beer Festival [Video]

 

Video by Douglas E. Welch

Some photos from the panel discussion

Mindful(l) Media 15: I wish I could love the new CBS SuperGirl Series, but I just can’t… and more!

Mindful(l) Media is a new show and podcast from Dr. Rosanne Welch helping the audience to be more Mindfull about the Media we both create and consume as it relates to the portrayal of Gender, Diversity, and Equality.

Subscribe via iTunes today

Mindfull 015 twitter

On today’s show:

  • I wish I could love the new CBS SuperGirl Series, but I just can’t…
  • More of my interview with Valerie Woods, author of “Katrin’s Chronicles: The Canon of Jacqueléne Dyanne”
  • See the complete show notes at 3rd Pass Media

More after this…

Listen to Mindful(l) Media 15: I wish I could love the new CBS SuperGirl Series, but I just can’t… and more!

[audio:http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/10479/1937656/why_i_wish_i_could_love_supergirl_but_i_can_t.mp3]

Today’s show is brought to you by Audible.com. While I watched hours and hours of television in my childhood, I also read tons of books – and as a professor I have found that you can easily tell the readers from the non-readers by their spelling and their level of vocabulary so I always tell students to find time to read. It’s also deeply peaceful to get lost in a story. If you love audio books you can support us here at 3rdPass Media by starting your free 30-day trial with Audible today. Choose from over 100, 000 books.

They have thousands of books, including: The Secret History of Wonder Woman  Written and Narrated By Jill Lepore

Visit AudibleTrial.com/3rdpass or use the link in the show notes today.

 


Mindful(l)l Media is part of the 3rd Pass Media network. For more information, visit 3rdPass.media

If you have any questions or comments please send them to mindfull@3rdpass.media or via Twitter @mindfullmedia

 

 

Dr. Rosanne Welch Speaks on The History of Adaptation in Film at Cal State Fullerton [Photos]

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration. 

Watch the complete video of this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on the Art of Adaptation at Cal State Fullerton

Watch a slide show of all photos in this set

  

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! [Video]

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! [Video]

 

About this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor at California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona. In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University. She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.

Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on 3rdPass.media, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”

Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Web Site and Blog

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter

Dr. Rosanne Welch on YouTube

Mindful(l) Media: Is the proliferation of feminists in historical dramas good or bad for modern young women?

Mindful(l) Media is an audio podcast from Dr. Rosanne Welch helping the audience to be more Mindfull about the Media we both create and consume as it relates to the portrayal of Gender, Diversity, and Equality.

Subscribe via iTunes today | Visit the Mindful(l) Media for more articles


Downton abbey

Mindful(l) Media: Is the proliferation of feminists in historical dramas good or bad for modern young women? by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Recently, in watching television shows and films set in the past I’ve begun noticing a proliferation of female feminists who are eventually aided by male feminist characters in the quest to be treated equally and I can’t decide if I like this new trend…. or not. What with me being a feminist myself (but then, who isn’t when you define feminist as someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes as Beyonce did so famously so relatively recently)?

So as a feminist and as a writer, you’d think I’d love to see the kinds of feminists that are popping up on several new historical fiction shows I’ve found on Netflix recently — Iwomen detectives like:
Phryne Fisher and Dorothy Williams in 1929 Australia on Miss Fisher’s Mysteries

or female medical doctors like Julia Ogden and Emily Grace in 1898 Toronto on Murdoch Mysteries

or Samantha Stewart in 1940s London on Foyle’s War –

or perhaps the most famous recent historical fiction feminist on television — Sybil Crawley in 1912 England on the wildly popular Downton Abbey.

Those last 2 shows I found thanks to PBS, which was our only window into international television before the advent of Netflix so I wanted to make sure and give credit where credit is due. The other thing that sparked my mind about this idea of fake frequent feminists was an interview with Alan Rickman a film he directed and co-wrote (with Jeremy Brock and Alison Deegan) called A Little Chaos. Apparently, its set in the court of Louis XIV and involves two landscape architects involved in designing the gardens – one male (who existed in real life) landscape artist Andr Le Notre, and one female – who is entirely fictional.

In an interview with Variety Rickman said he enjoyed the historical inaccuracy of the story: But there was something unmistakable about the dialogue and the fact shed created a leading female character who couldnt possibly have existed then its a complete fantasy. But thats what the movies can do, you can take a period of history thats incredibly male dominated and you can inject into it a very modern independent woman and make a point about feminism through a prism of history. So if anyone says the storys implausible, you just say: Well, yes.

Rickman gave us one of the many reasons for the many feminist characters we are encountering these days. Another is that post-Buffy (which I discussed a couple of shows ago) women want to see empowered women, rather than victims — and the networks and studios know this. Also, writers know that characters need to be active to be interesting, not passive. They also know that stories need to focus on unique and dramatic events, not boring average everyday living. So whats the problem with that?

I fear all these feminists in the past are giving young girls the idea that it’s always been easy to demand and receive our rights in various countries around the world, when nothing could be farther from the truth.
Womens suffrage was a world-wide effort, eliciting success in fits and starts from before the American Revolution until the present day. A huge moment came when Englishwoman Mary Wollstonecraft wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Women – because the idea that men had natural rights was still a new idea and here she was insisting that women had them too? Shocking!

Sadly, though what Wollstonecraft is mostly remembered for today is being the mother of the author of Frankenstein (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley), herself a feminist. The younger Wollstonecraft defined womens rights as the right to develop our minds, and control our bodies. Short and sweet. As a movie character the younger Shelley — and her ideas on womens rights show up twice. – once, from 1986, in Gothic (adapted by Stephen Volk from a story by Lord Byron and Percy Shelley) and the other, from 1988, is Haunted Summer (adapted by Ivan Passer from the Anne Edwards novel).

While the writers rely on sex and horror to sell these films, they are more interestingly the stories of a female writer being inspired to write what will become her great masterpiece — and I love movies about how writers — especially female writers — work. Shelley wrote the novel in 1818 – about 110 years before British women won the right to vote. She had to publish Frankenstein anonymously because that style of story was not considered appropriate for a female to write back in the period (which is a bit reminiscent of an essay I recorded a few weeks ago about female authors using initials rather than feminine names on their work to attract a male reading audience – see, its been going longer than you think).

Anyway, Wollstonecraft is an example that there WERE female feminists who didnt let silly things like propriety get in the way of their desires – and that is the pattern we see in the programs Ive been noticing:

Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, Foyle’s War and Downton Abbey.

In all these programs the women feel they can flaunt the rules and norms of the societies in which they live -even when womens suffrage came at various times in the countries involved in these programs: 1902 in Australia, 1917 in Canada, 1928 in Britain (and, of course 1920 in the United States, as we all know). For a piece of new history – women in Saudi Arabia won the right to vote only recently – in 2015.

Of interest is that in all these programs — from Phryne Fisher to Julia & Emily to Sybil Crawley – they are only afforded the ability to dismiss society because they are wealthy. Some married into money like Phryne and others were born into it, like Julia, Emily and Sybil). And because she works as a driver during WWII for a male detective, even Sam earns her own cash to spend, giving her more money than a woman of her station would normally have had. So money = the freedom to pursue what Wollstonecraft-Shelley called the ability to develop our minds, and control our bodies. Also, none of these females have children when we meet them so they can dedicate their time to other pursuits – including the pursuit of the vote for other women — which is an exciting, dramatic and active pursuit for a character.

In thinking about how to create female characters more true to their historic settings I realized there was an excellent example, in fact an example I use in my story structure classes – the movie version of Sense and Sensibility adapted from the Jane Austen novel by Emma Thompson (which incidentally stars Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet of A Little Chaos).

Thompson managed to take this story about average everyday living in an era when the most dramatic things to happen to a women were marriage and childbirth and make each character more active than passive in their own lives. Yes, some of this is in the original source material, written by an author who lived in a world that gave women rare choices as to when and with whom those marriages and childbirths would occur – yet as a screenwriter Emma Thompson made those moments seem active and exciting by delving into the emotions of a woman to whom no choice is given. I’m sure Jane Austen did as much herself in the writing, but I have to confess as much as I love the movie, I have never managed to get past page 20 in the book. I’m not one of those Austen book club fan girls. But I do teach and continue to study the film to see how Thompson managed her writing magic.

And there was a movie – about the real life suffragists who went on a hunger strike while in jail for picketing the White House – they were in jail for blocking traffic since picketing is our Constitutional right — Its Iron-Jawed Angels (written by Jennifer Friedes and Raymond Singer). Some might say, in an attempt to denigrate the movie, that its only a made for television movie because stories about women are considered television fodder THOUGH it was made by HBO, whose motto is Its not television, its HBO so there is some respect reflected in that.

My next question has to be, what would these shows – Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, Foyle’s War and Downton Abbey be without their feminist characters? Well, Miss Fisher’s Mysteries would have no lead since her whole plotline concerns her solving murders with the local copper – Detective Jack Robinson — who is, of course, handsome and interested in her – for her brains as much as for her beauty.

On Murdoch Mysteries Drs. Julia Ogden and Emily Grace did have the money to go to medical school – but their gender kept them from gaining any work except working on corpses for the constabulary.

Foyle’s War dealt with Sams position as a woman driving a man well – but she had the cover if you will of having to do a mans job for the war effort – a regular English Rosie the Riveter. So while some characters fumed, others accepted her in a male occupation. What became interesting as the series went on is how having done a mans job, Sam did not want to give it up merely because the war had ended and she had married. So her struggle to maintain career and financial independence after the war is where her true feminism shows.

Finally, in Downton Abbey Sybil begins her march toward being a feminist in a trivial fashion – through fashion – by wearing a new split skirt to her fathers dismay. That barrel rolls into falling for the Irish chauffeur and defying her fathers permission by running off with the man she loves – thereby living in action the wish to control her body. Nicely done, I would say.

Back to the question of whether those powerful lessons are helpful or hurtful to the modern audience. Eventually, all these fictional women get to behave in the way they choose with no HUGE backlash from society. Thats not how it went for millions of women in the struggle for equal rights. I believe these programs allow young women to take for granted the rights that were fought over so hard for so long – I believe these programs allow them to not bother voting because it’s no big deal. When I wrote my encyclopedia of women in aviation and space I learned that several women who joined the WASPS (Womens Air Force Service Pilots) during WWII were divorced by their husbands for doing so. When have you ever read about a soldier being divorced for wanting to serve his country?

So maybe, while I enjoy the feminists of these newer programs, we have to find ways of telling more Sense and Sensibility style stories – to see those stories of passive women to understand how different it could still be – to learn who to support in the continuing effort to gain equal rights — and so that modern women can stop being afraid of calling themselves feminists – since the alternative – not having the right to develop our minds, and control our bodies — is not as pretty a picture.

Of course in writing this I realized all the programs Ive singled out are the products of other countries – not the USA which leads to the question of why U.S. television producers cant make quality historical fiction for us. but thats a question for another podcast…

 

Subscribe to Mindful(l) Media (Free)


Mindful(l)l Media is part of the 3rd Pass Media network. For more information, visit 3rdPass.media

If you have any questions or comments please send them to mindfull@3rdpass.media or via Twitter @mindfullmedia

 

 

 

It’s a Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad TV World by Dr. Rosanne Welch from Mindful(l) Media 13

Mindful(l) Media is an audio podcast from Dr. Rosanne Welch helping the audience to be more Mindfull about the Media we both create and consume as it relates to the portrayal of Gender, Diversity, and Equality.

Subscribe via iTunes today


It’s a Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad TV World by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Sad tv world

I gave an assignment this week that started me thinking because one of my students emailed me with a quandary. She had looked around at the options for one-hour dramas to write stories for and said something I hadn’t heard before…

We often hear how violent television has become — or how rude — or how disturbing the content, the steady stream of dead, mutilated bodies and the constant focus on florescently lit autopsy rooms, or worse — the fact that the murder room on Dexter had become so ubiquitous that How I Met Your Mother made a joke reference to it — the lead character, architect Ted Mosby, was asked to design just such a murder room and he naturally declined.

But this student said it wasn’t the violence, or the rudeness, or the murder room. She understood those dark stories were in vogue now. It was the overall, overwhelming feeling of sadness that overcame her while watching such moments over and over on television that bothered her. She really put her finger on something I had been feeling for a long long time. What used to be my favorite childhood place to hide from the world, my refuge, the place that would show me all the possibilities for a future that my small suburb couldn’t show me, isn’t providing the same thing for children today.In fact these kinds of visuals might be providing the opposite. 

I mean, when reading Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved World, she told a story about how as a poor kid she had no lawyers in her immigrant family but by seeing Perry Mason on television, she learned about the profession she eventually inhabited so well that she was nominated to the Supreme Court. THAT is power.  Granted, all these forensic shows seem to have female doctors as the head medical examiners (like C.C.H. Pounder on NCIS: New Orleans) and that may be leading girls into STEM careers — but why aren’t there more Grey’s Anatomy’s out there, watching female doctors help the living rather and discuss the dark causes of the dead?

So why do we now wallow in worlds none of us really want to see in our future – or want our children to enter in their futures?  Sure, there are still lawyers and police officers on television – good ones and bad ones, as there always were.  And, sure, the bad ones can be more complex and therefore more interesting to write, but both the good ones and the bad ones show us more and more ruthless, ugly crimes and I have to say I’m growing tired of it. 

This is a tough comment for a female writer to make as it immediately leads to the idea that we are too soft to be considered for writing gigs on the tougher – Emmy-nominate-able shows.  But I say it isn’t that we are too prissy or too prudish – it’s that some of us, not all of us, are too optimistic, too joyful, to face those ugly stories all the time.  I mean, face it, we’re trying to work in a still male-dominated business which means we have optimism – and we are so excited by every teeny-tiny step forward, which means we’re overflowing with joy. 

I think the mistake is that we have connected the adjective ‘serious’ with ‘violent’ or ‘ugly’ when there are other ways to be serious in our writing.  I’m reminded of this by an article that’s going around the web this week about how after 30 years The Golden Girls is still the most progressive show in television.  

Subscribe to Mindful(l) Media (Free)


Mindful(l)l Media is part of the 3rd Pass Media network. For more information, visit 3rdPass.media

If you have any questions or comments please send them to mindfull@3rdpass.media or via Twitter @mindfullmedia

 

Mindful(l) Media 14: What IS Unconscious Bias and How Can Writers Counteract it? and an Interview with Valerie Woods Part 5

Mindful(l) Media is a new show and podcast from Dr. Rosanne Welch helping the audience to be more Mindfull about the Media we both create and consume as it relates to the portrayal of Gender, Diversity, and Equality.

Subscribe via iTunes today

Mindful(l) Media 14: What IS Unconscious Bias and How Can Writers Counteract it? and an Interview with Valerie Woods Part 5

On today’s show:

More after this…

Listen to Mindful(l) Media 14: What IS Unconscious Bias and How Can Writers Counteract it? and an Interview with Valerie Woods Part 5

[audio:http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/10479/1806401/how_writers_can_combat_unconscious_bias.mp3]

Today’s show is brought to you by Audible.com. While I watched hours and hours of television in my childhood, I also read tons of books – and as a professor I have found that you can easily tell the readers from the non-readers by their spelling and their level of vocabulary so I always tell students to find time to read. It’s also deeply peaceful to get lost in a story. If you love audio books you can support us here at 3rdPass Media by starting your free 30-day trial with Audible today. Choose from over 100, 000 books.

They have thousands of books, including: The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings 

Visit AudibleTrial.com/3rdpass or use the link in the show notes today.


Mindful(l)l Media is part of the 3rd Pass Media network. For more information, visit 3rdPass.media

If you have any questions or comments please send them to mindfull@3rdpass.media or via Twitter @mindfullmedia

 

 

Great Review for Season 9 of DOCTOR WHO!

You all know my affinity for the good Doctor so I was happy to see today’s review of season 9 by Los Angeles Times reviewer Robert Lloyd (because if we don’t start including the names of writers of things we like, how can we expect anyone to include our names?) found the new season to be back on track for fun and frolic! (also I think much can be learned about writing from reading reviews of other people’s writing and trying not to make the same mistakes they make!).  Watch the film or movie, then read the review and see whether you agree or not.  Wildly educational exercise for writers!

DWphoto-capaldi