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!
In the old era, but also largely in the new era, all the men have been given the chance to be depicted as sensitive human beings, which gives them a 3-dimensional complete humanity. Which I think is very important. Now in the very early days, as I said, Lethbridge-Stewart is the father of Kate, so that is how we invented her character in the future. So he started out in the early days with Jon, came through guest starred as an older actor of course on The Sarah Jane Adventures and he came into modern Who in one episode where everybody was turned into a Cyberman who had died. All the people buried in cemeteries had their bodies converted into Cybermen and yet he’s in a cemetery when his daughter gets kicked out of an airplane and she’s going to die except he catches her and saves her life which is a super-cool thing and because he loves his daughter. He’s a super-Dad which is a super-sensitive cool thing to be and so that’s why when the actor actually died they had The Doctor honor him with that portrait which I thought was pretty cool. So even back in the day, we had a relatively sensitive man.
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.