Doctor Who Changes American TV from “Doctor Who and Culture”

A short clip from the presentation “Doctor Who and Culture: with Dr. Rosanne Welch

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We were mentioning Merlin before, because this particular actor, Colin Morgan, very interesting. So what else — how else has Doctor Who changed television? Well. No just has Doctor Who come over here, but now Merlin which was created by the Brits actually aired on NBC here for a while. Seems the NBC couldn’t get a good program to save their soul. So, they whipped a little BBC on us and some people didn’t even know that. They thought is was made here. They had no idea where it came from. So, this was an example of one program that was made in England but aired on primetime American broadcast. We never do that. So, we’re opening the window a little to to let us see some cross-cultural things. My joke was, partially it’s because Colin had first appeared in an episode of Doctor Who. So the Doctor Who audience knew who this actor was. This was his first big job. I think he’s like 19. It was like his first big acting job — a whole episode of Doctor Who obviously with David Tennant. So that made the audience more familiar with him to the point where when they were debating who the next Doctor will be after Matt Smith, Colin was one of the top choices. Along with Benedict — who is written by Steven Moffat, who writes Sherlock — the new Sherlock for us, so this is how cultural they’re getting, right? All the way down the line. Notice they had Rupert Grint up there. Some folks thought that Ron might make an interesting Doctor.  He was up on the choice, right? But we go all the way down here before we get the possibility of a Doctor of color — and there’s no women on there, but that’s why Colin was know in this universe. I thought that was very interesting. The other thing that happened recently is this show, The White Queen, is something that was going to broadcast in both places very popularly. Quite a fun show. So slowly, because of Doctor Who’s popularity, American broadcasters starting letting in these other programs. 

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.”

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