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.
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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.”