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.
Now, the complaint about some of the early female characters is that they were hired — the artreses would say — hired for their ability to (Screams) scream. (Laughter) Because their job was going to stand there and go (Screams) “It’s a big scary monsters!” Right? That’s not very empowering. Not a very empowering stance to take. However, while they were busy screaming, they were also often challenging The Doctor as to what her was going and how he should behave when he crosses into new cultures. Which, of course, is something we chat about in lots of history courses and in the IGE stuff that I do, it’s all about cultures coming together. And that’s what The Doctor is doing. So usan is a really interesting character. I liked her. I was interested by her. I like what she did. She left the show to go rebuild Earth. She traveled to the Earth many times. Seen it nearly destroyed. In this last episode she was in, Dalek Invasion, she saw, of course, the Grand Daleks ruin the world and so she chose — which is a staple of feminism — choosing the thing you will do with your life. She chooses to leave her grandfather behind — go travel without me — I’ve been there, done that — I don’t need to see any more dinosaurs. I want to stay here on this place that has been ruined and I want to use my female power to heal. That’s what I want to do with the rest of my time. And I think that makes her a really very powerful character, despite the fact that in many early episodes she scream a lot.
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.
- Doctor Who and Culture
- Doctor Who Regenerated
- “How the Growing Popularity of the English Who-niverse Effected American TV” with Dr. Rosanne Welch