17 Toxic Masculinity, Patriarchy and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (1:20)

Watch this entire presentation: Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse: Paving the Way for a Lady Doctor with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (36:58)

17 Toxic Masculinity, Patriarchy and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse

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!


You may never have seen a Tom Baker Doctor Who. You should check it out, but you have in fact seen Tom Baker as Doctor Who if you saw the 50th Anniversary special. That was his special guest starring moment. Right? And I think it’s quite adorable. It was quite fun. He was, as I said, replaced by Peter Davison who happens to be my favorite Doctor. Although there was some controversy with the announcement of the new lady Doctor. He actually said he was sorry that they had chosen to make her a female because boys would lose a role model that they needed. And there was a whole lot of … Oh, you’re old-fashioned. You’re all bad. We don’t like you. You have to listen to what he’s saying. He’s saying that what’s special about Doctor Who is he shows a different side of gender. He counters the toxic masculinity in our society. The kind of stuff that’s been discussed in the news right now over the Weinstein thing and Loius CK. The toxic masculinity. The Doctor has always been a man driven by his intellect, his brain. He’s not using violence to solve problems and so what Peter Davison was saying was he regretted little boys not having this kind of man to look up to. An argument on the other side could be why can’t little boys look up to women who are in power positions. So you could go and look at it that way. I think it goes either way.

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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.

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