18 Moffat, Vertue and a Lady Doctor from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (1:08)

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

18 Moffat, Vertue and a Lady Doctor 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!


Going back to the 80’s, Sydney Newman, who was still in the BBC also said at some point in the history of this show The Doctor should become a woman. So this idea has been around for a while. I don’t think of the 80’s as that far back — but you all weren’t born — so it’s a long time ago to you and these ideas were there but among artists not quite in the major society. This is why art is so important. That’s how we influence society. So Sydney Newman thought that. We don’t get the stepping stones of a lady Doctor until we get Steven Moffat as I have said and his wife Sue Vertue. So a woman helped influence the time for this to happen and as you can see here this is not the cast of Doctor Who. So who is this?

Audience: Sherlock!

The cast of Sherlock, which Steven put together with Mark Gatiss and Sue produces. So his wife is his producing partner. he comes from a marriage where they are equally important in their job if in fact, she is not more important because she produces his work. She sells what he writes. So in a way, obviously, she has the power.

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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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