21 Strong Female Companions In The Past from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (0:51)

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

21 Strong Female Companions In The Past 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!


She really wants people, of course not, to be upset or worried about it. Which is important. Now, as far as I’m concerned when you think about gender, females have always been strong characters on Doctor Who. Going back to the early days and all these women have had really important jobs. From the very beginning, Susan, who was the first companion, his granddaughter, left because she wanted to rebuild the planet that she had seen destroyed. So she wanted to put her efforts into helping other people and using her talents for that. Right? She could have continued adventuring and having a party with her grandpa and all that meeting The Mayans, The Aztecs and what have you, but she wanted to do something more important and that’s a strength, right? I think that’s a woman who has active strength being shown. Then, as I mentioned, Agent Sara Kingdom. She switched sides. So she chose the good. So she’s a little bit like Darth Vader flipping at the end finally.

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter and Instagram


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.