It was great to be able to attend this year’s SD WhoCon in San Diego and present this lecture on “The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years” in which I discuss how successful I think showrunner Christopher Chibnall was in making that transition.
It gave me a chance to talk about the creative work of a showrunner/screenwriter while also reconnecting to some friends we had met at this same convention some 3 years ago – and to talk about one of my favorite subjects – Doctor Who!
I think we have to look at his early work to see that he was capable of doing this right? When I think about the early episodes that he wrote obviously before he became the Executive Producer almost every episode had an important leader who was a female and that just sort of glosses over you when you’re looking at it but when you put it all together like every single time he was trying to find a way to show us a woman in charge. So he was really building up to be the guy, the showrunner, who would be able to do a full female character but if you think about this right Hungry Earth we’ve got Dr. Chaudry. That’s a really cool thing. Could have been a boy doctor. Was a girl doctor right? Writers make those choices all the time. Captain Kath in 42 right has to go through that terrible experience. She could have been a male captain of the ship right. It wouldn’t have hurt and then I just adore Kate Lethbridge Stewart. I think she’s marvelous. There’s actually another tv show in the UK called Grantchester. It’s about a vicar. Now his mother is played by the actress who played Kate. So it’s kind of fun to see her in different roles but so he did this — so Chibnalll did this in his early work and now both outside of Doctor Who, I’m really impressed with some of the stuff he’s done again involving strong female characters.
Watch this entire presentation