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!
What she had to do – what she – what Chibnall had to do is we’ve fallen into a pattern where all the companions fall in love with The Doctor and that was cool with Amy. That was like okay. Romantic storyline and I frankly love the fact that Martha had the guts to say dude you’re never gonna feel the way I feel and I’m not wasting my time. That to me was like the most grown-up thing I had seen a woman do. So very cool. That’s when I – yes. She really like then you’re like oh she’s like one of my favorite companions. So all right so we’re falling into that right? So how do you avoid that with the first female Doctor? Well pretty smart. We’re going to give you a young man who’s at least 15 years younger than the – of course, The Doctors years and years old – but the visual person so if you think about it Tosin is about 15 years younger than her and Graham is about 15 years older. So our brains aren’t going to immediately go hey are they going to fall in love. So he avoided that but he also had to think about the male characters. They can’t be stronger than her because that would ruin her ability to be the most important character. So we’ve got a very young man. Ryan should be as strong or stronger than as Jody Whitaker appears in life. So they gave him dyspraxia, right? They gave him a bit of a handicap that puts him a little bit behind right? So I had to think about that. It’s not a bad one. It’s not one that you know gets in the way too much but it keeps him from jumping in and saving the day, which you have to think about.
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