I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today.
I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.
When I talk about Buffy The Vampire Slayer we get to the Tara/Willow relationship and that’s the first lesbian relationship on television and then – spoiler alert – Tara is killed and that is the beginning of the “Bury Your Gays” trope which went on for a few years, but then Emily Andras who does “Wynonna Earp” – if you haven’t seen that. it’s quite good, on SciFi and now it’s on Netflix – when she created her series she gave Wynonna a little sister named Waverly and she’s a lesbian who has a relationship with the local town sheriff and, the producer, Emily, promised to in the run of this show will either of those 2 women die. I will break this trope and, sure enough, you get to the end of the fourth season – the series finale – and it’s the ladies’ wedding. She’s gone all the way to that point. So, some people told her that’s a bad idea because we want the worry about our characters but because she promised they wouldn’t die she also got to be more innovative because she put them in some of the worst possible situations where you could never get out of and, as an audience member, you were like, ok, they can’t die. How – so you were equally involved. It wasn’t like well I know they can’t die. I don’t care. it was like, how are they going to get out of this? So the interactivity stayed. So, I would say that that is not – I don’t think that is “fridging.”
Watch this entire presentation