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!
Now this homage business reminds me when I teach film history, we do this in movies all the time. Forget just remaking a movie. All you do is you take a storyline and you flip the genders and you have a new movie, right? So if you know “It Happened One Night”, it’s one of the first movie ever to win all five of the major Oscars. A very big deal. Robert Riskin wrote it. It’s the story of a –– Clark Gable is a reporter who’s following an heiress who’s run away on the eve of her wedding and of course, they fall in love on their little journey and by the time they get home they’re going to get married. If you move to the 70s and “The Electric Horseman”, Robert Redford is a rodeo star who’s become a celebrity. Jane Fonda is the reporter. He’s run away with a major expensive horse because they’re gonna like put the horse down and do something and then she follows him to get a story but they fall in love. So it’s exactly the same story. Just flip the genders right? So movies are always –– I mean writers always do this. We’re homaging something we loved by givingit a little flip. So I think that “Father’s Day” and “Demons the Punjab” fall into that.
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