Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch (Complete), San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

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.

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Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch (Complete), San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

On The Writers of Doctor Who: Maxine Alderton and The Haunting of the Villa Diodati

On The Writers of Doctor Who: Maxine Alderton and The Haunting of the Villa Diodati

While preparation for some lectures I was giving at the San Diego Who Con (a small and friendly, all vaxxed and masked politely convention celebrating the English sci-fi drama Doctor Who) I researched how the new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, turned the 50 year old character into a female (long story unless you know the show).

That lead me to researching the writers he chose for the last two seasons to bring more diverse stories to the show.

On The Writers of Doctor Who: Maxine Alderton and The Haunting of the Villa Diodati

One such story, The Haunting of the Villa Diodati, written by Maxine Alderton, involved meeting Mary Woolstencroft on the weekend of inventing Frankenstein. For that I found this post about the importance of writing soaps and how, because so many women do it, it has often been dismissed as lesser writing – but in fact, of course, it is not. I think it is yet another area of bias against female writers that needs to be quashed.

PROFILE: Writer Maxine Alderton – Doctor Who: The Haunting of Villa Diodati

Maxie Alderton joins the world of Doctor Who this Sunday, far from her usual stomping ground of Emmerdale. But as the architect of some of the soap opera’s most innovative and exciting episodes of the past decade, she’s a name to watch
 
At first glance Maxine Alderton, writer of The Haunting of Villa Diodati, seems like a strange fit for Doctor Who. After all, of the new writers to join the Doctor Who team this season, she easily has the least background in science fiction and fantasy. And her main track record so far has been across the Yorkshire Dales for popular soap opera Emmerdale. But as soon as you scratch the surface she quickly emerges as an exciting and dynamic writer. One showing every sign of bringing something very special to Doctor Who indeed.

Read the entire article

Watch the trailer for this episode

 

The Doctor at the TARDIS controls. Hang on! via Instagram

The Doctor at the TARDIS controls. Hang on! via Instagram

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TARDIS Console Display at #sandiegowhocon via Instagram

TARDIS Console Display at #sandiegowhocon via Instagram

From a lovely interactive TARDIS console on display at #sandiegowhocon

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The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years (Complete) [Video]

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!

The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years (Complete) [Video]


 

TARDIS Console Display via Instagram

TarTARDIS Console Display via Instagram

From a lovely interactive TARDIS console on display at #sandiegowhocon

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Gallifreyan Writing on the TARDIS Console Time Rotor via Instagram

Gallifreyan Writing on the TARDIS Console Time Rotor via Instagram

From a lovely interactive TARDIS console on display at #sandiegowhocon

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“I mean, who doesn’t love Capt. Jack?!” via Instagram

“I mean, who doesn’t love Capt. Jack?!” via Instagram

I had a great time a speaking on Why Torchwood Still Matters at San Diego Whocon.

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Dr. Rosanne Welch’s Chapter in Doctor Who – New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era from Manchester University Press Now Available

Dr. Rosanne Welch's Chapter in Doctor Who - New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era  from Manchester University Press Now Available

I’m happy to announce the publication of Doctor Who New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era for which I was invited to write a chapter. 

My focus was on the delicate work showrunner/writer Chris Chibnall had to do in realizing this new Doctor so it’s called “She is Wise and Unafraid” Writing the First Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect

I touch on the myriad decisions a showrunner makes in creating a character from costuming to sidekicks (called companions in the Whoniverse) to dialogue.   I was excited to have been invited to contribute to this collection and proud to showcase the way screenwriters work.

I know academic books can be expensive but you can always ask your local or college library to order a copy for you to read!  

 

Doctor Who – new dawn explores the latest cultural moment in this long-running BBC TV series: the casting of a female lead. Analysing showrunner Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s era means considering contemporary Doctor Who as an inclusive, regendered brand. Featuring original interview material with cast members, this edited collection also includes an in-depth discussion with Segun Akinola, composer of the iconic theme tune’s current version. The book critically address the series’ representations of diversity, as well as fan responses to the thirteenth Doctor via the likes of memes, cosplay and even translation into Spanish as a grammatically gendered language. In addition, concluding essays look at how this moment of Who has been merchandised, especially via the ‘experience economy’, and how official/unofficial reactions to UK lockdown helped the show to further re-emphasise its public-service potential.

P.S. You can check out the trailer for Jodie’s upcoming 3rd season here:

New Presentation: “She is Wise and Unafraid”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect, Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2021, Oxford, UK

New Presentation: “She is Wise and Unafraid”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect, Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2021, Oxford, UK

New Presentation: “She is Wise and Unafraid”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor  and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect, Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2021, Oxford, UK

For this year’s SRN (Screenwriting Research Network) conference – which had to be online due to the continuing pandemic – I presented a short discussion of the chapter I wrote for a new book an old favorite show – Doctor Who.

The book is called Doctor Who New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era and my chapter is titled “She is Wise and Unafraid,”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect.”


 

I cover the ways in which I believe executive producer/showrunner Chris Chibnall used the tools of his writing trade to create the first female Doctor in the show’s over 50-year history. Those included casting and costuming, dialogue and diversity. In my opinion, Chibnall made a promise to diversify the show on all levels (not just by changing the gender of the lead character) and by hiring a diverse slate of writers who created stories under his direction I believe he kept that promise.