15 Strong, But Not Stronger… from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

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!

15 Strong, But Not Stronger… from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

These issues of finding men who can be strong but not stronger than have happened in television before. I’m a huge Buffy fan all right. I get to – I could do many a lecture on Buffy and think about it right? We had both David Boreanaz and James Marsters. Of course, Marsters will appear in Torchwood for us again later. They had to be strong but she always was the one who solved the problem. It was her skill but did it. Whether it was the strength of her emotion that she could avoid how much she loved Angel in order to have to kill him – spoiler alert if you’re not a Buffy fan – but that’s a really tricky thing and also of course even Xander, they dealt with a character who could be strong again emotionally but he was never physically stronger than Buffy, right? You could say the same obviously for the current day Wonder Woman, right? How do you balance that out and that was Alan Heinberg, who’s a wonderful writer. Came out of the Shondaland universe and then ended up doing Wonder Woman. He’s now doing Sandman in the UK with Neil Gaiman. So again the Doctor Who connection and that’s coming out later this year and of course, this goes back to the 70s and the Bionic Woman who was surrounded by men who had to be intelligent and helpful but not better than her. So this is something Chibnall had to have in mind as he put this together.

 

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06 Captain Jack Harkness from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, 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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06 Caotain Jack Harkness from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Of course, he invents Captain Jack who, you know let’s face it, he’s admitted a million times it’s really like his dream boy and then – everybody’s dream boy. Hello. Exactly and how can he not be right but he said – Russell has said several times – which I think is very important what he wanted to show on television were things he wished he’d seen as a child and what he’d never seen was two men be romantic with each other. Not like pornographic sex, romantic right? The fact that they could dance together in public and that was acceptable. Such an amazing – it doesn’t seem like that much but it’s that much right and it was to him because he’s writing from the perspective of the little boy that he once was and what wasn’t he shown. So really impressive to me how much they moved the needle forward in terms of gay representations. Of course, we’re talking about men here not necessarily women yet but you know you open one door, you start opening it a little bit more.

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05 Russell T Davies from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, 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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

05 Russell T Davies from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Now we know it was invented by Russell and Russell comes to us from Queer As Folk which was a huge sort of new thing and this starts in the UK before it even comes to the States and the States kind of ruined it. I don’t know if you see the English version it’s much better than the American version. It is trippy. Isn’t it sad? This sadly – I mean please, please, please, I never want an American version of Doctor Who and they’ve talked about it, and then they kind of kibosh it. Yeah, they’ve talked about it. It’s like oh no no no no no but so so we know that his career was built – I mean he starts in soap operas as we know and soap operas get disrespected but in fact some of the most innovative stuff happens on tv first in soap operas and that’s true in the States as well right? There were gay characters for the first time. There were interracial marriages for the first time. These happened on soap operas because only women were watching and they were stay-at-home mommies or wives and so who cares what they’re watching right? Nobody gave it a thought except that’s how then stories seeded into prime time right and we finally grow and like that. So he starts in soaps and he moves into Queer As Folk and then he moves into Doctor Who.

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04 Other Interests from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, 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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

04 Other Interests from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

One of my other fandoms is The Monkees and I have a whole book on The Monkees and about the fact that when I was a kid watching them as a child I would assume, looking back at it as a grown-up, that like all the women on the show must have been bimbos and cheerleaders and all the boys would hang out with them and when I looked at as an adult I discovered that every single girl they ever dated had a job and she was a girl who took care of herself and I thought, Is that a message that seeped into my brain when I was a kid? That if I wanted to marry a Monkee I had to be a woman of some substance of something. All right, so really I think messages do come to us. So, I think Torchwood had a lot of really good messages.

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12 Her Companions from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

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!

12 Her Companions from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

If we look here, obviously, we have, again, female leadership. The police person is Yasmin, right? It’s a woman police officer who’s gonna come and join. So now we’re gonna have two relatively powerful women running things and that’s different for us. I mean I like Tegan too. She was fun but you know a little screamy goofy right and Nyssa was a doctor. So Nyssa, I really enjoyed Nyssa. So finding two strong women in stories is very interesting.

 

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03 Representation in Torchwood from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, 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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

03 Represenation in Torchwood from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

So I think what was interesting is we got a chance to go to this academic conference which was Investigating Torchwood and I heard all kinds of interesting things – some of which helped me put this together – ideas about the show that I didn’t think of and so then we published the piece. So this is why I’m interested in thinking about Torchwood and why I think it should have gone longer than four seasons although miracle day killed it which is all another conversation – but it was a show that was a work in progress with a lot of new ideas and some of those ideas have slowly seeded into the regular tv that we’re watching now and so I think it’s really interesting to look at these original ideas. They were being very innovative and I like that and I want to see more of that and I just happen to like this meme because it’s true one of the things that of course Jack – Captain Jack – brought to us was looking at the world in a bigger way right and then all the ideas of who he could be and who could love and who the other characters could be with. They were relatively new if you think about it and it’s the thing that we teach in my program – representation matters. We have to pay attention to the things we’re seeing because TV is the thing that comes into your home for free or pay the cable bill if your parents pay it right –  but we’re getting to see things that you wouldn’t see if you didn’t want to pay the money at a movie theater right? So the tv is really like so interesting because who knows what we’re learning from it.

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11 Casting Supporting Characters…from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

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!

11 Casting Supporting Characters...from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

The other important thing is casting who would be around her. So, as the showrunner, he is casting all of these new characters and he’s inventing them from scratch and so we looked at this group of people and thought OK, who does he surround the first female Doctor with and it was important to him, I also think he promised and mostly came through on diversity and diversity is one of those words that gets tossed around a lot. Some people are saying let’s get rid of that word. Let’s go with inclusion. It just means let’s tell more stories. Let’s tell a wider range of stories that we haven’t had a chance to see before. So he committed to that and by virtue of who he chose to follow her obviously, we are going to get some different stories that had not yet – I mean it’s 50+ years of a TV show. What new things can you possibly write? And, of course, for The Doctor that comes from the people who follow him. So I think that these were very good choices.

 

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02 My Interest In Torchwood from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, 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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

02 My Interest In Torchwood from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

So we’ll get into Torchwood which is what we’re here to talk about. This whole – my interest in Torchwood bled into another academic friend of mine – a guy named Martin Griffin he was on my Ph.D. committee and he knew I liked both Doctor Who and Torchwood. He was actually from Scotland and he would talk about the show. He knew it as a child and so he was – thought it was interesting there was an American who knew it as well as he did. So we got along really well even though my dissertation had nothing to do with Doctor Who. It should have now that I think about it, but when the show aired – when Children of Earth aired – I had an argument with the ending and he and I had this long watercooler conversation about it and about – I don’t know – six months later he called me and he said you know I just saw a call for papers, which you get in academia a lot is people are putting together book collections about different things and they want people to write a chapter on whatever the topic is. So for instance what I did yesterday was a chapter on the new female Doctor and how it was to write her and that was a chapter in one book. Well, he called me and said this book called Torchwood Declassified was being put together and he thought the two of us could write a chapter based on my argument with the ending of Children of Earth and I was like really? We could write something? They said well there’s going to be a symposium in Cardiff but since I live in the UK, I will go and present the paper. You don’t have to be there but you’ll get credit. You’re supposed to get that you know credit on your resume and when you go to conferences. So I was like okay I’ll write the thing because that’ll be fun and then when they accepted it and they invited him to the event I was like well why shouldn’t we go to Cardiff? Why am I not taking a vacation to Cardiff If I can? I can write it a little bit off my taxes because it’s business. So in fact, we went – we presented at the thing. So this whole thing all started with a conversation.

10 Previous Hints At A Female Doctor …from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

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!

10 Previous Hints At A Female Doctor ...from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

Even Steven toyed with it between Matt and Peter, And I love Peter Capaldi. He’s an excellent actor, but there was a moment there and he just kind of went no…not yet, right? So I think that Chris had the guts so we have to give him credit for that. And it’s important that Jody recognized it was going to be a little shocking to people and, again, love Peter but Peter was like well, I think boys are losing a role model and then somebody said, Dude, women can be role models to men. It’s ok. Right? And boys can see strong women in the world. That’s actually going to be good for them later in life. So, it was a little delicate and he took the shot.

 

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01 Introduction from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, 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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

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

Transcript:

All Right. Welcome, everybody. It’s so interesting to me because I mean, hello, Doctor Who is gorgeous and I also really love Torchwood. I mean who thought you could get a spin-off off this show and then gee that was a great idea. There was a great character and then it’s really lovely how they sort of seeded it in right and we’re gonna talk a little bit about Martha cause you know Martha belonged in this show except then she got the other gig on Law and Order which was like okay good for the actress but you belong in this world. I know you can’t really like me too. Me too. You can’t cosplay Law & Order. It’s really not that interesting. It’s just not the same exactly. So we are gonna chat about Why Torchwood Still Matters to me. This is me. You’ve seen me. It’s just a fun picture my college took of me. I did this – I’ll do this really fast. I did this yesterday. I work for a college called Stephens College. We teach an MFA in Screenwriting and I believe representation is just so important. This gets us back to Martha right. The fact that Doctor Who was thinking about representation and how well they’ve been doing that over the years. I was a TV writer before I got into academia. So these are all shows that I worked on. So I’m very interested in things from the writing standpoint not really directing or anything else. Written By Magazine – this magazine the Writer’s Guild – got a sample over there because I was able to interview Russell when he came to town to be doing Miracle Day because I knew I was the only person on the editorial board who knew the show. They’re like would you like to go talk to him and he was great because like other journalists don’t always know his work as well. I’m gonna go talk to this guy and they were discussing little details and it was very fun. Of course, I wanted to go can I write on the show but he’d already hired really cool people who we will talk about in a little bit. This is the article that was so fun to do and just to be sitting in the same room and thinking about what it was like to throw ideas around with him was very cool and there’s a bunch of books that I’ve done.