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:
There are many exciting steps along the way to having a chapter you’ve written about a beloved television show accepted into a book collection.
First you see the Call for Submissions, have an idea and send in an abstract.
Then they tell you they like your idea and want to include it in their collection.
Then you write the chapter and they send back minimal notes.
Then (that’s today) they send you the artwork for the cover and you smile all over again knowing other fans of the show will be reading your ideas as they consider the importance of the show to our culture.
All those steps (except the cover page) happened recently on a couple of upcoming collections I’m contributing to but the other day this cover came along for Doctor Who: New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whitaker Era and I couldn’t be more excited that a show I originally watched on PBS back in Ohio and followed all these years then made their lead character a female and then I had the chance to write about how a writer could go about making such a culturally important change.
My essay is entitled ‘She is wise and unafraid’: writing the first female Doctor and a diverse universe for her to protect
Dr. Rosanne Welch presents “How Doctor Who Redefined Masculinity: A Study of the Doctors and their Male Companions” at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library. Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.
But now, our generation is starting to look also at how do they parent? Will this person make a good father to the children I might have and we’re going to see that reflected in Doctor Who. Then, of course, all of them mentioned good hygiene, which we all know is a code word for hot looking and I think that’s true of most of our Doctors. Then ambition and honesty is a pretty basic one. Of course, if you flip that, it’s really all the stuff that men are looking for in women, as well. So, it’s just really what makes a quality human being and I think that’s really of interest to us. The other thing I would say is that that, as I said, is reflected in all of our guys.
A clip from this 5th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who presented by Dr. Welch. You can find Dr. Welch’s other Doctor Who talks using the links below.
Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education discusses Doctor Who and how the show has changed television writing. Doctor Welch will further discuss how society looks at culture and gender roles with the use of the Doctor and his companions’ adventures.
“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th. It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”
An essay I wrote called “When White Writers Write Black” is being published in a book called “Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology” edited by Dr. Lindy Orthia, lecturer at the Australian National University. Published by Intellect the collection is scheduled sometime in late 2012 or early 2013. It’s quite fun since I sat down one Saturday morning to write the 1,000 words and sent it off and she accepted it two days later!