07 More On 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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07 More On Captain Jack Harkness from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Imagine the idea that you could see two men kissing on television. That just was not done. In the mid-80s there was a show here called 30 Something and it was the first time two gay men kissed on American television and in something like eight states they refused to air it. They simply did not show that episode right? So here in you know England because of Queer As Folk and slowly. So I think Captain Jack is a fascinating character. It’s so interesting that he’s really – I mean he’s not any particular thing but he’s an American when we meet him right and that’s such an interesting – oh seed that into their culture. Maybe it made it easier to accept because he wasn’t an Englishman. I don’t know. It’s very interesting but he’s a fascinating character and of course, we’re going to talk about the fact that he starts out we all – look he’s bisexual because – look in Children of Earth we find out he’s got a daughter, and a grandson. So clearly there was a woman in his life at some point right? So that’s interesting. We don’t generally see that representation very much on tv either. People are either this or that and suddenly it’s like or both right? He’s a 21st-century guy which is a pretty cool thing right? He likes women. He likes men. He’s omnisexual, right? If you’re cute he’s all about it which is why not and this happened before. I teach college you know and now I have students who represent us pansexual, asexual. They all are much more comfortable about their sexuality right? They’re not defined by one thing. Nobody was having that conversation really and I’m not saying only Torchwood did this but as we start these conversations in the media they build into our society right and people feel comfortable then having a conversation about things. So I’ve been really impressed that they start with that and they tried to keep it up. It was hard because we want to see Jack with somebody we know and we like. So it usually is a human but that was laid into his character, right? This is what it’s like to be an alien.

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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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

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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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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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.

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.

 

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.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

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

“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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24 Conclusion from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

24 Conclusion from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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When the folks hosting the conference announced their theme as “Screen Narratives: Chaos and Order” the word ‘chaos’ immediately brought to mind writers rooms. I offered a quick history of writers rooms (the presentations are only 20 minutes long) and then quoted several current showrunners on how they compose their rooms and how they run them.

Transcript:

…and then there were many many stories in this one particularly, very quickly, there were people in the room who wanted to shoot down your ideas. Again reading the room and I had an idea about dealing with teenage young men who were fathers and lived in gangs and they had to make a commitment to their real family not their gang family. I knew that someone else in the room would not want me to have the extra script that year because that’s a nice chunk of money he would rather have. So my joke is I followed my executive producer into the bathroom because she was a woman and so was I and then I pitched her while we were washing our hands. So that when we walked back in the room, she already liked the idea and for someone else to shoot it down would be to say she had a bad idea and therefore I got whatever. So reading the room has always been a very important lesson. As well as remembering the doctors have power. Whenever you think about side characters, think about making them ethnic because that’s really important and then these are just the things that I learned from the room. You have to do research. You have to think about your nightmares. You have to speak up. I teach my female students this all the time. Please speak up. Don’t wait for the boys to give you a moment because they won’t and then I learned a lot and then I will briefly just say teachers make great writers because they do and collaboration doesn’t just happen in tv right because these guys collaborated on those films we have to recognize that so collaboration and chaos makes good quality presentations. Thank you.

 

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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