22 Sandman from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [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

 

22 Sandman from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

So, now that we have that happening, gee whiz, Neil Gaiman is doing “Sandman” in London and he’s brought over Alan Heinberg who’s an American writer who’s been in Shondaland for many years. He’s done several of her shows and then was the writer hired to write the first “Wonder Woman” movie. So, he’s an American guy through and through but Neil Gaiman was like “That’s the guy I need on my show.” So now, Allan has moved to London for the last nine months working with Neil, and what a – just as it was an honor for Jane to want Russell to work with her, Allan felt that way about Neil Gaiman choosing him. So, we’re going to have the two sensibilities in this one piece and this stuff didn’t happen in the past either, right? This is a new idea that we can do that. Partially that’s also built up with Netflix and the idea that we’re now watching more international television. It’s not just American shows going everywhere and Americans now have this access to newer things. So I just think that’s pretty amazing. All of this to me comes from Torchwood.

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21 Jane Espenson and Working in America from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [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

21 Jane Espenson and Working in America

Transcript:

What worked with that – at least in terms of how television is produced – is that he was producing across the pond – across the ocean. It was a cross-cultural thing, right? So he came here both to include some American actors and, for me, to include American writers which I think is really interesting right and he really wanted to do that. He actually came specifically to work with Jane Espenson who I adore brilliantly from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but she’s done many many things. Right now she’s on “The Nevers” and he talked about, when I met him, he talked about how he’d watched her work for so many years and it was his dream to come here and create a writer’s room, which is different from what they do, again, in England. They usually have their set guides. You’re all gonna write two or three episodes. Go home and do it. You and I will meet over lunch and chat but here, of course, we get together every day and sit around the table and talk and talk and talk and he wanted that experience. He wanted – that’s one of the reasons he came here and he wanted it with her, which is really kind of cool and she adored working with him. She admits that the show didn’t exactly work but adored the experience.

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20 Lower 10%, Classism, and Death from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [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

20 Lower 10%, Classism, and Death from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

My favorite line in all of “Children of Earth” is “What are the school tables for? and you’re like “Oh my god. Like we do rank people all the time.” Here would be a perfect chance to say, Sorry you didn’t get your SAT score. Bye-bye. I just – yeah it was very it was chilling how real it felt for being obviously such a surreal and not real instance and also the line when all the leaders around the table and the woman says “Well certainly none of the children that belong to anyone here but wait I don’t have children but I have nieces and nephews. What about them? and suddenly you start seeing what little deals are we gonna have to play. Yeah, I think it was chilling. So I think that bingeability that was a big thing you brought to it. Now I’ve said before not a fan of “Miracle Day.” Largely because I think he didn’t check the idea that never dying isn’t inherently a problem. I mean they tried to make it a problem because yeah too many people on the earth will be a problem but actually like isn’t that what everybody wants? Nobody wants to die. So it seemed odd that like we were supposed to not like it. I don’t know it didn’t seem to me he thought his way through.

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19 Ableism and Children of Earth from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [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

19 Ableism and Children of Earth from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

Audience: For a lot of people, where something doesn’t affect them, they kind of like push them under the rug. You’re like we’re not gonna but like the way that they talked about the ableism from that situation I thought was really interesting because like you wouldn’t expect a team of people that are in power to kind of like think about that but it just made it like so much more realistic because like everyone watching would know exactly what ten percent would be sacrificed. Like everyone knows but they had the guts to say it which I thought was really interesting.

Rosanne: Russell does that. That’s what’s so amazing to me about his writing. I really love his writing. I’m looking forward to him coming back to Who. I’m looking forward to you know all the future stuff he does. “It’s a Sin” just ended and that was you know quite good. Most of my students were very excited about that

Audience: Did you see “Years and Years?”

Rosanne: I saw the pilot and it was so hard I – it’s in my queue. I have to take my time to watch it. So I know it was but it was so hard to ––

It was scared me too much which is really interesting and I knew that meant he was gonna go deeper and I have to be like in a mood to quietly sit and soak that in so I don’t run through it and get scared.

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18 The Beginning of Bingability from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) 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

18 The Beginning of Bingability from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch , San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

They were early in the concept of bingeable television right –  the idea of doing five episodes, five nights in a row. Bang bang we’re done. That’s a season? Nobody was doing that. I will say nobody – we actually did do that in America in 1977. Eight nights in a row but sadly that’s because they produced Roots and then the network got cold feet and went “Oh my god. No one’s gonna watch this. What are we gonna do?” So they dumped it into one week hoping that one week would be the bad ratings and it wouldn’t hurt the whole season and it turned out to be the highest rating thing in like the last 15 years and went on and on for many years after that to be the highest rated mini-series ever. So we had done it but nobody had done it since then right and it was not a big thing in England and then suddenly we have “Children of Earth” and for me was very bingeable before Netflix and bingeability existed. I remember starting it at like you know maybe eight or nine o’clock at night. We’re like we’ll just watch a couple and then we’ll watch the rest tomorrow and then you got to like the end of the second one you’re like oh we gotta watch one more one more and then it’s two in the morning and you’re done and you’re crying because it was so terrible and so sad.

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17 Spoilers…or not from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) 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

17 Spoilers…or not from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch , San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Rosanne: In terms of – I think again innovation – I think this was – I’ve not seen this in American show, right? This is not a thing. So I think it’s very cool that they got away with it twice and they get away with it because of being creative with their publicity and that the – I mean the UK is not that small but smaller than here – and the idea that they could go to the newspapers and say “Do us a favor don’t – you’re going to figure it out from the call sheets. You’re going to know these people don’t exist after a couple of episodes but let us do this. Let us have this surprise.” So both shows were put out with the extra character as if they’re a regular. This is the cast of this new show and you’re looking at it going well that makes perfect sense and even – especially the picture with The Doctor it’s like Oh you want to have the two flanking each side. It looks balanced. It looks perfect right and but they’re not. So they literally worked with the journalists and the people that they had to deal with which I think is cool. We don’t necessarily do that here. It’s all about breaking news. I just found out this character’s dying next week. Thank you for ruining it for everybody.

Audience: I don’t want spoilers.

Rosanne: Exactly. Exactly. I want a little book where they’re hidden in. Don’t tell me.

Audience: I don’t watch the social media at all because they ruin it.

Rosanne: Yeah. They totally do. I mean and I think that’s a problem. So it’s so interesting to me that the UK can sort of be tight enough that they’re all willing to get in on the act and I think they understand that’s what’s going to make the piece more popular. They want the piece to be more global and more people to pay attention. So this is a big deal. I can’t name an American show that got away with this right? So I think that’s pretty cool.

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16 The “Bury Your Gays” Trope from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) 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

16 The

Transcript:

When I talk about Buffy The Vampire Slayer we get to the Tara/Willow relationship and that’s the first lesbian relationship on television and then – spoiler alert – Tara is killed and that is the beginning of the “Bury Your Gays” trope which went on for a few years, but then Emily Andras who does “Wynonna Earp” – if you haven’t seen that. it’s quite good, on SciFi and now it’s on Netflix – when she created her series she gave Wynonna a little sister named Waverly and she’s a lesbian who has a relationship with the local town sheriff and, the producer, Emily, promised to in the run of this show will either of those 2 women die. I will break this trope and, sure enough, you get to the end of the fourth season – the series finale – and it’s the ladies’ wedding. She’s gone all the way to that point. So, some people told her that’s a bad idea because we want the worry about our characters but because she promised they wouldn’t die she also got to be more innovative because she put them in some of the worst possible situations where you could never get out of and, as an audience member, you were like, ok, they can’t die. How – so you were equally involved. It wasn’t like well I know they can’t die. I don’t care. it was like, how are they going to get out of this? So the interactivity stayed. So, I would say that that is not – I don’t think that is “fridging.”

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15 They Keep Killing Suzie…and Grace 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

15 They Keep Killing Suzie…and Grace from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

What they did in Torchwood they, of course, repeat when we come along to the Jodie Whittaker Doctor because they made you think we had a regular we didn’t have in the pilot. Right? That’s a trick that’s hard to get away with, but they made sure and wrote in a person who looked like they were part of the team and everything was happening and then they die in the pilot. And you’re like, whoa what happened?

They knew what they were doing. They knew they were killing the woman of color in that pilot, but they made sure she came back in Graham’s visions – right – he saw the visions of her and Ryan talks about her all the time. They even show The Doctor going to a funeral. How many people have died in the course of Doctor Who – I never once saw any of the Doctors go to a funeral. They respected her enough she stayed to go to her funeral. That’s how important that character is. So I think, I wouldn’t claim it as that but perhaps that is something they learned and they tried very hard not to do. Which I think is really interesting.

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14 Owen Harper 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

14 Owen Harper from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

 

…and then Owen was an interesting character. I mean he could be your bland white guy except he wasn’t a nice guy necessarily and they had to put up with him because of his talent and he had to learn and grow. So I think he was an interesting character. He’s not the most interesting of all of them. The fact that he had a relationship with Tosh says a little bit about him right? So it’s not the best character but he was you know i mean if he had to have a second white guy he was okay but here’s where i start thinking about the writing makes the show stand out.

 

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13 Toshiko (Tosh) Sato 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

13 Toshiko (Tosh) Sato from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

The person of color they ended up with and did keep of course was Toshiko and here they did good and they made a small mistake or they fell into a stereotype. Certainly, they made her a regular. She has a sex life. She falls in love with an alien. So we’re going to go into omnisexual stuff too. So we’re continuing the idea of the show but she also falls in love with Owen. So you know she also falls in love with a human but usually your person of color – largely when that person is of Asian descent – never has a sex life. Never has a home family. It’s like they don’t exist except to be in the workplace. So I would say that the stereotype they fell into was of course she is our computer expert. Happens a lot. We just ran into a yet another new series in the UK called Annika and it’s the story of a female cop and one of her assistants – one of the other cops –  is the actress who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter series. Now she’s about 30 and she does computer stuff but she also works in the field. So we’ve seen her interrogate people. So they’ve moved beyond that stereotype. They started there and now we’ve seen them move beyond that. So I would say that’s maybe the one flaw with this character but they certainly gave her a three-dimensional life and that’s really all anybody’s asking for. If you’re going to include a character they shouldn’t just be there as window dressing. They should have a complete life right and that’s been an argument for a long time with people of color on different tv shows. They don’t go home to somebody. They’re just there hanging out with the white people helping them out and it’s kind of like no they have other people in their life. So Tosh had a sex life. She had love. She had desires and she went through on most of those. So I think she’s a pretty focused…

Audience: She got more action than Jack.

Rosanne: She did. She totally did which is you know that’s I think innovative.

Audience: That’s saying something.

Rosanne: Exactly.

Audience: Jack talks a good game.

Rosanne: Exactly

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