“Doctor Who” has signed its first female writer in six years for Season 9 of the series. Catherine Tregenna — who penned four “Torchwood” scripts — will take a crack at “Doctor Who” next season, and showrunner Steven Moffat couldn’t be more excited.
While fans have constantly asked for more women on the creative side of the show, it’s not for a lack of trying that the show is largely written and directed by men.
“Female directors and writers have a tendency to turn us down,” Moffat tells Zap2it. “There are fewer female directors and female writers — it’s a statistical fact — it’s shameful but it’s true. Most of the people who are desperate to do ‘Doctor Who’ are men.”
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Even Tregenna wasn’t an easy sell for Moffat. “She’s turned us down in the past, but I talked her into it with an idea she really liked,” he says. Though the new season isn’t in production yet, Moffat adds, “There’s already a female director on the books for next year.”
In the end, Moffat says, gender doesn’t matter when it comes to working on the show.
“It’s not that I care particularly what brand of reproductive organs you wear to work,” he says. “There’s very little reproduction that goes on on the ‘Doctor Who’ set. The reason we want women is because some of the best people for the job are women.”
As for why females turn down the chance to do the show, Moffat has an idea why. “There’s a slight tendency to think ‘Doctor Who’ is not for them. Catherine was happy to write ‘Torchwood’ — she had a very good ‘Torchwood’ run — but wasn’t as keen to write ‘Doctor Who,'” he says.
Obviously that’s changing. “I’m doing my best, despite what people say about me. There’s very much a culture of thinking about ‘Doctor Who’ as a boys’ show,” Moffat continues. “But I’m always going to conventions and looking at fans and thinking there’s practically more girls than boys.”
With that in mind, Moffat sees a very different future for the show: “I think in 10 years when ‘Doctor Who’ is still triumphantly successful, a lot of those [women] will grow up to be writers and directors who are desperate to do ‘Doctor Who.'”