Doctor Who‘s lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, has shared his thoughts on the lack of female writers and directors working on the show in recent years.
Former Torchwood writer Catherine Tregenna has recently been confirmed for an episode of Series 9 – the first female writer for the show since Series 4’s Helen Raynor (The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky). As Tregenna has turned down Doctor Who in the past, Moffat says that he had to talk her into the latest series ‘with an idea she really liked’, also telling Zap2it:
“Female directors and writers have a tendency to turn us down. 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.”
Moffat commented on why he thinks women turn down the chance to work on the show:
“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.”
Despite more men writing and directing for Doctor Who at the moment, however, Moffat says that ultimately gender doesn’t matter:
“It’s not that I care particularly what brand of reproductive organs you wear to work. 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.”
Moffat has also revealed that he’s already lined up a female director for the next series, which starts filming in January. Series 8 saw two new female directors for the show – Sheree Folkson (In the Forest of the Night) and Rachel Talalay (Dark Water/Death in Heaven) – and Moffat expressed his belief that this would be part of a continuing trend:
“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. But I’m always going to conventions and looking at fans and thinking there’s practically more girls than boys.
“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.”
Do you think Steven Moffat’s right, and will we see more women writing for and directing Doctor Who in the future? Let us know in the comments below!