We might be in the dark when it comes to who will be writing the first season for Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor – apart from showrunner Chris Chibnall, of course – or whether he’ll be using a writers room or just assigning ideas/listening to pitches from a selection of handpicked writers who are new to the show but, what we now know is that ‘a number’ of those writers will be female.
Confirmation comes from Piers Wenger, former Doctor Who Executive Producer and now BBC Head of Drama, who addressing the concerns of 70 female writers who have accused the BBC of not affording them the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
In an open letter to TV drama commissioners, women who’ve worked on series including EastEnders, Casualty and Hollyoaks have made the case that most British drama is “overwhelmingly written by men”.
Addressing their concerns Wenger said that “a number” of the scripts for the next series come from women writers.
“Having a diverse team on that show feels appropriate, important and essential.”
In the past, Doctor Who featured no scripts from female writers from 2007 to 2015. In 2015 Steven Moffat addressed concerns that he was actively trying to prevent female writers from writing for the show.
“Stop assuming that I’m a demon who’s trying to prevent it, as opposed to the man who’s done more to make it happen than anybody else.
“Given that the human race works out at about 50% male / female, it should be 50% male / female on the show. Why isn’t it? Part of the reason for that is historical – Doctor Who for a very long time was a boy’s show. It’s not anymore.”
Moffat then went on to say that the biggest obstacle to hiring women was that many still turn down the chance to write for the show.
“Most of the writers who have turned Doctor Who down have been female – that’s the truth.”
Doctor Who will return in the autumn on BBC One.