‘Doctor Who’ Showrunner Russell T. Davies Shares Why Transgender Representation Is Important


Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies, who has been known for his progressive content, recently opened up about why transgender representation is important.

During a press conference for Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary special The Star Beast, Davies spoke about Yasmin Finney‘s character Rose in the show.

Rose is the daughter of Catherine Tate‘s character Donna Noble, and the stigma she faces as a transgender woman is explored in the first of three specials celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic BBC show.

According to Yahoo TV UK, Davies explained why he feels transgender representation on screen is important: “It’s not just a Doctor Who thing for me, it’s something I and a lot of other writers are very keen to do, to be progressive and to reflect more of society.

“And it’s funny in casting Yasmin, [Rose] was a 15-year-old of mixed race there’s very few people we could have and it’s like she came down from heaven and there she was, before Heartstopper actually.

“It was just so powerfully meant to me, and I think she does the most amazing job, and it’s an absolute privilege to work with her, to get her on screen.”

Davies went on to criticize press who vilify transgender representation: “[There are] newspapers of absolute hate, and venom, and destruction, and violence who would rather see that sort of thing wiped off the screen destroyed. Shame on you, and good luck to you in your lonely lives.”

The screenwriter also spoke about the modern TV landscape evolving to become a “more open door” to all kinds of representation.

“I wrote, in 1999, Queer as Folk where I had an entire almost an entirely white cast, the three leads were white. That’s simply inconceivable now and so that’s naturally changed, led very much by our casting directors.”

He adds: “It’s a more open door, we’re still opening it further and further, as much as we can, it’s heavy that door and it keeps on slamming shut and you still watch plenty of things at 9pm on all channels that haven’t pushed at that doorway.

“So it’s a constant effort to help people through that door, so that’s the biggest change… it’s the mind that you go into it with, and across the industry, this is not just a Doctor Who thing. Across the whole industry that mind is more open.”

Doctor Who‘s first of three 60th anniversary specials, The Star Beast, is currently available on BBC iPlayer. The next two specials will air on BBC One over the next two Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.

You can check out the trailer for the 60th anniversary specials below:

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