5 Women Who Need To Write For Doctor Who

Only one woman has ever written TV scripts for Doctor Who, and it’s time for that to change.

Ian Coomber



Since its revival nine years ago, Doctor Who has accumulated a great many things in high numbers. Ratings figures, action figure sales, it has even dominated a host of award ceremonies. Eight seasons (with several specials in between) and counting however, the unfamiliar name of Helen Raynor still stands alone as the show’s one and only female writer. As the writer of Daleks In Manhatten/Evolution Of The Daleks, and The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, she is also the only woman to have written either a Dalek, or a Sontaran story for the show, regardless of era. While on one hand that could be considered impressive gloating rights, surely it’s about time such statistics were no longer needed.

Prior to Peter Capaldi’s appointment there were many voices calling for an actress rather than actor to fill the shoes of the universe’s favourite Time Lord. The show had already established that genders could change during regeneration, but these are few and far between, and it is likely to be a while before that particular debate is reopened. Episodes, meanwhile, have been coming at a reasonably consistent 14 per season, and so the lack of a female touch in this specific arena is unjustifiable. Particularly for a show which stands tall in the realms of televisual Science-Fiction, a genre which often prides itself on notions of diversity and inclusion.

While TV shows that have a mostly male writing staff is the norm in the current climate, there are still a great number of other female writers who have already established a close working relationship with at least BBC Cymru, if not the Whoniverse itself. While there are many that could, and should, be given the chance, here is a list of just five women who are all highly qualified, surely more than willing, and who have all earned the opportunity to write an episode of Doctor Who through different ways.

More than just a fanciful wishlist, these are women for whom writing an episode of Doctor Who should be a high possibility, and the fact they haven’t is nigh on inexcusable.

In the interest of fair play, it should be remembered that the BBC has not yet released all the details of series 8, so it is possible that an upcoming episode was written by a female writer. But it still begs the question of why it took so long.