Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Stuff

So after after two hours spent on this post working on another eminent person(William Hartnell) I found someone wayyyyy more interesting, so this is Eminent Blog Post 2.0, let’s give it a try.

If you’ve ever been on Tumblr you have sure heard of”Doctor Who”and it’s obsessive fan base. Since it’s creation in 1963 fans not only from it’s origin in the UK, but all over the world have come to love the quirky alien named the Doctor and his ever-changing roster of companions. This show has been hailed as the best sci-fi series to have ever existed by many, but why? It’s no secret that the show has always had a strong male lead, but the female characters of the show are what makes it really memorable, from Susan, Mary-Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, Donna Noblethey are only a few of the many amazing leading ladies of this sci-fi hit. Quite a few men on the internet claim women have invaded on “their show” But they should do their homework because the creator of Doctor Who, way back in 1963, is wait for it… a woman.

Verity Lambert was born in London, England in November 27, 1935. She was educated at Roedean School until her graduation in 1951 at the age of 16. she studied at Sorbonne in Paris for a year following 18 months at a secretarial in London. She became interested in writing and screenplay thanks to an “inspirational English teacher”. She got a job at ABC Television, originally working as a secretary, but quickly advanced to producing  a popular anthology series “Armchair Theatre” under Canadian producer Sydney Newman.

In 1961 Lambert left ABC, spending a year as a personal assistant to an American television producer David Susskind, until she returned to England and tried to rejoin ABC where she was stuck as production assistant. She decided that if she didn’t advance within the year she would abandon television as a career. But her career took a turn, Sydney Newman left ABC in 1962 to take on the position of Head of Drama at BBC Television. And that’s when things got… timey-wimey.

Sydney Newman had a crazy idea for a show. It would be an educational sci-fi series about a time-travelling alien who jumps from the past to the future in a blue police box called the TARDIS. It seemed a bit insane at the time, but not to Verity. After Newman couldn’t get a producer he was about to scrap the project. But Verity wanted to see it through, so through much opposition and many heated arguments Newman gave Verity the project, with hesitation. At the time Verity was the youngest and the only female producer in the BBC. She had to fight for her position and I respect her all the much more for it.

That wasn’t the end of it though, Verity had to find a cast for the show, and she had her heart set on William Hartnell. Hartnell was reluctant at first as he was used to playing more serious roles. But after much persuasion he agreed. Verity did many things to shape what Doctor Who has become such as the invention of the Daleks. Her idea for these robots was very unwelcome to the team as they didn’t want any “bug-eyed monsters”. But again with her stubborn nature she saw her idea through and the Daleks became one of the most memorable villains of the whole show.

Verity oversaw the first two seasons of the show, eventually leaving in 1965 because “”There comes a time when a series needs new input,” she told Doctor Who Magazine thirty years later. “It’s not that I wasn’t fond of Doctor Who, I simply felt that the time had come. It had been eighteen very concentrated months, something like seventy shows. I know people do soaps forever now, but I felt Doctor Who needed someone to come in with a different view.”

Verity died in 2007 at the age of 71, and because of her persistence and strong will she brought about an era of incredible ingenuity and imagination. She was definitely a figurehead for women, and anyone of a minority, in creative positions to pursue their passions and ideas. And finally thanks to her I have a really awesome show to watch Saturday nights.

Verity Lambert and I don’t seem to have much in common; age, gender and life experience are things that separate us. But I’m interested in seeing how learning about her personal struggles and triumphs will affect my life in anyway. My goals for this project is to understand the struggles that women and minorities face and how their persistence can make big things happen and how I can do that too.

5 thoughts on “Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Stuff

  1. Great post! I never thought about women in Doctor Who. A couple things to expand on: What do you have in common with Verity, and what are your goals for the project?

  2. This was super interesting, I had no idea who created Doctor Who and the amount of persistence and determination it took! I’d love to know what your personal goals are for this project and how your study on Verity Lambert will help in the long run

  3. I think its so cool that you decided to study a woman for eminent as not a lot of guys in the past have. I really admire that you are so passionate about this topic! But, I was wondering what are some of your personal goals for this project? I can’t wait to here the updates of your eminent project as you go along!

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