I'm honestly tired of hearing "You must have experience in writing sci-fi before writing Doctor Who". There are plenty of examples of writers who've had no experience and still created good stories. Why is it considered a problem only now?
Post by nucleusofswarm on Nov 16, 2019 20:52:32 GMT
Because it's cheap contrarianism - complain for its own sake, rather than making the show better. It sounds smart, until you actually stop and think.
The reality is genre, especially sci-fi, is a rarity on British TV. Commissioners just don't like them. Other than Who, all we've had are Outcasts (bet you all forgot that ever happened), Primeval and Humans (which just finished) - if you only went to those guys, you'd have an insanely small pool to choose from. And even then, many of the people writing there mainly did soaps and crime drama, before and after.
My stance - genre experience is not all that important, just be a writer with a distinct voice and take. Wherever you've honed it, just make sure you've honed it.
Hello again. Doctor Who has always been an unusual show to write for. I've found it difficult just writing prose let alone attempting a script where you have to tell an engaging story that hasn't been told before. You only have around 50 minutes. At present you have to juggle four main characters. Doctor Who has to be visually compelling and have a story that keeps you watching. This is a tall order. Like trying to bottle lightning. Most Who writers have worked on scripts in other genres such as drama, children's drama, sitcom, comedy drama or crime and thriller stories. The key requirement to be a Who writer is experience of writing scripts in as many areas as possible. Radio is another important training ground for scriptwriters. There are also opportunities in theatre which is where Rob Shearman started. Scriptwriting is a very particular skill that has to be learnt, practised and polished. Anybody on this forum who is writing and sending in scripts has my admiration. Anyone who is trying to learn this skill I wish all the very best. Keep writing.
I don't think you must have science fiction experience to write for Doctor Who, but I think it will help. "Genre" media like science fiction, fantasy, and horror have extremely dedicated, protective fans with specific tastes. Understanding that subculture and that passion goes a long way, in my opinion.
If you come from a comedy background or a contemporary drama background or whatever and you turn in a great Doctor Who script, awesome. But you have to understand the essence of the thing, and I think that is made easier if you're already familiar with this kind of fiction. Same goes for just about anything - I don't think someone would be successful writing a romantic comedy if they didn't like them or didn't understand why the audience does.