What Writing is Like: The Many Worlds of Russell T Davies
edited by Anindya Raychaudhuri
Russell T Davies has been one of the foremost voices in British television for the last three decades. The range of Davies’s work is formidable – from his early work on children’s television such as Dark Season (1991) and Century Falls (1993), to his ground-breaking work creating programmes such as Queer as Folk (1999-2000), Bob and Rose (2001), The Second Coming (2003) and Mine All Mine (2004), to his phenomenally successful rejuvenation of Doctor Who (2005), through to his more recent work such as Cucumber (2015), Years and Years (2019) and It’s a Sin (2021). In the process, he has indelibly transformed the British televisual landscape.
The proposed volume will be the first major, book-length scholarly appraisal of his works. We are looking for 6000–7000-word chapters on any aspect of Russell T. Daviesand his work. Innovative, interdisciplinary, and comparative approaches are encouraged. Possible topics may include:
- Sex and sexuality
- Wales and welsh identity
- Science fiction and fantasy
- Children’s television
- AIDS pandemic
- Dystopian futures
- The Television Industry
- Televisual Forms
University of Wales Press has expressed interest in this volume, and we will be submitting a formal proposal by the end of the year.
Please submit a short abstract (250 words) and a biographical outline to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 July 2022. Full papers will be due around December 2022.
Let me add that it is an interesting time to put together a volume about Davies. In case you missed the news, Davies is returning to his role as showrunner of Doctor Who as we reach the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023. While there has been much I have enjoyed during Chris Chibnell’s time at the helm (and Jodie Whittaker has been brilliant as the Doctor), I am ready for something different, and of course wondering whether Davies returning will represent that. Whether Davies does something similar to or something different from what he did during his previous stint, I am eager to see where he takes the show and what he does with threads from past seasons, including but not limited to his own earlier ones.
I realize I did not blog about (nor even take notes on) the last episode, “Legend of the Sea Devils.” As many have been saying, it was neither terrible nor terribly impressive. I was glad that the feelings between the Doctor and Yaz were brought to the fore, yet even then the passing reference to her wife, River Song, troubled me. Time travel complicates marriage, as we have seen ever since River Song was first introduced on the show. But if marriage is “until death do us part,” what does that mean for a time traveler? Is one only married if one finds oneself in an era in which one’s spouse is alive? What if the spouse also travels through time? There wasn’t much if anything in “Legend of the Sea Devils” that had obvious religious connections, but the episode can certainly provide a starting point for a discussion about marriage through this sci-fi lens.
Did you see it? What did you think of it? And will anyone that reads my blog be proposing a chapter for the book about Russell T. Davies? If you do, I wish you luck!