Rachel Talalay On Directing Doctor Who For Series 8

Tank Girl director Rachel Talalay has told feminist website BitchMedia that there was no positive discrimination when it came to her appointment on series eight of Doctor Who .

“I did joke around with Steven Moffat in our first meeting,” she says of the fact that the gold-fished-memoried internet seems fascinated with the novel idea of a woman directing Doctor Who (Alice Troughton, anyone? Hettie McDonald? And that’s just on the revived show). “Immediately there was press saying, ‘Woman woman woman,’ and so I said, ‘It's clear if I read the internet that you hired me because I'm a woman.’ And he said, ‘Oh, you're a woman? Maybe I just looked at your resume and your reel and your credentials and hired you because of that.’ We both agree that that's what we hope I was hired on. I should stop there and say I'm incredibly fortunate to have the experience in effects that a lot of women don't get. So I was able to put together a reel of special effects and action that most women don't have.”

Aside from Tank Girl , Talalay has worked on a long list of US TV shows, including Supernatural , Haven , Touching Evil , Cold Case and Without A Trace . She also worked on the British telefantasy remake Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) .

Talalay isn’t able to reveal much about the episodes she’s working on – which the site claims are eleven and twelve – but does say, Every episode of Doctor Who is like a mini-feature and they're all completely different. They're massive. I'm so exciting to get to work with the show. When watch them, I just think, ‘This is so creative, this is so out there.’ It fits into my kind of out-there, pushing-the-envelope, trying to give the audience something to grab on to… I don't approach it in terms of, ‘What am I bringing that's different?’ I'm approaching it in terms of, ‘How the hell do you do this?!’ It's so hard! It's so big and so hard and so ambitious. When you're working with a wonderful script, you just think, ‘How to I tell this story beautifully and blow away the audience?’”

She did reveal on Twitter, though, “My episodes are not Doctor-lite, companion-lite, or anything-else-LITE.”

Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.