The year is 2150AD. The invasion of the Daleks has begun. The Earth has endured 10 years meteorite bombardment; the survivors of the human race are now the slaves of The Daleks!
I was 4yrs old visiting my grandparents when I witnessed the end of the world to the hand of the Daleks. Years before David Tennant and Matt Smith and years before I knew I was gay, it was just a little boy having his mind blown for the first time in his life.
Doctor Who over the years has had a massive gay following, before the 2005 revival Doctor Who had a worldwide cult following, 60% of that being gay fans. But if you asked anyone of those fans why they love Doctor Who every person would have their own personal story. Like many things we watch in our childhood, messages we get in the subtext of shows excite us as children, but years later as adults suddenly subtext changes and you identify the message as something different. And this was my journey with the man with the blue box.
At 4yrs old I didn’t see past the Daleks, but at 7yrs old I met Sylvester McCoy, this magical little man in a tom bowler hat and a question mark umbrella would go on to be My Doctor, My hero. As the years go on I would discover the other Doctor’s including the wonderful other worldly Tom Baker who just oozed the role. Unlike the Marvel heroes of today the Doctor didn’t wear his underpants over his clothes or fly with a cape, or have bulging muscles, not that there is anything wrong with that – Hello Thor X. He was a just an oddly dressed man who would fight off hordes of evil with nothing but a kettle and some string. Sometimes when to us we wake up late, fall over in front of your boss and get dumped by text! We believe the world is ending and how are we going to stop it and live on??? The Doctor would defeat a squad of Sontarens with a tennis racket and ball. The big stuff is important I do get that but confidence and the simple things can make allot of situations seem small. The Doctor, standing up for all the persecuted and the oppressed, was a great role model for me growing up and feeling a little different from everyone else. He’s always been a little bit anti-establishment too; unlike Star Trek, the Doctor would be more likely to topple a Federation than endorse it.
The Monsters and Villains always played a massive part of Doctor Who, who could forget the Amazing over camp performance of Kate O Mara as the villainous Rani with her thigh high boots and men dressed in leather. Or Roger Delgado as the first Master which was a scene right out of the back of any fetish club “you will obey me”. Going back to the Daleks as a child I loved these creatures killing people with fire extinguisher and flashing lights, but now can see a race of creatures who wanted the extermination of anything different. The Cybermen, which wanted to convert everyone into the same, never moving forward never evolving. Watching such societies of evil trying to take over the world encouraged me more to be who I am, and never change who you are.
The Doctor’s Tardis was always full of wayward companions, the early days was usually girl in a mini skirt screaming at paper mashie butterfly and running down corridors. As a gay person entering my 20s I learned the value of friends and family, till this day my relationship with my blood family is at best broken, and for allot of time felt alone as my family did not accept me for me. I learned from watching the Last of the Time lords collect companions building his own family. I looked at the lovely Elisabeth Sladen playing the ageless Sarah Jane Smith wishing my parents could have had an ounce of her Spirit and Empathy. For me in life I took this and stand by the statement; family is not who you share blood, it’s who you choose to call family. Something I think we can all relate to.
So for anyone who says to me “yeah I’ve watched a few episodes but I don’t get it” I always tell them they were at the wrong age to feel inspired, and I was sorry them. I can never say the Doctor is my role model because Doctor Who is more than the title character or actor, over 54 years it has been ever evolving pushing the boundaries. John Barrowman being a highly sexed gay companion broke the mould showing allot of kids the acceptance of being gay, something at 11 I would have loved to of seen. K9 I think is responsible for the uprising of the pug as well as female companions like Sarah Jane, Ace and Rose Tyler have opened up a whole new world to the role of the companion. The list could go on and on. But I imagine allot of other gay people have similar shows, films, songs that do the same???
But this is me I’m gay, a geek, could be worse right?????????