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A letter to Russell T Davies

On the broadcast of the new season of Doctor Who

2 min read

Here’s what I would say to Russell T Davies if I could:

One of my very first television memories is sitting watching Peter Davison’s Doctor (and reruns of Tom Baker’s) on a tiny 12” TV set, my face probably too close to the screen. My imagination ran wild. There was a large horse chestnut tree set in the playground of my primary school, and it became the console of my own time machine: first by myself, as a lonely, weird little kid, and then more as other children decided to see what on earth I was doing.

When Sylvester McCoy’s era rolled around, we would fold out the sofabed every Wednesday after Wogan and watch the next installment. I remember being particularly drawn in by the continuing story around Ace, the hints about something bigger in the Doctor’s past, and his plans for her.

When it was canceled, I devoured the New Adventures books, starting with the Timewyrm and Cat’s Cradle series.

And then, in 2005, when it all started up again, I would gather up the episodes and watch them over Christmas with my mother, once again. When she became terminally ill and I moved to be closer to her, we watched them all together in real time. We loved the reboot, the reinvigorated ethos and the joy of it, and the continuation of stories that had been in progress since before I was born.

Russell: it wasn’t just a TV show that you resurrected. (Although it was that, too, of course, and a really good one.) It was those times sitting together, the shared family space, the love and togetherness and fun of it all.

She would have loved the bi-generation and Ncuti Gatwa’s sparkling take on the character. She would have been excited for this new season as much as I am.

I can’t wait to watch. I’m excited for all these new stories, new ideas, new provocations. I won’t be alone. Through all those adventures in time and space, I’ll have a companion with me, invisibly sitting close, the sofa bed unfolded, laughing and hiding behind the cushions alongside me.

Thank you for this. Thank you for all of it.

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