My Doctor is Sally Sparrow. My flatmate is flipping through channels and ends up picking a Doctor Who episode, not knowing that she’s going to change my life. It’s serendipity that it would be a Steven Moffat episode, an instant classic. It barely features “The Doctor” at all, but it doesn’t have to, for me to become caught up in a story with an exceptional hero. Beneath a veneer of grace and thoughtfulness, Sally is the kind of character who breaks into abandoned buildings to take photograph and to turn up on a friend’s doorstep in the middle of the night. She’s curious, whimsical, adventurous, awkward, philosophical, and while in possession of a keen mind, she allows herself to be guided by intuition. I could not have asked for a better first Doctor.
My Doctor is River Song. I
stumble through the doors of Doctor Who somewhere in the middle of series 6 and
the result is almost miraculous. River is the red thread I follow through the universe of Doctor Who. I witness her beginnings in A Good Man Goes to War and her youth - full of chaos and fire and burgeoning hope - in Let’s Kill Hitler. There’s a wedding on top of a
pyramid in an alternate timeline and then I circle back to the beginning of
the series, see her meeting a Doctor who doesn’t really know her, before the pain dulls again as I jump into series
5 to get to see River in all her mysterious glory. It will take me another four
series before I must watch her die. But I’m already in love by the time history
itself stops in its tracks because one women will not quietly accept her
fate. River is a force of nature. She’s vivid and bright as the sun. She takes
my breath away every time she is on screen.
My Doctor is Clara Oswald. She’s a young woman who knows she is the heroine of her own story. She’s clever and bossy and beautiful. She’s afraid and brave, she’s reponsible and reckless, she’s kind and she is rude.
She makes mistakes. She’s a liar. Clara wants to be the kind of person who stays behind and takes care of children. She wants to be the kind of person who has adventures and saves planets. My Doctor is stealing a TARDIS and running away. The long way round, to Gallifrey. Because her story could not possibly end any other way. My Doctor is the words I write, the friends I’ve made and the gratefulness I feel knowing that if it were not for this fandom, if it were not for Clara Oswald, I think I would be a different person.
My Doctor is the Twelfth
Doctor. It’s been 10 series of Doctor Who for me, countless adventures, so many years, so many Doctors, but I
find him on a battlefield, his collar turned up to protect himself against the
cold. It’s a final puzzle piece, genty moved into place. It’s coming home, a refuge from an often too chaotic and too cruel world. Just a bloke in a box, telling stories. About mercy and goodness and kindness. And maybe I really only fully understand the meaning of that in that one last story, when a pointless death in a war long over meets a benevolent future humanity, one of the grand miracles of human history, and a Time Lord. I smile and I let him go.