Before we begin, I want to clarify something: this isn’t a message to my actual doctor. I haven’t received inappropriate treatment from my medical practitioner that left me feeling dirty and unclean. (If I had, I could say I’ve been hooked.)
No, this is about one of my heroes, a man who, for three years on television was a rogue Time Lord who stole a TARDIS, and in the process, the hearts of millions of kids like me. And yes, that’s a pretty sappy line. Shut up.
Now I want to address the Fifth Doctor, actor Peter Davison, a man who, no lie, saved my life.
To me, you’re not just an actor who played The Doctor – and dozens of other roles, Mr. Davison. To me, you’ll always be someone who showed a young boy that dreams really can come true. You showed a young boy who had been bullied his whole life that a “regular” guy could become a hero with all of time and space at his fingertips.
I was a slender lad who never felt comfortable in his own skin. Kids pick up on that like a shark smells blood in the water and so I was teased, picked on and bullied every day. To make matters even more unbearable, certain words punctuated my childhood.
I only contemplated that last word, obviously. But the others were all-too real. Now, theses words could have defined my life from that moment forward. They could’ve set the course for my entire life.
But they didn’t.
There are several reasons why I’ve become the strong, emotionally-stable (mostly) citizen, husband and father that I am today, but the first was you, Mr. Davison. Sure, I first discovered The Doctor through the performances of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, but I was obvious from the moment you first appeared in your predecessor’s scarf and bulky coat that you were going to be “my Doctor”.
I’ve never been able to put my finger on it, but something about your Doctor put me at ease. Doctor Who was on every day on public television in Canada and it was the best half-hour of my day. You made me feel relaxed. Maybe it was the fact my reality was anything but hopeful and you were a Time Lord who could travel anywhere, at any time and you always prevailed. Even when the victory left you broken you carried on. That gave me hope. And as a wise man once wrote, hope is a good thing, perhaps the best of thing. And no good thing ever dies.
And true enough, I’ve never lost my respect for you. In fact, it’s only grown over the decades since you traveled around in a blue box that’s actually smaller on the outside.
We met briefly recently. Ironically, it wasn’t at Niagara Falls Comic Con where you were appearing. Rather, you were a guest at the hotel where I’m known as “The Hook”. Yes, it lacks the flair of “The Doctor”… but it works for me. You were looking for a box of photographs that hadn’t been delivered yet and my response must have shocked you – but only because you don’t know me.
“Now if they had a TARDIS, it could’ve been delivered yesterday… or before you even shipped it.”
Lucky for me, you chuckled rather than call me a prat. Thank heavens for that Gallifreyean sense of humor, right? You walked away ( I choked rather than say anything else to you). You came back a short while later but departed quickly when I informed you the package still hadn’t materialized. This time, however, I realized I couldn’t let you go.
Yes, that sounds creepy but my intentions were pure, I swear. I chased after you (again, that sounds creepy, I know), apologized for interrupting your night and thanked you for being my Doctor.
I wanted to say so much more. I wanted to thank you for giving a young boy something to look forward to every day. I wanted to express my gratitude for the impact you’ve had on my life, the example of heroism you set for me and so many others.
But I didn’t.
But now I have.
Thank you, Mr. Davison, for everything. For being my Doctor. For being such a stellar actor. And especially, for not being offended when a man-child interrupted your evening to gush all over you.
Once again, that sounds creepy. I’m going to stop right here.
See you on the streets of Pulp Nation, kids…