Thank you to everyone who entered the competition to tell me what Doctor Who meant to them. Everything people said resonated with me on some level, and several moved me very deeply.
In fact, I had reached a stage where I was lamenting that I had only one prize to give, as two of the entries really stood out for me, when the lovely Sally Edwards told me that she, too, had received awesome customer service from RedBubble.
A friend had sent Sally a TARDIS case for her iPhone, but Sally has the previous model, and the iPhone 4 case would not fit the phone. Sally contacted RedBubble, who promptly arranged for her to get a replacement case and told her to ‘find a good home’ for the original. Sally has kindly donated the second case to this competition. Hurrah!
So today I would like to announce the joint winner of this competition: Radioman and Melissa.
I received the email from Radioman first, and was deeply moved. This is his response:
Doctor Who has become a way for me to say to my 10 year old daughter things that I haven’t been able to tell her. My job has required me to move our family several times, and it has forced her to leave schools, friends and family more times than a young child should. It fills me with more pain than you can imagine to tear her away from friends she thought she would grow and graduate with.
Bailey and I began watching Doctor Who together with season six. She loves River and Amy and imagines riding in the TARDIS. So for this last Christmas, I spent four months writing my daughter a short book called “Bailey and The Doctor”. I had it printed in hardcover and gave it to her on Christmas night. We read the first two chapters together before I had to stop.
In it, the TARDIS appears in her room one night, and she and The Doctor go on a wonderful adventure. She meets her first alien race and defeats a Weeping Angel! At the end, The Doctor sees that she’s sad when he announces he has to leave. He then shares his sadness in leaving his home so long ago, and losing friends along the way. But, he tells her how rich her life will be for the people she meets and the experiences she’ll have and that she and he are very much alike. They are both travellers who make people’s lives better, wherever they go.
This was a lesson I couldn’t teach her, but The Doctor could.
I, too, grew up moving from town to town, as my father was in the RAAF. Every three years I had to leave everyone behind, settle into a new neighbourhood and a new school, and make new friends. When I was a teenager that was particularly hard. Still, I think I benefited more than I lost from the life I had. Perhaps it’s one of the things I recognise and love about the Doctor, too.
Then I heard from 13-year-old Melissa. I think basically, Melissa reminds me a little of myself at that age, from the sneaky TV watching to the acting out of stories in my room. My Dad also introduced me to science fiction, so her description of her relationship with him reminded me of my own father as well. This is Melissa’s response (edited slightly for brevity):
Since I was very little I was known as a “special Child” because I wasn’t very interested in all those baby shows like Hi5 or the Wiggles. Therefore, every night, I would act like I was asleep behind my mum on the couch and look at the TV when there were no ads showing. I would end up watching all sorts of these horror or murder mystery movies and series.
Then one day, when I was five, my dad was watching Doctor Who. He told me something like, “Doctor Who’s going to start. You can watch it as well, if you want!” So I sat with him, watching my first ever Dr Who episode ever, The Empty Child, staring Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and John Barrowman, and I loved every second of it, from start to end.
Normally, I would go back to my room after watching something I really liked and re-enact the scenes I remembered, but by far Doctor Who had my favorite scenes to re-enact and I would draw pictures of my favorite scenes only with me instead of Rose.
I’m twelve now turning thirteen in July, and I’m still as lovestruck with it as I was seven years ago. I’ve started drawing the main Doctor Who characters and I’ve also been putting together Doctor Who cubees. Our ‘father-daughter’ project is to make a full-sized Tardis out of the left over wood from our new veranda (only not bigger on the inside,) and put all my Doctor Who art and collectables in.
The real reason I entered this competition is to show my dad how much I appreciate him and everything he did to make me how I am today. I think I don’t give him as much credit as I should. Winning this would prove to him, in every way possible, what he means to me.
What Doctor Who means to me? That’s an easy one: Doctor Who means, almost my life. A piece of me or simply a second father to me.
So, congratulations Radioman and Melissa – I’ll contact you shortly to get your postal addresses.
My thanks, too, to everyone who entered. In my next blog, I’ll share some of the other thoughts that were sent my way: other wonderful moments of parent/child bonding and entries about friendships, a love of imagination and creativity, and ideas on how to be human and ways to live your life.
Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.