TARDIS : Twixt Aspergers And Reverence (for ) Doctor In Space.
It took a year. A whole year.
They said it was coming: this 50th anniversary. I thought it didn’t matter. Or that it might be a ‘special episode’, or something as small as that.
You see, when they resurrected Dr Who in 2005 with one of my favourite actors, Christopher Eccleston, I couldn’t quite convince Beloved Aspie (BA) to give it a go. I talked to him of Daleks and Cybermen and Sea Devils (who’d been a particular terror of mine along with those giant maggots). But he was unimpressed. Of course, by this time Spiderman could fly between buildings, and the Xmen exalted their mutantcy in glorious CGI.
The king rat, early Silurians and a few bug-eyed monsters carried no appeal.
But, he didn’t give up (sometimes he is his mother’s son) and he got hooked (sometimes he …) And it became an event. On Saturday, we would sit together and watch the new Dr Who. The we discovered that our downstairs neighbours, the talented poet, John Mc Cullough, and his partner Morgan, were also fans. They started lending BA dvds of the older shows.
Well that was it -addiction!
For BA’s 18th birthday , it was a Dr Who theme. I spent months advising friends, in secret, what they should wear to look like this, that or the other alien, character, whatever. Their efforts were phenomenal and his joy supreme.
We did well –too well! His expectations of the 50th Celebration were high. He was vigilant. He was one of the first to get tickets online (thanks be). He had a dear friend signed up to join us there, (thanks, B). Then we started planning the costume.
Now, here’s the truth. As the year moved on, a total Aspie obsession set in. First it was the sonic screwdrivers: all of them. I have painted them. Family and friends have been enlisted to modify them. I am torn between wanting to kill him for tormenting everyone, and admiring him for enlisting everyone! Then it was the impossible route to building his own Vortex Manipulator (yes, be glad if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
What I haven’t enjoyed is waking him in the morning and the first words being sonic screwdriver or vortex whatever…Good morning, mum works for me. Or the last words being something about the next bit we have to find in a shop to make whatever…I quite like a goodnight hug.
By last week, he was beside himself: overwhelmed with expectation and overwrought with anxiety about what could go wrong. I was the latter times ten. With expectation so high, how the hell was I going to fix it if it didn’t work out?
I dressed up, as River Song; thank goodness she did double denim and a white shirt. Check. BA was a stunning version of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). We got up at 5am. Left home by 5.50am to drive to London. A mad woman reversed into the car in the car park, helpful. Excel is huge and our friend couldn’t get past jobsworth because I had her ticket when no-one had wanted them minutes before.
And then everything melted: the stress, the panic, the mania. We were here. In the Weeping Angels’ group, going into the Celebration.
I won’t lie –there were things that could have been better. More space for the costumes and props area – fantastic stuff on show, and no room to swing a cat or take a photo. Autographs and photos were overbooked so celeb moments limited. What saved the day was the behind the scenes teams who were showing us special effects, or make up, or model making (yes, those Daleks flying through the wall on the Anniversary special show, I did that) had the most amazing stories to share. And BA did get to see Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman being interviewed, and Tom Baker with Graham Norton, and the so friendly comedian, Jon Culshaw.
I died in the Dr Who Quiz without him. He was still shopping and I was answering S***e.
But we left the building with a final photo shoot as he put his Tardis Key in the door of the original Tardis prop, his shopping by his feet, to say farewell.
He was exhausted.
But he had the best day.
My work here is done.