Although my best memories of Doctor Who are grounded in an era when Tom Baker rightfully commanded the UK's weekend teatime family viewing (broadcast in 4:3 aspect ratio of course) - it has been incredible to witness the reincarnation of Time Lord's adventures for a new generation, largely kick started by David Tennant back in the mid noughties.
Now a truly worldwide phenomenon with countless fanzines, online debate and endless merchandise options to quench the thirst for DW fans, Doctor Who has embraced the social media age as successfully as Gallifrey's best known export regenerates (the series 10 finale of Doctor Who screens on BBC One at 18:30 today).
One of the most rewarding highlights of my work as a photographer is the amazing diversity of people that I meet, share experience and collaborate with. So it was with much joy that I stumbled upon a treasure throve of Doctor Who fandom - Paul's bedroom.
I met Paul whilst on assignment with Dimensions - who are one of the country’s largest not-for-profits supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour, complex needs. My brief was to create multiple 'day-in-the-life' case studies to faithfully represent the complexities of their support work around England.
In one particular location (a residential home for 7 persons requiring nursing and personal care to accommodate for their various learning disabilities) I met Paul during breakfast and soon started a lovely rapport over a cup of strong tea. I then proceeded to document Paul and 5 of his fellow house friends for the rest of the day - photographing their engagement with a wide range of activities from church prayer & tenpin bowling to pet therapy.
Towards the end of the day, during a staff shift change over, a manager asked whether I had seen Paul's bedroom? I hadn't and was immediately intrigued by the sparkle in her eye. Within moments, Paul proudly welcomed me into his bedroom - a richly detailed shrine to 12 Time Lords and their numerous assistants. In fact the sole object in his room and bathroom that wasn't Doctor Who themed was a fantastic red leather armchair. I learnt that Paul has viewed every episode made and, for most, can recite the script verbatim. Don't be deceived by the size of the Dalek in the portrait too - it is actually a full sized 3D replica model that levitates near his bed. Paul loves Doctor Who.
I asked whether he would allow me to capture his passion more formally and he agreed with enthusiasm. After directing him into his luxurious chair, he relaxed and proceeded to watch an episode of Doctor Who. Thank you Paul.
I know exactly what Paul will be watching at 18:30 this afternoon - a series finale where Peter Capaldi will end his tenure in charge of the TARDIS.