Creator / Matthew Waterhouse

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Matthew Waterhouse at a convention in Swansea.

"... I think I knew even less about the character of Adric than the rest of the team. Who was he? Where did he come from?"

Ask any Doctor Who fan which companion they deem to be the most annoying/irritating/controversial and nine times out of ten they will say Adric. After all, a character who was often portrayed as an arrogant, misogynistic and generally unsympathetic Bratty Half-Pint generally doesn't go down well with an audience.

... Or does it?

According to The Other Wiki, Matthew Waterhouse was born on the 19th of December, 1961 (prior to this, some sources list his birthdate as 1962) in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. He was also a great fan of Doctor Who in his childhood and teenage years, collecting every bit of merchandising under the sun and later joining The Doctor Who Appreciation Society.

Adric's reputation probably wasn't helped by the fact that Matthew Waterhouse was an eighteen-year-old with his only prior acting experiences in the form of a few evening drama classes and a bit part in the John Duttine miniseries To Serve Them All My Days - in particular Equity kicked up a fuss as he wasn't a member. Waterhouse himself even attracted controversy after some of his colleagues expressed their impressions that he was perhaps a little too much like the character he was meant to be portraying in Real Life (Lalla Ward's expressed sentiments about him are a prime example). While filming "Kinda" he decided to advise Richard Todd (an Oscar-nominated actor) on acting.

However, in recent years there have been arguments made in favour of Waterhouse as more and more fans of Doctor Who pinpoint Adric's failings as a fault of the writers rather than the actor, as evidenced here and here. Many more articles on the internet were written throughout The '90s and the Turn of the Millennium defending Adric and Waterhouse, though sadly they no longer exist. Waterhouse also has a sizeable young fanbase introduced via the new series, as evidenced here, here and here.

Since Doctor Who he's gone on to have a few small acting roles (his bigger ones were concentrated in theatre) and has written and published the novels Fates, Flowers: A Comedy of New York, Vanitas: A Comedy of New York and Precious Liars - a trilogy centred around intertwining events taking place in New York City. More relevantly in terms of fans, he has also authored a memoir entitled Blue Box Boy about his time on Doctor Who. Beginning in 2014, he reprised the role of Adric for a series of Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays. He has been a permanent resident of the United States since 1998.

Tropes:

  • Biography: Blue Box Boy is an unusually subverted example. Despite being marketed as an autobiography, Waterhouse has repeated incessantly that it's not an autobiography, but a juxtaposition of his childhood and teenaged fandom with the reality of working on his favourite show.
  • Broken Pedestal: In Blue Box Boy, Waterhouse writes about his disillusionment on working on a show he loved for so many years, describing the bleak atmosphere and the behaviour of the cast.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: On the DVD commentaries to any Doctor Who serials where he makes an appearance, expect him to imitate any member of the onscreen cast (to the annoyance of the other commentators) at some point. He also tends to read the ending credits aloud.
  • Lighter and Softer: Vanitas to Fates, Flowers.
  • Third-Person Person: In Blue Box Boy.

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