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
. 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).
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
. Many more articles on the internet were written throughout The Nineties
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
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 will reprise the role of Adric for a series of audio plays for Big Finish
. He has been a permanent resident of the United States since 1998.
- 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.
- Enforced Method Acting: Towards the end of episode four of Castrovalva, the viewer can see Adric running behind the Doctor before disappearing behind a tree. This could be attributed to Adric not being in a good state after being held captive by The Master, but in actual fact Waterhouse was suffering a terrible hangover during filming and really had to be sick behind that tree.
- 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.
- Mean Character Nice Actor: Despite the ill-repute of Adric and Waterhouse within the fandom, people who have actually met Waterhouse on the convention circuit conclude that he is a nice man, if rather shy.
- One of Us: Aside from being an ascended fan of Doctor Who, he's also apparently a fan of Godzilla, and in his youth he loved to watch shows such as The Tomorrow People and Blakes Seven as well as read Marvel Comics. He's also a massive literature nerd with a taste for Shakespeare and Proust among many others.
- Playing Against Type: Though Briarley (from To Serve Them All My Days) and Adric are both smart-mouthed, edgy characters, they wouldn't be classified as bad. However, Waterhouse's casting in the 1986 art film The Killing Edge turns this around completely - he plays the knife man.
- Promoted Fanboy
- Reality Subtext: When Waterhouse was sixteen, his older brother Nicholas committed suicide after a proposal to his girlfriend was rejected. Waterhouse then used the situation to express Adric's pain over the death of his brother Varsh in Full Circle.
- Reclusive Artist: Though Waterhouse hasn't exactly hidden away from the public (he contributes commentaries, performs a bit and he's made the odd convention appearance), he isn't as active as his fellow Doctor Who alumni and he doesn't particularly like giving interviews or talking about his personal life. So much so that when Doctor Who Magazine announced an interview with Waterhouse in mid-2010, that article was second only to Amy and Rory's marriage in terms of how much it was promoted and featured.
- He seems to have smashed this perception of him in subsequent years, as now he has an official website with a blog, and as of November 2014, a a Twitter account! He's now pretty much shaping up to be Doctor Who's answer to Wil Wheaton.
- Third-Person Person: In Blue Box Boy.
- Write What You Know: His novels often involve aspiring creators, British expats, young gay men and the setting of New York City.