Doctor Who Convention Encounters: Matthew Waterhouse

When I was younger, I used to enjoy going to conventions in New York City (about an hour away from where I lived). I was roughly 14 years old when I discovered and got into Doctor Who, and I was pretty pleased when I learned I could go to these events and meet actors who were involved in the series. At my first Doctor Who event, the special guest was Matthew Waterhouse, who played the companion Adric from 1980-1982.

(Daily Doctor Who #71)

I’m not sure if I’d ever even seen an episode of Doctor Who with Matthew Waterhouse at that point, but I had read enough (thanks to all the books I’d looked at about the series) to know who he was. And so off I went, little knowing that someday Adric would be one of my least-favorite companions.

But still, those were the glory days of this sort of thing, especially if you were from the New York City region. The events were full but not overcrowded, they were great opportunity to pick up all the niftiest Doctor Who material (especially the Target novelizations–one of the easiest ways we had in those pre-DVD days for actually enjoying classic Doctor Who stories), and you could meet your favorite actors and get their autographs for the price of glossy photograph (like, $5 or so).

I think I also watched The Dalek Invasion of the Earth on a screen in the main hall, which was the first time I saw the First Doctor in anything.

Maybe parts of The Seeds of Death, as my first Second Doctor story as well.

I also remember listening to Matthew Waterhouse speak the audience and answer questions. I don’t recollect much of what he said, all these years later, but I do recall him being asked whether he enjoyed working more with Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) or Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor), and I recall his answer was that wished he had worked with Tom Baker when he was older. I also recall him asking the audience to vote by clapping about which of two female actors were sexier–the less said about that, I guess, the better.

I quickly discovered that I really enjoyed getting autographs. It’s pretty silly, I realize, but for some reason I really enjoy having collected over the years the signatures of various actors, writers, and other creative contributors to my favorite things.

In real life, Matthew Waterhouse’s autograph is easier than you can see here. I think I chose this particular photograph because I was thinking that if ever got autographs from Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and janet Fielding, I could get them to sign the same photo.

Amusingly, I do have autographs from the rest of those actors now, but none of them on the same photo.

I also got him to sign my little autograph book…

I also decided to have him sign my copy of the novelization of Earthshock.

This was the 5th Doctor story which was the last one that Adric appeared in as a regular, and I had it in my head for a short time that that made it an appropriate item to get signed, even though of course Matthew Waterhouse had nothing to do with writing the book or anything. But still, I went ahead and got it.

So, Matthew Waterhouse–a bit of an inauspicious debut, compared others that I met later who were people that gave me a lot more enjoyment on the series, but still–I’m glad he came and gave us his time, and kicked off my medium-length line of Doctor Who conventions that I got to in those days, which has now led to a manila folder full of autographed glossy photos. More next time!

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