Time is a funny old thing. It doesn’t feel like four year since Rob Lloyd last brought his one man show Who, Me to the Edinburgh Fringe yet in terms of Doctor Who that has been, quite literally, a lifetime, the interim having brought the fiftieth anniversary special The Day of the Doctor and almost the entirety of Peter Capaldi’s tenure in the TARDIS from Deep Breath to his penultimate episode The Doctor Falls and the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as his replacement.
Conversely Lloyd himself is astonishingly unchanged, as eager and energetic as before though considerably more travelled having toured the production around the north American convention circuit and having ticked off some more big names off his “meet” list, as the photos posing beside David Tennant and Capaldi demonstrate.
Yes, Rob Lloyd is a writer, a comedian, a performer, an actor, also sometimes a teacher, but he is above all and without doubt a fan of the longest running science fiction show of all time and he denies that it has ruined his life, though in his new venue of the Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre up four flights of steep stairs for the whole of August his obsession may yet see the end of them.
A native of the more obscure reaches of the grand nation of Australia, Lloyd and Doctor Who would perhaps not be expected to be the most natural of fits, and he himself admits he came to the show later than many whose earliest memories are from behind the sofa, but the Doctor has a habit of choosing the most unlikely individuals to travel with him, and Lloyd has certainly spent the last few years running.
Yet to some his relatively recent induction into the worlds of Who, first being introduced around the time of Paul McGann’s singular television movie, marks him as an upstart, a presumptuous latecomer, for if the announcement of the new Doctor has demonstrated anything it is that the only thing many fans enjoy more than their favourite show is denouncing it and other fans in the same way as the Doctor was judged by the Valeyard and the series itself was judged internally at the BBC and externally by Mary Whitehouse among others.
Preparing his defence of his role model and his own life choices, Lloyd’s show is substantially the same as before, and why not? The arguments, defences and evidence still stand strong even if slightly hampered by a poor projection screen, and his conclusion is undeniable: Doctor Who is for everyone as much as the Doctor is for everyone, and above all it is kindness to and acceptance of others which make the world a better place.