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Homage to The Master

PUBLISHED: 11:57 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 17:24 16 August 2010

TO say that I m a bit of a Doctor Who fan is an understatement, writes Mark Campbell. I was born the day before episode five of the 1967 story The Faceless Ones and have religiously watched every episode from 1973 s The Three Doctors onwards. Stand-up co

TO say that I'm a bit of a Doctor Who fan is an understatement, writes Mark Campbell. I was born the day before episode five of the 1967 story The Faceless Ones and have religiously watched every episode from 1973's The Three Doctors onwards.

Stand-up comedian Toby Hadoke's one-man show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, at the Greenwich Theatre recently, brilliantly conveyed the anguish and joy of being a fan.

Hadoke is younger than me, so his earliest Who memories are from the 1980s (poor man) but in every other way his life mirrors mine.

Bravely, he reads out genuine diary entries from the time. They make him seem nerdier than Adrian Mole, with a passion for the programme's behind-the-scenes minutiae that makes his mother worry about her son's sanity.

Hadoke's father walked out on him at an early age (as did mine) and it's tempting to think this patriarchal void was filled by the charismatic figure of the Doctor.

Certainly that's the impression that Hadoke wants us to have, which makes his burgeoning relationship with his young son - specifically their joint watching of the new series of Doctor Who - especially touching.

There are, of course, many Doctor Who references and in-jokes, but none that would alienate people who aren't familiar with the show (surely very few these days?).

Hadoke's overriding theme is how an obsession - be it for football, trainspotting or the best TV show in the world - can consume 'normal life' until everything else is inextricably linked up with it.

Occasionally Hadoke's delivery faltered (tiredness, perhaps, after a recent tour in New Zealand) and the objects of his scorn are easy targets - Noel Edmonds, the BNP, Big Brother - but his passionate defence of the programme that he loves (the walls only wobbled twice in 46 years!) gave this particular fan a warm glow inside.

The next production at the Greenwich Theatre will be an adaptation of Three Men In a Boat by Abigail Anderson and Daniel O'Brien from June 16 to 20. Tickets: 020 8858 7755.

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