Travels in time with a Doctor Who fan . . .

Dr Who fan Michael Gilroy-Sinclair
Dr Who fan Michael Gilroy-Sinclair
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ACCORDING to his mum, Michael Gilroy-Sinclair was a fan of Doctor Who even before he was born.

“She says I used to respond to the theme tune even when I was a baby in the womb,” says Michael of Elland Road, Brighouse.

Coming from a family of fans of the Time Lord who used to congregate on the sofa on Saturday evenings to watch the popular sci-fi show, there was never much doubt that Michael, now 40, would become something of an expert on the great Doctor.

The first TV Time Lord Michael remembers watching was Tom Baker and over the years, though the actors donning the Doctor’s mantle have changed, his devotion to the show is a constant.

Michael, who has a masters degree in media production, has now written a humorous and tongue-in-cheek guide to amuse the most discerning Doctor Who fan.

‘Whostrology’, says Michael, is a book of daily readings, zodiac signs and Doctor Who-based astrological readings, designed to help fans lead a calm and ordered life. “It’s been great fun to write it and it’s intended to raise a smile. It has involved watching 50 years of Doctor Who episodes again - which for a fan like me has hardly been a hardship!

“I can remember making notes and starting to write it during the last Olympics and finally signing it off in time for this year’s Olympics,” said Michael who combines writing with looking after his three-year-old daughter.

The long-lasting popularity of Doctor Who does not surprise ardent devotees like Michael.

“Doctor Who is part of the fabric of British life. There’s something particularly British about it. It has even contributed to the English language - places are described as Tardis-like, for example.

“People who have never seen Doctor Who know about Doctor Who.

“You’ve got an eccentric, intelligent but flawed hero who mostly solves problems with his mind and intellect rather than resorting to weapons. It’s true family entertainment.”

Michael hosts the Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast and is a mine of information on all matters relating to the Time Lord.

The 50th anniversary since the time-travelling Doctor’s Tardis landed on Earth is being marked next November. With its ear-popping theme tune and stories of alien invaders, the programme soon became a national institution and essential viewing in millions of households.

“When it first appeared on TV screens in 1963 it was a time of great paranoia as well as great interest in space and discovery. It really captured the public’s imagination.”

Though he has a soft sport for Jon Pertwee’s years of service as the Doctor, Michael does not have a particular favourite.

“The show used be thought of as the domain of boys and men but since David Tennant, all that has changed and now a lot more women watch the show - which is a lot healthier. People often complain about the wobbly walls and the dodgy-looking sets in the early days - but actually, when you watch closely, there are very few examples of that.”

With illustrations by Deborah Taylor, also a keen Dr Who fan, the book has its tongue firmly in its cheek and Michael is hoping it will make the perfect stocking filler for Time Lord geeks and casual viewers alike.

With a Christmas special due to be screened and plenty of anniversary celebrations on the cards for 2013, Michael has released his book with a sense of timing that is worthy of Dr Who himself.

l ‘Whostrology’ is published by Telos at £10.99 and is available from Amazon.