Waris Hussein: Doctor Who Can ‘Help Cure Loneliness’

The very first Doctor Who director, Waris Hussein, has claimed that the show can help cure loneliness.

In a special panel discussion by Doctor Who: The Fan Show about the LGBTQ community and their connection to the show, Hussein was joined by actress Bethany Black, from Doctor Who television story Sleep No More, and Doctor Who Magazine’s Benjamin Cook, to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality.

During the discussion, Hussein explained:

“The thing about Doctor Who is because he’s able to transport you into all sorts of worlds that you have no identification with, I think it has a lot to do with solving people’s loneliness.

“And the fact that he encounters other people who are equally lost or finding themselves. His companions are the ones who are more grounded in where they come from.”

Fully embracing diversity wasn’t an option for Hussein, who cut his teeth directing the very first Doctor Who serial, An Unearthly Child, while working on the show in the 60’s – instead, he found other ways to sneak in subversive elements that were open to interpretation.

He added:

“Regarding Doctor Who of course, first of all it was an adventure story… However, there were certain characters that perhaps could have been interpreted in some subversive way.

“The director went on to describe an early character called Tegana, who ‘being clad in black leather with his head all pulled back and shiny and greased down… [was] the sort of figure that in the gay mind might be a certain kind of fantasy figure.”

You can catch the full discussion in the video below.