A Doctor Who fan has combined his work and his hobby to celebrate 50 years of the classic BBC science fiction series.
Fifty years may not be long when you are a 1,200-year-old Time Lord, but fans around the world plan to celebrate the milestone nonetheless.
Steven Clare, of Bewbush, is a team member at Cineworld, in the Leisure Park, and has been working with his manager to set up a day to remember for his fellow Whovians.
On November 23 – 50 years to the day since the show was launched – Cineworld cinemas across the country are expected to be showing the BBC’s anniversary episode in 3D simulcast.
To add to the thrill of an already exciting day for fans, Steven, 24, said he hopes to enlist the help of an army of Daleks and even the odd Cyberman to help keep visitors in check.
And their may even be an appearance from the Doctor’s trusty time ship, the TARDIS, to give the celebrations a distinctly Gallifreyan flavour.
As well as a gaggle of cos-players – people who dress as characters from TV shows – the event will play host to actor Simon Fisher Becker, who played a large blue alien called Dorium Maldovar opposite 11th Doctor Matt Smith.
Mr Becker – who will be speaking to fans and signing autographs – also appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and is a regular at fan conventions.
Steven said: “I literally want the Whovians to take over the cinema!”
A spokesman for Cineworld said details of the showing were still being finalised and that more information would be available in the next couple of weeks.
Steven plans to give all money raised at the event to the charity Autism All Stars.
The charity holds an autism-friendly film club at the Crawley cinema on the first Sunday of every month.
Explaining why he chose Autism All Stars, Steven said: “Autism is an illness that isn’t clearly that visible all the time, so it’s good to get a bit of recognition for that charity.”
Helen Wallace-Iles, of Autism All Stars said: “Many people on the autism spectrum are huge fans of Doctor Who and events like this are invaluable to Autism All Stars because they allow us to bring autistic people together with people who have no previous experience of the condition in a safe, fun environment where they all have something in common and can see that in the end we’re all more alike than different, which is exactly what All Stars is about.”
Describing his love of the show and his habit of dressing as the 11th Doctor, Steven said: “It’s something fun. It started as a bit of escapism but now I enjoy doing what I can to put a smile on people’s faces.
“What’s the point of all being the same? That would be boring.”
Crawley’s link with the series stretches all the way back to 1967, when the Patrick Troughton story The Faceless Ones was set at Gatwick.
And, in 1986, Colin Baker’s co-star Bonnie Langford played Melanie Bush, who was from Pease Pottage.
For more details about the event, log on to Facebook and search for Doctor-Who-A-Celebration. Log on to www.autism-all-stars.org for more about the charity.