a real world point of view
Matthew Waterhouse (born 19 December 1961 in Hertford) played companion Adric in Doctor Who from Full Circle to Earthshock, with cameo appearances in Time-Flight and The Caves of Androzani. After leaving the series, he began a stage career.
Waterhouse began his career as a clerk in the BBC news department before securing a role in the television drama To Serve Them All My Days in 1980. Shortly afterward he auditioned for and won the role of Adric. He was a confirmed Doctor Who fan and had had at least one letter printed in Doctor Who Weekly before he took up the role.
Adric was a companion of Tom Baker and Peter Davison's Doctors from 1980 to 1982. Waterhouse was the youngest actor to play a companion and remains the youngest male to have done so. (In 2010, Caitlin Blackwood originated the role of the Eleventh Doctor's first companion Amelia Pond when ten years old [the character was seven], and continued to portray her on a recurring basis throughout - and immediately beyond - her cousin Karen Gillan's regular performance as adult Amy). Matthew Waterhouse is openly gay and is believed to be the first non-heterosexual actor on Doctor Who to have been open about his sexuality while on the series. He also played the third companion to die in the series after Katarina in 1965 and Sara Kingdom in 1966. The first Doctor Who serial Waterhouse filmed was State of Decay; Full Circle was filmed afterwards.
Waterhouse's name was used, as an in-joke, by comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams for a character in their sketch show Little Britain. Waterhouse in the programme is an unsuccessful inventor of bizarre and ridiculous new versions of things such as board games and breakfast cereals. (Little Britain has also featured two other characters named after Doctor Who companion actors, Michael Craze and Mark Strickson.)
Waterhouse has lived in Connecticut, in the United States, since July 1998. He still appears occassionally at fan conventions and visits the UK. Most recently, he has contributed to the commentary for the DVD releases of The Visitation and Earthshock.
In 2010, Waterhouse joined a growing number of Doctor Who actors in publishing an autobiography. In his book, Blue Box Boy, he writes candidly about his experiences making Doctor Who. In it he claims Tom Baker had a horrible attitude and that he was shocked that someone he admired could be this way. To publicise the release, he consented to a rare interview for Doctor Who Magazine #424.
As of 2012, Waterhouse is one of only a few surviving actors who has not reprised his Doctor Who role for Big Finish Productions.