Blaine Coughlan and Liam Millar got married on Friday 20th July 2018. It was a happy occasion for friends and family, that only got more magical with the appearance of two surprise guests: Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and star Christopher Eccleston, back in character as the Doctor.
Eccleston’s touching video tribute to the couple has been thrilling fans since it popped up online in September. Meanwhile Davies’s ‘scorned lover’ routine in his own video is simply hilarious.
Now Radio Times can bring you the story of how it came to be.
Blaine works for Essex police, and met Liam back in December 2012. They got engaged two years ago, with Blaine proposing on stage after a performance of Avenue Q. But there has always been a third person in their relationship: a certain Time Lord.
“I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since I was four or five in 1979/80,” says Blaine. “The BBC had a thing before the first Peter Davison series, a repeat season called The Five Faces of Doctor Who, where they played one episode from each. And that’s when I learned the history and really got hooked.”
“It’s fair to say that I’m more of a fan than Liam,” Blaine adds, although the couple previously got a photo together with Peter Capaldi at the Doctor Who Celebration in 2015. “Liam always gets dragged along to all my Doctor Who events!” says Blaine.
In fact, they had an agreement that their wedding wouldn’t feature the man in the blue box.
“Most of my life revolves around Doctor Who, so we had an agreement that the wedding wouldn’t revolve around it too. I wore Tardis cufflinks, but that was the extent of what we agreed.”
However when his best man Jamie Clark, with whom Blaine makes comedy skits, ended his speech with a video, Blaine had no idea what was to come.
“I thought it was going to be silly clips of us, but then a caption came up, ‘And now a couple of messages from people who couldn’t make it.’
“And then Russell T Davies came on screen! My jaw was on the floor, people were gasping. Then there was someone else who wanted to say hello, and Christopher Eccleston appeared! It was incredible.”
So how did Jamie convince these two very special guests to make an appearance?
“He contacted the agents, although I imagine they get loads of requests like this that the stars never hear about. However, Jamie is a theatre producer, and he knows the right way to approach it. All of them – the agents, Russell T Davies and Christopher Eccleston – couldn’t have been nicer. They wanted to know all of the details about us, our relationship, and how I was a massive Doctor Who fan.”
He thinks his lifelong commitment to Who might have swung it. Blaine appeared as a UNIT soldier in unofficial Doctor Who spin-off videos in the late 90s, and worked behind the camera on the Auton film series. These direct to video features licensed the Who villains, and were written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, voice of the Daleks and executive producer of the Big Finish audio adventures.
“I think it might have helped me relate to them. It’s possible Russell T Davies might have heard of me before, as I had a couple of drawings published in Doctor Who Magazine, and they used to have a section of reader comments called the ‘Time Team,’ where I was published quite a few times over the years. So, my name has appeared a few times, and he reads it, so maybe he saw it. Maybe.”
Whatever the reason, it goes to show that despite the endless online bickering, fandom can still be a magical thing, and that a lifetime of commitment and contributing can pay off.
Congratulations to Blaine and Liam. I’m sure we can all agree with the Doctor’s sentiments: “My two hearts beat as one for you.”
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news