Doctor Who star Sacha Dhawan has spoken openly of his own struggles with his mental health, noting previously that one particularly challenging period almost saw him turn down the role of the Doctor’s greatest foe, the Master.
And now Dhawan has returned to the topic to raise awareness of a new mental health fundraiser, with a new video seeing the actor (alongside Milo Parker, who voices a version of the Master for Big Finish’s audio dramas) promoting a 12-hour Doctor Who-themed livestream by YouTuber George Sheard (aka acecreeper).
“Hey guys, hope you’re all keeping well and safe,” Dhawan says in the video.
“Wow, what a year 2020 has been. I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings, because I know whatever life throws at us we’ll get through it – because we’ve shown during 2020, particularly during times of crisis we can come together.
THEY ARE THE MASTER AND YOU WILL OBEY THEM!
Thank You so much to Milo Parker and @sacha_dhawan for the wonderful video messages of support for our Young Minds Fundraiser!!#DoctorWho
Donation Page✨: https://t.co/jxJuZuFVzR
Watch the Livestream????: https://t.co/GYrnyJ5JkQ pic.twitter.com/2URmjjxHRT
— George Sheard ???? (@acecreeptwo) December 5, 2020
“I think now more than ever it’s important that we look after one another, but also make sure that we look after our own mental health. I know for so many people this year particularly has been incredibly difficult and turbulent.
“I think it’s also important that we encourage others to talk about their mental health, and continue to create more of an awareness around this important subject matter, particularly for the next generation, the younger generation, this is just as important. And I think it’s important that we take the responsibility of encouraging the next generation to feel empowered to talk about their mental health as well.”
Dhawan went on to explain the details of Sheard’s fundraiser, which saw the young fan stream live on YouTube for 12 hours and auction off special Doctor Who memorabilia on Saturday 5th December. At time of writing the fundraiser (which you can check out here) had exceeded its £2,000 target, with donations continuing to arrive.
“I was contacted by the brilliant acecreeper, who runs a YouTube channel to support Doctor Who,” Dhawan said.
“He will be doing a 12 hour livestream I think around Christmastime in support of this brilliant charity Young Minds, YoungMinds.org.uk, who support the next generation, but are also trying to open up the conversation around mental health to a wider audience, which you know I’m incredibly passionate about.
“So please check out acecreeper and support his brilliant livestream, and donate if you can, it’d be much appreciated,” Dhawan continued.
“I’m sure Young Minds could do with all the support they can during this time. So thank you so much for checking out this video, I wish you all the best for Christmas and I’ll see you in 2021.”
Of course, some fans immediately seized on Dhawan’s last line as confirmation that the Master would be back for the currently-filming series of Doctor Who, but given the full context of his speech it seems more likely the actor was speaking more generally about the difficult year the world has been through.
Clearly, Doctor Who is pretty good at bringing fans together – even if we’re all still mostly apart.
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One at 6.45pm on New Year’s Day. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.