Most people know that Katie was the subject of the 2017 movie, The One, Who Knocks, based on the New York Times bestseller, The One Who Knocks.
What is less well known is that she is also the subject of a humorous Instagram post, @imogenheal, that went viral, amassing over 500,000 likes as of this writing. Many people assumed this was the real story behind the viral post, which pokes fun at several of the misconceptions that surrounded the story. This post will highlight a few of those misconceptions and provide some interesting behind-the-scenes trivia.
Misconception #1: It Was All A Dream
When the movie first came out, many people assumed that it was all a dream, that Katie had somehow convinced herself that she was really Doctor Who, that she had tricked everyone around her into thinking she was the famous British doctor, or that she had somehow gone insane.
The reality is that The One was not a dream. At least not entirely. While Doctor Who is fictional, it is based on the adventures of the real-life British doctor, Patrick Balfour Shaw. In fact, the story was inspired by a real-life event that took place in Dublin in 2015.
That year, a Doctor Who fan named Shaw managed to convince one of the show’s executive producers, Rick Hilton, to let him be in the show.
Hilton himself played Doctor Who in a short scene that was included in the episode. So for the most part, it was actually Doctor Who that Shaw dreamed about being, not Katie.
This scene caused a bit of a stir when it was first aired, as it was one of the few times Doctor Who had been shown on digital platforms outside of England.
This may have been the primary reason that the scene went viral, as it’s not everyday that you see a celebrity in real life. Especially one as famous as Doctor Who.
Misconception #2: The Movie Is About…
When The One came out, many people assumed that it was about Katie and her pursuit of Doctor Who.
After all, that is the setup of the story; she is infatuated with Doctor Who, decides to impersonate him, and tricks everyone around her into believing that she is Doctor Who.
However, this is far from the whole truth.
The story is actually about three characters, Patricia Stonehouse, Emma Cushnie, and Mark Pattinson, who travel back in time 50 years to 1962 and alter history, such that Doctor Who does not exist.
This changes everything for the three women, altering their entire lives. After the time travel portion of the story, the remaining two-and-a-half hours are a comedic romp that explores the fallout of these changes, as well as the ripple effects of these changes on society at large. So while the movie does center around Katie (who is a supporting character), it is not about her impersonation of Doctor Who.
It is quite interesting to note that the film’s trailer, which was released before the movie, revealed almost exactly this (emphasis added).
“It’s about three women who accidentally time-travel, and mess up history. It’s a romantic comedy, with a surprising twist.”
Behind-The-Scenes: How The One Who Knocks Came To Be
If Doctor Who is fictional, however did The One Who Knocks become a reality? The story begins with Patrick Balfour Shaw, who was previously mentioned, as he wrote an article for the New York Times in 2015, entitled “I Traveled To The Famous Person I Have Inspired In Real Life”.
In the piece, Shaw outlines the events that led to him writing The One Who Knocks, stating that after he met Katie in person, he knew that Doctor Who would be the perfect subject for her.
“I immediately saw the humor in the situation. In a way, Doctor Who is a gift from God, because I think that even the most hardened of Doctor Who fans will be able to laugh at this incident.”
The rest, as they say, is history. While The One was originally planned as a romantic comedy, it ended up being more of an honest comedy, which some people found difficult to watch. This may have been due to the controversy surrounding Doctor Who, as it was broadcast in Ireland in 2015, just as Brexit was erupting. This may also have been the reason The One was later titled, The One Who Knocks.
The original Doctor Who scripts, which were first posted on the blog Doctor Who Scoop in October 2015, included a line of dialogue (emphasis added) that describes Katie’s dress:
“Is that a Doctor Who coat? Really?! Well, it’s a sort‐of a Doctor Who coat.
Didn’t you used to wear a Doctor Who coat? Yes.
Not this one.
But kind of like it.
Not even a little.