Everybody that watches Doctor Who loves the British based television show because of the quirkiness of the show and mainly because of the character, the Doctor himself. They also know that the Doctor does not stay in one body due to regeneration after death and this gives various actors a chance to be the Doctor. Those that know of the television show knows of the Time Lords which is a race of fictional humanoids from the planet Gallifrey. They also have various characters that work with the Doctor. Captain Jack Harkness, one of the Doctor’s buddies, was portrayed by an actor named John Barrowman.
The Doctor isn’t complete without his buddies and so John Barrowman was an important addition to the show. But in real life, he has been given an interesting role and it isn’t an acting stint. This role was to learn more about what it’s like to go Deaf. With this experience under his belt, he was able to share a few of his surprises and frustrations. In his blog post on “Hearing Dogs for Deaf People“, he talks a lot about the shock of instantly losing his hearing and having to adjust. While this isn’t a realistic example of how most people go Deaf, it is still a good explanation of what people go through as individuals and a small percentage of their struggles are highlighted.
It isn’t a big shocker that John experienced frustration of missing things such as background noise, environmental alerts, parts of conversations, and the inability to know when people are trying to get his attention (i.e. doorbell or phone ringing). The only con to this blog post is that he focuses on the physical aspect of Deafness and not the cultural aspect. There is no interaction with other people other than his hearing co-workers and the filming crew.
Maybe it would’ve been a good idea for him to experience things with the community to see how close-knit it is and to bring a new perspective to what it means to be a member of this community. It’s hard enough explaining it however something for American people to understand is that many people from other countries look at the perspective as a community and cultural based group as obscene. That is one possible reason why John did not gain that exposure. It would also have been interesting to get more information on if he is aware of all the services and resources available to the community.
A final quote from John’s blog post, “In all honesty, going deaf for the day was one of the most insightful yet exhausting days of my life. But I only experienced hearing loss for one day, deaf people face these difficulties every day of their lives.”