Andy Dobson tweeted a screenshot of the direct message – generously leaving out the identity of the bully – along with a sweet image of his son Rory smiling while happily dressed up as a Dalek.
Rory, who was 18-months-old at the time, was wearing a pot on his head, with a cardboard box for the body, while holding a whisk in his left hand and a toilet brush in his right.
The message read: “Stop posting photos of that kid in his crap Dalek costume – he’s not even holding the energy weapon in the right hand.
“Your proper embarrassing Doctor Who fans. Get off Twitter and leave fandom to the true fans who care about the show.”
Along with sharing these photos, Dobson captioned the tweet: “Well, this is a charming DM from a ‘true fan’, received this morning.
“It wasn’t so much the criticism that upset me, more the incorrect use of ‘your’.
“I do get the distress caused by the whisk being in the wrong hand – but my son was only 18mths old and is much wiser now.”
The post has since gained over 6,500 likes, and hundreds of comments from Doctor Who fans who are outraged at the actions of one of their own.
Dobson told Indy100: “I’m certainly not seeking publicity, just trying to lighten fans’ days with daft pics of my son and his Dalek. The original criticism amused me rather than upset me and my son Rory is only 2 so he’s not reading Twitter yet.”
He added that he didnot want the person who sent him the message to be “vilified”.
Here are some of the responses:
@DobbersW Omg. Can't imagine the mind of someone who takes time out of their day to write such spiteful crap.
— Jane ''call me *cupcake*'' Remain🧁🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@Jane ''call me *cupcake*'' Remain🧁🇪🇺🇬🇧)
@DobbersW In my experience 'true fans' of anything in popular culture are gatekeepers who think if you don't know t… https://t.co/Fn69wY5Pgk
Even those who have been a part of the popular British sci-fi show – actor Barnaby Edwards, Dalek operator Nicolas Pegg, and screenwriter, James Moran – shared their reaction to Dobson’s post and complimented Rory’s costume in support.
@DobbersW True fan? Hmm. I wouldn’t know about that, but you can take it from a true Dalek, whose vision is not imp… https://t.co/Hiys92AOxN
American Gods and Good Omens author Neil Gaiman also shared the post to his followers, writing: “True Doctor Who Fans know you can hold the whisk in either hand. As long as you remember to say ‘Exterminate’ or something vaguely like it, you are a real Dalek.”
The word “Dalek” also began to trend on Twitter, due to the large amount of people engaging with the story.
Not expecting his tweet to “blow up”, Dobson later thanked those sending warm messages of support.
“Thank you all for the kind words - that’s the real fandom. I certainly didn’t take the DM personally and you never know what the sender is going through in the real world to feel so angry or upset.”
Dobson also used the opportunity to urge people to donate to cancer charity, Stand Up to Cancer as Rory and Colin the Dalek “made a little Bake Off” to support the cause last year.
This is all getting far more attention than it should, but as you're here, Rory and Colin the Dalek made a little B… https://t.co/IxaD9KrYXe