TOM BAKER DOCTOR WHO STORIES
visit my home page at http://www.bestweb.net/~foosie/index.htm
or E-mail me at Foosie@bestweb.net
Favorite Doctor: Tom Baker Favorite Story: THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG Favorite Companion: Sarah Jane Smith, although I think Leela is the ideal companion. Favorite Scriptwriter: Robert Holmes
In his autobiography, WHO ON EARTH IS TOM BAKER?, Tom writes "Playing DOCTOR WHO came as a great surprise to me. I had no idea that I would enjoy it so much. All that was required of me was to be able to speak complete gobbledygook with conviction." Tom found this easy because he "had been taught nonsense by priests and teachers on all sorts of subjects."
He goes on: "What struck me very deeply about DOCTOR WHO was that the performers were often more fascinating than the characters in the script. You might ask, 'Who, for example?' And I might say, 'Well, everybody, to be frank.'"
Later, he writes: "After a while, following three or four thousand fan letters, all expressing approval, I began to get into the part and then the part began to get into me and oh! I was the Doctor and the Doctor was me. From then on, we were one. I could do nothing else."
Later he writes about attending BBC exhibitions, visiting children in hospitals, and long autograph signing sessions. "All this activity became an extension of the show. It meant that I never stopped being the Doctor. The endless enthusiasm of the children and parents fuelled us all. . . . I was able to avoid myself during all these activities and pursue the fantasy life of the benevolent alien. It suited me very well. I've never liked myself much and being able to escape the despised self kept me in good spirits. The welcomes and the smiles came from all levels of the audience. There was no hostility anywhere, I think because the character I played didn't threaten anyone. It was all rather dotty and the tumultuous welcome from children gave me the imprimatur of approval. If they approved then so did the rest of their families. The days all mixed, and rehearsals and recordings and appearances for charities all mixed. I became used to being called Doctor by real doctors and nurses and the pleasure children derived from all this was enough to make me happy. It was no great sacrifice, I can tell you."
I always thought the way Tom entered a scene in DOCTOR WHO was wonderfully authoritative, but apparently he disagreed. He writes: "Once in Chicago, a PhD student who was doing his thesis on 'The Improbability of TV Heroes' remarked to me in front of about a thousand people that he thought I was a unique actor. As I lowered my head to hide my pleasure he cited as evidence of his claim my manner of coming through doors. This brought me up with a jolt and the blood fled from my cheeks. Was he taking the piss, I wondered? Doors? Doors are my betes noires. I heard John Dexter's voice echoing in the horror vault of my memory: 'You can't walk through a door sincerely, Baker'. But my PhD man was not taking the piss. 'When I perceive the delicate way you cross the threshold of the TARDIS, Mr. Baker, and you close the door with such precision, and you never lean back against the door the way that most actors do. Why, I just marvel!" I thanked him with shameless humility and decide not to explain that it was often impossible to enter into our sets and close the door 'naturally' without the whole set shaking. Not that I objected to the sets shaking; it was the producers who called for retakes. I could never persuade them that on other planets the architecture was a bit different."
Later, Tom writes: "The response of the children gave me ... delusions. I felt I could do anything, if only the stories were good. "
01-ROBOT 02-THE ARK IN SPACE 03-THE SONTARAN EXPERIMENT 04-GENESIS OF THE DALEKS 05-REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN 06-TERROR OF THE ZYGONS 07-PLANET OF EVIL 08-PYRAMIDS OF MARS 09-THE ANDROID INVASION 10-THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS 11-THE SEEDS OF DOOM 12-THE MASQUE OF MANDRAGORA 13-THE HAND OF FEAR 14-THE DEADLY ASSASSIN 15-THE FACE OF EVIL 16-THE ROBOTS OF DEATH 17-THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG 18-THE HORROR OF FANG ROCK 19-THE INVISIBLE ENEMY 20-IMAGE OF THE FENDAHL 21-THE SUN MAKERS 22-UNDERWORLD 23-THE INVASION OF TIME 24-THE RIBOS OPERATION 25-THE PIRATE PLANET 26-THE STONES OF BLOOD 27-THE ANDROIDS OF TARA 28-THE POWER OF KROLL 29-THE ARMAGEDDON FACTOR 30-DESTINY OF THE DALEKS 31-CITY OF DEATH 32-THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT 33-NIGHTMARE OF EDEN 34-THE HORNS OF NIMON 35-SHADA 36-THE LEISURE HIVE 37-MEGLOS 38-FULL CIRCLE 39-STATE OF DECAY 40-WARRIORS' GATE 41-THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN 42-LOGOPOLIS