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Hullo, I'm the Doctor.
July 17, 2009 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Tom Baker returns to Doctor Who.

Tom Baker, who played the iconic, scarf-wearing Fourth Doctor, will return to the role in a series of audio dramas written by Paul Magrs: "I can picture the very moment he turned back into the Doctor..."
posted by permafrost (75 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Woo who!
posted by monospace at 8:42 AM on July 17, 2009


...I don’t recall ever seeing an episode of Doctor Who featuring Tom Baker but everyone seems to love this guy...

OMFG, I feel so old...
posted by briank at 8:42 AM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's long been observed that whichever "Doctor" was the first that a given fan watched, that one becomes iconic for him.

Tom Baker was my first.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:44 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


*twitch*

My first episode of Doctor Who was 'Robot', which was Tom Baker's first episode of Dr. Who.

I feel REALLY old now....
posted by mephron at 8:45 AM on July 17, 2009


Tom Who?

Baker What?
posted by blue_beetle at 8:47 AM on July 17, 2009


It's long been observed that whichever "Doctor" was the first that a given fan watched, that one becomes iconic for him.

I must be the exception that disproves the rule. I started with the Ninth Doctor, but the Tenth Doctor is my favorite.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:48 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now I will watch Doctor Who again. And learn to knit.
posted by everichon at 8:48 AM on July 17, 2009


It's long been observed that whichever "Doctor" was the first that a given fan watched, that one becomes iconic for him.

I honestly don't remember who my first Doctor was. Colin Baker was still on TV when I started watching, but I always preferred the Slyvester McCoy years. Either way, Tom Baker was definitely my favourite, probably because of the audio tape version of Genesis of the Daleks I listened to over and over again while playing with my Lego set.
posted by permafrost at 8:48 AM on July 17, 2009


Tom Baker was my first.

He was mine, too. He wasn't gentle, either.
posted by cimbrog at 8:49 AM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


probably because of the audio tape version of Genesis of the Daleks

That reminds me... I bought an cassette tape that was supposed to be a sort of Dr.Who soundtrack - music and such. Instead it was Genesis of the Daleks. I was pissed.
posted by cimbrog at 8:51 AM on July 17, 2009


Pertwee was the first Doctor I was aware of, but he kinda scared the crap out of me. Tom Baker is still my template for The Doctor, so that theory is hogwash.

The reason? His acting was perfect. Part comedic, part intellectual, part gravitas, part scenery chewer. He was just hugely fun, and the man's personal charisma shone thru the role. He could also be rather scary himself.

It all started to go downhill with Peter Davidson.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:56 AM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Tom Baker was so totally the most awesome Doctor Who, though I must say that Christopher Eccleston grew on me and I wish he'd done more than one season.

I saw the Dungeons & Dragons movie when it came out in the theatres (in the U.S.), in which Tom Baker had a surprise cameo appearance as the elven healer and when he showed up on screen the audience literally cheered. Although this may have partially been due to the fact that it was such a monumentally shitty movie... I only just found out that there were ever sequels to it in the course of searching for that still image and it seems almost unbelievable.
posted by XMLicious at 9:00 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tom Baker is the Doctor.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:05 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


True story: I had a fedora and Tom Baker-length scarf that I wore in high school. (Shut up.) Eventually the school instituted a no-hats rule, and when I forgot the rule one day they confiscated the hat.

But those sons of bitches couldn't do shit about my sweet-ass floor-length scarf.
posted by pts at 9:10 AM on July 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Like Servo, I also thought I was a Ninth Doctor fan until David Tennant came along.

I do remember Tom Baker, but only because the few brief glimpses I got of the Baker-era who episodes were all when I was about seven, and they freaked the hell out of me (I even thought the opening credits were scary -- something about the music and the weird light effects and Tom Baker's enormous head were too much -- every time The Electric Company ended it became a race to change the channel or get out of the room before the creepy music started up).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Speaking of first Doctors, the BBC special "Time Crash" was a great play on that for anyone who hasn't seen it. It was touching, really, it almost made me cry like when Spock died, y'know. ...you know what I mean, right? I mean, everyone cried when Spock died, didn't they?
posted by XMLicious at 9:19 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love Tom Baker as the Doctor because my dad used to let me stay up late on the weekends to watch Doctor Who on PBS with him (much to my mother's consternation, due in roughly equal parts to both the hour and the content). That's about the only TV show that we both loved, and I was insanely happy to be enjoying the same thing my dad was.
posted by Shohn at 9:22 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know that emoticon with the D for a smile? My face did that when I saw this post.
posted by immlass at 9:22 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is fairly awesome...both in terms of news and the love given to Classic Who by my fellow MeFites.

Shohn, my dad and I had the same relationship re: Doctor Who. I became a much bigger (read: obsessed) fan than he ever was, but I was pleased to know that he's been watching the new version -- and that our local public television station has been showing them.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 AM on July 17, 2009


XMLicious, I actually just saw Wrath of Khan in a theater, and I was very impressed with my ability not to cry in public because Spock died. Incidentally, I also loved "Time Crash" for the same reasons you mention.

I'm really nervous about David Tennant leaving, not because I love him so much, but because I'm afraid my wife will stop watching Doctor Who with me when he's gone. She's like a school girl, sighing and gazing wistfully at him every time he's on screen. Still, it's about the best thing that can result from my wife wanting to have sex with another man.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:26 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I just re-watched Robot, Baker's first series and the first one I ever saw, and boy the production values were terrible. It's a decent story and the acting is good but wow it looks like it cost about $75 to produce.

And yea, Baker is The Doctor.
posted by octothorpe at 9:27 AM on July 17, 2009


JESUS CHRIST YOUR FACE TURNED SIDEWAYS?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:27 AM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I had a friend in college who was immensely proud of his Tom Baker scarf, and wore it continuously from the first time the weather dipped below 55 until the rest of us were wearing shorts. He held a secret hope that it would be the key to attracting the perfect nerd-lady. Alas, only men ever commented on his sweet dr. who scarf.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:29 AM on July 17, 2009


They totally should have gotten him to play the new incarnation of The Master. That would have been some grade-A irony!
posted by vibrotronica at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seen some of Tom Baker in the older Whos, enjoyed the new version, but until they actually embrace the possibilities of the Doctor (as in, letting him be a her, or even just a person of color, for a start) I have a hard time getting excited about the series as a whole. Is there some galactic law that the Doctor can only be a middle-aged white dude? Or just lazy writing by other middle-aged white dudes? I'm thinking the latter.
posted by emjaybee at 9:31 AM on July 17, 2009


Spock died?

You can be a Who fan or a Trek fan. You can't do both.
posted by permafrost at 9:31 AM on July 17, 2009


A relevant knock knock joke
posted by Pronoiac at 9:33 AM on July 17, 2009


You can be a Who fan or a Trek fan. You can't do both.

I can so.

*puts on Vulcan Ears and very long scarf*

So there.
posted by mephron at 9:43 AM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


You can be a Who fan or a Trek fan. You can't do both.

I've a mind to challenge you to a duel over such scurrilous libel! And none of this David Tennant sword-wielding-Doctor crap, I'm talking a Pertwee, one-of-the-few-beings-with-only-two-arms-to-master-Venusian-Aikido duel!
posted by XMLicious at 9:48 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's long been observed that whichever "Doctor" was the first that a given fan watched, that one becomes iconic for him.

Not true for me, either, but I suspect that's because, as an American, I first saw Dr. Who on my local PBS station, and at the time I started watching they were airing William Hartnell reruns, followed by color-era Pertwees. I think I may have seen one or two Tom Bakers before we moved across the country, and that PBS station was in a completely different era, possibly Colin Baker.

The only ones I saw that were produced at roughly the same time as I was watching were the Sylverster McCoy years, and I must confess to having a soft spot for him as the Doctor (though looking back, the writing on some of his episodes is really, really awful).

I thought Christopher Eccleston ROCKED--he really brought something interesting and new to the role. I was so sad that he only signed on for one season.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2009


It's long been observed that whichever "Doctor" was the first that a given fan watched, that one becomes iconic for him

Oh no! This means I'm stuck with Peter Cushing
posted by dng at 9:55 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


He was mine, too. He wasn't gentle, either.

Probably because it's bigger on the inside.
posted by tapeguy at 10:07 AM on July 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


I feel REALLY old now....

Well, the next doctor is about 12.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on July 17, 2009


I had a fedora and Tom Baker-length scarf that I wore in high school. (Shut up.)

My sister did too. My Mom actually made the scarf for her. I was wicked jealous, but she was a biger fan than I. In fact, I believe she had one of her senior pictures taken wearing the hat and the duster she wore with it - I don't know if she was wearing the scarf, but I want to say she was.

But, yes, Tom Baker is the Doctor.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:14 AM on July 17, 2009


What was the old quote...? "there are only two men in the world who can get away with a velvet jacket and a frill-fronted shirtL: Jimi Hendrix and Jon Pertwee... and I'm not quite sure about Hendrix."

I like Baker just fine, but Pertwee's still my favorite. Baker, Pertwee, McCoy, and the two guys in the revived series are tops... the others are either a bit creepy or a bit boring.

When do we get a new episode with Lethbridge-Stewart? He's still kicking, isn't he?
posted by Narual at 10:18 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tom Baker was the first Doctor I watched, but the Fifth became my favorite. I like Time Crash all the more because he was my doctor, too. And the Tenth is my second favorite. Hated to see him go.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:29 AM on July 17, 2009


You never forget your first Doctor.

(I'm an Eccleston man, myself.)
posted by Remy at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, no love for Peter Davison? He's my favorite, though Tom Baker and Pertwee are both tops, too. Hartnell and Troughton most of us just don't have much to go on, since so many of their performances are lost. Colin Baker always just seemed obnoxious to me. And McCoy was a great Doctor, a return to form. Haven't seen the new model army.
posted by rikschell at 10:38 AM on July 17, 2009


Baker was my introduction to Who, so yeah he's still my favorite. I'm probably one of the few people who was introduced to the show through old episodes who still thinks the new ones are amazing. I recall at first thinking that all other doctors were inferior to Baker, qualitatively. I was positive of this. Maybe it was because the Baker era scripts were edited by Douglas Adams and were so often funny. The character was just so incredibly charmingly quirky. But eventually, I began to see the Baker in the other doctors. I think it's a disservice to them that that's how I began to appreciate them, but I prefer to think of it as a testament to the wonderful writing the show has always had (even in its earlier faux shakesperian days) that when a character changes that dramatically, a team of talented and dedicated individuals can navigate that difficult terrain of having to reinvent something while cherishing its previous incarnations. I now watch the William Hartnell episodes and see that tiny glint in his eye that reveals the tiniest bit of farce in his old fuddy duddy routine. I can watch Baker episodes and see his occasional surprising insistence on manners and/or decorum (often when least appropriate) as a throwback to Pertwee. And I now see Troughton's prancing Jester in everything. Sometimes I think that's who the doctor is, at his core. Maybe he's just that glint in the eye. If the incarnations are various surfaces to the character, that glint, that wink in the face of madness might be the unchanging core.

If there's anything that Baker and the crew on his episodes did for the series, maybe it's making that so rightly the focus of the character for their short time on the show. I feel like, for me, it enlightened every other episode I've ever seen. It's why I fell in love with the series, really.

And something occurs to me as I write this: however tiresome House has become, there's a part of me that wishes that the next incarnation of the doctor (after the coming young fella) should be played by Hugh Laurie, as some kind of mad combination of his Captain Darling days from Black Adder and the more wryly cynical House archetype.

God damn I love Dr. Who. for those who are interested, there are literally dozens of dvd sets available to stream from Netflix's Watch Instantly service. They're all on my queue, and always will be.
posted by shmegegge at 10:51 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Years ago, at a thrift store near Dallas, Texas, I found a Dr. Who record with a hologram cover which, on the A-side, had two versions of the theme song, while on the B had an extended (7 minutes!) dance mix of the theme, which, to my mind, is possibly the most horrible thing I've ever heard.

Tucked in the sleeve was an autographed glossy of John Pertwee. I almost feel guilty that I've never seen an episode of the show in my life. But the theme song is just so unbelievably awesome.
posted by orville sash at 10:54 AM on July 17, 2009


In the late 80's, the BBC did a series of Narnia movies. Baker playing Puddleglum in The Silver Chair was maybe the most brilliant bit of casting ever.
posted by EarBucket at 11:13 AM on July 17, 2009


There are so many Doctors to choose from. How can anyone pick a favorite?
That said, I did think that Christopher Eccleston did a good job at reincarnating the series of Who's.

As for favorites, I have a soft spot for the first Doctor, William Hartnell - the pinnacle of hard-ass to me, Third Doctor Jon Pertwee (but I like him for his radio serials as well), and the obvious Tom Baker. I am in the process of attempting to crochet an approximation of his scarf.

You can be a Who fan or a Trek fan. You can't do both.

Live long and prosper. Now get back into the TARDIS.
posted by neewom at 11:34 AM on July 17, 2009


"Britain, Britain, Britain!"
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:41 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I gotta go with shmegegge. Each of the early doctors brought something to the role. I like Pertwee, etc. but it all seemed to unify in Tom Baker's doctor. So, whomever your favorite is, Baker is still the quintessential doctor. And of course, Douglas Adams.
Buddy of mine got me into the show when we were talking about bad FX. He said something to the effect of "You want to see bad special effects, watch Doctor Who."
So I did and laughed at a lot of it and the over the top acting. And then it just sort of clicked that this was theater really, not television. And so the FX became irrelevant, as they would in a theater production where the set is important but only as it can help drive the story. As opposed to being a feature in and of itself in film or other t.v.
And the more I noticed that the more I noticed how good the writing was.
I suppose I enjoy Pertwee's characterization because he's got this wry "I'm a supergenius alien" look on his face whenever Earth folks talk about something that's 'important.'
But the series seemed to be more t.v. show then (what with the speedy car and venusian karate and all).
On the other hand, I watched it out of its element. I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth recently and couldn't get over how schlocky 70s it was. But that's doing it a disservice, because those tools and tropes weren't hackneyed at the time. Oh, I could have lived the rest of my life without seeing Rip Torn's package, but it was a pretty solid film otherwise.
So too - Pertwee, et.al.
But what I've always appreciated about Doctor Who is the otherworldly quality of the main character. Baker seemed to accomplish that best with Adams'. Especially the one where they're in Paris (city of death, I had to look it up). The whole "I'm not human" thing especially where it's eerie or wistful and a bit sad. Adams does that in a few places in the Hitchhiker's Guide. That sense of the loneliness and of distance and time.
Although the later Baker had that without Adams, bit more somber edge to it tho.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:44 AM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes, PBS in the States changed the way the series was viewed by Americans.

Our PBS station took a linear approach, airing the entire series chronologically, meaning you could have started watching during any given Doctor and watched through to the end, only to start again at the beginning. Each loop of the entire series would lengthen to add the newest episodes. Our PBS station would air Doctor Who for between 1 and maybe 3 hours on Friday night. Sometimes it was an all out Doctor fest, with hours upon hours of a given plot line that ran like one long movie (perhaps 4 or 5 hours). I had no idea at first that it was a half hour weekly program. Condensed as it was, you could travel from the first Doctor to the last in a few years.

Just like the Doctor, we were dismissed from space in time when it came to Doctor Who. From this vantage point, Tom Baker clearly became my favorite.

Baker had a way about him that is very rare among role-models. Unlike superheroes where I might daydream about having super powers, I did not want to be the Doctor. I wanted to know him. I wanted to travel as one of his sidekicks. I wanted to be his friend.
posted by Muddler at 11:56 AM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I know I'm probably alone in this, but my first experiences with Tom Baker were disappointments. My first Doctor was Christopher Eccleston; stuck around through the current doc.

Then, when I went back to view Tom, he seemed so much less funny than I was used to. I had heard all these people talk about how funny he was, and I thought, "But he's not funny at all! Not like the new guy is!"

So there you go. I clearly need to give him another shot.
posted by jbickers at 12:06 PM on July 17, 2009


And then it just sort of clicked that this was theater really, not television. And so the FX became irrelevant, as they would in a theater production where the set is important but only as it can help drive the story. As opposed to being a feature in and of itself in film or other t.v.

This is something that a lot of people don't understand about old skool Who. It's not just that the effects budget wasn't there, it's that the effects weren't the focus of the story. The problem with the eighth incarnation (there, I said it) was that the people who made the movie didn't understand this. As much as I dislike some of the choices RTD has made with the new series, he does understand that the focus is on character and stories most of the time.

And big love to all the Whovians with scarves. My husband and I went on our first date to a Halloween party as the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane, and when the scarf he'd had since high school got eaten by moths, I got him a new one.
posted by immlass at 12:14 PM on July 17, 2009


In searching for some video of the Puddleglum performance I just found this absolute gem that's evidently Baker chatting away at a pub when someone had a camcorder handy:

1, 2, 3, cuts off after the 3rd part unfortunately

I had a hard-on for six years...
These were the days before penicillin, but life was really rather more exciting I think...

Hilariously ribald. I'd forgotten that he grew up in / spent his teenage years in a monastery, he tells some interesting stories about it.

Also, he had a lost son evidently?
posted by XMLicious at 12:31 PM on July 17, 2009


It's not just that the effects budget wasn't there, it's that the effects weren't the focus of the story. The problem with the eighth incarnation (there, I said it) was that the people who made the movie didn't understand this.

I thought the problem with the movie was that the people who made it were pretty tone-deaf about the appeal of the show as a whole. I saw it when it aired (my old-school Whovian roommate made me watch it with him, and explained some of the in-jokes), but it left me cold -- I revisited it recently after becoming a fan of the relaunch, and it struck me that a lot of the movie was all about trying to shoehorn a romantic subplot in there.

Yeah, okay, whatever, RTD has the whole Doctor-and-Rose-sitting-in-a-tree thing going on, but at least it still Feels like Doctor Who. The movie was just so much more clumsy about it that it became more like any B-grade generic sci-fi movie and it just made it boring.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:43 PM on July 17, 2009


Peter Davison was my first televised Doctor (Enlightenment episode 4), but first found out about the Doctor by reading the black cover American books. There are some great Doctor Who tribute videos here.
posted by JDC8 at 12:53 PM on July 17, 2009


I started watching with the last couple of seasons of Baker, and loved it, but loved Davison even more when he started. He's still my favourite Doctor.*

I think it's because Baker, near the end (I know this from having watched his entire run now, as an adult) kind of transformed from being goofy/fun/weird/sinister into being more or less a cartoon character near the end -- there was never any credible threat in the series, where I thought the Doctor was in real danger or anything of consequence would happen. I still enjoyed the show,** but it seemed like Our Hero had a pretty easy time of it.

Watching Doctor Who as a big comic book fan during the Jim Shooter is Marvel Comics years of the mid-80s had a lot to do with this as well... Peter Davison dovetailed well with the whole undercurrent of self-doubt and angst that started working its way into my "main" pop culture at the time. Davison worried, and fretted, and got mad about stupid stuff, and while he had a strong goofy streak he took things seriously while retaining that gee-whiz sense of fun adventure that makes the whole show tick.

*Tennant now cruises at about 98% Davison in terms of fave Doctor. And I think he channels Davison more than Baker (that's a minority opinion, I know) in terms of having kind-of-leading-man looks, mood-swinging from furious cold übergenius to daffy geek at the drop of a hat, and fretting a lot about things the viewer knows nothing about.

**I still have my 14' Who-esque scarf, which my mother gamely tried to knit from a pattern I got from a Doctor Who comic (the Marvel US reprint of the UK comic series) but her weave was way too loose, so it just gets about 1/2 of the way through the pattern before she gave up on it).
posted by Shepherd at 1:00 PM on July 17, 2009


*Tennant now cruises at about 98% Davison in terms of fave Doctor. And I think he channels Davison more than Baker (that's a minority opinion, I know) in terms of having kind-of-leading-man looks, mood-swinging from furious cold übergenius to daffy geek at the drop of a hat, and fretting a lot about things the viewer knows nothing about.

You know, I think they allude to that a little in one of the specials. In Time Crash, a very short special that I think they only aired in the UK (and you can find it on YouTube), a quirk of time travel throws the Fifth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor together onto the deck of the Tardis for a few minutes. The whole thing only lasted ten minutes, where the two Doctors sort out the whole question of "what the hell are we both doing here" and fix each of their respective time frames, but right before time reverts back to normal and the Fifth Doctor snaps back to his own time, the Tenth Doctor makes a touching little speech:

"You know, I loved being you. Back when I first started, at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important—like you do, when you're young. And then I was you, and it was all dashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I shouted. I still do that, the voice thing, I got that from you. Oh, and the trainers. And... [putting his glasses on] snap! 'Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor."

I saw that on YouTube, and I had the feeling that "you were MY doctor" wasn't Number Ten saying that to Number Five -- it was actually David Tennant saying that to Peter Davison.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:10 PM on July 17, 2009


I saw that on YouTube, and I had the feeling that "you were MY doctor" wasn't Number Ten saying that to Number Five -- it was actually David Tennant saying that to Peter Davison.

I feel certain that I've seen Tennant say basically this very thing on some DVD special or other. I can't think exactly where right now, but maybe someone else will figure it out. Anyway, my definite impression is that Davison was Tennant's fav doctor.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 1:14 PM on July 17, 2009


The movie was just so much more clumsy about it that it became more like any B-grade generic sci-fi movie and it just made it boring.

The movie was horrifically clumsy, but I'm midway through S3 of New Who and I have a hard time not making the comparison between the shoehorning of the romantic subplot in it and the end of S2, which was supposed to be romantic and tragic and left me dead cold. For all that I'm delighted to see Sarah Jane Adventures, I had a hard time not getting all scowly with RTD when he explained to me that the relationship I understood between Sarah and the Doctor was just plain wrong and that really, the lovey dovey was what it was all about. I like a lot of new Who, but Who is not the emo Doctor and his (lack of) love life. When I see Rose or Martha getting all moon-eyed at him, the new show doesn't feel like Doctor Who to me; it's the thing that repeatedly jars me out of feeling like it is.

And yes, there were a lot of other problems with the movie, but assuming that fixing the special effects will somehow improve Doctor Who shows that someone didn't understand what problems there were with it.
posted by immlass at 1:19 PM on July 17, 2009


I like a lot of new Who, but Who is not the emo Doctor and his (lack of) love life. When I see Rose or Martha getting all moon-eyed at him, the new show doesn't feel like Doctor Who to me; it's the thing that repeatedly jars me out of feeling like it is.

Heh; that may be why Donna has been my favorite companion so far.

"You're not mating with me, sunshine! I'm not having any of that nonsense! You're just a long streak of nothing! Alien nothing!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I know I'm probably alone in this, but my first experiences with Tom Baker were disappointments. My first Doctor was Christopher Eccleston; stuck around through the current doc.

You're not alone. He was mine as well. I'd never been exposed to the series until the reboot. I have watched some of the older Baker and Hartnell episodes since then and I didn't enjoy them as much as I expected to.

For my money, with a total lack of nostalgia for any Doctor of my youth, the character is very attached to Tennant in my mind and I'm sad to see him go. (And I really wish he had stuck around, the Moffat episodes were always the best of the new series and now that he's in control it would have been an awesome pairing.)
posted by eyeballkid at 1:31 PM on July 17, 2009


Hartnell was my first, but Troughton is my favourite (though I completely agree with those who regret Eccleston not doing more).

But damn, surely a cameo on the TV version for Tom Baker is the least the ungrateful bastards could do. 'Age and health' they say - I know he's now completely insane, but so what?
posted by Phanx at 1:40 PM on July 17, 2009


It's not the best of games, but Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior has to be applauded for it's vocie acting, because it gives you Tom Baker AND Brian Blessed. What game can beat that? Also Burt Kwouk and Peter Serafinowicz.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on July 17, 2009


I started with the Ninth Doctor, but the Tenth Doctor is my favorite.

We are speaking of Dr Who, not Buffy the Dalek Slayer.
posted by rodgerd at 2:22 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't really expect it, but I'm going to miss Tennant quite a bit. He was pretty good when the script didn't allow him to mug his way through it Timmy Mallet style.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on July 17, 2009


Baker is obviously the best. The problem is that the old episodes are by FAR the worst. So it's hard for a n00b to really judge.
posted by DU at 6:26 PM on July 17, 2009


Tom Baker may represent the high-point of the series, but it won't be the same with audio only. You won't be able to see the shaky cardboard sets, the glued on toothpaste-cap scale models, and the talk-them-out-of-it plot denuements (because the BBC can't afford any more special effects ... ).
posted by Susurration at 6:47 PM on July 17, 2009


Tsk. If LOLOLDSTUFF is all you are getting out of Who then you're not really getting much out of it.
posted by Artw at 9:59 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw that on YouTube, and I had the feeling that "you were MY doctor" wasn't Number Ten saying that to Number Five -- it was actually David Tennant saying that to Peter Davison.

Very much so. Tennant has been completely open that Davison was HIS Doctor and those aspects of his costume and so forth were taken from his incarnation. Tennant is possibly the most knowledgeable Who fan to ever actually play the role (said to have "encyclopedic" knowledge) and he and/or RTD or Moffatt have thrown in many small homages here and there to each predecessor.

Davison and Tennant are now personal friends, of course, and for a short while Tennant was dating Davison's daughter Georgia Moffatt who played "The Doctor's Daughter" in the clone warrior episode.

Anyway, yes, Baker. My first, my favorite, especially in retrospect, because he transcended what had gone before in so many ways. Still a fan of Davison, but was mostly unable to watch after that until the new series. Eccleston was brilliantly off-kilter and brought so much psychic energy to the role that he helped ensure the show would survive him, but as an atypical Doctor it's hard for me to call him a favorite. Tennant has been so successful at bringing out so much of the Doctor that he's right after Baker for me.

Scarves, now. I too had a college pal with a Baker Who outfit, and it did attract him a geek-tolerant girl with whom he's now a father. Me, still a bachelor, though, and I never wore any scarf at all. What is wrong with this equation?!
posted by dhartung at 12:32 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apropos of a certain Time Lord, I dug up an old favorite - Tom Baker Says

He was my first Doctor, and while Tennant has curved out a large space in my nerd girl heart, Baker is my Doctor.
posted by Constant Reader at 5:54 AM on July 18, 2009


Baker IS Who. Esp the earlier proper scary, watching from behind the sofa ones.

I'm slowly catching up on the some of the old Whis I missed/can barely remember via DVD rentals. Baker is always brilliant value on the commentaries... in the last one I watch, towards the end, obviously bored, he starts ranting on that he should have called his biography 'I am Judas!' the embarrassment of the director and Liz Sladen.

I think I was about 8 when I knitted my own scarf. It wasn't terribly good, even with a lot of help from my nan.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM on July 18, 2009


Would anyone like a jelly baby?
posted by pemberkins at 6:39 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, we had the chance to see the good doctor on our local PBS station here in the US. Loved them all.
Complete nerds: When our horse gave birth to a colt, we named him after his grandsires, (Lord O-Shea and Time Supreme). You guessed it: he was named Time Lord. Gosh, we were nerds....
posted by mightshould at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2009


The Doctors new duds
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on July 20, 2009


Tennant is possibly the most knowledgeable Who fan to ever actually play the role (said to have "encyclopedic" knowledge) and he and/or RTD or Moffatt have thrown in many small homages here and there to each predecessor.

I've heard in an interview somewhere that the whole reason David Tennat IS an actor is that when he was about seven, he thought, "say, if I become an actor, maybe I can get to be on DOCTOR WHO someday." Which I think is rather sweet.

....Then again, David Tennat is my current celebrity crush, so just about anything he does makes me melt into a little puddle of goo. *blush*
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 AM on July 20, 2009


TennANT. Not TennAT.

(Dammit. I'm sorry, David. Call me!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 AM on July 20, 2009


Doctor Who has no canon. I still maintain he's part of the Marvel Universe though.
posted by Artw at 8:42 AM on July 26, 2009


*snicker* That sounds akin to something I've heard about the HITCHHIKERS' series: "HITCHHIKERS' doesn't have a canon -- it has suggestions."

The fact that Douglas Adams wrote for Doctor Who for a while makes this relevant. Whee!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 PM on July 26, 2009


That sounds akin to something I've heard about the HITCHHIKERS' series

NERDCORE Well actually they are the same canon because in Destiny Of The Daleks the Doctor is seen reading a book by Oolon Caluphid... /NERDCORE
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:35 AM on July 27, 2009


>That sounds akin to something I've heard about the HITCHHIKERS' series

Well actually they are the same canon because in Destiny Of The Daleks the Doctor is seen reading a book by Oolon Caluphid...


....Has anyone worked out whether the Whoniverse ties into the Tommy Westphall universe at all?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 AM on July 27, 2009


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