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 Posted:   Jun 14, 2009 - 4:50 PM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

Are there any fans of his comedic years? I think he took it too far (as has been said by Peter Davidson), but in a way I can see why they did. Some of the monsters are just outrageously laughable, like Horns of Nimon or Nightmare of Eden. But the stories themselves as a whole are just middle ground.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2009 - 7:53 PM   
 By:   welwynfilmstudios   (Member)

Are there any fans of his comedic years? I think he took it too far (as has been said by Peter Davidson), but in a way I can see why they did. Some of the monsters are just outrageously laughable, like Horns of Nimon or Nightmare of Eden. But the stories themselves as a whole are just middle ground.

Reeler,
These stories were from Season Seventeen, the last year with Graham Williams as producer and Douglas Adams as script editor. Season Eighteen is when everything changed. On the New Beginnings boxset, there are some great features. On Disc 2 - Logopolis, A New Body At Last is a 50 minute documentary highlighting the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2009 - 8:29 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

I remember how I felt as I watched those 1979/80 Baker Whos... I was in mourning. Just so grim. It got worse, week after week. I was quite young at the time, but it was like watching a loved one succumb to and ebb away from an appalling psychiatric or physical illness. Really!

But in truth, the trouble started around '77, with Leela. Now, ironically enough, Louise Jameson was probably the best actress Dr. Who ever employed, but the role was horrible (cynically calculated to titillate - Jameson was also a gorgeous woman, yes, but... sex in Who? No thanks. It's not what Who's there for) and the ethos behind it (from the otherwise brilliant Phillip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes, unbelievably enough!) infected the whole show, especially Baker's attitude to the role. Terrible. Then it just got worse, and worse.

Another irony: Sapphire And Steel came along around '79 and demonstrated how that type of show really SHOULD be done. But successive Who producers took no heed, and continued churning out ever worsening rubbish.

And Tom.... bless him, most of the time he was just taking the piss, probably out of sheer boredom, and it REALLY showed.

The show took decades to recover. Yet, here we are today, where Who is now the Charles Atlas holding up an otherwise vulnerable BBC against its predators, mainly thanks to the extraordinarily durable popularity of the Daleks, of course.

The BBC owes Terry Nation A HELL OF A LOT!

IMO, of course. smile

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2009 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   Elmo Bernstein   (Member)

I grew up on reruns of the Baker series. The "Key To Time" episodes were some of the best IMO, in particular The Stones Of Blood and The Androids Of Tara. My gripe was with John Nathan Turner, who, when he took over as producer, instigated a slew of arbitrary, unnecessary and mostly bad changes - redesigning the Doctor's costume, the slicker (but sillier-looking) title sequence, and replacing Dudley Simpson with rinkydink Radiophonic workshop synths. I thought the comedic elements of Baker's previous seasons were a nice touch, but Nathan-Turner was such an overly reverent killjoy with no sense of humor, he took all the fun out of it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2009 - 2:46 AM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

I grew up on reruns of the Baker series. The "Key To Time" episodes were some of the best IMO, in particular The Stones Of Blood and The Androids Of Tara. My gripe was with John Nathan Turner, who, when he took over as producer, instigated a slew of arbitrary, unnecessary and mostly bad changes - redesigning the Doctor's costume, the slicker (but sillier-looking) title sequence, and replacing Dudley Simpson with rinkydink Radiophonic workshop synths. I thought the comedic elements of Baker's previous seasons were a nice touch, but Nathan-Turner was such an overly reverent killjoy with sense of humor, he took all the fun out of it.

JNT acknowledged it took him a long time to accept humor back in Doctor Who after Baker's reign. I think the mistake as you said was not returning to it barely at all during Davidson's tenure. So what you get is one of the most consistently acted Doctor's in Davidson, but also one of the most similar. It isn't that I don't like Davidson's portrayal, but I prefer Baker's expressive eyes and demeanor, particularly the first half of his time. Davidson struck me as bringing his All Creatures Great and Small role or something to Who, and he brings nobility but without the humor maybe it could've been something more? I think he and JNT kinda pressed the blame too far on Baker. Granted it was quite a load to follow his seven years, but 'light humor' really could have gone a long way. If you listen to Davidson in the Warriors of the Deep DVD, he acknowledges JNT was never really about taking care of the program and more about the 'look' and press coverage. The man could really garner advertising.

So for me I still somewhat enjoy Baker's comedy even though it went too far. What tires it out for me is how too many of the episodes were just average.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2009 - 2:49 AM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

Are there any fans of his comedic years? I think he took it too far (as has been said by Peter Davidson), but in a way I can see why they did. Some of the monsters are just outrageously laughable, like Horns of Nimon or Nightmare of Eden. But the stories themselves as a whole are just middle ground.

Reeler,
These stories were from Season Seventeen, the last year with Graham Williams as producer and Douglas Adams as script editor. Season Eighteen is when everything changed. On the New Beginnings boxset, there are some great features. On Disc 2 - Logopolis, A New Body At Last is a 50 minute documentary highlighting the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison.


I'd go as early as The Key To Time season, which I quite like.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2009 - 3:00 AM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

I remember how I felt as I watched those 1979/80 Baker Whos... I was in mourning. Just so grim. It got worse, week after week. I was quite young at the time, but it was like watching a loved one succumb to and ebb away from an appalling psychiatric or physical illness. Really!

But in truth, the trouble started around '77, with Leela. Now, ironically enough, Louise Jameson was probably the best actress Dr. Who ever employed, but the role was horrible (cynically calculated to titillate - Jameson was also a gorgeous woman, yes, but... sex in Who? No thanks. It's not what Who's there for) and the ethos behind it (from the otherwise brilliant Phillip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes, unbelievably enough!) infected the whole show, especially Baker's attitude to the role. Terrible. Then it just got worse, and worse.

Another irony: Sapphire And Steel came along around '79 and demonstrated how that type of show really SHOULD be done. But successive Who producers took no heed, and continued churning out ever worsening rubbish.

And Tom.... bless him, most of the time he was just taking the piss, probably out of sheer boredom, and it REALLY showed.

The show took decades to recover. Yet, here we are today, where Who is now the Charles Atlas holding up an otherwise vulnerable BBC against its predators, mainly thanks to the extraordinarily durable popularity of the Daleks, of course.

The BBC owes Terry Nation A HELL OF A LOT!

IMO, of course. smile


Sapphire And Steel?

Louise Jameson's exit is maybe the worst in Who. Too fall in love out of nowhere really showed to me she was given her papers at the last second.

I'm not sure either would make my Top 10 companions, but I've come to appreciate Leela and Romana II more. The former was given some good character meat, and the later settled much better into her role the last season or so. I suppose asking Jameson to play a savage was difficult in contrast with the Doctor's intelligence. I mean it has to be difficult playing an ignorant while trying to 'learn' the ways of the universe. All in all she did a good job.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2009 - 4:30 PM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

This might give a little bit of a different perspective on what Williams had to face as producer.


http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Graham_Williams

Graham Williams (died 17th August 1990, Tiverton, Devon, UK) was Producer of Doctor Who from Seasons 15 through 17.

He had previously worked as a script editor on The View from Daniel Pike as well as police series Barlow at Large and Z Cars. His tenure on Doctor Who was one of the most troubled in the series' history. He was under orders from BBC management to reduce the levels of horror and violence that had become controversial under his predecessor, Philip Hinchcliffe, as well as having to cope with budget cuts, industrial action and a difficult relationship with Tom Baker in the lead role.

Despite the problems behind the scenes of the series at this time, Williams’ era produced several popular additions to the Doctor Who legend, including the introduction of a robot dog as a companion, K-9, the introduction of the Black and White Guardians in the Key to Time story arc and the introduction of a female from the Doctor’s own race, Romana the Time Lady.

Williams' tenure was also notable for the gradual introduction of more humour into the series, in particular the introduction of Douglas Adams as first a writer of The Pirate Planet and then the script editor for the whole of 17.

He would never complete the last story of Season 17, Shada because of a strike. Under the pseudonym "David Agnew", he co-wrote City of Death and The Invasion of Time and wrote the script and novelisation to The Nightmare Fair, which was intended to open Season 23, before that season was sustantially re-structured after Doctor Who went on hiatus.



This is also a list of many of the people who have died who were on Who. I didn't know Anthony Ainley died in 2004.

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Real_World_deaths

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2009 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   welwynfilmstudios   (Member)

Doctor Who legend Baker may return

Doctor Who legend Tom Baker has said he would be interested in taking part in a reunion show for Children In Need - but only if he was allowed to vet the script. Skip related content
There have been rumours that bosses are planning a special edition reuniting the surviving actors who have played the Time Lord, but the 75-year-old said he had not yet been approached about the idea.

Baker, who appeared in nearly 200 episodes in the 1970s and 80s, said he was "amazed" at all the kissing done by the last Doctor, David Tennant, and thought the special effects were losing some of their impact.

"I think it is difficult now to surprise an audience with special effects," he said, "you may please an audience, but visually you can't actually amaze an audience can you?

Baker said his approach to the Doctor was to treat him as an alien, and this did not fit with Tennant's flirty approach.

"Of course they didn't do that in my days, and I don't want to be a reactionary old fart about that but in my days, it never occurred to me to try and kiss a girl. I didn't even know how to shake hands with them," he said.

Baker starred in a two-part Doctor Who special for Children In Need in 1993 with fellow Time Lord's Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Jon Pertwee, but said he would consider doing it again.

"They should actually try and do something like that and they should get a nice jolly script with them," he said.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20090730/ten-doctor-who-legend-baker-may-return-5f8abb3.html

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2009 - 1:27 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I actually liked the comedic Baker years because for me it seemed in line with all the wonderful cheesiness of the series' monsters and sets. I didn't find Baker to be that much more comedic in his portrayal than Troughton at times. Baker probably is my favorite Doctor, perhaps because he was the first one I saw and he played the role far longer than anyone else (and I liked his characterization a lot), but if I were to step back and look at the series more objectively, I'd have to go with Jon Pertwee as possibly the best Doctor. That is if you can really quantify one since it's something of a personal choice for the viewer. I loved his tenure as well although I didn't like the fact that he got stuck on Earth for so long because I enjoyed the Doctor's travels through space and time too much.

It's hard to pick a favorite companion over the years since I might go for the sexiest or prettiest female out of male weakness, but for the Baker years I'd choose Sarah Jane. I think she was the perfect foil for Baker's Doctor while still holding him dear. And she bridged the wonderful Pertwee years. Heck, I'll pick her as my all time favorite!. Peri, Romana I, Rose and Martha were all pretty hot though!

Someone mentioned Sapphire and Steel which I came to adore after I bought the series on DVD. They did know how to make the male-female relationship work quite well on that show. It got downright adversarial at times between the warmer, sexy Sapphire (Joanna Lumley) and the cold, methodical Steel (David McCallum). A very different kind of show, but quite special to me.

Still not sure how to take the newly resurrected Doctor series. I miss a lot of the fun cheesiness and the longer story arcs. Also, the music is pretty much of the sonic wallpaper variety in that it never seems to stop, at times overwhelming the dialog in the sound mix. I like the new Doctor and companions well enough though.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2009 - 2:42 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Tom Baker, my favorite Doctor Who, wobbly sets, bad special effects & all (but great stories). I'm just not interested in the latest lot, but then I've just about given up watching TV, it's all such rubbish, & a big waste of time. Oh, I sound so serious!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2009 - 6:34 PM   
 By:   EricDraven   (Member)

Tom Baker does indeed return to the role of The Doctor after 28 years in 5 brand new audio adventures under the umbrella title of 'Hornet's Nest' from BBC audio co-starring Richard Franklin as Captain Yates. Heh, Big Finish must be fuming as, they have been trying to get Tom to do audio adventures for them for years.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2009 - 2:33 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I doubt I'd ever say a bad word about Tom Baker's Doctor Who. I watched the program for The Doctor--my Doctor--Tom Baker--not the monsters, the effects, or anything else. It was all secondary to The Man.

When I was a kid watching Dr. Who on PBS (1980-81), he was unlike any character I had seen. Baker's Who was mysterious, irreverent, unforgiving of stupidity, humorous in the face of certain death, and seemingly unafraid of grave danger. I know since the 1990s there's been an over abundance of "hip", cocky, post-modern and oh-so ironic characters, but Tom Baker's Dr. Who was the first and the best of this kind of hero, at least in all the stuff I've watched. I was impressed by his disdain for violence and killing, and for thinking things through. I was completely devastated when he was no longer the Doctor, and the arrival of Peter Davison, coupled with PBS' time change to once a week (late-night Saturdays) from every weekday at 6pm, I lost track and interest of the show.

So no, I have no problem with the "humorous" Tom Baker episodes. I love 'em all.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2009 - 5:04 AM   
 By:   Miragliano   (Member)

I grew up watching Baker's Doctor so for me he is the quintessential Doctor, Tennant's incarnation doesn't match up.

For me, City of Death was far and away the best comedic Baker story. Written by Douglas Adams, it had sparkling dialogue, witty comments to spare and even featured John Cleese in a cameo role. Fan bloody tastic.

I'm also a huge fan of Sapphire and Steel. This was actually an attempt to create a show that could challenge Doctor Who in those late 70's/ early 80's Saturday evenings. Truly frightning stuff when you're 8 years old and it still holds up today. The final scene of the final story left a lasting impression as Sapphire and Steel are trapped for all eternity staring out of that cafe window as it disappears into space. Wow.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2009 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

I grew up watching Baker's Doctor so for me he is the quintessential Doctor, Tennant's incarnation doesn't match up.

In the little bits I've seen her, I wonder though if Billie Piper challenges for greatest companion ever. Anyone?

I think my short list would be: Sarah Jane, Harry Sullivan, Jamie.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2009 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

In the little bits I've seen her, I wonder though if Billie Piper challenges for greatest companion ever. Anyone?

I think my short list would be: Sarah Jane, Harry Sullivan, Jamie.


Rose? Absolutely not. I dislike the "in love with the Doctor" trend, which they also half-assedly tried with the otherwise fantastic Martha Jones (my fave of the modern companions). Eccleston's Doctor was more Bakeresque with his view of humans as unintelligent apes and his limited patience with them. Tennant--whom I like-- is the Roger Moore of Doctor Who, with his goofy wit. His few attempts at being "dark" and "intense" are just against his strengths as an actor. Eccleston handled those traits much more effectively.

Now why would they hire someone like Eccleston if he intended to stay only one year? Was he simply the best actor out there? Sorry for the OT.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2009 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   welwynfilmstudios   (Member)

Tom Baker does indeed return to the role of The Doctor after 28 years in 5 brand new audio adventures under the umbrella title of 'Hornet's Nest' from BBC audio co-starring Richard Franklin as Captain Yates. Heh, Big Finish must be fuming as, they have been trying to get Tom to do audio adventures for them for years.

Hornets' Nest #1: The Stuff of Nightmares
Featuring: Tom Baker as The 4th Doctor

Tom Baker reprises the role of the Fourth Doctor in the first of five thrilling brand new audio adventures, with Richard Franklin as Mike Yates.

‘Wanted: retired army Captain for light household duties and fireside companionship. Must tolerate mild eccentricity and strong scientific advice. Knowledge of Giant Maggots, Super Intelligent Spiders and Prehistoric Monsters a positive boon.’

Responding to an advert apparently worded for him alone, Captain Mike Yates (retired) is reunited with a ghost from the past. But why has the Doctor, that mysterious traveller in Time and Space, sent for his former UNIT acquaintance? Trapped by a horde of vicious creatures in an apparently innocuous English country cottage, the two old friends are on the brink of an enormous adventure.

As the Doctor relates his recent escapades, it becomes clear to Mike that they – and the Earth at large – are facing an enemy of unimaginable power and horrific intent. The nightmare is only just beginning...

With Tom Baker as the Doctor, Richard Franklin as Mike Yates, Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey and Daniel Hill as Percy Noggins, The Stuff of Nightmares is the first of five linked stories written by the acclaimed Paul Magrs.

** DWO can also confirm the casting of Rula Lenska as the Hornet Queen.

http://www.drwho-online.co.uk/news/Default.aspx#merchandise-audio-hornets-nest-1

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2009 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Just found this...fascinating stuff. Judy Merril was an interesting ol' gal. I hope this is included as part of the Terror of the Zygons DVD, if we ever get one:

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2009 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   welwynfilmstudios   (Member)

I found this article on digitalspy about Tom Baker.

Tom Baker hails "blind love" of 'Who' fans
Friday, September 18 2009, 10:09 BST


Tom Baker has hailed the taste of Doctor Who fans and praised the formula of the show for its ongoing success.

The actor made the comments to the BBC in an interview celebrating his return to the series in five-part audio adventure Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest.

When asked what makes fans of the programme different, he replied: "Their unswerving loyalty. Their good taste. Their BLIND LOVE.

"The formula is so good. Benevolent alien, a being with secrets. A sonic screwdriver, but I'm sworn to secrecy by the BBC. They pay me 30 pieces of silver every month to be discreet."

Regarding his return to the show, he added: "The scripts arrived at a good moment. I'm a bit capricious about what I accept.

"I asked some hard questions and made some impossible demands. The BBC agreed to everything I asked on condition the details would be locked in a strongbox in the Bank of England.

"They will be revealed on the BBC website on January 20, 2034 at 6.12am - the 100th anniversary of my birth."

Baker's 'Do I Have The Right?' scene from series 12's 'Genesis Of The Daleks' was recently named the best Fourth Doctor TV scene, winning the poll with 32% of votes cast.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/a177948/tom-baker-hails-blind-love-of-who-fans.html

 
 Posted:   Nov 10, 2009 - 4:00 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

 
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