History Main / TomBaker

20th Jul '13 5:20:43 AM StFan
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[[quoteright:340:[[Series/DoctorWho http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Screen_shot_2013-04-13_at_9_50_31_PM_6413.png]]]][[caption-width-right:340: [[CatchPhrase Would you care for a jelly baby?]]]]

->''I'm not just a Doctor... I'm THE Doctor! The definite article, you might say.''
-->--'''The Fourth Doctor''', ''Series/DoctorWho'', "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E1Robot Robot]]"

Thomas Stewart Baker (born 20 January, 1934) '''is''' ''Series/DoctorWho''. An old story goes that if you don't know what Tom Baker looks like, all you need to do is close your eyes and think of the Doctor... and that's him. Curly hair, floppy hat, long multi-coloured scarf and toothy grin. Instantly recognisable. Even today, over thirty years since leaving the role, he's generally accepted as being the most well known of any of the eleven actors to have played it to date and has only now been surpassed in popularity by DavidTennant; even newer and/or younger Who-fen, for whom Tennant is their iconic Doctor, list Baker as ''the'' Classic Doctor. Certainly he was the longest serving (seven seasons in total), so he is embedded in the public consciousness better than most of the others.

Born in [[FootballPopMusicAndFlatCaps Liverpool]], Baker initially studied to become a monk, but he dropped out when he realised that a life of isolation wasn't for him. He gravitated towards acting, mostly as an understudy on stage. He gained plaudits for his role as [[RaRaRasputin Grigori Rasputin]] in ''Nicholas And Alexandra'', and this led to several other film and television roles, among them the evil magician Koura in the movie ''TheGoldenVoyageOfSinbad''.

Nevertheless, the forty year old actor was working on a London building site as a bricklayer (and, by his own account, was of "no fixed abode") when he got lucky. Very lucky. Being known socially to the head of BBC drama and his wife ([[DoubleEntendre no sniggering at the back please]]), Baker's name came up in discussion as a possibility when the producers of ''Series/DoctorWho'' were looking for somebody to replace the departing Jon Pertwee. A meeting was arranged between Baker and the two men who were in overall charge of the series, producer Barry Letts and script editor Creator/TerranceDicks, both of whom took an immediate liking to the actor.

At the time of his casting, Baker was by far the least well known actor to have ever played the Doctor. WilliamHartnell, PatrickTroughton and JonPertwee had all been much loved character actors, even before playing the role, whereas Baker had largely been a supporting artist. It's somewhat ironic, therefore, that Baker ended up being the longest serving and most well-known of them all. His portrayal of the Doctor was (and remains) iconic: Baker himself attributes his success to having played the role as that of a ManChild, similarly to [[TheMarxBrothers Harpo Marx]].

In 1981, Baker left ''Doctor Who'', handing over the reins to PeterDavison. Accounts vary on exactly why he left. One popular story is that Baker tendered his resignation to the new producer of the series as a joke, believing that his massive popularity with the public would never see it accepted, only to be surprised when the producer snapped back, "Sure! When do you want to leave?". Commentary in the "New Beginnings" DVD boxed set suggests that Creator/JohnNathanTurner, the new first-year producer of the series, wanted to put his own personal stamp on the series and felt Baker had become impossible to rein in. For his part, Baker wasn't fond of the changes Nathan-Turner began making and threatened, as he had done with other producers in the past, to resign if he didn't get his way. [[TemptingFate Oops]].

He [[LostInCharacter maintained his Doctor persona]] off-screen to a large extent, [[ContractualPurity never smoking or drinking in public]] and being on his best behavior around children. The pressure eventually led to endless in-fighting and even a few live television crack-ups. Later actors have testified that the Doctor, not unlike SherlockHolmes, is a tough character to get inside of; extended time there can take a toll on your mental well-being. Baker's example is probably a major consideration in most actors leaving the role after three or four years.

He subsequently made several appearances in productions as diverse as OscarWilde (that must have been a sight to see), Rum in ''{{Blackadder}}'', Sherlock Holmes, and an elf in the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' movie, as well as the role of [[TheEeyore Puddleglum]] in the {{BBC}} adaptation of ''[[TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' by [[Creator/CSLewis C.S. Lewis]], [[CatchPhrase I shouldn't wonder]]. He has found a niche as a voice actor in recent years (that's him doing the narration in ''LittleBritain'' and the opening cutscene of ''HostileWaters''), but he will forevermore be remembered as the Doctor.

A good decade after the other actors who played the character, he's now finally reprising the role in AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho, and now speaks fondly of his time as the Doctor.

He married one of his former ''Series/DoctorWho'' co-stars, Lalla Ward (who played companion Romana II), shortly after they both departed the series. The marriage didn't last very long. Neither wishes to elaborate further, and she is now happily married to RichardDawkins, whom she met through DouglasAdams.
-----
! Tropes:
* BadassBaritone
* CheshireCatGrin
* IconicItem: The scarf. Just the scarf.
* LargeHam: Even his ''eyes'' are hammy.
** Especially in ''{{Blackadder}}''
* SirSwearsALot
* StupidStatementDanceMix: Courtesy of Orbital.
* TheBigGuy: The tallest Doctor at 6'3".
* WagTheDirector

to:

[[quoteright:340:[[Series/DoctorWho http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Screen_shot_2013-04-13_at_9_50_31_PM_6413.png]]]][[caption-width-right:340: [[CatchPhrase Would you care for a jelly baby?]]]]

->''I'm not just a Doctor... I'm THE Doctor! The definite article, you might say.''
-->--'''The Fourth Doctor''', ''Series/DoctorWho'', "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E1Robot Robot]]"

Thomas Stewart Baker (born 20 January, 1934) '''is''' ''Series/DoctorWho''. An old story goes that if you don't know what Tom Baker looks like, all you need to do is close your eyes and think of the Doctor... and that's him. Curly hair, floppy hat, long multi-coloured scarf and toothy grin. Instantly recognisable. Even today, over thirty years since leaving the role, he's generally accepted as being the most well known of any of the eleven actors to have played it to date and has only now been surpassed in popularity by DavidTennant; even newer and/or younger Who-fen, for whom Tennant is their iconic Doctor, list Baker as ''the'' Classic Doctor. Certainly he was the longest serving (seven seasons in total), so he is embedded in the public consciousness better than most of the others.

Born in [[FootballPopMusicAndFlatCaps Liverpool]], Baker initially studied to become a monk, but he dropped out when he realised that a life of isolation wasn't for him. He gravitated towards acting, mostly as an understudy on stage. He gained plaudits for his role as [[RaRaRasputin Grigori Rasputin]] in ''Nicholas And Alexandra'', and this led to several other film and television roles, among them the evil magician Koura in the movie ''TheGoldenVoyageOfSinbad''.

Nevertheless, the forty year old actor was working on a London building site as a bricklayer (and, by his own account, was of "no fixed abode") when he got lucky. Very lucky. Being known socially to the head of BBC drama and his wife ([[DoubleEntendre no sniggering at the back please]]), Baker's name came up in discussion as a possibility when the producers of ''Series/DoctorWho'' were looking for somebody to replace the departing Jon Pertwee. A meeting was arranged between Baker and the two men who were in overall charge of the series, producer Barry Letts and script editor Creator/TerranceDicks, both of whom took an immediate liking to the actor.

At the time of his casting, Baker was by far the least well known actor to have ever played the Doctor. WilliamHartnell, PatrickTroughton and JonPertwee had all been much loved character actors, even before playing the role, whereas Baker had largely been a supporting artist. It's somewhat ironic, therefore, that Baker ended up being the longest serving and most well-known of them all. His portrayal of the Doctor was (and remains) iconic: Baker himself attributes his success to having played the role as that of a ManChild, similarly to [[TheMarxBrothers Harpo Marx]].

In 1981, Baker left ''Doctor Who'', handing over the reins to PeterDavison. Accounts vary on exactly why he left. One popular story is that Baker tendered his resignation to the new producer of the series as a joke, believing that his massive popularity with the public would never see it accepted, only to be surprised when the producer snapped back, "Sure! When do you want to leave?". Commentary in the "New Beginnings" DVD boxed set suggests that Creator/JohnNathanTurner, the new first-year producer of the series, wanted to put his own personal stamp on the series and felt Baker had become impossible to rein in. For his part, Baker wasn't fond of the changes Nathan-Turner began making and threatened, as he had done with other producers in the past, to resign if he didn't get his way. [[TemptingFate Oops]].

He [[LostInCharacter maintained his Doctor persona]] off-screen to a large extent, [[ContractualPurity never smoking or drinking in public]] and being on his best behavior around children. The pressure eventually led to endless in-fighting and even a few live television crack-ups. Later actors have testified that the Doctor, not unlike SherlockHolmes, is a tough character to get inside of; extended time there can take a toll on your mental well-being. Baker's example is probably a major consideration in most actors leaving the role after three or four years.

He subsequently made several appearances in productions as diverse as OscarWilde (that must have been a sight to see), Rum in ''{{Blackadder}}'', Sherlock Holmes, and an elf in the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' movie, as well as the role of [[TheEeyore Puddleglum]] in the {{BBC}} adaptation of ''[[TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' by [[Creator/CSLewis C.S. Lewis]], [[CatchPhrase I shouldn't wonder]]. He has found a niche as a voice actor in recent years (that's him doing the narration in ''LittleBritain'' and the opening cutscene of ''HostileWaters''), but he will forevermore be remembered as the Doctor.

A good decade after the other actors who played the character, he's now finally reprising the role in AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho, and now speaks fondly of his time as the Doctor.

He married one of his former ''Series/DoctorWho'' co-stars, Lalla Ward (who played companion Romana II), shortly after they both departed the series. The marriage didn't last very long. Neither wishes to elaborate further, and she is now happily married to RichardDawkins, whom she met through DouglasAdams.
-----
! Tropes:
* BadassBaritone
* CheshireCatGrin
* IconicItem: The scarf. Just the scarf.
* LargeHam: Even his ''eyes'' are hammy.
** Especially in ''{{Blackadder}}''
* SirSwearsALot
* StupidStatementDanceMix: Courtesy of Orbital.
* TheBigGuy: The tallest Doctor at 6'3".
* WagTheDirector
[[redirect:Creator/TomBaker]]
30th May '13 9:42:58 PM nombretomado
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A good decade after the other actors who played the character, he's now finally reprising the role in BigFinishDoctorWho, and now speaks fondly of his time as the Doctor.

to:

A good decade after the other actors who played the character, he's now finally reprising the role in BigFinishDoctorWho, AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho, and now speaks fondly of his time as the Doctor.
21st May '13 4:35:04 PM Kingault
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In 1981, Baker left ''Doctor Who'', handing over the reins to PeterDavison. Accounts vary on exactly why he left. One popular story is that Baker tendered his resignation to the new producer of the series as a joke, believing that his massive popularity with the public would never see it accepted, only to be surprised when the producer snapped back, "Sure! When do you want to leave?". Commentary in the "New Beginnings" DVD boxed set suggests that Creator/JohnNathanTurner, the new first-year producer of the series, wanted to put his own personal stamp on the series and felt Baker had become impossible to reign in. For his part, Baker wasn't fond of the changes Nathan-Turner began making and threatened, as he had done with other producers in the past, to resign if he didn't get his way. [[TemptingFate Oops]].

to:

In 1981, Baker left ''Doctor Who'', handing over the reins to PeterDavison. Accounts vary on exactly why he left. One popular story is that Baker tendered his resignation to the new producer of the series as a joke, believing that his massive popularity with the public would never see it accepted, only to be surprised when the producer snapped back, "Sure! When do you want to leave?". Commentary in the "New Beginnings" DVD boxed set suggests that Creator/JohnNathanTurner, the new first-year producer of the series, wanted to put his own personal stamp on the series and felt Baker had become impossible to reign rein in. For his part, Baker wasn't fond of the changes Nathan-Turner began making and threatened, as he had done with other producers in the past, to resign if he didn't get his way. [[TemptingFate Oops]].
18th May '13 5:55:13 PM Landorkus
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* TheBigGuy: The tallest Doctor at 6"3".

to:

* TheBigGuy: The tallest Doctor at 6"3".6'3".
2nd May '13 7:45:09 PM thenightmareman
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Added DiffLines:

* IconicItem: The scarf. Just the scarf.


Added DiffLines:

* TheBigGuy: The tallest Doctor at 6"3".
13th Apr '13 6:51:47 AM TheWildWestPyro
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[[quoteright:340:[[Series/DoctorWho http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tombaker.jpg]]]][[caption-width-right:340: [[CatchPhrase Would you care for a jelly baby?]]]]

to:

[[quoteright:340:[[Series/DoctorWho http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tombaker.jpg]]]][[caption-width-right:340: org/pmwiki/pub/images/Screen_shot_2013-04-13_at_9_50_31_PM_6413.png]]]][[caption-width-right:340: [[CatchPhrase Would you care for a jelly baby?]]]]
11th Apr '13 6:08:02 PM Munchable
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Thomas Stewart Baker (born 20 January, 1934) '''is''' ''Series/DoctorWho''. An old story goes that if you don't know what Tom Baker looks like, all you need to do is close your eyes and think of the Doctor... and that's him. Curly hair, floppy hat, long multi-coloured scarf and toothy grin. Instantly recognisable. Even today, over thirty years since leaving the role, he's generally accepted as being the most well known of any of the eleven actors to have played it to date and has only now been surpassed in popularity by DavidTennant; even newer and/or younger Who-fen, for whom Tennant is their iconic Doctor, list Baker as ''the'' Classic Doctor. Certainly he was the longest serving (seven years in total), so he is embedded in the public consciousness better than most of the others.

to:

Thomas Stewart Baker (born 20 January, 1934) '''is''' ''Series/DoctorWho''. An old story goes that if you don't know what Tom Baker looks like, all you need to do is close your eyes and think of the Doctor... and that's him. Curly hair, floppy hat, long multi-coloured scarf and toothy grin. Instantly recognisable. Even today, over thirty years since leaving the role, he's generally accepted as being the most well known of any of the eleven actors to have played it to date and has only now been surpassed in popularity by DavidTennant; even newer and/or younger Who-fen, for whom Tennant is their iconic Doctor, list Baker as ''the'' Classic Doctor. Certainly he was the longest serving (seven years seasons in total), so he is embedded in the public consciousness better than most of the others.
19th Mar '13 4:51:14 PM johnnyfog
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He [[LostInCharacter maintained his Doctor persona]] off-screen to a large extent, [[ContractualPurity never smoking or drinking in public]] and being on his best behavior around children. The pressure eventually led to endless in-fighting and even a few live television crack-ups. Later actors have testified that the Doctor, not unlike SherlockHolmes, is a tough character to get inside of; extended time there can take a toll on your mental well-being. Baker's example is probably a major conideration in most actors leaving the role after three or four years.

He subsequently made several appearances in productions as diverse as OscarWilde (that must have been a sight to see), Rum in ''{{Blackadder}}'', SherlockHolmes, and the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' movie; as well as the role of [[TheEeyore Puddleglum]] in the {{BBC}} adaptation of ''[[TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' by [[Creator/CSLewis C.S. Lewis]], [[CatchPhrase I shouldn't wonder]]. He has found a niche as a voice actor in recent years (that's him doing the narration in ''LittleBritain'' and the opening cutscene of ''HostileWaters''), but he will forevermore be remembered as the Doctor.

to:

He [[LostInCharacter maintained his Doctor persona]] off-screen to a large extent, [[ContractualPurity never smoking or drinking in public]] and being on his best behavior around children. The pressure eventually led to endless in-fighting and even a few live television crack-ups. Later actors have testified that the Doctor, not unlike SherlockHolmes, is a tough character to get inside of; extended time there can take a toll on your mental well-being. Baker's example is probably a major conideration consideration in most actors leaving the role after three or four years.

He subsequently made several appearances in productions as diverse as OscarWilde (that must have been a sight to see), Rum in ''{{Blackadder}}'', SherlockHolmes, Sherlock Holmes, and an elf in the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' movie; movie, as well as the role of [[TheEeyore Puddleglum]] in the {{BBC}} adaptation of ''[[TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' by [[Creator/CSLewis C.S. Lewis]], [[CatchPhrase I shouldn't wonder]]. He has found a niche as a voice actor in recent years (that's him doing the narration in ''LittleBritain'' and the opening cutscene of ''HostileWaters''), but he will forevermore be remembered as the Doctor.
19th Mar '13 12:12:37 PM johnnyfog
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In 1981, Baker left ''Doctor Who'', handing over the reins to PeterDavison. Accounts vary on exactly why he left. One popular story is that Baker tendered his resignation to the new producer of the series as a joke, believing that his massive popularity with the public would never see it accepted, only to be surprised when the producer replied "Sure... when do you want to leave?". Commentary in the "New Beginnings" DVD boxed set suggests that Creator/JohnNathanTurner, the new first-year producer of the series, felt that Baker had gotten complacent and overbearing on set and tried to rein him in. Baker wasn't fond of many of the changes Nathan-Turner began making and suggested to him, as he had done with other producers in the past, that perhaps it was time to move on. He expected to be asked to stay on, but was half-surprised when his offer was accepted.

Baker also maintained his Doctor persona to a large extent in public, [[ContractualPurity never smoking or drinking in public]] and making frequent in-character appearances as the Time Lord.

He subsequently made several appearances in productions as diverse as ''{{Blackadder}}'', SherlockHolmes, and the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' movie; as well as the role of [[TheEeyore Puddleglum]] in the {{BBC}} adaptation of ''[[TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' by [[Creator/CSLewis C.S. Lewis]], [[CatchPhrase I shouldn't wonder]]. He has found a niche as a voice actor in recent years (that's him doing the narration in ''LittleBritain'' and the opening cutscene of ''HostileWaters''), but he will forevermore be known as the Doctor. A good decade after the other actors who played the character, he's now finally reprising the role in BigFinishDoctorWho, and speaks extremely fondly of his time as the Doctor.

to:

In 1981, Baker left ''Doctor Who'', handing over the reins to PeterDavison. Accounts vary on exactly why he left. One popular story is that Baker tendered his resignation to the new producer of the series as a joke, believing that his massive popularity with the public would never see it accepted, only to be surprised when the producer replied "Sure... when snapped back, "Sure! When do you want to leave?". Commentary in the "New Beginnings" DVD boxed set suggests that Creator/JohnNathanTurner, the new first-year producer of the series, wanted to put his own personal stamp on the series and felt that Baker had gotten complacent and overbearing on set and tried become impossible to rein him reign in. For his part, Baker wasn't fond of many of the changes Nathan-Turner began making and suggested to him, threatened, as he had done with other producers in the past, that perhaps it was time to move on. He expected to be asked to stay on, but was half-surprised when resign if he didn't get his offer was accepted.

Baker also
way. [[TemptingFate Oops]].

He [[LostInCharacter
maintained his Doctor persona persona]] off-screen to a large extent in public, extent, [[ContractualPurity never smoking or drinking in public]] and making frequent in-character appearances as being on his best behavior around children. The pressure eventually led to endless in-fighting and even a few live television crack-ups. Later actors have testified that the Time Lord.

Doctor, not unlike SherlockHolmes, is a tough character to get inside of; extended time there can take a toll on your mental well-being. Baker's example is probably a major conideration in most actors leaving the role after three or four years.

He subsequently made several appearances in productions as diverse as OscarWilde (that must have been a sight to see), Rum in ''{{Blackadder}}'', SherlockHolmes, and the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' movie; as well as the role of [[TheEeyore Puddleglum]] in the {{BBC}} adaptation of ''[[TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' by [[Creator/CSLewis C.S. Lewis]], [[CatchPhrase I shouldn't wonder]]. He has found a niche as a voice actor in recent years (that's him doing the narration in ''LittleBritain'' and the opening cutscene of ''HostileWaters''), but he will forevermore be known remembered as the Doctor. Doctor.

A good decade after the other actors who played the character, he's now finally reprising the role in BigFinishDoctorWho, and now speaks extremely fondly of his time as the Doctor.
23rd Feb '13 6:40:31 AM Temmere
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Born in [[FootballPopMusicAndFlatCaps Liverpool]], Baker initially studied to become a monk, but he dropped out when he realised that a life of isolation wasn't for him. He gravitated towards acting, mostly as an understudy on stage. He gained plaudits for his role as [[RaRaRasputin Grigori Rasputin]] in ''Nicholas And Alexandra'', and this led to several other film and television roles, among them the evil magician Koura in the movie ''[[HarryhausenMovie The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad]]''.

to:

Born in [[FootballPopMusicAndFlatCaps Liverpool]], Baker initially studied to become a monk, but he dropped out when he realised that a life of isolation wasn't for him. He gravitated towards acting, mostly as an understudy on stage. He gained plaudits for his role as [[RaRaRasputin Grigori Rasputin]] in ''Nicholas And Alexandra'', and this led to several other film and television roles, among them the evil magician Koura in the movie ''[[HarryhausenMovie The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad]]''.
''TheGoldenVoyageOfSinbad''.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TomBaker