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The fourth Doctor/Tom Baker


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Old 27-01-2013, 13:55
Pull2Open
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A couple of things regarding TB tenure has occurred to me recently and don't know why I never noticed it before.

It is widely acknowledged that TB had overstayed in the role and possibly should not have done season 18 but one thing that really struck me recently, watching some old episodes, is how Tom Baker seemed to age considerably between The Horns of Nimon and The Leisure Hive. He all of a sudden looked so old and this particular season, he seemed really grouchy.

So not only was it his last season, not only had he overstayed his welcome but he seemed physically done in too!

Has anyone else noticed this?

Sorry again for posting something that seems quite trivial, but you lot are the only Whovians I can discuss this sort of thing with.
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Old 27-01-2013, 14:01
CELT1987
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Apparenty, Baker was ill during filming of some parts of Season 18, thats why he doesnt look as well. The character changed to a more broody and sombre personality, perhaps reflecting that a regneration was upcoming. JNT wanted to cut down the humour level, compared to season 17. Baker was far more serious then he ever was in the role. He could be funny and serious under the Hinchcliffe era, but under JNT, the humour was taken out of Tom's Doctor.
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Old 27-01-2013, 14:23
Pull2Open
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Apparenty, Baker was ill during filming of some parts of Season 18, thats why he doesnt look as well. The character changed to a more broody and sombre personality, perhaps reflecting that a regneration was upcoming. JNT wanted to cut down the humour level, compared to season 17. Baker was far more serious then he ever was in the role. He could be funny and serious under the Hinchcliffe era, but under JNT, the humour was taken out of Tom's Doctor.
Yeah I remember reading that before. Thats probably what it was, I just seem to remember not enjoying it so much when it aired in 1980...I even think I briefly jumped ship for the other side and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century for a couple of weeks during Meglos, returning for the second part of Full Circle when I heard what a good story it was.

He just looked very grey and haggard in that season, no doubt, as you say, because he was unwell. Probably the stress of being, essentially, forced out of something that became your life!
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Old 27-01-2013, 14:32
CELT1987
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Yeah I remember reading that before. Thats probably what it was, I just seem to remember not enjoying it so much when it aired in 1980...I even think I briefly jumped ship for the other side and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century for a couple of weeks during Meglos, returning for the second part of Full Circle when I heard what a good story it was.

He just looked very grey and haggard in that season, no doubt, as you say, because he was unwell. Probably the stress of being, essentially, forced out of something that became your life!
Yeah. think Baker was grumpy on set with everyone during Season 18. Baker has said this on several occasions.The producer actually wanted him to go at the end of the season so he could get his own Doctor onboard. Baker did overstay his welcome, but he was such a great Doctor, that I dont blame him for staying as long.
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Old 27-01-2013, 14:53
SpringheelJack
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A recent DWM article showed the main reason why Tom stayed on so long was because he really wanted to play the Doctor on film - every year, he seemed to believe a feature would be made.

In terms of him leaving, he mooted as far back as '77 that he might quit the role - I have it on good authority that from that year onwards, the conversation with every producer went:

Tom: "I think it's time to go."
Hinchcliff: "No, Tom, please stay!"

Tom: "I think it's time to go."
Williams: "No, Tom, please stay!"

Tom: "I think it's time to go."
Nathan-Turner: "Sorry to see you leave, thank you for everything."

And yes, he was very ill during Season 18, which clearly shows. Yet the great man is still with us.
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Old 27-01-2013, 15:24
daveyboy7472
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I think Baker did stay too long but you can't lay all of the problems with his Doctor in Season 18 at his door. Yes, he looked older but he had been in the role 6-7 years by this point.

I think JNT shares a bit of the blame as he cut down far too much on the humour in his characterisation. It had gone too far towards comedy but he should have been allowed to revert to his Hinchcliffe Era Doctor where there was a straight mix between the humour and the serious stuff.

Taking away the humour really made him a shadow of his former self in Season 18 and with the aforementioned illness and different appearance, plus the new costume and totally different style of the show; all these things combined to make the 4th Doctor a very different figure in his final year imo.

Plus he knew he was leaving so that may have affected his performances as well.

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Old 28-01-2013, 00:03
DavetheScot
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I think the end of The Key to Time series might have been the right time for Tom to go. He was, and remains, my favourite Doctor, and I was sad when he went, but in retrospect he was too long in the role.
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Old 28-01-2013, 01:47
TEDR
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I think the end of The Key to Time series might have been the right time for Tom to go. He was, and remains, my favourite Doctor, and I was sad when he went, but in retrospect he was too long in the role.
Preferably just before he does his evil eyes?
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Old 28-01-2013, 05:55
AdelaideGirl
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But his stories with Romana II were fabulous, he could have left in Warriors Gate with Lalla. Although on a personal level might have been better if they'd not met.
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Old 28-01-2013, 07:32
Theophile
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But his stories with Romana II were fabulous, he could have left in Warriors Gate with Lalla. Although on a personal level might have been better if they'd not met.
I may be a greenhorn in this area, but what do you mean by that last sentence?
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:28
allen_who
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I may be a greenhorn in this area, but what do you mean by that last sentence?
He means that they got married after they met on 'who' but it wasn't a smooth relationship at all. If you watch the Leisure Hive again you will see a particular scene where Tom won't even look at her whilst saying his lines...

Tom was ill in his last season. They even had to use curling tongues on his famous hair as bizarrely his illness caused his hair to straighten... odd but true
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Old 28-01-2013, 08:55
AdelaideGirl
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She did indeed mean that

Listening to Lalla's commentaries also reveal how difficult the relationship could be - they certainly never appear together. Although she's surprisingly forgiving and complimentary about him.
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Old 28-01-2013, 10:49
Theophile
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He means that they got married after they met on 'who' but it wasn't a smooth relationship at all. If you watch the Leisure Hive again you will see a particular scene where Tom won't even look at her whilst saying his lines...

Tom was ill in his last season. They even had to use curling tongues on his famous hair as bizarrely his illness caused his hair to straighten... odd but true
Woah, thanks for the information. How odd all of that must have been. Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor and I love Romana II. Their stories together were amazing. However, not in a million years would I have put them together romantically.
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Old 28-01-2013, 10:57
allen_who
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She did indeed mean that

Listening to Lalla's commentaries also reveal how difficult the relationship could be - they certainly never appear together. Although she's surprisingly forgiving and complimentary about him.
sooorry I didn't mean to put you through gender realignment lol
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Old 28-01-2013, 13:04
bgtension
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What gets me is why were the viewing figures so low for season 18?
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Old 28-01-2013, 13:54
Pull2Open
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What gets me is why were the viewing figures so low for season 18?
I think the general viewing public, not the fans, just fell out of love with it. JNT changed the theme, the costume and the direction of the programme...thats a lot to swallow if you're not die hard I would imagine!

Tom Baker was popular for his portrayal, he was stopped from being his Doctor imo!
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Old 28-01-2013, 13:58
darthbibble
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I think the general viewing public, not the fans, just fell out of love with it. JNT changed the theme, the costume and the direction of the programme...thats a lot to swallow if you're not die hard I would imagine!

Tom Baker was popular for his portrayal, he was stopped from being his Doctor imo!
That would only be logical if ratings started high and got lower....
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:02
adams66
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What gets me is why were the viewing figures so low for season 18?
Buck Rogers.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:07
darthbibble
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I remember hearing that now you mention it.

The wikipedia entry for the Buck Rogers tv series "confirms" it
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:13
Corwin
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Woah, thanks for the information. How odd all of that must have been. Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor and I love Romana II. Their stories together were amazing. However, not in a million years would I have put them together romantically.
Watch the Third of these adverts the two of them did for Prime Computers.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:26
DiscoP
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Watch the Third of these adverts the two of them did for Prime Computers.
Wow, how did they get permission from the BBC to produce those ads? (or didn't copyright infringement exist in the 70's?)
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:27
gboy
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I don't think Tom was very well during the 1980s - he seemed to lose a lot of weight, and looks painfully thin in this clip from 'The Life and Loves of a She Devil' in 1986: http://bit.ly/14nMecP
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:52
Corwin
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Wow, how did they get permission from the BBC to produce those ads? (or didn't copyright infringement exist in the 70's?)
I believe that the adverts were made and aired in Australia I doubt they would have been allowed to use them in the UK.
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:56
bgtension
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Ah yes, just looked it up now.
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Old 28-01-2013, 19:32
CELT1987
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I think the general viewing public, not the fans, just fell out of love with it. JNT changed the theme, the costume and the direction of the programme...thats a lot to swallow if you're not die hard I would imagine!

Tom Baker was popular for his portrayal, he was stopped from being his Doctor imo!
Spot on. Also, the new script editor, Christopher H Bidmead , wanted more scientific stories, this may have put some fans off who preferred the previous season.
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