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If Tom Baker were to have quit DW sooner than he did...


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Old 18-02-2013, 00:10
Glenn A
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True but I don't think Michael Grade is solely to blame, he wasn't even at the Beeb when Doctor Who was axed. The production team made a number of mistakes which didn't exactly help matters... Making Colin Baker's Doctor initially so unlikeable, starting his reign off with The Twin Dilemma! lumbering the whole of season twenty three with the trial plot etc etc

Now if we're talking about the axing of Tripods then I do completely blame Grade. I sat through two series of that, never to know what happens in the end
I think the damage was done when Colin Baker was hired, though Grade certainly wanted rid of the show as Baker was such an unpopular choice. ( Surely the better option would be to improve it when he left, as the show was making millions in exports). However, you had the worst of both worlds- an unpopular Doctor with falling ratings and a controller who wanted to axe a long running show. Had I been in charge of BBC One, I'd have axed Baker after the first series, suspended the show for a year and then brought it back with a big increase in the budget and a primetime Saturday slot. The new DW works because it has moved away from the cheap and nasty approach of the eighties and become a big rating, big budget show.
Also getting a little more on topic. Tom Baker's last series was a bit below par and he had the less than exciting Adrec in the show. I have heard, though, that Baker was drinking too much and was becoming hard to work with.
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Old 18-02-2013, 00:50
AdelaideGirl
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When given a decent script Colin was just fine and the Doctor has always had moments of being quiet unlikeable. Lose the silly coat, re write the twin dilemma so it's actually got a dilemma about twins in it and his time suddenly looks a lot better.
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Old 18-02-2013, 14:28
adam_fransella
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Now if we're talking about the axing of The Tripods, then I do completely blame Michael Grade. I sat through two series of that, never to know what happens in the end
Keeping in mind that while there should indeed have been three series (as intended), the third got cancelled due to a variety of factors that are more logical than what happened to "Doctor Who" from 1985-86 - declining ratings during the second series, a need to make cut-backs across the BBC so as to create funds for pumping into "Breakfast Time" and "EastEnders" (which affected DW as well), and the fact that "The Tripods" itself was an expensive co-production with an overseas company.

But Colin Baker should NOT have been sacked, as given time, his Doctor would have softened more and become totally likeable.

Alternatively, if McCoy succeeded Davison...than "The Twin Dilemma" would involve a manic Doctor instead (above all, no strangling) and perhaps be less painful to watch!

As for the stories that were originally planned for Season 23 before the hiatus occurred, they appear to be a mixed bag, but were (or are) generally worse than "The Trial Of A Time Lord".
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Old 18-02-2013, 14:29
adam_fransella
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Had I been in charge of BBC One, I'd have axed Baker after the first series, suspended the show for a year and then brought it back with a big increase in the budget and a primetime Saturday slot.
Only one series with one Time Lord? Bad move!
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Old 18-02-2013, 14:30
adam_fransella
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Adam has now told me I was wrong. End of. so I'll have to reconsider The guy sure knows how to debate! If only he could alter the whole of history to make it better, we could have a perfect world.
Aww, thank you!
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Old 18-02-2013, 16:37
adam_fransella
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In 2009 (or thereabouts), Colin Baker and his ex-wife Liza Goddard acted together in a (non-London) stage production of "She Stoops To Conquer" - so they must now be on friendly terms.

Another ex-wife of Goddard is Alvin Stardust.
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Old 18-02-2013, 16:42
adam_fransella
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Doctor Who was tired and old and needed axing in 1989, otherwise we wouldn't have the awesomeness of the revived series
"Doctor Who" should have got better after 1985 - but instead, went in the opposite direction, if not through choice of Time Lord, than through the quality of script-writing and production values.

Then again, "Survival" turned out to be a far better finale for DW than "Revelation Of The Daleks" or indeed "The Trial Of A Time Lord" (with or without its abandoned ending, in which The Doctor and the Valeyard fight each other, plummit into darkness, and are presumed dead - somewhat reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty falling to their deaths).

In 1993, Alan Yenton (who succeeded Jonathan Powell - Grade's successor - as Controller of BBC1) axed "Eldorado" - that is, he turned off the programme's lfie-support, just as it was starting to breathe!

"Eldorado" was cut off in its prime - while DW was axed, but needed to halt and re-charge its batteries.
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Old 18-02-2013, 16:42
meglosmurmurs
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A 4th Doctor season that possibly could have had a more significant ending was season 16's Key to Time. Instead of spending all season getting the pieces together for the White Guardian only to decide at the end - 'well actually no-one deserves to have it'. The show could have gone in a whole new direction if the White/Black Guardian got hold of the key to time and caused unlimited chaos. The huge inbalance in the universe could have caused the Doctor to regenerate, and then go on to face dangers we'd never seen before.

But I'm happy with Tom Baker's time as the Doctor so wouldn't want any changes. Without Meglos making his incredible appearance who knows what state the show could have ended up in.
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Old 18-02-2013, 16:47
adam_fransella
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A 4th Doctor season that possibly could have had a more significant ending was season 16's Key to Time. Instead of spending all season getting the pieces together for the White Guardian only to decide at the end - 'well actually no-one deserves to have it'. The show could have gone in a whole new direction if the White/Black Guardian got hold of the key to time and caused unlimited chaos. The huge inbalance in the universe could have caused the Doctor to regenerate, and then go on to face dangers we'd never seen before.
But had Baker regenerated at the end of Season 16, fans would have been spared the good quality of "Destiny Of The Daleks" and the sheer brilliance of "City Of Death", in Season 17 (where Lalla Ward replaced the late Mary Tamm as Romana). Then again, this is the season that should have ended with "Shada", only for industrial action to intervene.
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Old 19-02-2013, 05:57
codename_47
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Another ex-wife of Goddard is Alvin Stardust.
Alvin Stardust was a wife?

Heady times in the 70s!

I'm sure there's only about 4 topics in Dr Who fandom and this thread covers about 3 of them (Baker leaving, who was to blame for the ax (oh no, that word...tinny will be in soon!) of the series, which Doctor was underrated)

Poor Colin not getting the treatment he deserved.
Poor Sylvester not getting a good run at it.

While I might agree with the former, what I've seen of McCoy...eesh.
I'm sorry, he's not a great actor.
There's only so many rolling of R's and mentions of Rice Pudding in a bid to be eccentric you can take before you realise there isn't much substance.
The start of one of the parts of his Dalek episode when the ship is landing on the playground, ooof..I cringed.

He's fine enough just hasn't got a great range. As long as he's not having to be angry or try some comedy, he's fine.
Anything more than that and.....well that sketch for Comic Relief that year had a point didn't it?
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Old 19-02-2013, 17:55
Jon Ross
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Also getting a little more on topic. Tom Baker's last series was a bit below par and he had the less than exciting Adrec in the show. I have heard, though, that Baker was drinking too much and was becoming hard to work with.
Why do you keep calling him Adrec? He was Adric.
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Old 19-02-2013, 17:59
Jon Ross
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Tom Baker didn't stay too long. That's just an easy piece of received wisdom. His final season suffered because the people in charge of the show didn't want him and were unprofessional enough to work against him rather than with him. Baker was also ill during that season, so you could maybe argue that he stayed too long for his own health.
Sorry, Tom DID stay too long, both for the good of the show and his own career.

Tom was getting fed up of Doctor Who by at least 1978 and threatened to quit the programme during the Key to Time season after arguments with Graham Williams.

Towards the end of his time, Tom was becoming notorious for being extremely difficult to work with, throwing wobblies, swearing at people. There are outtakes of this.

You accuse JNT and Bidmead of being unprofessional simply because they were the first people to really stand up to him since Hinchcliffe had left. Personally, I can't see what was so professional about Tom's behaviour at that time (and BTW, Tom has acknowledged in recent years how difficult he became to work with - to his credit).
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Old 19-02-2013, 18:08
Jon Ross
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Wasn't there rumours he had personal issues with Colin Baker?
Yes, and these rumours will continue until the end of time - or at least as long as some fans can't accept that Grade cancelled it for the reasons he has said a hundred times - he thought it was cheap, dated rubbish and he hates sci-fi anyway.
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Old 19-02-2013, 18:13
Jon Ross
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The only good story in Peter Davison's first series was Earthshock. A lot of people on DS, have mentioned that in previous years. The scripting seemed quite strong, and the acting was very good.
Kinda and The Visitation are good stories.
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Old 19-02-2013, 18:57
korbany
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In 2009 (or thereabouts), Colin Baker and his ex-wife Liza Goddard acted together in a (non-London) stage production of "She Stoops To Conquer" - so they must now be on friendly terms.
I have great respect for Colin Baker, despite all the tragic happenings in his life at the time of his tenure as the Doctor, he remained professional, cordial and enthusiastic throughout. Considering that he lost his son to sudden infant death syndrome shortly after joining the show, followed by his painfull divorce and then to have Grade (his ex wifes friend) try to ruin him, frankly I think the man deserves a medal.
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Old 19-02-2013, 19:02
Jon Ross
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and then to have Grade (his ex wifes friend) try to ruin him, frankly I think the man deserves a medal.
Some people have such fertile imaginations to think that Grade specifically tried to kill off Doctor Who in order to ruin Colin Baker without any evidence of it whatsoever (and in spite of Colin saying himself that Grade just hated the show). You should be writing for the show.
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Old 19-02-2013, 19:56
Glenn A
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Some people have such fertile imaginations to think that Grade specifically tried to kill off Doctor Who in order to ruin Colin Baker without any evidence of it whatsoever (and in spite of Colin saying himself that Grade just hated the show). You should be writing for the show.
I think Grade could have been bitter about the time he was at LWT and Doctor Who squashed his half hearted light entertainment shows every Saturday night, but really I think the grudge was against the show rather than Colin, who had been appointed before he became controller. However, reading more about Colin, he is a pleasant enough man, promotes the show a lot and was probably a victim of the BBC's heirarchy's dislike of the show, same as poor old Sylvester Mc Coy, who could have really saved the show, had to watch the show he loved die.
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Old 19-02-2013, 20:30
SpringheelJack
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A 4th Doctor season that possibly could have had a more significant ending was season 16's Key to Time. Instead of spending all season getting the pieces together for the White Guardian only to decide at the end - 'well actually no-one deserves to have it'. The show could have gone in a whole new direction if the White/Black Guardian got hold of the key to time and caused unlimited chaos. The huge inbalance in the universe could have caused the Doctor to regenerate, and then go on to face dangers we'd never seen before.

But I'm happy with Tom Baker's time as the Doctor so wouldn't want any changes. Without Meglos making his incredible appearance who knows what state the show could have ended up in.
Tom first hinted he might quit during Season 15, which means his first exit opportunity would have been The Invasion of Time
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Old 19-02-2013, 20:58
Jon Ross
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Tom first hinted he might quit during Season 15, which means his first exit opportunity would have been The Invasion of Time
Yes, apparently Tom threatening to leave became a bit of a yearly tradition. I can see why the production team might have got a bit tired of it.
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:05
SpringheelJack
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Yes, apparently Tom threatening to leave became a bit of a yearly tradition. I can see why the production team might have got a bit tired of it.
http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showp...92&postcount=5
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:16
Jon Ross
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But if he first tried to quit in Season 15, surely he never tried to quit when Hinchcliffe was producer, as he had already gone at the end of Season 14?
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:29
Glenn A
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I think Baker was becoming tired of the role by 1979, but he did say he felt like a non person when he finished and was also prone to long drinking sessions.
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:42
Jon Ross
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I think Baker was becoming tired of the role by 1979, but he did say he felt like a non person when he finished and was also prone to long drinking sessions.
It was during - or shortly after - the production of The Key to Time, which must have still been 1978-79, that he had an argument with Graham Williams and various BBC executives including Graeme McDonald, Shaun Sutton and Bill Cotton got involved. This is documented in the book Doctor Who - The Seventies by Howe/Stammers/Walker.

But even before that, it's well documented he was very unhappy making Horror of Fang Rock, as early as 1977, which became such a difficult production Paddy Russell vowed never to work on the show again, partly because Tom couldn't get on with Louise and was throwing scripts around and storming off. So maybe it only took three seasons for Tom to start getting tired of Doctor Who.
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Old 19-02-2013, 21:58
Glenn A
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It was during - or shortly after - the production of The Key to Time, which must have still been 1978-79, that he had an argument with Graham Williams and various BBC executives including Graeme McDonald, Shaun Sutton and Bill Cotton got involved. This is documented in the book Doctor Who - The Seventies by Howe/Stammers/Walker.

But even before that, it's well documented he was very unhappy making Horror of Fang Rock, as early as 1977, which became such a difficult production Paddy Russell vowed never to work on the show again, partly because Tom couldn't get on with Louise and was throwing scripts around and storming off. So maybe it only took three seasons for Tom to start getting tired of Doctor Who.
Tom was under a lot of pressure as well. By 1976 it was attracting 14 million viewers, he had to be in role whenever the was spotted by fans, and also his biog revealed he had female groupies, some of whom were, should we say, interesting in their bedroom habits and could have brought him down if they went to the papers. I think the pressures of such a role were getting to him, which probably explains the boozing and rows of Tom's later years.
However, regardless, Tom was the complete gentleman when the Doctor and one night surprised a family in Preston by appearing one night in character to watch the show with them. Also he was one of the few television personalities to visit Belfast at the height of The Troubles to meet his fans.
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Old 21-02-2013, 12:06
swadey
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Alvin Stardust was a wife?

Heady times in the 70s!

I'm sure there's only about 4 topics in Dr Who fandom and this thread covers about 3 of them (Baker leaving, who was to blame for the ax (oh no, that word...tinny will be in soon!) of the series, which Doctor was underrated)

Poor Colin not getting the treatment he deserved.
Poor Sylvester not getting a good run at it.

While I might agree with the former, what I've seen of McCoy...eesh.
I'm sorry, he's not a great actor.
There's only so many rolling of R's and mentions of Rice Pudding in a bid to be eccentric you can take before you realise there isn't much substance.
The start of one of the parts of his Dalek episode when the ship is landing on the playground, ooof..I cringed.

He's fine enough just hasn't got a great range. As long as he's not having to be angry or try some comedy, he's fine.
Anything more than that and.....well that sketch for Comic Relief that year had a point didn't it?
And as is common knowledge, the BBC execs didn't want McCoy either as his acting ability was questionable. JNT was asked to re-cast.... JNT did, bringing in McCoy + a dozen other delibiratly poor actors.... The Execs just gave up, and agreed McCoy be cast, even though JNT stitched it up
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