Signed 10 x 8 Photograph of Tom Baker
This is an orginal autograph and not a copy.
Doctor Who (1974–1981)
In 1974, Baker took on the role of the Doctor from Jon Pertwee. He was recommended to producer Barry Letts by the BBC's Head of Serials, Bill Slater, who had directed Baker in Play of the Month. Impressed by Baker on meeting him, Letts was convinced he was right for the part after seeing his performance in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Baker was working on a construction site at the time, as acting jobs were scarce. Initially he was dubbed "Boiler Suit Tom" by the media, as he had been supplied for a press conference with some old studio set clothes to replace his modest garments.
He quickly made the part his own. As the Doctor, his eccentric style of dress and speech — particularly his trademark long scarf and fondness for jelly babies — made him an immediately recognisable figure, and he quickly caught the viewing public's imagination. Baker played the Doctor for seven consecutive seasons over a seven-year period, making him the longest-serving actor in the part on-screen. Baker himself suggested many aspects of the Fourth Doctor's personality. The distinctive scarf came about by accident: James Acheson, the costume designer, had provided far more wool than was necessary to the knitter, Begonia Pope, and Ms. Pope knitted all the wool she was given; it was Baker who suggested that he wear the resulting — ridiculously overlong — scarf.
The incarnation played by Baker is often regarded as the most popular of the Doctors. In polls conducted by Doctor Who Magazine, Baker has lost the "Best Doctor" category only twice: once to Sylvester McCoy in 1990, and once to David Tennant in 2006.
Tom Baker is not known to be directly related to Colin Baker, who played the Sixth Doctor in Doctor Who, nor to Bob Baker, the script-writer for many of the series' episodes.
Baker's sense of humour is like that of the character he played. When asked how he felt about having a star named after him, Baker quipped, "I'm over the moon!"BBC Homes and Antiques magazine in January 2006, Baker was voted the fourth most eccentric star. He was beaten by Björk, Chris Eubank and David Icke.
In a poll published by
He continues to be associated with the Doctor, appearing on documentaries such as The Story of Doctor Who and Doctor Who Confidential and giving interviews about his time on the programme. He reappeared as the Doctor for the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time and audio for the PC game Destiny of the Doctors. He gets interviewed often in documentaries on the extras of Doctor Who DVD releases from his era as the Doctor.
In a 2004 interview regarding the series' revival, Baker suggested that he be cast as the Master. In a 2006 interview with The Sun newspaper, he claims that he has not watched any episodes of the new series because he "just can't be bothered". In June 2006, Baker once again expressed interest in the role in a guest column for Radio Times, noting that he "did watch a little bit of the new Doctor Who and I think the new fella, Tennant, is excellent."
While Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann have all reprised their roles for audio adventures produced since the 1990s by Big Finish (and sometimes the BBC) Baker had until 2009 declined to voice the Doctor, saying he hadn't seen a script he liked. However, in July 2009, the BBC announced that Baker would return to the role for a series of five audio dramas, co-starring Richard Franklin as Captain Mike Yates, which would begin release in September. The five audios comprise a single linked story under the banner title Hornets' Nest, written by well-known author Paul Magrs.  Baker has also filmed inserts for a video release of the unfinished Shada and also provided narration for several BBC audio releases of old Doctor Who stories.
More recently Baker has been involved in the reading of old Target novelisations in the BBC Audio range of talking books, "Doctor Who (Classic Novels)". Doctor Who and the Giant Robot was the first release in the range read by Baker, released on 5 November 2007, followed by Baker reading Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius'(released 4 February 2008), Doctor Who and the Creature from the Pit (released on 7 April 2008) and Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars (released 14 August 2008).