Tom Baker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tom Baker
Tom Baker.jpg
Baker in 2010
Thomas Stewart Baker

(1934-01-20) 20 January 1934 (age 87)
Alma materRose Bruford College
OccupationActor, writer
Years active1967–present
Anna Wheatcroft
(m. 1961; div. 1966)

(m. 1980; div. 1982)

Sue Jerrard
(m. 1986)

Thomas Stewart Baker (born 20 January 1934) is an English actor and writer. He is well known for his portrayal of the fourth incarnation of the Doctor in the science fiction television series Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981,[1][2] a longer tenure than any other actor in the title role. He also provided narration in the television comedy series Little Britain (2003–2006) and Little Britain USA (2008).[1] His voice, which has been described as "sonorous", was voted the fourth-most recognisable in the UK in 2006.[3]

At age 15, Baker began study as a religious brother. He gradually lost his vocation, leaving religious life at age 21 to undertake national service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Upon leaving the army, he served in the Merchant Navy and then became an actor, joining the Royal National Theatre under Laurence Olivier.[2] He was in his thirties when his professional acting career began, and his first major film role was as Grigori Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971, when he was 37. He went on to play the villainous Prince Koura in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad in 1973, which led to his casting in Doctor Who.

During his period as the star of Doctor Who, the original series received its highest viewing figures.[4] His era featured many stories which became regarded as classics and he remains one of the most instantly recognisable incarnations of the character.[5] He continued to feature in regular television roles later in his career, including in the series Medics (1992–1995), Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) (2000–2001) and Monarch of the Glen (2004–2005). He has also narrated commercials, video games, audiobooks, radio plays, music albums, and television series.

Baker has been married three times, firstly to Anna Wheatcroft with whom he had two sons, the second time being to his Doctor Who co-star Lalla Ward. Baker met his third wife Sue Jerrard whilst working at the BBC in London.

Early life[edit]

Thomas Stewart Baker was born on Scotland Road in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool on 20 January 1934. His mother, Mary Jane (née Fleming) was a cleaner and devout Catholic. His father, John Stewart Baker, was a seaman and largely absent from the family due to being away at sea.[6][7] Baker attended Cheswardine Hall Boarding School in Shropshire. At age 15, he became a novice religious brother with the Brothers of Ploermel (Brothers of Christian Instruction) in Jersey[8] and later in Shropshire,[9] but left the monastery six years later after losing his faith.[10] In his autobiography, he said he realised he wanted to break each of the Ten Commandments in order and thought he should get out before he did something serious. He did his national service in the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving from 1955 until 1957. He took up acting around 1956, joining the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in Sidcup, where he met his first wife. He went on to become a professional actor in the late 1960s after the marriage broke down.[6]


Early work[edit]

After his marriage ended in 1966, Baker worked in provincial rep theatre. He had his first break in 1968 whilst performing in a late-night pub revue for the 1968 York Festival. His performance was seen by someone with the National Theatre who encouraged him to audition for the company, then headed by Laurence Olivier. Baker did so and was offered a contract. From 1968 to 1971, he was given small parts and understudied, one of his bigger roles being the horse Rosinante in Don Quixote.[6]

Baker's stage work led to work on television where he won small parts in major series such as Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, Market in Honey Lane and Softly, Softly.[6]

Baker had his first big film break with the role of Grigori Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) after Olivier had recommended him for the part.[11] He was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for his performance, one for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and another for Best Newcomer. Baker appeared as Moore, an artist whose paintings are imbued with voodoo power, in The Vault of Horror (1973) and as Koura, the villainous sorcerer, in Ray Harryhausen's The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973).

Baker also appeared in Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1972 version of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales[12] as the younger husband of the Wife of Bath.

Doctor Who[edit]

In 1974, Baker took over the role of the Doctor from Jon Pertwee to become the Fourth Doctor in the BBC TV series.[2] He was recommended to producer Barry Letts by the BBC's Head of Serials, Bill Slater, who had directed Baker in a Play of the Month production of Shaw's play The Millionairess. Impressed by Baker upon meeting him, Letts then became convinced he was right for the part after seeing his performance in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.[13] 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 because he had been supplied for a press conference with some old studio set clothes to replace his modest garments.[14] Letts left the series after producing Baker's debut story, Robot (1974–75),[15] and was replaced by Philip Hinchcliffe. Under Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes the series gained a "Gothic tone" influenced by Hammer Film Productions and, according to Hinchcliffe, was aimed "a bit more to the adults in the audience".[16]

Baker quickly made the part his own, viewing figures for his first few years returning to a level not seen since the height of 'Dalekmania' a decade earlier.[17] His eccentric style of dress and quirky personality (particularly his trademark look of wearing a long scarf and having a fondness for jelly babies), as well as his distinctive voice, made him an immediately recognisable figure and he quickly caught the viewing public's imagination. Baker suggested many aspects of his Doctor's personality and became known for making "frequent and often comedic scripting suggestions and ad-libs",[18] but the distinctive scarf was created by accident. James Acheson, the costume designer assigned to his first story, had provided far more wool than was necessary to the knitter, Begonia Pope, intending for her to choose a suitable colour.[citation needed] However, due to miscommunication Pope knitted all the wool she was given.[19]

Baker played the Doctor for seven consecutive seasons, making him the longest-serving actor in the part, and his incarnation is often regarded as the most popular of the Doctors. According to BBC News in 2006, in polls conducted by Doctor Who Magazine, Baker had only lost the "Best Doctor" category to Sylvester McCoy in 1990 and to David Tennant in 2006.[20] In a 2010 interview, Baker said that he had not watched Tennant's performance as the Doctor but thought his Hamlet was excellent.[21] Many of the stories from his early period are considered to be classics of the series, including The Ark in Space (1975), Genesis of the Daleks (1975), The Brain of Morbius (1976), The Deadly Assassin (1976) and The Robots of Death (1977).[5] However, the violent tone of the stories produced by Philip Hinchcliffe saw the series come under heavy criticism from morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse.[17] Concerns over violence during this early period led to a lightening of the tone and an "erratic decline" in both the popularity and quality of the series.[22] In a 2014 interview, Baker described Hinchcliffe as "amazing" and identified that as his favourite period of his time on the series. He described Hinchcliffe's successor, Graham Williams, as "absolutely devoted" but lacking his predecessor's flair and "let me get away with murder".[23] He acknowledged that his final producer on the series, John Nathan-Turner, made changes he did not agree with and they "did not see eye-to-eye really about very much"; however, according to Baker, the two became good friends afterwards and forgot their disagreements.[23] Baker additionally criticised season 18, his last on the show and Nathan-Turner's first as producer, for an increase in the regular cast, which resulted in what Baker saw as stories that were excessively reliant on the Doctor (rather than other principal characters) to drive the plot forward. Baker ultimately suggested that he may have stayed in the role for one series too many, stating in hindsight that he felt it would have been better for him to have left with Williams and let Nathan-Turner recast the role of the Doctor for season 18.[23]

Baker and a Dalek in Trafalgar Square, 1991

According to Baker in 2017, "When I was doing Doctor Who, it was the realisation of all my childhood fantasies... so I took to it like a duck to water, and I still do. Doctor Who was more important than life to me—I used to dread the end of rehearsal... that's why I can't stay away from it."[24] Although Baker declined to appear in the 20th anniversary Doctor Who episode The Five Doctors (1983) because it wasn't long since he'd left and he "didn't want to play 20 per cent of the part" and be "a feed for other Doctors",[25] he briefly returned to the role of the Doctor for the 30th anniversary charity special Dimensions in Time (1993) and also recorded the audio for the PC video game Doctor Who: Destiny of the Doctors (1997). Baker continues to be associated with the Doctor, appearing on documentaries such as the 40th anniversary BBC television retrospective The Story of Doctor Who (2003) and giving other interviews about his time on the programme, including for documentaries on the extras of Doctor Who DVD releases from his era as the Doctor, and he has recorded DVD commentaries for many of the stories.

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). In October 2009, Baker was interviewed for BBC Radio 4's Last Word to pay tribute to deceased former Doctor Who producer Barry Letts. He described Letts, who originally cast him in the role, as "the big link in changing my entire life".

On 20 November 2013, Baker revealed that he would appear in the 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor", stating, "I am in the special. I'm not supposed to tell you that, but I tell you that very willingly and specifically; the BBC told me not to tell anybody but I'm telling you straight away."[26] The episode saw Baker in the role of a mysterious curator in the National Gallery who openly discusses his resemblance to the Fourth Doctor with the Eleventh Doctor.

Baker also filmed inserts in 1992 for a video release of the unfinished Douglas Adams Doctor Who serial Shada, originally begun in 1979 but abandoned due to strike action, and presented the video release The Tom Baker Years (1992), which was a look back at his time on the series with Baker watching short clips from his episodes. In November 2017, Baker made a return to the role of the Doctor by completing Shada. Animation was added to complete the original story. He also filmed one new scene for inclusion in the final episode.[27]

Doctor Who audio dramas[edit]

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 declined to voice the Doctor until 2009, saying that he had not seen a script he liked. 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 author Paul Magrs.[28] He returned with a sequel to Hornets' Nest called Demon Quest.[29]

In March 2011, it was announced that Baker would be returning as the Fourth Doctor initially for two series of plays for Big Finish Productions, starring alongside former companions Leela (Louise Jameson) and Romana I (Mary Tamm). The first series of six audios were released starting from January 2012.[30] Big Finish had also arranged for Baker to record a series of stories reuniting him with Elisabeth Sladen's character Sarah Jane Smith (for which special permission was obtained from the producers of The Sarah Jane Adventures TV series), but Sladen died in April 2011 before any stories could be recorded.[31] Baker recently recorded several Big Finish audio stories with Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric, and Lalla Ward, who played Romana II (though Ward recorded her sections separately).

It was reported in April 2020 that Baker had recorded "Return of the Cybermen" for Big Finish, an alternative version of the story Revenge of the Cybermen (1975), with Sadie Miller, Elisabeth Sladen's daughter, taking over the role of Sarah Jane Smith from her mother. The story was released in March 2021.[32]

Later film and television work[edit]

Baker in August 2012

In 1982, Baker portrayed Sherlock Holmes in a four-part BBC1 miniseries version of The Hound of the Baskervilles; in the US, this production was telecast on A&E.[33] He also made an appearance in Blackadder II, in the episode "Potato", as the sea captain "Redbeard Rum". He played Puddleglum, a "marsh-wiggle", in the 1990 BBC adaptation of C. S. Lewis' The Silver Chair.[9]

For the third series of the British game show Cluedo, Baker was cast as Professor Plum, a "man with a degree in suspicion". He was also cast in the 2004 series Strange, as a blind priest who possessed knowledge of the Devil. In addition, he played the part of Donald MacDonald in the BBC series Monarch of the Glen, from 2004 until 2005. Previously, he had appeared as a guest on the quiz show Have I Got News For You and was subsequently described by presenter Angus Deayton as the funniest guest in the series' history.[citation needed] A particular highlight[according to whom?] was when Baker gave an anecdotal account of how, while entering a recording studio in Wales, he was accosted by a member of the public who told Baker: "I will never forgive you, nor will my wife, for what you did to our grammar schools." Baker responded with: "What are you talking about, you daft bugger?" to which the stranger replied: "I'm so sorry. For a moment I thought you were Shirley Williams."

Baker later returned to Have I Got News For You as a guest host in 2008. Baker played the role of the Captain in the Challenge version of Fort Boyard, and has also hosted the children's literature series, The Book Tower. He recorded a special called, Tom Baker – In Confidence that was shown in April 2010.

In the late 1990s, it was reported that Baker was a candidate for the role of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films.[34] Baker has since stated that he was only approached for "a role" in the film, and turned down the offer when told that it would mean spending months away in New Zealand.[35] He appeared as Halvarth, the Elven healer, in Dungeons & Dragons (2000).

Little Britain[edit]

After his work on Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World, Baker was cast as a similar narrator of Little Britain on BBC Radio 4 and remained in the role when it transferred to television. Baker has suggested that he was chosen for the part in Little Britain due to his popularity with Lucas and Walliams, part of the generation for whom he is the favourite Doctor. "I am now being employed by the children who grew up watching me", he stated in a DVD commentary.[36] Another trademark of Little Britain's narration is the deadpan quotation of old rap lyrics, usually in the opening credit sequence. On 17 November 2005, to mark the start of the third series of Little Britain, Baker read the continuity announcements on BBC One from 7 pm to 9:30 pm GMT. The scripts were written by Lucas and Walliams; Baker assumed his Little Britain persona. He used lines such as:

Hello, telly viewers. You're watching the BBC One! In half an hour, Jenny Dickens's classic serial Bleak House. But first let's see what the poor people are up to in the first of two visits this evening to the EastEnders.

Voice acting[edit]

Baker has appeared in various radio productions, including a role as "Britain's most celebrated criminal barrister", Sir Edward Marshall-Hall in John Mortimer Presents the Trials of Marshall Hall (1996), "Josiah Bounderby" in Charles Dickens' Hard Times (1998) and a part in the 2001 BBC Radio 4 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps as Sir Walter Bullivant. He guest starred in The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (a pastiche series written by Bert Coules) in the 2002 episode "The Saviour of Cripplegate Square". From 2000 to 2005 Baker voiced the character Max Bear in the Channel 4 (UK) Max Bear Productions animated series. He also voiced the role of the villain ZeeBad in the 2005 computer-animated film version of The Magic Roundabout. In 2007 he voiced the character of Robert Baron in the BBC animated series The Secret Show.[citation needed]

Baker narrates the children's computer-animated series The Beeps which is shown on Channel 5's Milkshake! as well as narrating Tales of Aesop on BBC, a television series based on Aesop's Fables with beautiful puppet animation. Most recently, Baker has returned to the role of the Fourth Doctor, first in three series of audio adventures for BBC Audiobooks: Hornet's Nest, Demon Quest and Serpents' Crest; and now in a new series of Doctor Who audio adventures for Big Finish Productions also starring Louise Jameson as "Leela". There were seven releases in 2013 with Mary Tamm as Romana: (The Auntie Matter, The Sands of Life, War Against the Laan, The Justice of Jalxar, Phantoms of the Deep, The Dalek Contract and The Final Phase).[37] Subsequent series also feature Baker alongside John Leeson as K9, Lalla Ward as the second incarnation of Romana and Matthew Waterhouse as Adric, all reprising their television roles.[citation needed]

In the third season of the animated series Star Wars Rebels, Baker provided the voice of Bendu, a powerful Force-sensitive being.[38]

Video games[edit]

Baker starred as the Fourth Doctor in the 1997 video game Destiny of the Doctors where he provided the voice.[39] His voice has also been featured in Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future (2000),[40] Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (2003), "Sudeki" (2004), Cold Winter (2005), MediEvil: Resurrection, Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising, and Little Britain: The Video Game (2007).[40]


Baker is a prolific voiceover artist and his voice was voted as the fourth most recognisable in the UK in 2006 after the Queen, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.[3] In 1992 and 1993, Baker narrated BBC radio comedy series Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World. In 1994 he provided the narration for Channel 4's Equinox rave documentary Rave New World.[41] In 2002 he had a speaking role in the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Hostile Waters as the Narrator.

He voiced both the narrator and the god "Tetsu" in the role-playing game Sudeki, but was uncredited.[42] During the first three months of 2006, his voice was used by BT for spoken delivery of text messages to landline phones. He recorded 11,593 phrases, containing every sound in the English language, for use by the text-to-speech service.[43] The BT text message service returned from 1 December 2006 until 8 January 2007, with two pence from each text going to the charity Shelter. Also, a single "sung" by Baker's text voice, "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks, was released on 18 December 2006 with proceeds going to the charity. The creator of the song was Mark Murphy, designer of the site.[44][45]

Baker's voice may be heard at London's Natural History Museum narrating commentary to some of the exhibits that demonstrate Darwin's theory of natural selection. He has made three other brief forays into the world of music: he provides the monologue to the track "Witness to a Murder (Part Two)" on the album Six by Mansun; he appears on Technocat's single "Only Human" in 1995, and in 2002 he recorded the monologue to the track "Megamorphosis" on the album Andabrek by Stephen James, although the album was not released until 2009. Baker provides narrative at two British tourist attractions: the Nemesis roller coaster at Alton Towers, Staffordshire; and the London Dungeon, a museum depicting gory and macabre events in the capital, narrating the events leading up to and comprising the Great Fire of London.

Baker voiced the character "Max Bear", a series of animated stories broadcast on Channel 4 (UK Terrestrial) from 2000 to 2005. He narrated Australian cartoonist Bruce Petty's 2006 film about world politics, Global Haywire.


Baker's autobiography, Who on Earth is Tom Baker? (ISBN 0-00-638854-X), was published in 1997,[9] and made available on Kindle devices in September 2013.

Baker has also written a short fairytale-style novel called The Boy Who Kicked Pigs (ISBN 0-571-19771-X). In 1981 he edited a collection of poems for children: "Never Wear Your Wellies in the House and Other Poems to Make You Laugh" (ISBN 0-09-927340-3).

In 2019 Baker released a Doctor Who novel called 'Scratchman' (ISBN 978-1785943904). The story is based on a script Tom Baker and Ian Marter wrote for a Doctor Who film in the 1970s. The plot involves Tom Baker's version of The Doctor meeting Scratchman who may be the devil.[46]


Baker joined the National Theatre in 1968 as an understudy for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead followed by small parts in The National Health by Peter Nichols (directed by Michael Blakemore).

After playing the horse in The Travails of Sancho Panza (directed by Joan Plowright), Laurence Olivier subsequently cast him as the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice. The play was directed by Jonathan Miller, with Baker appearing alongside Olivier as Shylock. Still under contract at the National, Baker also played a Russian in The Idiot, Sir Frances Acton in A Woman Killed With Kindness, opposite Anthony Hopkins, and Filippo in The Rules of the Game.[47]

After leaving the role of The Doctor in 1981, Baker returned to theatre to play Oscar Wilde in Feasting with Panthers at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The following year, he played Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler, with Susannah York as Hedda, in the West End. Also in 1982, Baker played Dr Frank Bryant in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Educating Rita, alongside Kate Fitzgerald as Rita.[48] He returned to the National Theatre in 1984 to play Mr Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer in the Olivier Theatre and on a later tour. The following year he played both Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty in The Mask of Moriarty by Hugh Leonard at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.[49]

In 1987 Baker played Inspector Goole in a revival production of An Inspector Calls directed by Peter Dews.[50]


In 1998, Baker provided narration on the track Witness to a Murder (Part 2) on the album Six by the English alternative rockband Mansun.[51]

On 13 May 2020, Dutch producer and songwriter Arjen Anthony Lucassen announced that Baker would provide spoken vocals for the character of "The Storyteller" on Ayreon's album, Transitus.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Baker's first marriage was in 1961, to Anna Wheatcroft, niece of rose grower Harry Wheatcroft; they had met and started dating in acting school. They had two sons, Daniel and Piers, and divorced in 1966. Baker lost contact with his sons until a chance meeting with Piers in a New Zealand pub allowed them to renew their relationship.[53] In December 1980, he married Lalla Ward, who had co-starred in Doctor Who as his character's companion Romana. They divorced in April 1982.[54]

Baker married for a third time in 1986, to Sue Jerrard, who had been an assistant editor on Doctor Who. They moved to the Bell House, a converted school in Boughton Malherbe, Kent, where they kept several cats before moving to France in January 2003. They sold the property to Jim Moir ('Vic Reeves') shortly after Baker had worked with him on the BBC revival of Randall and Hopkirk.[55] In November 2006, Baker bought a house in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, before later moving to Rye, East Sussex.[56][57]

Baker is cynical of religion and describes himself as irreligious, or occasionally as Buddhist, but not anti-religious.[58][59] Politically, Baker has expressed disdain for both the Conservatives and the Labour Party, saying in 1998, "When the Conservatives were in I cannot tell you how much I hated them. But I realise how shallow I am because I now hate the Labour Party as much."[53]



Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Winter's Tale Minor role
1971 Nicholas and Alexandra Rasputin
1972 The Canterbury Tales Jenkin
1973 Cari Genitori Karl
The Vault of Horror Moore
Luther Pope Leo X Does not appear in some versions of the film
Frankenstein: The True Story Sea captain
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad Koura
1974 The Mutations Lynch
1980 The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Hasan
1984 The Passionate Pilgrim Sir Tom Short film
The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood Sir Guy de Gisbourne
1985 Enemy Mine Narrator
1989 The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Narrator
1998 Backtime Sarge
2000 Dungeons & Dragons Halvarth
2005 The Magic Roundabout Zeebad Voice - UK Dub
2006 Global Haywire Narrator
2010 The Genie in the Bottle Narrator Short film
2013 Break Glass in Case Of... Monica Voice
Saving Santa Santa Voice - UK Dub
2019 Wonder Park Boomer Voice - UK Dub[60]


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Dixon of Dock Green The man Episode: "The Attack"
Market in Honey Lane Doorman Episode: "The Matchmakers"
George and the Dragon Porter Episode: "The 10:15 Train"
Z-Cars Harry Russell Episode: "Hudson's Way"
Dixon of Dock Green Foreman Episode: "Number 13"
1969 Thirty-Minute Theatre Corporal Schabe Episode: "The Victims: Frontier"
1970 Softly, Softly Site foreman Episode: "Like Any Other Friday"
1972 Play of the Month Dr. Ahmed el Kabir Episode: "The Millionairess"
1973 Arthur of the Britons Brandreth / Gavron Episode: "Go Warily"
1974–1981 Doctor Who Fourth Doctor 172 episodes
1975 Jim'll Fix It Fourth Doctor 1 episode
1976 Piccadilly Circus Mark Ambient
1977 Nouvelles de Henry James
1978 Late Night Story Host 4 episodes[61]
1979 The Book Tower Presenter 22 episodes
1982 The Hound of the Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes
1983 Jemima Shore Investigates Dr. Norman Ziegler Episode: "Dr. Ziegler's Casebook"
Doctor Who Fourth Doctor Episode: The Five Doctors Previously untransmitted archive footage only
1984 Remington Steele Anatole Blaylock Episode: "Hounded Steele"
1985 Jackanory Storyteller Episode: "The Iron Man"
1986 The Life and Loves of a She-Devil Father Ferguson Episode 4
Redwall Friar Hugo (voice)
Blackadder II Captain Redbeard Rum Episode: "Potato"
The Kenny Everett Television Show Patient/John Thompson/Blu-Tac/Tom Season 1, Episode 2
1990 The Silver Chair Puddleglum
Tales of Aesop Narrator
Hyperland Software agent
Boom Co-presenter
1991 Selling Hitler Manfred Fischer 4 episodes
1992 Cluedo Professor Plum 6 episodes
Screen Two Sir Lionel Sweeting Episode: "The Law Lord"
Doctor Who: The Tom Baker Years Presenter Video
1992–1995 Medics Professor Geoffrey Hoyt 34 episodes
1993 Doctor Who Fourth Doctor Episode: "Dimensions in Time"
1994 The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis Show Actor in supermarket Cameo
1998 Have I Got News for You Himself
2000 This Is Your Life
The Canterbury Tales Simpkin Voice only. Episode: "The Journey Back"
Max Bear Max Bear Voice only
2000–2001 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Professor Wyvern 10 episodes
2001 Fun at the Funeral Parlour Quimby Episode: "The Jaws of Doom"
2003 Swiss Toni Derek Asquith Episode: "Cars Don't Make You Fat"
2DTV Fourth Doctor Voice only. Series 4, Episode 1
Strange Father Bernard Episode: "Asmoth"
Fort Boyard Captain Baker 20 episodes
2003–2005, 2020– Little Britain Narrator 21 episodes
2004 The Little Reindeer Santa Claus Voice
2004–2005 Monarch of the Glen Donald MacDonald 12 episodes
2005, 2007, 2015, 2016 Comic Relief Does Little Britain Narrator 5 episodes
2006 The Secret Show Robert Baron Voice only. Episode: "The Secret Room"
2006–2007 Little Britain Abroad Narrator 2 episodes
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple Frederick Treves Episode: "Towards Zero"
2007–2008 The Beeps Narrator 45 episodes
2008 Little Britain USA 6 episodes
Have I Got News for You Himself
2010 Tom Baker: In Confidence Interviewed by Professor Laurie Taylor
2013 Doctor Who[62] The Curator Episode: "The Day of the Doctor"
2016–2017 Star Wars Rebels Bendu Voice[63]
2017 Doctor Who Fourth Doctor Episode: "Shada (Doctor Who)" Newly completed version - voice for new animation plus new live action final scene[64]
2020 The Big Night In Narrator Little Britain special

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Little Red Riding Hood Narrator Voice[65]
1997 Destiny of the Doctors Fourth Doctor Voice and likeness
2000 Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future Narrator Voice
2001 Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising
2003 Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior
2004 Sudeki
2005 Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition
MediEvil: Resurrection Death
2006 Cold Winter John Gray
Little Britain: The Game Narrator
2007 Little Britain: The Video Game
2015 Lego Dimensions Fourth Doctor Voice; archive sound
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Sebastian J. Coot Voice
2018 Shadows: Awakening Krenze


Year Title Role
1976 Exploration Earth: The Time Machine Fourth Doctor
1992–1993 Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World Lionel Nimrod
1994 The Russia House Barley Blair
Lost Empires Nick Ollanton
1995 Bomber Narrator
1998 Hard Times Josiah Bounderby
1999 Nicholas Nickleby Vincent Crummles
2009 Hornets' Nest Fourth Doctor
2010 Demon Quest Fourth Doctor
2011 Serpent Crest
2015 Sky Adverts Himself
2019 Little Brexit Narrator

Audio plays[edit]

Year Title Role
1976 Doctor Who and the Pescatons Fourth Doctor
2009 Hornets' Nest
2010 Demon Quest
2011 Serpent Crest
2012–present The Fourth Doctor Adventures
2012 The Fourth Doctor Boxset
Night of the Stormcrow
2013 The Light at the End
2014–present Doctor Who: Phillip Hinchcliffe Presents
2015 Doctor Who: Novel Adaptations
2017 Doctor Who: Classic Doctors, New Monsters
2019 Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time
2021 Doctor Who: Return of the Cybermen


Year Title Notes
1981 Never Wear Your Wellies in the House and Other Poems to Make You Laugh (edited by Tom Baker) ISBN 978-0099273400
1997 Who on Earth is Tom Baker? ISBN 0-00-638854-X
1999 The Boy Who Kicked Pigs ISBN 0-571-19771-X
2019 Doctor Who: Scratchman ISBN 978-1785943904


Year Artist Album Role
1982 Serafina- the Sound of a Whale [66]
1998 Mansun Six Narrator on track "Witness to a Murder (Part 2)"
2020 Ayreon Transitus The Storyteller[52]

In popular culture[edit]

  • English synthpop band the Human League recorded a tribute track to the actor entitled "Tom Baker". In 1981 it was released as the B-side to their "Boys and Girls" single. The instrumental track was re-released on some CD versions of their Travelogue album.[citation needed]
  • A cartoon of Tom Baker, as one of the "esteemed representatives of television", appeared as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor in The Simpsons episodes "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", "Treehouse of Horror X", and "Mayored to the Mob". A fan of Doctor Who since childhood, Simpsons creator Matt Groening favours Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor, with Simpsons writer Ron Hauge stating, "There are several Doctor Who actors but Tom Baker is the one we always go with."[67]
  • His distinctive voice has become a gift for impressionists such as Jon Culshaw, who regularly impersonates Baker in the comedy series Dead Ringers.[citation needed] On one episode of Dead Ringers, Culshaw called Baker himself using his impersonation, introducing himself as the Doctor. An amused Baker replied, "No, there must be a mistake. I'm the Doctor!"
  • A fictional version of Baker appears in the Kevin Sampson novel Awaydays. In this story he is attending the seventh International Doctor Who Convention in Halifax in December 1979, where the chief protagonists of the novel (a group of Tranmere Rovers hooligans) accidentally gatecrash. They befriend him and try to persuade him to tour the country as the Doctor setting fire to his farts. This scene was not included in the film version of the novel. In the DVD of the film the producer wanted to include extras with scenes of Baker in Doctor Who in it from the time but the BBC were not forthcoming because of the violent nature of the film.[68]


  1. ^ a b Scott, Danny. (17 December 2006). "A Life in the Day: Tom Baker", The Sunday Times.
  2. ^ a b c Shattuck, Kathryn (28 April 2013). "What's on Sunday". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b "Faces of the week". BBC News. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ Plunkett, John (31 March 2005). "Fans from 70s keep Doctor's appointment". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  5. ^ a b Masters, Tim (4 November 2013). "Tom Baker on Doctor Who: 'It was so much better than real life'". BBC News. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "British Film Institute biography, Tom Baker". British Film Institute. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  7. ^ Cabell, Craig (2011). The Doctors Who's Who - The Story Behind Every Face of the Iconic Time Lord: Celebrating its 50th Year. London: Kings Road Publishing. p. Chapter 5. ISBN 978-1843585763. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Little Jersey". BBC. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "BFI Screenonline: Baker, Tom (1936-) Biography".
  10. ^ New Humanist website, ibid.
  11. ^ Canby, Vincent (14 December 1971). "Nicholas and Alexandra". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Doctor Who: the film careers of Patrick Troughton & Tom Baker". 9 April 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  13. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben (14 October 2009). "A tribute to 'Doctor Who' legend Barry Letts". Digital Spy. New York City, USA: Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 9 January 2013. Having seen unknown hod-carrier Baker in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Letts took the goggle-eyed aspiring actor away from the building site and into the Tardis in 1974.
  14. ^ TOM BAKER TRIVIA, Retrieved 20 November 2013
  15. ^ "The Fourth Dimension". BBC Online. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  16. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (25 June 2018). "Doctor Who's former producer Philip Hinchcliffe reveals his plans for 'lost' season of Tom Baker stories". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b Lyons, Kevin (31 January 2014). "Tom Baker: the definitive Doctor Who?". BFI. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Season 15". BBC Online. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  19. ^ Setchfield, Nick (10 July 2018). "'I am basically ridiculous' - Tom Baker talks Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker, and the origins of that famously long scarf". SFX. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  20. ^ "David Tennant named 'best Dr Who'". BBC News. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2007.
  21. ^ "". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  22. ^ Clark, Anthony. "Doctor Who (1963–89, 2005–)". Screenonline. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Jeffery, Morgan (15 April 2014). "Tom Baker remembers classic Doctor Who: "Probably I stayed on too long"". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  24. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (24 November 2017). "Tom Baker is back playing Doctor Who (in live action) for the first time in almost 40 years". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  25. ^ Jones, Paul (14 April 2014). "Tom Baker: I'd do more Doctor Who". Radio Times. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  26. ^ Sagers, Aaron (20 November 2013). "Exclusive: Tom Baker to Appear in 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  27. ^ "Doctor Who: Tom Baker returns on screen for 1979 Shada serial". BBC. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  28. ^ "Tom Baker Returns to Doctor Who after 28 Years". [Once Upon a Geek]. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  29. ^ "Doctor Who" Doctor Who: Demon Quest 1 The Relics of Time at BBC Shop.
  30. ^ "Doctor Who – Fourth Doctor Adventures – Released Items – Ranges – Big Finish". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  31. ^ Nicholas Briggs, "Remembering Elisabeth Sladen", Doctor Who Magazine No.440, October 2011, p. 34
  32. ^ "Big Finish Review: Doctor Who – Return of the Cybermen | the Digital Fix".
  33. ^ "The Hound of the Baskervilles". 3 October 1982. Retrieved 27 December 2016 – via IMDb.
  34. ^ Regina, Michael (26 October 1999). "Just Who on Earth is Tom Baker?". Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  35. ^ "Doctor Who: 50 things you didn't know", The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2013
  36. ^ Voice-over commentaries on the BBC DVD "Robot" (1974, 2007)
  37. ^ "Doctor Who – Fourth Doctor Adventures – Coming Soon". Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  38. ^ "'Doctor Who' star Tom Baker is a Force in 'Star Wars Rebels'". USA Today. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Games time forgot: Destiny of the Doctors". 11 December 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  40. ^ a b "The stars behind gaming's voices". 18 September 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  41. ^ "Rave New World". 6 November 1994. Retrieved 27 December 2016 – via IMDb.
  42. ^ Howson, Greg (26 August 2004). "Games watch". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  43. ^ "Voice of Little Britain becomes BT's voice of text" (Press release). BT Group. 27 January 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.
  44. ^ "Tom Baker Says ...".
  45. ^ "Tom Baker says... "You really got me"" (Press release). BT Group. 1 December 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  46. ^ Liptak, Andrew (25 November 2018). "Tom Baker is turning his long-lost Doctor Who movie script into a novel". The Verge.
  47. ^ "National Theatre and beyond". Tom Baker Official Website.
  48. ^ Jones, Catherine (29 January 2015). "Educating Rita actors through the years". The Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  49. ^ "After Doctor Who". Tom Baker Official Website.
  50. ^ "Theatre". Tom Baker Official Website.
  51. ^ "More from the 'Six' 4 Disc Deluxe Book ... Tom Baker Outtakes". 27 March 2019.
  52. ^ a b Lucassen, Arjen Anthony (13 May 2020). "Ayreon - Transitus - Guessing game #1: Tom Baker". Lucassen's YouTube account. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  53. ^ a b Helen Weathers, "Who's got views for you", Daily Mirror, 30 December 1998
  54. ^ "Tom Baker - Dark Side of the Doctor - article reprint four". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  55. ^ Kent News interview with Baker Archived 3 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  56. ^ The Official Tom Baker Website.
  57. ^ Biodata.
  58. ^ "Transcript of Tom Baker interviewed by Mark Gatiss at the British Film Institute, 29 September 2001". Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2007.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  59. ^ Mark Smith, "From Gallifrey to Glenbogle", The Herald, 17 September 2004
  60. ^ "Wonder Park: hear Tom Baker, Caspar Lee and Joe Sugg in new trailer". Entertainment Focus.
  61. ^ Late Night Story, 17 January 2008. screenonline.
  62. ^ "Exclusive: Tom Baker to Appear in 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special". Huffington Post. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  63. ^ "'Star Wars Rebels' Season 3 Trailer Introduces New Character Voiced by 'Doctor Who' Alum (Video)". 16 July 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  64. ^ "Doctor Who: Tom Baker returns on camera for 1979 Shada serial". BBC News. 24 November 2017.
  65. ^ "Little Red Riding Hood (1995)". 1995. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  66. ^ "Tom Baker, Joanna Lumley, David Bellamy – Serafina the Story of a Whale (1982, Vinyl)". Discogs.
  67. ^ Hauge, Ron. (2008). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror X", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  68. ^ "Awaydays DVD review". 8 December 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2016.

External links[edit]