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Published on August 16th, 2010 | by Meredith Burdett

Adric vs the Fourth Doctor

Avid followers of actor Matthew Waterhouse (hello?) may have read in Doctor Who Magazine (ah, there you all are!) that the former TARDIS member has released  a book entitled Blue Box Boy, in which he recalls his time playing Adric in Doctor Who with Tom Baker and Peter Davison as the fourth and fifth Doctors, respectively.

Doctor Who Magazine 424 features interview with Adric actor Matthew WaterhouseAnd as with all revealing books, Matthew has also dished some dirt on his fellow actors; notably he talks of Tom’s final days on the show and what he was like to work with. Apparently one early encounter with Baker didn’t turn out quite the way he expected:

“Suddenly [he] turned to me and barked, ‘why don’t you piss off?’…I was baffled and upset and determined that things would be better by tomorrow.”

Matthew also comments on how Baker’s drinking (in his eyes) affected him on set:

“By five, there were big oval sweat rings under the arms of tom’s thin, white shirt… oddly, the temperamental and nightmarish he had been that day the larger the rings of sweat, as if his own dreadfulness had made him perspire – a weirdly appealing failing.”

According to the Waterhouse, no one was free from Baker’s wrath. Scriptwriters and even Lalla Ward were given grillings from the jelly baby-toting bohemian. However, as bad as Tom could be to his co stars, he always valued the children above all:

“Tom once told me a story about throwing up in a car park. Halfway through, a little boy came up to him and said “Are you Doctor Who?” “Hang on a moment,” said Tom. He then pulled, from the inside pocket of his rain-splashed raincoat, a photograph of himself which he inscribed for the child, who walked away blissfully happy.”

Whilst for some younger readers who have only just got into Doctor Who in the last five years this may be new information, Baker himself has already gone on record many years ago admitting that by the end of his run as the Fourth Doctor, he was incredibly difficult to work with.

It seems that Tom didn’t (and still doesn’t) suffer fools gladly and is happy to speak his mind. How much of this is down to his attitude and how much is caused by the attitudes of the others around him is a matter of debate but for all the joy he’s brought children and adults alike, I think we can let him off for some of it.

You can read the full article at; Blue Box Boy is available to buy now – just £11.99 from Amazon


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

4 Responses to Adric vs the Fourth Doctor

  1. avatar Rick714 says:

    There have been numerous accounts from many of the regulars he worked with on set at the time including Lalla Ward about how Waterhouse was an obnoxious little creep who mistreated the crew and was a drip in general. I’d take about 80% of anything he puts in the book with less than a grain of salt.

  2. avatar bern207 says:

    I read that interview – And the many other things said about him in the terrific “In their own words” series from the Doctor Who magazine folks. It seems that not many people have nice things to say about Matthew.

    Though of course, back then he was just seventeen. Perhaps a little naïve and a little arrogant, but hey, weren’t we all? For that alone he deserves to have the slate wiped clean. But to still come across as a bit of a tit at age forty eight, this guy needs to get a life. Or perhaps a job.

    He says he makes his living now out of “writing” and the residuals he gets from Doctor Who. That must run into literally tens of pounds. I bet he never gets a round in then.

  3. avatar Leosw4 says:

    Yes I was thinking about buying this book, but I’m not entirely sure that I want to now. Granted we all have our failings, as no doubt Tom will admit to, so its not the prospect of Tom (one of my favourite Doctors) being painted in a less than flattering light that is now starting to put me off.

    Adric (MW) remains the least popular companion the series has ever produced and one wonders then what the actual motivation is behind this book?

    Why wait nearly 30 years?

    It remains a constant source of bafflement why JNT cast him in the first place, because he simply could’nt act (I recognised that as a kid) and this leads me to consider things that I wont print here.

  4. avatar krumstets says:

    @ Leosw4 – `and this leads me to consider things that I wont print here…’

    Ha ha, like how did a young gay guy get the job from the roving eye of a gay TV producer? And then spend his stint in Who wearing pyjama’s…
    MMM, casting couch and all of that….I bet Adric-sorry-Matthew-doesn’t mention any of this in his book.

    I particularly like the story of Matthew giving acting advice to veteran thesp Richard Todd on the set of Kinda …

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