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Published on January 13th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Tom Baker vs Jon Pertwee

Digital Spy and tabloid The Mirror have observed Tom Baker’s comments that he made in Doctor Who Magazine a little while ago regarding his thoughts on his predecessor Jon Pertwee.

Bakers’ remarks are a little cutting and if you’re a fan of Jon Pertwee, you may not like what he had to say. Remarking on his focus for work Baker commented:

“He liked the idea of big sums of money for voiceovers, so I would say in Jon’s earshot that someone had offered me £15,000 for a voiceover, but I turned it down because it was going to take a whole hour…this wasn’t true, but I could hear Jon’s heart pounding. In fact, he died of a heart attack shortly after that. I think that’s why.”

Pertwee died in 1996 due to a heart attack but it’s highly unlikely that that was actually the cause. Many who worked with Jon remarked that he was a perfectionist when it came to creating his roles, some may have thought of that as being difficult but it was really more of a need to get what he was doing right, which is what someone who is good at their job does.

Maybe Baker felt slightly inferior to Pertwee, taking over the role from his impressive and well received five year stint as the third Doctor. Baker threw a second blow by describing the actor as:

“Jon Pertwee was an insufferable know-all… Jon found it physically impossible to buy a drink.”

Baker’s words may ring with a touch of “pot calling the kettle black” but at the same time it could well be that Pertwee did not get on with everyone. However it is rather curious that Baker only feels he can share this information with us now…


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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 Tom Baker vs Jon Pertwee

  1. avatar Rick says:

    No one’s perfect, Pertwee and Baker both included. Many is the tale of Pertwee’s vanity and Baker’s eccentritie. The voice over was simply a joke Baker pulled on Pertwee. A pretty funny one as well–at the time.Baker’s just as hard on himself and very self critical, self aware of his many failings and has said so.

  2. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    Tom Baker is right!!
    Many years ago, 1993 I was at a Dr Who convention, in the dealers hall I seen Jon Pertwee coming and wanted him to sign a photo I took of him at another convention pulling a funny face, I asked him to sign it, he didn’t even look at me just carried on walking and said no only in the autograph secession.(where you paid £5) I was shocked and hurt, no sorry I cant, he was just dam right rude! Its not how you expect your child hood hero to react. Have heard other stories of how he was money grabbing.

  3. avatar MJ says:

    The voice-over anecdote is an old one that Baker trotted out on one of the dvd extras (possibly Robot?). There’s no law that says that actors have to get on. I’m sure that Jon had his off-moments (as all the Doctors probably have had), but it’s hardly a momentous revelation…..

  4. avatar Mr Mustard says:

    I met and spoke with both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker (on separate occasions) and can tell you both were not only charming and polite but each had kind words to say about the other. I think they were mutually respectful but there was probably a little professional envy going in both directions – each has often been called the “definitive” Doctor Who – although, as I say, they certainly recognised one another’s merits. Tom is well known for making certain remarks and comments for shock/comedy/outrage reaction!

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