That’s right people it’s Tom Baker Wednesday here at Kasterborous where we will have several news items and interesting posts concerning the legendary actor whose portrayal of the Doctor remains the most recognised of them all!
You can consider it a modest tribute to the man who hooked many of us in the Kasterborous team onto the show with his unique and idiosyncratic portrayal of everyone’s favourite Time Lord between 1974 and 1981.
On a personal note, I’m a huge fan of the man whose voice – as you will see tomorrow – seems to have been bestowed on him by God. Given the actor in question’s own history with the Creator, however, this might be viewed as a point of contention!
In fact I even got to meet Tom once, at a book signing in Leeds when he was touring the UK to promote Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? This took place, as I recall, in the Autumn and with me was a girl called Claire that I had been dating for a few months. We queued for at least an hour around the bookshop (which I think I’m right in saying is no longer there) which I think was on The Headrow and eventually settled into the final straight.
With short Cybermen and a Timothy Claypole-esque Master wandering around I felt extremely self-conscious; this was the first time I had ever been in the vicinity of other Doctor Who fans. The young lady I was with was certainly not a fan although she had tolerated a few VHS sessions!
Eventually we reached the end of the queue, and there, larger than life – indeed, larger than anyone I had ever seen in my life – was the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. Although a tall gentleman, Tom seemed to occupy dimensions that other people are yet to discover – his presence was immense!
I sauntered over to The Great Man and handed him my pre-bought copy of his autobiography.
“Hi, I’m Christian.”
Tom looked up and frowned.
“And does the young lady have any part in this?”
I looked around, and saw that Claire had stayed in her previous position beside me at the top of the queue. Tom gestured for her to come forward while I – happy to be the sole recipient of the Doctor’s autograph – was quickly seeing my day ruined as I introduced the girl.
“This is “Claire””, I said, “with an “e”.”
Just have a think about all of the ways you can spell that particular name. Almost all of them have an “e” in there somewhere.
“Ahhahhh,” he really REALLY did that. “Would there be an “i” in there also…?”
I swear he did that quizzicle frown face at that point, but by then I was as red-faced as a beetroot, wielding a copy of a book I had been looking forward to for months that not only had my name written by the Doctor’s own hand, but that of a girl I had an on-off relationship with. As fate would have it, it wasn’t long before it was switched off for good…
The point is, Tom Baker is a true legend, not just of Doctor Who but of (Little) Britain. He’s great to watch, listen to and look at, and Tom Baker Wednesday is our modest but well-deserved tribute to a chap who has made so many people happy by playing the Doctor in the past, and is set to once again with Big Finish.