Doctor Who News The Sixth Doctor Who, Colin Baker

Published on June 26th, 2013 | by Meredith Burdett

Colin Baker Recalls the Genesis of Old Sixy

What a wonderful thing hindsight is, you can look back on the things that you wanted to do differently and learn from your mistakes.

The Sixth Doctor Who, Colin Baker

Except when you’re Colin Baker and you’re talking about your time as the Sixth Doctor, in which case you can feel good about the fact that you were completely right all along.

Taking a break during a recent recording session at Big Finish, Baker sat down for a short while with Christopher Allen and discussed not only his time as the Sixth Doctor on television but also hid greater success as the character in the extended universe that Big Finish have offered for the last 14 years.

In the interview, which you can enjoy above, Baker discusses his Doctor’s coat, his overall plan for the Sixth Doctor’s character, which has now come full circle thanks to the medium of audio, his vainglorious attempt to be a bit like the First Doctor and the meeting of the original ‘grumpy’ Sixth Doctor and the newer ‘mellow’ Doctor in Big Finish’s The Wrong Doctors.

What’s especially pleasant to listen to is the assuredness in Baker’s voice that he feels he has now fully carried out his plan of where he wanted to take his version of the Doctor even if it has taken him a few years decades longer than he expected!



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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!

14 Responses to Colin Baker Recalls the Genesis of Old Sixy

  1. Superb little audio-clip!

  2. avatar lozzer says:

    I love Colin’s audio Doctor.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      I love Colin’s TV Doctor too.

      • avatar authorman94 says:

        I love his TV Doctor too, he’s definitely one of the most underrated.

  3. avatar Christine says:

    I love Colin’s audio Doctor a lot as well, although if you watch carefully you can already see it coming on in the ToaT series in the way his relationship with Peri was developping for example. It’s just a great pity that it couldn’t be developped further at the time but his rehabilitation within the Audio medium is perhaps all the more enjoyable for it!

  4. avatar Ian says:

    My favourite Doctor. How lucky we are to still be able to enjoy his glorious performances in the audios.

  5. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    Very underated when he was on screen, now vindicated by the Big Finish productions. Long live Colin.

  6. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I was always kind of on the fence about Colin based on just his TV stories, but I have thoroughly embraced him since his return on audio. We should all thank Big Finish for giving Colin the opportunity to revitalize his Doctor.

  7. avatar Christopher Martin says:

    The sixth doctor’s portrayal on television was poor from Colin’s interpretation to the poor production choices that really, really hampered him no matter what he did. However, I don’t dislike him and he certainly wasn’t miscast; you only have to listen to the warm, empathic way he plays him on audio to see (hear) that. That reappraisal is wonderful to have.

    For those of us that love Doctor Who it’s brilliant that the sixth doctor has been given this second opportunity to show us what he, and Colin, are capable of

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      To say the 6th Doctor’s portrayal on TV was poor from Colin’s interpretation is a sentiment we sadly hear all too often and is an atrociously misguided one. The thought process behind Colin’s criminally short tenure was that as each series progressed the character would develop into a softened personification of what we saw in The Twin Dilemma. Much like how the 1st Doctor mellowed over the course of time (and remember the 1st Doctor was on screen for a lot longer per year than his 80′s equivalents). The fruits of this process can clearly be seen during season 22 and perhaps more clearly in his interactions with Peri during The Trial of A Time Lord. Let’s not forget this great man had great intentions of outlasting Tom Baker’s 7 year run (he was THAT devoted to the show even back then) so what the 6th Doctor could have become given another 5 seasons is anyone’s guess. But my guess is that it could have become an era we would now regard as another of the show’s ‘golden ages’. Eric Saward was out and Andrew Cartmel was coming. What Cartmel might have brought to Colin’s Doctor we will sadly never know, but judging by what he done to evolve Sylvester’s tea-spoon-playing bufoon into the Time’s Champion we last saw in Survival gives me great confidence in what Colin’s Doctor would have become under Cartmel’s reign. And surely the costume could have been replaced easily enough! Why not?

      Yes, thankfully, Big Finish have now given the 6th Doctor a chance to finally do the job Colin originally set out to do on TV. But lets not diminish the 6th Doctor’s origins.

      And as a side note I’d just like to point out that Colin has 2 true TV ‘classics’ under his belt. Vengeance On Varos and Revelation Of The Daleks! Both are undisputed among the greats of Doctor Who. Just 2 stories! Only 2 stories! But that is 25% of his total TV stories and that is bloody brilliant in my book!

      • avatar Christopher Martin says:

        It’s not misguided; it’s my opinion.

        It was an empty, bombastic performance that lacked any subtlety, warmth or intelligence…arguably a case of overacting and not helped by the clearly visible lack of budget, poor production values and quite frankly dire stories.

        It’s pointless to talk about what could have been when all we have is what was shown on television and frankly, it was mainly very, very poor television.

        Colin Baker’s television tenure is, sadly, a low point in Doctor Who’s history and as the most visible part of that period he is partly responsible for that.

  8. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    If anyone looks at Colin’s performance in the tv series and not the stories themselves I think most would see a great performance. The stories and costume were out of his control but his performance was not and its his intepretation of the doctor which I enjoyed. As Colin said himself, the idea of making the Doctor a little more alien was a brave Idea and it was this that made me take notice.
    There is nothing worse than making the Doctor too human or British, from time to time we need to be reminded that he his alien, very much in the way he was when William Hartnell played him. It pi@@es me off when so called Doctor Who fans cant see beyond this premise and need the Doctor to be some homogenised, safe stereotype, who isnt allowed to be alien, which if we can remember he is. rant over.
    just to cheese evryone off Paul Kaye for the Doctor, why because he is off the wall and would play the Doctor more like the alien he is.

  9. avatar authorman94 says:

    Y’know, for a long period of time, I was of the sad view that Colin was the worst TV Doctor, but after watching his era again, I am happy to say I have converted into a fan of him and his Doctor. Despite his costume (which, to be honest, I don’t even think is that bad, especially compared to Four’s burgundy outfit) and having “Timelash” and “Vervoids”, he packed in a superb performance in every appearance despite some of the writing and all the unfortunate behind-the-scenes problems and really captured the Doctor’s darker side but made him still a likeable genius from “Attack of the Cybermen” onwards. “Vengeance on Varos” is my favourite story from his era, and definitely a great story for people who want to start watching Six since it shows him at his absolute finest.

    His Big Finish run is superb, has some of the best audio stories under his belt (“Davros”, “Holy Terror” and “Jubilee” being three of my favourites), has an awesome companion in Evelyn Smythe, and really shows off his underrated acting chops. I’m glad his audios have managed to raise his profile and make him a lot higher in people’s books, and I’ve noticed recently people have been a lot more open to name Colin as one of their favourite Doctors (with some even proclaiming him the best) and more willing to praise his stories, so major props to Big Finish for bringing Colin Baker back and giving him the respect he rightfully deserves!

  10. avatar TonyS says:

    I’m afraid I don’t regard the Colin Baker era on television with any great affection. The stories were weak and pandered too much to the demands of fandom. Colin’s portrayal of the Doctor was a brave decision but did not quite come off. And, yes I know that he was playing a long game. Unfortunately he wasn’t given the time to develop the role and has to be judged on what we have. To this extent I agree with Christopher.

    I am a complete fan of Colin Baker himself. He is a thoroughly likeable and charming man.

    The Sixth Doctor on audio is a completely different story. His performance for Big Finish is excellent. If only he had been given the opportunity to grow into the role on tv!

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