When asked during the recent Doctor Who Celebration what he remembered about meeting Jon Pertwee for his regeneration scene, Fourth (and arguably most popular) Doctor Tom Baker said that he remembered nothing!
“Absolutely nothing at all. He didn’t speak to me. Maybe he was grieving. I don’t remember anything about him at all.”
Baker then had a little bit of fun at the late Pertwee’s expense:
“I do remember he never bought me a drink. He had – we call it on Gallifrey – Alien Hand Syndrome. His hand wouldn’t go where the money was…I remember nothing except anticipating future glory.”
All joking aside, grief may very well have played into how Pertwee interacted with Baker. We know from previous documentary interviews that Pertwee’s decision to leave the role was largely due to the leaving of Barry Letts and the death of actor Roger Delgado (the Master), who had been a close friend. And perhaps deep down, like the Tenth Doctor’s last words, he truly didn’t want to go.
Baker, as we all know, certainly did go on to achieve “future glory,” and Pertwee did reprise his role in the 20th Anniversary special, The Five Doctors, as well as a few audio adventures in the ’80s. However, it is surprising to learn that they had no interaction at all during the filming of Pertwee’s last and Baker’s first scene. Dear readers, what do you think? Did Pertwee’s grief cause him to stay silent? Or is time playing tricks on the Fourth Doctor’s memories?