Tom Baker on moving from being a ‘labourer on a building site’ to Doctor Who!

by Lisa McGarry

tom baker

Tom Baker has revealed that he’s grateful for being offered the opportunity to take on the iconic Doctor Who role, because it helped him through one of the met difficult periods in his life.

The star was speaking out in the wake of the 50th anniversary episode that aired at the weekend and broke Guinness World Records as it was aired in cinemas around the world, while being broadcast on BBC for viewers in the UK.

10 million people tuned in to watch Matt Smith, David Tennant and new Timelord John Hurt take us through the thrilling and action packed instalment and Tom has revealed that the job of playing the Doctor is a dream one.

Tom played the fourth incarnation of the Timelord from 1974 to 1981, and he had a small role in the anniversary episode when he popped up as a mysterious curator. Baker revealed that he wasn’t a big name when he first landed the role though, in fact his career was probably at it’s lowest point ever.

Baker was working on a building site and told Whats On TV:

tom baker

“It is inconceivable that I would have turned down the part, because at the time I got Doctor Who I wasn’t at all happy.”

“I was going through a bad time of feeling rejected, and even though I had had a flirtation with movies, I was a labourer on a building site and had no skill there apart from to make the tea and use a Kango drill. So when the opportunity came along to play Doctor Who it was a jackpot.”

The show has been running for five decades and the popularity is ever growing.

Enthusiasm and support is there as we move onto a new Timelord in Peter Capaldi but Baker can’t explain why it has enjoyed such educing appeal.

He admitted that there is no other show ‘like it’ and commented:

“I can’t explain Doctor Who’s longevity no more than I can explain my own. It’s a happy accident I imagine. There’s nothing quite like it.”

He revealed that it’s just as brilliant for the actors in the role as for viewers at home and admitted that starring in the sci-fi show was one of his life highlights.

He explained why he stayed so long in the iconic role and said:

doctor who the day of the doctor tom baker matt smith

“Actors want to get to a big audience and to be admired. To get applause is one thing, but to be adored is really something I recommend.

“It was just so much better than real life, and I stayed so long because real life at the time wasn’t so terrific. I wanted to be in this beautiful, unreal world; unreal in that it was entirely fictional, but utterly real when I went out into the streets.”

Doctor Who will return next month’s for it’s highly anticipated Christmas special Time Of The Doctor and BBC have revealed details of the new episode this week.

The instalment will include the Doctor’s latest regeneration and of course, Matt Smith’s final appearance, which is sure to be a tear jerking experience!

The official synopsis states:

‘Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars – and amongst them, the Doctor.

Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.’

Fans will see the return of some old foes for the festive episode and it has been confirmed that the Cybermen and the Silence will be making an appearance at least.

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