Tom Baker says playing Doctor Who was the “loveliest job I ever had”

Veteran actor Tom Baker of course played the role of the fourth incarnation of Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981, and in an interview with The Sun’s TV Biz, he says that his role on the cult show was, “the loveliest job I ever had.”

And in terms of jobs, he’s had a few, having also starred in TV shows Medics, Monarch of the Glen, Little Britain, as well as innumerable films and stage plays.

However, Tom also claimed that having had such a blast playing the Doctor had a downside in as much as he then found subsequent roles lacking in comparison.

He explained, “It essentially killed my career stone dead because I suddenly realised I liked being Doctor Who more than anything that had ever happened to me before.

“So when I went to play Macbeth the audience wanted me to play Macbeth in the style of Doctor Who and naturally I did…

“I realised then that the people coming to see me didn’t want to see me playing Jack the Ripper or whatever it was.”

Of course, being typecast is an affliction endured by many actors who have become über famous for just one role, and while many of Tom’s Doctor Who peers have suffered similarly, there are just as many who haven’t.

For instance, David Tennant has gone on to enjoy huge success in roles other than playing the Doctor, and was in fact nominated for a Royal Television Society award last year for his performance in the drama Single Father.

Likewise, another former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston – who left the show under something of a cloud apparently – has been enjoying varied roles since he threw of his Time Lord role in films such as The Shadow Line and in TV drama Heroes.

Just to demonstrate the fact that some of the actors who’ve played the Doctor go on to bigger and arguably better things – while others haven’t – the paper has a “What the Timelords did next” feature, which reads…

William Hartnell
(1963-1966)

ACTED in more than 70 British films and reprised the role in The Three Doctors, in 1972 – his last job as an actor.

Patrick Troughton
(1966-1969)

Appeared in various films and TV roles including The Omen and Coronation Street. First Doctor to have his face in the titles.

Jon Pertwee
(1970-1974)

Starring role as Worzel Gummidge after stint as Time Lord and host of murder-mystery gameshow Whodunnit from 1974 to 1978.

Tom Baker
(1974-1981)

Starred in drama Medics from 1992 to 1995 and Monarch Of The Glen in 2004, as well as narrating hit comedy Little Britain.

Peter Davison
(1981-1984)

Starred in At Home With The Braithwaites in 2000. More recently made a guest appearance in Miranda Hart’s sitcom, Miranda.

Colin Baker
(1984-1986)

Cameo roles on Casualty and Jonathan Creek as well as appearing in films The Harpist and The Asylum.

Sylvester McCoy
(1987-1989)

Well-known theatre and TV star landed the role of Radagast, the wizard, in Peter Jackson’s big-screen adaptation of The Hobbit.

Paul McGann
(1996)

Appeared in films including FairyTale: A True Story and Downtime and TV shows such as Tripping Over and Waking The Dead.

Christopher Eccleston
(2005)

Starred in dramas Perfect Parents and Heroes and appeared in TV film Lennon Naked as John Lennon.

David Tennant
(2005-2010)

His career has gone stellar with an award-winning role in Single Father and acclaim for his Hamlet. About to star in TV’s True Love.

Matt Smith
(2010-present)

Taken time off from whizzing round the universe to appear in films Womb, Christopher And His Kind and Bert And Dickie.

I have to say, for me, Tom Baker was the Doctor Who I remember best, given I watched the show as a kid while he was playing the Time Lord.

And just to remind you of Tom in the role, and its lighter moments, here’s a blooper clip from the years he played the Doctor…

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Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.