Tom Baker returns as Doctor Who for a Big Finish


So you call yourself a fan of Doctor Who?

Then you must be excited to hear about Tom Baker coming back to play the Doctor again.

Who is  Tom Baker?   Exactly!

Don’t worry, Matt Smith is not leaving the TARDIS (at least not that I have heard) any time soon.   Tom Baker is one of the actors who played the role during the series’ original run from 1963 through 1989.   As the Fourth Doctor (1974-1981) Mr. Baker put his stamp on the role that lasts to this very day.   To many people, when you say Doctor Who, it’s his image that appears in their mind.  When the Simpsons, Futurama, Robot Chicken, and Family Guy make a Doctor Who reference, it’s Baker’s image, with a mop of unruly curls and the famed 18 foot long scarf they use.

If you are an old school fan, then Tom Baker needs no introduction, but for those of you who only know the Doctor from the series recent successful rival, currently starring Matt Smith, there was another actor that people thought of first when you mentioned the Doctor, and was Tom Baker

Louise Jameson as Leela, and Tom Baker

Big Finish, a British production company, has been producing Doctor Who material since 1999, featuring the Fifth, Sizth and Seventh Doctors, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy,  alongside many of their original companions, and foes.  In 2000, Big Finish scored a casting coup, by getting Paul McGann, the actor who portrayed the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Television Movie that aired on Fox TV in the US to reprise the role.  Since 1999 Big Finish has produced more than 200 full cast audio plays, most of them on double CD sets. As well as plays featuring Daleks, Cybermen, UNIT, and a series of Companion Chronicles,  which were more like traditional talking books,  with one one other actor joining the Companion in the telling of the story.  All parts, including the Doctor, would be played by the companion, and the second actor.

From the beginning, Big Finish did approach Tom Baker to take part.  But it was not until 2011 that Baker finally decided to take part. (He had done a series of audios for BBC audio)  Big Finish didn’t waste time getting projects together.  With an initial plan for 2 seasons of audios, the first season of  six stories feature Tom Baker’s Doctor with Leela, the primitive human warrior who was fond of wearing leather skins, and wielded poisons thorns and and a dagger, played by Louise Jameson.  Here is an early scene after Leela’s introduction from Robots of Death.

The cover the 2nd of Big Finish's series of 4th Doctor audio plays, starring Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, and Ian McNiece

The season begins this January with Destination Nerva by Nicholas Briggs, in which the Doctor and Leela face a new enemy in familiar surroundings. The Renaissance Man by Justin Richards follows in February, while Leela makes a new ally in the warrior Boudica in John Dorney’s historical tale The Wrath of the Iceni (March).

The Fourth Doctor has a rare conflict with his arch enemies in April in Energy of the Daleks by Nicholas Briggs; Mark Benton (Rose) guest stars as Jack Coulson, while Dan Starkey (A Good Man Goes to War) is Kevin Winston.

The TARDIS returns to 1970s Britain in Trail of the White Worm (May), while the season climaxes with an untitled story (June) – both are written by Alan Barnes.  At least one of these stories will feature the Doctor’s arch foe, The Master, portrayed by Geoffrey Beevers.  Beevers was the actor before Anthony Ainley

The 4th Doctor goes up against his mortal enemies,the Daleks, in episode 4, Energy of the Daleks

to portray the villainous Time Lord renegade in the television serial  The Keeper of Traken.   Beevers has portrayed the Master in two previous Big Finish productions,  both featuring the Seventh Doctor,  Dust Breeding and Master.

These 6 stories are not the only Fourth Doctor content Big Finish has coming.  A second season, featuring Mary Tamm, the first incarnation of Time Lady companion Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana)  and a season continuing their series of Lost Stories, scripts that had been intended for TV, but for some reason did not make it to the camera.  Including the lost 22nd season of the Sixth Doctor and the planned 27th season of stories for the Seventh Doctor.   Also produced were  3 stories for the First and Second Doctor.  A season ofFifth Doctor Lost Stories will be coming out later this year.

Jameson and Baker, in 2011 at Big Finish

The content for Doctor Who – The Lost Stories: The Fourth Doctor Box Sethas also been confirmed. In addition to Foe from the Future, a six-parter originally devised by Robert Banks Stewart and adapted by John Dorney, also included is The Valley of Death by Philip Hinchcliffe, adapted by Jonathan Morris. In this four-part full cast audio, the Doctor and Leela join an expedition to the Amazon rainforests, where an alien trap is waiting to be sprung… The five-disc box set will be available in January 2012.

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