Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Countdown! Tom Baker Days Until 'The Day of the Doctor'

Tom Baker was born in 1934 in Liverpool, England. At the age of 15, Baker left school to become a Roman Catholic monk, but after six years, he lost faith and left. From 1955 until 1957, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and began to dabble in acting.

Bill Slater, who had previously directed Baker in a production of "The Millionairess," recommended Baker as Jon Pertwee's replacement for the next Doctor. He was working construction jobs at the time of his casting. Baker's eccentric fourth Doctor was the longest running in the show's history, thus far, as he portrayed him for seven seasons. He is considered one of the most popular Doctors, and continues to be associated with the show in DVD commentaries, audio books and documentaries.

The fourth Doctor is often referred to as "Doctor Longscarf," due to his ever present, impossibly long wool scarf. The accessory was actually a mistake! The costume designer at the time, James Acheson, gave knitter, Begonia Pope, too much wool to create the scarf, but she used it all anyway! Baker loved it as it was, though it had to be shortened a tad to make it more manageable for filming. It has been said that Baker was absolutely furious when his costume was changed in 1981.

Baker was rumored to have been up for the role of Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, however he states that he was just approached for "a role," and turned down the part because he didn't wish to spend long stretches of time in New Zealand, away from home. Baker is most recently known for his various voice-over work.

-Nowal Massari

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