Tom Baker open to ‘Doctor Who’ return

The Fourth Doctor actor fuels speculation for 50th anniversary

Tom Baker has said that he is open to a potential Doctor Who return.

With the sci-fi show’s 50th anniversary approaching next year, speculation has been rife about the possibility of a ‘multi-Doctor’ story to mark the landmark event. And speaking at a Q&A session in Milton Keynes alongside fellow former Doctors Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy, the beloved Fourth Doctor refused to rule out a return, according to The Independent.

Asked if he would be open to a return, Baker said: “Well, if they asked me nicely or I could see what they wanted me to do I would consider it because I think the fans have been so good to me, they expect me at least to make an appearance so of course I could consider that.

“If it was something witty but I would want to know what the details of the scene [were] or what I was supposed to do. I just don’t want to be paraded through as some shagged-out icon of the last century. It’s too much of a source of happiness.”

Baker famously declined to return for 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors in 1983, with footage of him used from the unbroadcast story ‘Shada’, which was abandoned because of BBC strikes. But although he has softened to his legacy, he also said that the part had “killed” his career as serious actor.

He continued: “At the same time, although it’s the loveliest job I ever had, 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. So when I went to play Macbeth the audience wanted me to play Macbeth in the style of Doctor Who and naturally I did.

“Afterwards a critic said, ‘I had no idea how nice Macbeth was’. So I realised then that the people coming to see me – people like you – didn’t want to see me playing Jack the Ripper or whatever it was. So when I went to Ireland to play Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty in the same play, they were absolutely baffled because they were absolutely interchangeable, my reason being the same person, really. So that was another failure, a glorious failure.”

Baker played the fourth Doctor between 1974 and 1981. Doctor Who returns for new episodes in the autumn, ahead of the 50th anniversary celebrations a year later.