For seven years Tom Baker reigned as the scarf-laden Doctor on TV. When he departed and Peter Davison took over it seemed that he would never again return to the part. Aside from the odd appearance, he had hung up his hat and scarf for good. And I do mean odd… just look at this advert for a New Zealand banking firm from 1997:
While he enjoyed new-found fame on the telly in Little Britain and Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased, Tom Baker had divorced himself from Doctor Who until he revived the character in a series of Audio Go adventures entitled Hornet’s Nest by Paul Magrs in 2009. What appeared to be a one-off spawned two sequels (Demon Quest, and Serpent Crest with a third rumored for a later release). A delightful and fanciful romp through time and space, these adventures were a kind of evolution of the Tom Baker era taken to an extreme.
However, most fans wanted to hear Tom join the other ‘classic’ Doctors at Big Finish. He finally did just that and his first series (along with a set of two ‘Lost Stories’) has been loads of fun. His first series alongside Louise Jamison as Leela has run the gamut of thrilling adventure, light fantasy and hard-edged historical outings.
Destination: Nerva and The Renaissance Man are outstanding with Wraith of the Iceni an interesting twist (Leela meets Boudica) and Energy of the Daleks a bit of a let-down. I’m waiting on Trail of the White Worm (guest-starring Geoffrey Beevers as the Master) and the series finale the Oseidon Adventure with baited breath.
Tom Baker’s second series will see the return of the glamorous Mary Tamm as Romana (to my knowledge she has only reprised the part twice in audio) for seven more stories. Imagine my surprise to learn that Tom has signed on for a third series featuring Louise Jamison, John Leeson as the voice of K-9 and Gareth Thomas of Dalek Empire and Blake’s 7 fame!
Big Finish has revealed that Tom Baker and Louise Jameson will return in a third season of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, which will be released commencing in January 2014. The series of full-cast audio plays will consist of eight stories, and will again be set after the TV adventure The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
“We’ve been delighted by the response to the first season of our Fourth Doctor stories,” says executive producer Nicholas Briggs. “We had such an exciting and rewarding time making series one and two, and we’re just thrilled to be back in the studio again with Tom and Louise recording more. Of course, the second series – which features Mary Tamm as Romana, with John Leeson as the voice of K9 – won’t be released until January 2013. But, recording schedules being what they are, we are always working well ahead.”
“We began recording on series three on May 9,” says producer David Richardson, “and production will continue through until July. At the moment it’s too early to reveal many story details, but we can say that Geoffrey Beevers will again return as the Master, the travellers will discover what lurks in the dead of night and the Doctor will encounter an even deadlier version of an old foe.”
Gareth Thomas, best known as freedom fighter Roj Blake from Blake’s 7, will be portraying the last surviving member of the Colophon race in one episode. Jessica Martin (Mags in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy) also guest stars in the story.
Season Three is available to pre-order now at bigfinish.com.
Meanwhile, June 2012 sees the release of the final story in the first series of Tom’s first season with Big Finish – in which he takes on the Master and the Kraals in The Oseidon Adventure.
You can order the current to-date Fourth Doctor adventures directly from Big Finish and even pre-order the forthcoming stories by clicking on the image below.