The erstwhile and verbose colorful action man, Colin Baker may no longer look like his TV counterpart from the 80’s, but he is still a strong actor on stage and screen, appearing as Inspector Morse in House of Ghosts and currently playing an abandoned husband obsessed with listening to cricket matches in the garden in the production of The Final Test.
Baker is possibly the most enthusiastic actor to have ever played the role of the Doctor and was unceremoniously rousted from the part. We can talk about this in a new light these days as he has won over fans as the Doctor in the Big Finish audio range and is even the acting president of the Doctor Who fan club, a mantle he has taken over from Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney.
But a recent joke regarding a return to Doctor Who may have back-fired… if the 50th anniversary will feature any of the classic Doctors at all. It’s rather sobering to hear Baker state that the new series ‘doesn’t need him’ and yet he seems to say so without any venom in his heart.
At that event [all five classic Doctor appearing at Milton Keynes] you said you wouldn’t be interested in getting involved with a 50th anniversary special next year. Really?
I said it purely to irritate. ’Cos they’d all said: ‘yeah yeah, I’d be interested’ so to provoke a reaction I said: ‘I wouldn’t’. And nobody took me up on it! I thought they’d ask me why and I’d say: ‘Well I might if they were nice to me’, but I never got the opportunity. So it was a gag that fell like a lead lump and didn’t go any further!
So if Steven Moffat calls, I’ll tell him you’re available?
Do you know, it’s not going to happen. They don’t need us – the programme is doing extremely well without us. Also, every time someone asks me that question I hold up a photograph of myself when I played the part, compared to what I look like now, and say, ‘OK, how do you deal with that?’ With four of us, all of whom have moved on – some less gracefully than others. You know, Peter still looks a bit like what he looked like, but I’ve changed.
It’s Doctor Who – I’m sure they could get round that.
I suppose they could. And in theory, I’m neither for nor against it. There would be two big questions I would ask: The first is, is my Doctor going to get a fair crack of the whip in the story, and not be eclipsed by anybody else? Because you want parity. And the other one is, what vast fortune are you offering me? I’d be quite brutal about myself and say, if they offered me a million quid, I’d go on and say one line for them. If they offered me a tenner, I wouldn’t.
It’s the apple of the BBC’s eye now, isn’t it, which is the exact opposite of your day.
I know, I do envy the three most recent Doctors because the BBC have suddenly realised they’ve got a golden egg in their hands. And they had it then, but the BBC back then seemed to be almost embarrassed about having popular programmes. Now, with all the reality television, they’re falling over themselves to reach the lowest common denominator. So it’s quite nice that a programme that actually does have high production standards like Doctor Who is extremely successful.
(more at CambridgeNews)