Friday, October 18, 2013

50 Years of Who - The Definite Article

Jon Pertwee had played the Doctor for five seasons by 1974, taking the series to new heights in popularity. When he left he was replaced by the relatively unknown Tom Baker, whose career at that point had stalled to where he was working on a building site when he was cast as the Doctor.

Pertwee had played the Doctor as a cool and superior man of action, his largely Earth-bound stories and his straightforward approach gave his Doctor more of a human feel than his predecessors. A genuine eccentric himself, Tom Baker's approach to the role emphasized the remote and mercurial alien side of the Doctor, melded with an off-kilter sense of humour. The result was a performance that instantly captivated audiences and helped lead the series into what many consider its golden age, both critically and popularly.

Baker would remain in the role for seven years, and for many, he would come to define the program. Before the revival of the series in 2005, and perhaps even today, when the general public thought about Doctor Who, it was Tom Baker they thought of. The clip below comes from Baker's debut story, Robot, and it shows him already creating a performance that would leave an indelible impact.

See you soon for more from the 50 years of Doctor Who!

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