Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life

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It's been almost 25 years since Doctor Who landed on BBC-TV - in 1963, to be exact. A Time Lord, the Doctor travels through time and space in his special vehicle, the Tardis, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a British police phone booth. Outfitted in a floppy-brimmed hat, lots of good British tweed, and a muffler that must be at least 15 feet long, the Doctor overcomes repulsive monsters and saves the universe every 6 to 12 episodes.

Capable of taking on a new form when necessary, the Doctor has had five different bodies over the years, each portrayed by a different actor. The most popular was Tom Baker, a tall, bony Englishman who exudes unflappable savoir faire in two vintage tales from 1975, Pyramids Of Mars (Playhouse Video 3713) and The Brain of Morbius (Playhouse Video 3715).

The Doctor is accompanied by Sarah (Elizabeth Sladen), a tirelessly plucky, spunky reporter he met on a time trip to Earth in 1980. The relationship, I should add, is platonic to a fault with nary the romantic heavy breathing of a Lois Lane pining for a Superman. As a fictional device, though, she's invaluable as his faithful companion.

In Morbius, the two land on the planet of Karn, where they meet Professor Solon, an evil surgeon who has regenerated the headless body of Morbius, the most sinister villain in the universe. All he needs is a suitable head, and he thinks Dr. Who's will do just swell.

In Pyramids, we're back on Earth in the year 1911 to fight an English archeologist who's been possessed by an ancient Egyptian spirit, and who, with the aid of robot mummies, is trying to release his master, the Egyptian god of darkness and "the bringer of death to all mankind."

Like all good Dr. Who adventures, there are lots of yucky makeup jobs and wonderfully low-budget special effects. That's part of the formula, but Baker's teasing performance and the admirable supporting casts really bring the proceedings to life.

These two new tapes should be welcomed by long-time fans, and will serve as an iresistable introduction.

Caption: photo 5 actors who have portrayed Dr. Who

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Levitch, Gerald (1987-11-21). Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life. Toronto Star p. S91.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Levitch, Gerald. "Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life." Toronto Star [add city] 1987-11-21, S91. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Levitch, Gerald. "Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life." Toronto Star, edition, sec., 1987-11-21
  • Turabian: Levitch, Gerald. "Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life." Toronto Star, 1987-11-21, section, S91 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Tom_Baker%27s_teasing_performance_and_low-budget_special_effects_bring_Dr._Who_episodes_to_life | work=Toronto Star | pages=S91 | date=1987-11-21 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 November 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Tom Baker's teasing performance and low-budget special effects bring Dr. Who episodes to life | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Tom_Baker%27s_teasing_performance_and_low-budget_special_effects_bring_Dr._Who_episodes_to_life | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 November 2020}}</ref>