Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon

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1993-03-15 Newcastle Journal.jpg

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HE WAS one of the most recognisable faces on television back in the late 1970s, with his mop of curly hair and scarf that seemed to go on for ever.

Tom Baker became a cult figure as Dr Who his whackiness, ingenuity and disorganisation seemed to perfectly sum up the wayward timelord for millions of fans.

Now the series is enjoying another airing on BBC 2 and, such is its following, Baker is still recognised everywhere he goes, more than a decade after he transformed into Peter Davison.

Like many actors before him, Baker fell victim to the show's success and became stereotyped in the role.

Although the offers of work dried up, he doesn't harbour any grudges against the programme.

"I don't mind still being recognised for Doctor Who it's the only thing I did which was a huge success worldwide," he says with a self-mocking grin.

"I understand I was a star in Abu Dhabi!"

So what has Baker, now 59, been doing since he left Britain's best-loved sci-fi series?

"I've had a very successful time in advertising, since then, but I haven't been able to make a living as an actor."

But opportunities come round for those who wait such as the hospital drama Medics (ITV 9pm).

Baker plays Prof Geoffrey Hoyt, a top surgeon with funnily enough a large streak of eccentricity.

In the new series, this is tamed when he has to cope with the terminal illness of his wife Elizabeth (Judy Parfitt).

Medics attempts to be as true to life as possible and none of the characters are more believable than administrator Ruth Parry (Sue Johnston) who cares more about the accounts than the patients.

"The series is very topical. To Ruth, Henry Park Hospital is a business," says Sue, more famous for her role as Sheila Grant in Brookside but also enjoying a fresh bout of stardom in Carla Lane's new comedy Luv.

"Sheila Grant's way of running the hospital would be from an emotional point of view. I personally don't think you should pump money in, it's not as easy as that.

"But I do get angry. when I hear of wards being closed by accountants because they have to balance budgets."


From sailor's son to TV cult figure

  • He was born in Liverpool, the son of a sailor and a barmaid
  • At 15 he joined a monastery in Jersey, where he stayed for six years.
  • He went to drama school and became an experienced stage and film actor
  • He became Dr Who in 1973 and stayed in the role for seven years
  • Other television appearances include the role of Sherlock Holmes and, on the big screen, he has started in The Canterbury Tales.


Caption: Drama: Tom Baker and Sue Johnston, saving patients and cash

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.: Smith, Andrew (1993-03-15). Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon. The Newcastle Journal p. 15.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Smith, Andrew. "Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon." The Newcastle Journal [add city] 1993-03-15, 15. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Smith, Andrew. "Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon." The Newcastle Journal, edition, sec., 1993-03-15
  • Turabian: Smith, Andrew. "Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon." The Newcastle Journal, 1993-03-15, section, 15 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Tom_moves_up:_Doc_to_surgeon | work=The Newcastle Journal | pages=15 | date=1993-03-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 July 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Tom moves up: Doc to surgeon | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Tom_moves_up:_Doc_to_surgeon | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 July 2021}}</ref>