Tom Baker: ‘I never watched Doctor Who, but I will watch the 50th episode’

Despite playing Doctor Who longer than any other actor, veteran star Tom Baker admits he never watches the sci-fi show that made him a worldwide star.

“I never watched Doctor Who at all. I wasn’t interested in watching it because I was only interested in doing it,” Tom told What’s On TV. “I will watch the special 50th episode though, as it’s going to be terrific. I hope it is, because it’s such a landmark – a show that’s been running 50 years. They’ll make it a terrifically big emotional thing I’m sure.”

Tom’s glad he took the iconic role in 1974 as it could possibly have saved his acting career. “At the time I got Doctor Who, I wasn’t at all happy,” he admits. “I was going through a bad time of feeling rejected, even though I’d had a flirtation with movies. I then ended up on a building site making the tea and using a drill. So when the opportunity came to play Doctor Who it was a jackpot. Not that I knew anything about Doctor Who then because it was late Saturday afternoon then, either football time or I was in the pub.”

Tom no longer possesses much memorabilia from his days aboard the TARDIS from 1974 to 1981, including the incredibly long multi-coloured scarf…

“I had lots of bits of pieces, but it’s all been taken off me for the charities,” he says. “I have some letters which I think are interesting from some fans who saw me as a kind of Messianic figure. They thought I could do miracles – they were quite mistaken!”

* The 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, called The Day Of The Doctor, will be shown on BBC1 on Saturday, November 23. Tom will be attending the Doctor Who 50th Celebration which takes place at London’s Excel over the anniversary weekend (November 22 to 24). For more information visit

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