For those of you who don’t know, I’m a MAJOR Dr. Who fan, have been watching the series since I was 5, as my father’s love of the show rubbed off on most of my family. I’ve recently been re-watching the old series, and have just reached Colin Baker. Reminiscing, I did some nostalgic research, and I’ve just discovered his IMDB photo is that of Colin and ‘Peri’ (Nicola Bryant), so I thought I’d take a minute and do a little tribute to the Actor who changed Dr. Who forever. (P.S. Spoilers!)
My all-time favorite actor of the original seasons is – you guessed it, Colin Baker, followed by Tom Baker, and the father in law of our beloved David Tenant, Peter Davidson. Not personally at all dull, he narrowly avoided an early death during the wartime blitz when a piece of flying shrapnel just missed him, embedding itself in the side of his cot.
After 3 years of studying acting, he was told he should try a different career, but showed that through perseverance, that one could succeed. He landed several shows, most memorable was “Paul Merroney” in the BBC1 series The Brothers (1972) this one in particular gaining him the title, ‘A man people loved to hate’. He married his on-screen wife, but later it ended in divorced. Baker later married actress Marion Wyatt.
Before viewers were to see him as The Doctor, they would first see him as Maxil” in the 1963 story, “Arc of Infinity”. (I definitely remember being confused as a child, as to how two people could be the same person…)
Between this and shortly before Baker took the role of the Doctor, disaster struck. He and his wife suffered the loss of their baby son, Jack, to cot death syndrome. His kind heart would show through the rest of his acting career, as he donated many personal appearances to charity to help with research for this disease.
Nicola’s opening scene with him is still one of my top favorite moments of Dr. Who, as you watch him, for the first time, turn on his own. Following his initial introduction on screen, you will watch with uncertainty as he struggles to keep everything under control, flashes of unknown in his eyes – a new side of the doctor. Then, a knee jerking scene that sets his spiral, cracking under the pressure of so many regenerations, and from that episode, he is never the same. ‘I am the Doctor whether you like it or not!’ While with Peter Davidson, you see his gentleness long-suffering, yet becoming tired, wishing there was more good in the world, Colin’s forceful acting style brought forward with ease the qualities of the brazen new Doctor, who just isn’t taking anymore shit! Bumptious, melodramatic, and above all stubborn, this regeneration brings a righteous anger to his soul, and by the end of the first full episode “The Twin Dilema 1984″, you will see his role as a “doctor” become more of an “enforcer”.
Colin’s introduction to Doctor Who was to spice up the mix a bit, and he hoped to outrun his predecessor Tom, but this was short-lived. Termed as the ‘Dark’ Doctor, critics jumped on this erratic behavior. (Interesting article I found here)
But underneath all the hustle and bustle, he still truly really was and IS the doctor, and as he settles into his new regeneration, you see the kindness still in his eyes, yet shrouded now by skepticism and experience, something many of us truly can relate to.
On that note, here’s a treat I was shown last year, for the 50th year anniversary episode that Colin, Sylvester, Peter, David and Paul Macgann put together, you can see what truly made them chosen to be ‘Doctors’, just a delight!
Trailer: WIKI – The Five(Ish) Doctors_Reboot