Sunday, March 19, 2006


Poor Colin Baker just can't catch a break when it comes to 'Doctor Who'.

To publicize the arrival of the latest incarnation of the Doctor to the American airwaves ('Doctor Who', starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel this past Friday night.), TV Guide published a small article on the show in last week's issue. Along the bottom of the page ran boxed pictures of Eccleston with Doctors One through Seven... minus Baker as the Sixth.

Following Eccleston are William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Peter Davidson, and Sylvester McCoy, with Tom Baker as Number Four in a full body shot doffing his hat as the centerpiece. But there is space there at his feet where one more box could have been squeezed in, and that's what they should have done to make room for Colin Baker.

I can understand the omission of Paul McGann, who played the Eighth Doctor; it was a one-shot TV movie made in America with a lot of liberties taken with the material. There are those who would rather ignore it altogether and the guy who did the TV Guide layout for that article may be among them. (Personally, I count it as Toobworld canon; I have to - Sylvester McCoy was involved to mark the regeneration transition from his incarnation to McGann's.)

I've caught a few of Colin Baker's stories in my marathon attempt to catch up on everything that still exists of the episodes, and I can't understand the furor against his portrayal when his tenure first aired. If anything, my animosity would have been reserved for the writers and the wardrobe department. Baker did a fantastic job with what he had to work with, and considering the outside pressures he was under, I admire him for seeing his term as the Doctor, shortened as it turned out to be, to the end.


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