Tom Baker on Doctor Who "tension" that made him quit

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

Tom Baker has reflected on the feud with a Doctor Who producer that prompted him to quit the show after seven years.

Baker said that series boss John Nathan-Turner undermined and "diminished" him during the production of the one series they collaborated on.

"I didn't like his approach to anything very much," the actor revealed in a candid interview for the new Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 Blu-ray set.

"His approach as a producer, to the scripts and to my performance… he managed somehow – how terrible – to diminish me. He made assumptions about how I should do things, or what lines meant, or how it should be shot, which diminished me, and I found that unbearable."

Photo credit: BBC

Baker said he was particularly "irked" by the redesign of his Doctor's outfit, which included putting question marks on his collar. "[That idea] struck me as being insufferably vulgar and cheap," he said. "It was silly of me not to have faced him and spoken to him.

"He nudged me towards the realisation it [Doctor Who] had run its course and I should go somewhere else. I think, in a way, when I said when I wanted to go, he was relieved, that he wouldn't have to have that fight. He could get his stamp on it.

"There was a lot of tension [before that]. But as soon as I resigned, everything was perfect - he adored me, because he'd won I suppose."

Photo credit: BBC

Related: Tom Baker says Matt Smith was the only person who welcomed him on Doctor Who's 50th special

Baker departed the show in 1980 after one series working with Nathan-Turner, who remained with the show until its cancellation in 1989.

"Going back to ordinary life, which was a bit muddled in those days… I was happier when I was being unreal," the fourth Doctor said. "When I was real, I was sad.

"It wasn't always like that – I had wonderful periods where I was ecstatically happy… but the part really became my life – actually doing it, thinking about it. Real life, you know, is not my speciality… [but] I'm happier now than I have ever been in my life."

Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 will be released on July 2 on Blu-Ray, and is available to pre-order now.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @digitalspy Instagram and Twitter account.

You Might Also Like