Colin Baker

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Colin Baker (born 8 June 1943[1]) played the Sixth Doctor from 1984 to 1986, beginning with an appearance at the conclusion of The Caves of Androzani, continuing from The Twin Dilemma to The Ultimate Foe.

He reprised the role for the 1989 stage show The Ultimate Adventure and the 1993 Children in Need special Dimensions in Time, as well as in numerous Doctor Who audio stories from Big Finish Productions.

Prior to becoming the Doctor, he was cast as Commander Maxil in Arc of Infinity and was considered for the roles of Arnold Jellicole in Robot, (REF: Doctor Who The Handbook: The Fourth Doctor) Persuasion in Four to Doomsday (REF: TCH 34) and Scobie, Bilton and Sheard in Time-Flight (REF: TCH 35).

Profile[[edit]]

Before being selected to replace Peter Davison as the Doctor, Baker was an established television actor. His most notable role was Paul Merroney in The Brothers. Baker also guest starred as Bayban the Butcher in the Blake's 7 episode City at the Edge of the World.

Baker made his Doctor Who debut as Commander Maxil in Arc of Infinity in 1983. On the strength of that performance, as well as a wedding party at which he impressed producer John Nathan-Turner, he was cast as the Sixth Doctor following Peter Davison's decision to leave the series. His era on Doctor Who began in 1984 and was interrupted by the show's cancellation a year later. After fan backlash, this was reduced to an eighteen-month hiatus[2], ostensibly because the show was moved from the spring to the autumn schedule. In the interim, Baker voiced the Doctor in the radio drama Slipback.

Following the conclusion of Season 23, Baker was dismissed as the Doctor at the insistence of BBC management, who wanted to refresh the show. The Controller of BBC One at the time, Michael Grade, believed Doctor Who had become outdated, with overly violent, farcial storylines. Baker was asked to return for the first serial of the next season to pave the way for the next Doctor, but he declined, not wishing to miss out on other work in the meantime. He in turn offered to do the whole season and have the Doctor regenerate at the end, but was himself rejected. An interview with The Sun in which he criticised Grade[3] ensured he would never return.

Years later, Baker would express regret for refusing the BBC's request, claiming he was being "selfish" and "not thinking about the fans".

As of 2022, Baker is the only actor to play the Doctor who has been fired by the BBC. Prior to his dismissal, he claimed he would gladly have done the show for as many as eight years.

Post-departure[[edit]]

Colin on the set of TV: Dimensions in Time)

Baker's post-Who filmography includes guest appearances in BBC series Casualty and Jonathan Creek, Al Murray's sitcom Time Gentlemen Please (as Professor Baker), Channel 4's adaptation of A Dance to the Music of Time, and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. As himself, Baker has been a 'Dictionary Corner' guest on the daytime quiz show Countdown and competed in ITV's reality series I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!.

Doctor Who and Big Finish[[edit]]

Despite the circumstances of his departure from Doctor Who, Baker has remained involved with the franchise. He reprised his role as the Doctor in the play The Ultimate Adventure, replacing Jon Pertwee, and on television in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time. In the BBV Productions video series The Stranger, he played the eponymous character, who was similar to the Doctor.

Since 1999, he has acted in audio dramas produced by Big Finish Productions, usually as the Doctor. Occasionally, however, he has played alternate versions of the Doctor, such as the Burner Doctor in Disassembled and the Curator in Stranded. In the Gallifrey story Appropriation, he returned to the role of Maxil for the first time since Arc of Infinity.

In 2015, Baker finally acted in a Sixth Doctor regeneration story, the Big Finish anthology The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure. In the commentary included with the release, he remarked this finally put to bed his jest that he had never handed over the role. Baker has waited the longest of the Doctors to perform a regeneration scene, at 28 years since his exit from Doctor Who; only Paul McGann, who regenerated in The Night of the Doctor 17 years after the TV movie, comes close.

Baker has also played himself in the context of Doctor Who. In The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, he, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy attempt to appear in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, while in The Trial, a promotional mini-episodes produced for Doctor Who: The CollectionSeason 23 Blu-ray boxset, a a properly in-universe Baker is put on trial for an unpaid parking fine.

In 1994, Baker became the first Doctor to write a Doctor Who story, penning The Age of Chaos, a graphic novel published by Marvel UK featuring the Sixth Doctor and Frobisher. He has since written short stories about the Sixth Doctor for Doctor Who Magazine's annual Yearbooks, the anthology The Target Storybook, and the first volume of Big Finish's Short Trips. It was not until the release of Tom Baker's Scratchman that another Doctor would be credited for writing published Doctor Who fiction; although Matt Smith is known to have written stories featuring the Doctor in preparation for his role as the Eleventh Doctor[4], they were never released.

Personal life[[edit]]

Baker was first married to Liza Goddard; the two later divorced. He later remarried and had five children. His son Jack died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1983, leading to Baker's support for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. His wife and four daughters, including Rosie Baker, played themselves in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.

From 1995 to 2019, Baker wrote a column for the Bucks Free Press called Look Who's Talking. In 2010, Hirst Books published a volume of a hundred of these columns, also called Look Who's Talking. In 2012, they released a second collection of Baker's writing, including his Doctor Who stories, entitled Gallimaufry.

Baker has served as honourary President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society since Nicholas Courtney's death in 2011.

Colin Baker is of no relation to Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor.

In the DWU[[edit]]

Main article: Colin Baker (The Trial)

Colin Baker was mentioned to exist in the DWU in WC: Peter Capaldi and Simon the Shy Cyberman Invite You to Breakfast with 7 Doctors, and he appeared another webcast, The Trial, where the real world Baker played himself being put on trial for an unpaid parking fine which he received whilst filming new material for Doctor Who Season 23.

Acting Credits[[edit]]

as the Sixth Doctor

Television[[edit]]

Doctor Who[[edit]]

Mini-episodes[[edit]]

Stage[[edit]]

Webcasts[[edit]]

Doctor Who[[edit]]

Tales of the TARDIS[[edit]]

The Collection[[edit]]

Other[[edit]]

Audio[[edit]]

BBC Radio[[edit]]

Doctor Who Main Range[[edit]]

Special Releases[[edit]]

The Lost Stories[[edit]]

The Sixth Doctor Adventures[[edit]]

Classic Doctors, New Monsters[[edit]]

Once and Future[[edit]]

The Stageplays[[edit]]

The Tenth Doctor and River Song[[edit]]

Out of Time[[edit]]

The Companion Chronicles[[edit]]

Short Trips[[edit]]

Doctor Who Unbound[[edit]]

The Diary of River Song[[edit]]

Peladon[[edit]]

Jago & Litefoot[[edit]]

The Lives of Captain Jack[[edit]]

Other Roles

Television[[edit]]

Doctor Who[[edit]]

Webcasts[[edit]]

The Collection[[edit]]

Other[[edit]]

Audio[[edit]]

Doctor Who Main Range[[edit]]

Stranded[[edit]]

Once and Future[[edit]]

Doctor Who Unbound[[edit]]

As The Warrior

Bernice Summerfield[[edit]]

Gallifrey[[edit]]

Audiobook readings[[edit]]

Target Novelisations[[edit]]

BBC Audio[[edit]]

Doctor Who Audio Annuals[[edit]]

Writing Credits[[edit]]

Comics[[edit]]

Short Stories[[edit]]

Brief Encounters[[edit]]

The Target Storybook[[edit]]

Audio[[edit]]

Short Trips[[edit]]

Documentary appearances[[edit]]

Footnotes[[edit]]

External links[[edit]]