Who remembers Dr. Who?

This is a show I have not heard of in a very long time. I remember this British show was a sci-fi show where the Doctor would go around the galaxy in his “Tartis” (sp?) the phone booth. And save the earth from the dereliks (sp?).

The only reason I am bringing this up is because I recently heard the theme music on the radio. It must have triggered some kind of Iconic memory because I could picture the star of the show in my head. What the hell was his name…??? The guy with the cury hair…I think it was Tom Baker, but I am not sure. Anyone, know this tid bit of completely useless information?

Tom Baker was my favourite Dr. (there were a few).

I think it’s Tardis and Darleks.

The show was popular here in Australia, and ran for a very long time.

Dalek. No r.

Probably Tom Baker, doctor number four. Colin Baker (number 6) was also curly haired, and was a TERRIBLE Dr. Who. Tom Baker did it for far longer than any of the others, and was the best one in many people’s opinions. Jon Pertwee (number 3) was curly haired as well, but you would probably remember other key points of his appearance (Pertwee was the tall, blonde haired, craggy faced one in the opera cape).

If you also remember a frock coat, and an absurdly long scarf, that was Tom Baker.

The sequence, excluding movies:

William Hartnell
Patrick Troughton
Jon Pertwee
Tom Baker
Peter Davison
Colin Baker
Sylvester McCoy

It still runs on some PBS stations here in the US. Tom Baker was the 4th actor to play the Doctor, and is still the most popular. (It’s built into the plot that the doctor can “die” and regenerate into a new body.) There were 7 Doctors altogether until the show was cancelled a number of years ago.

There was an attempt to get it restarted about, oh, 6 or 7 years ago, I think, with an American-made TV movie. The actor playing the Doctor was good, but the overall script was only so-so, so nothing came of it.

Not to make fun, but this is a little like asking if anyone remembers that show about a spaceship “Enter-something” and some guy with pointy ears.

Or to move out of science fiction, if anyone knows the show where Alan Alda plays a doctor named Birdseye during some war?

Weirdly enough, I was watching vids of old Dr. Who shows just the other day. I borrowed them from a friend who is into kitch pop culture and collects that kind of thing.

Two of the vids were devoted to a 7 part series featuring William Hartnell as Dr. Who in his first encounter with the Daleks. These were a straight-to-tape copy of the original black & white episodes as broadcast in the late 60s. Incredibly, these were broadcast live - no tape, no video inserts, no special effects, about 4 cameras and 4 different sets. They had to be written and performed to accommodate these limitations, and yet they were trying to tell this exotic sci-fi tale featuring battles with the Daleks!

I also watched 2 vids featuring Tom Baker battling with (a) The Brain of Morbeus and (b) Cybermen. These date from 1983. By this time the BBC had some advantages: colour, not live, video tape, modest special effects etc. Unfortunately the BBc also had some disadvantages, chiefly an acute shortage of money brought on by their own wasteful extravagance. The Tom Baker Dr. Who shows al look incredibly cheap and rushed, as if the budget for the whole series was £20.

The Dr. Who idea was nice enough, but it ran for a long enough time and then some. It sometimes seems (over here in the UK) that there is a lot of clamouring to bring the show back, but this is the disproportionate noise of a tiny minority of enthusiasts who want TV to live in the past.

Just to pick nits: It should be spelled TARDIS (all caps) because it is an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.

Also the name is spelled Morbius for the episode “The Brain of Morbius” and it is from 1976.

Dr. Who never (until the Fox TV attempt to revive it) took itself and it’s special effects too seriously. That’s what helped make it so fun. Plus it helped give some Sci Fi experience to the late great Douglas Adams (author of “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) as story editor and author of some of the Tom Baker Dr. Who episodes.

You can find the BBC’s Doctor Who page here.

I first heard about Dr. Who when it began in Britain. There were pictures and brief articles about it in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. I wept because I could not watch this very British show. This was n the '60s, and PBS wasn’t imprting Masteriece Theater and Britcoms th way they do now. It would be years before The Avengers ran on independent US channels.

Then in the 1970s PBS in Boston began running Dr. Who. I was thrilled when I first heard about it! I turned it on and …
I hated it. Still do. Pepper Mill is a fan, and I grant her her follies as she grants me mine, but I just can’t get into The Doctor.

Dr. Who was my favorite Saturday morning show when I was a kid. While everyone else was watching cartoons I was watching the Tom Baker version of Dr. Who on one of the “boring” PBS channels. Better than Scooby Doo :slight_smile:

I just watched Dr. Who last night, BBC America runs it in the oh-so-convenient 4-5am slot on weeknights. But they were showing “The Deadly Assassin” so I had to stay up.

The Eighth Doctor was played in one TV movie by Paul McGann. He was actually an excellent fit, but the writers clearly didn’t understand what Doctor Who is all about.

Interesting for Douglas Adams fans are the “Shada” story which is nearly identical to the first Dirk Gently novel (and is available to rent), “Life, the Universe and Everything” having very much the feel of a typical Dr. Who story, and the fact that the character of Ford Prefect is based on the Doctor… he’s kind of the anti-Doctor.

I think this is going to end up in IMHO. If it does, I’ll be posting a few more times to this thread. I love Dr. Who.



Uh-oh. the Doc-tah just ran down a flight of stairs…
what do we do now?


(That’s dalek-speak for those who don’t know)

I used to LOVE Doctor Who! I was kind of a geek in HS before I evolved into the macho, GQ Stud I am now, and he was a guy I could relate to.

He always faced death in the eye, and came out on top, usually through the combination of mania and brainpower. Tom Baker was easily the best Dr. Who, with his combination of geeky bug-eyed bizarre looks and rock star haircut. Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy were close seconds.

I’m happy to hear BBC is running the show . . I’m suprised SciFi Channel never picked it up!

Logopolis . . .best episode ever . . it’s the one where Tom Baker’s Doctor dies.

Well not really . . I’m happy to see that Tom is alive and well:


and while he now looks nothing like he did 20 years ago, could STILL looks like he could fit right into that TARDIS today!!!

Dr. Who gained quite a cult following here in the States in the early 80s that was kind of like a junior circuit Star Trek following. I even went to a fan club meeting, I think it was the “Whovians”. It was really pathetic. A bunch of really strange people watching a tape of a new Dr. Who episode that was not yet available in the U.S… Whoopteedoo.

To make it worse, I got this letter a few weeks later from the “Time Lords”, a RIVAL Dr. Who fan club, that accused the Whovians of all these horrible things, and how they were the real true fan club in the area.:rolleyes:

Then I watched a Dr. Who special on PBS where some girls actually dicsussed on camera the subject of Tom Baker as a sex symbol.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

About a week later, I was offed to college, where I discovered some things much, much more interesting than Doctor Who. You can make your own deductions.:cool:

In the storyline, the good Doctor was supposed to go through 12 reincarnations before dying for good, but I think only made 8 and an American movie before disappearing off the galaxy. Oh well, when we get invaded by aliens, hopefully the Ninth incarnation will show up just in time to save us pathetic earthlings from the Daleks!!!(or at least Rick Santorum!!)

Remember him?! I saw him last week, I think he was on first.

My favourite set of episodes starred Tom Baker. It was set in the Renaissance period, and had several tongue-in-cheek references to Leonardo da Vinci, and how the Dr had taught him all he knew.

Does anyone know the title of that story?

His stories sometimes were, but don’t blame him, a fine-fine actor. Go back and watch “The Two Doctors” (not a very good story) and tell me you’re not moved by “They just don’t get it. No more sunsets, no more gumble-jacks, nevermore a butterfly.”

FTR, I am not a Tom Baker-era fan at all. I prefer Patrick Troughton, then Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Tom Baker, William Hartnell, then Paul McGann (though as the “George Lazenby” of Doctors, he never had a chance).

Have I heard of the Doctor Read my sig.

Sir Rhosis

There was one named “The Mask of Mandragora” which was set during the Renaissance. There was another one in which time travellers forced Leonardo to paint multiple Mona Lisas, but I forgot the title.

Tom Baker is my own favorite, personally. I found Colin Baker to be all right, but the quality of his episodes were quite uneven in that they seemed to be trying to make it more of a children’s show. The entire feel of the program seemed very different from what it had been before (in fact, it felt much cheesier.) On the other hand, they did a lot of fun things, like reactivating the chameleon circuit for a few episodes.

I remember my own introduction to Dr. Who: back when I was a kid, I kept seeing references to it in the nonfiction books I was reading. (A book on robots, for example, would have, as illustrations, stills of the cybermen and the robot from Tom Baker’s first episode.) I got really intrigued by Dr. Who, because no one had ever heard of it (I was living in small-town Alabama) and yet I’d see tangential references to it here and there. Finally they published 8 or so of the Dr. Who novelizations in the US, so I read Dr. Who before seeing it. This was a very weird experience, since the books were, if only unconsciously, meant for people who were familiar with the whole iconography of Dr. Who. (At the time, I didn’t know what a “police box” looked like, and the descriptions were rather sketchy. And I envisioned the “hexagonal control panel” as being a sort of flat, hexagonal computer keyboard. The Daleks were described as being shaped like a “pepper-pot,” which I assumed meant they were squat, like a sugar bowl.) The whole thing was made even weirder by the fact that Harlan Ellison wrote the introduction to the US editions. As I remember, it was a hyperkinetic rant about how Star Wars and Star Trek are crap, and Dr. Who is the only good TV SF ever produced.

Oddly, I was just thinking about Dr. Who the other day. It seems to me that the show had a tiny bit of wasted potential. The Dr. was the uberscientist, and he would often make some sort of pithy remark about the philosophy of science, but the scriptwriters seemed to know so little about actual science that the pithy remarks would often miss the mark completely. For example, I remember one episode in which the Doctor explained that there’s no evidence that cigarettes cause cancer, but we all know it’s true anyway, and that’s just how science works sometimes. Huh? As cool as the show was, it could have been infinitely cooler if the scriptwriters were always able to live up to the coolness of the premise. (I point, as proof, to Douglas Adams.) One could imagine Dr. Who as being a bit like Sherlock Holmes, talking about how it’s dangerous to form a hypothesis too prematurely, etc.

Eventually, the Daleks DID learn how to climb stairs. There’s a Sylvester McCoy episode – “Hand of Omega,” I believe it’s called – where a Dalek chases the Doctor up stairs by hovering.

Wasn’t that CITY OF DEATH? Perhaps written by Douglas Adams (maybe under a psuedonym) and co-starring Julian Glover (later seen in the third INDIANNA JONES movie).


I think the Daleks got levitation*.

Tom Baker wrote an interesting book (sorry, can’t remember what is was called - but it wasn’t ‘I am not Who’), covering his life as an actor, and how playing the Doctor changed it.

*so if you climbed a stair, death could still stare you in the face **

actually they were saying EX-STAIR-MINATE*

***sorry (blushes)