Tom Baker was, in the guise of Doctor Who, the true hero of my childhood. From 1974 to 1981 he was, in my opinion, the ultimate embodiment of the BBC’s Time Lord – utterly eccentric, mercurial and unpredictable, but still filled with compassion, warmth and humour. An alien and a human at the same time.
He has gone on to enjoy a chequered career – he played Sherlock Holmes in ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ for the BBC, he provided the voice of BT’s spoken text message service, and gloriously, he played the insane, piratical sea captain Redbeard Rum in ‘Blackadder II’:
But to me, and millions of others, he will always be The Doctor.
Jelly baby, anyone?