Before we embark on the next phase of our adventure, Sue looks back on the Tom Baker years…
Here are Sue’s scores for Tom’s stories in reverse order (and in transmission order when tied):
The Invasion of Time: “Oh dear.” – 0/10
Underworld: “Am I allowed to give negative scores?” – 1/10
Image of the Fendahl: “I’ve forgotten it already.” – 2/10
Destiny of the Daleks: “I hated that.” – 2/10
The Creature from the Pit: “Killed by a giant cock and balls…” – 2/10
Meglos: “Well, that was shit.” – 2/10
Revenge of the Cybermen: “A load of old rubbish.” – 3/10
The Keeper of Traken: “Tedious.” – 3/10
The Face of Evil: “Something was missing…” – 4/10
The Invisible Enemy: “A terrible mess.” – 4/10
The Armageddon Factor: “They had months to get that right…” – 4/10
Logopolis: “Disappointing.” – 4/10
Robot: “The story was pants.” – 5/10
The Sontaran Experiment: “Too short.” – 5/10
Planet of Evil: “The guy who played the commander was hopeless.” – 5/10
The Android Invasion: “It fell apart at the end.” – 5/10
The Robots of Death: “It didn’t make any sense.” – 5/10
The Horns of Nimon: “I think they all need a good lie down.” – 5/10
The Hand of Fear: “Good, very good, good, shit, really shit, then excellent.” – 6/10
The Sun Makers: “The script was very witty.” – 6/10
The Pirate Planet: “An imaginative mess.” – 6/10
The Leisure Hive: “Too much style and not enough substance.” – 6/10
The Ark in Space: “Tom Baker was brilliant.” – 7/10
Terror of the Zygons: “It had a lot going for it.” – 7/10
Pyramids of Mars: “I’d like a lot less gobbledygook and a lot more drama.” – 7/10
The Power of Kroll: “If K9 had been in it, I might have given it an eight.” – 7/10
Nightmare of Eden: “The premise was great and it kept me guessing.” – 7/10
Full Circle: “I like Adric. So there.” – 7/10
State of Decay: “I loved the set design.” – 7/10
The Brain of Morbius: “Some of the dialogue was priceless.” – 8/10
The Deadly Assassin: “The first three episodes were perfect.” – 8/10
The Talons of Weng-Chiang: “I’ll knock some marks off for the casual racism.” – 8/10
The Stones of Blood: “I really enjoyed that” – 8/10
Warriors Gate: “I didn’t understand it. But I don’t care.” – 8/10
Genesis of the Daleks: “Excellent.” – 9/10
The Masque of Mandragora: “Very accessible.” – 9/10
Horror of Fang Rock: “I really enjoyed that.” – 9/10
The Ribos Operation: “It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close.” – 9/10
The Androids of Tara: “I don’t think there was a bad performance.” – 9/10
The Seeds of Doom: “It can’t get any better than that.” – 10/10
City of Death: “That was faultless.” – 10/10
I couldn’t whittle your questions down to 10, so here are 17 instead (apologies if I didn’t choose yours, I was swamped):
Me: The first question – and I think it’s important to set the right tone – is from Kelley, who wants to know: “Who would win a fight between the Master and the Black Guardian?”
Sue: That’s easy. The Black Guardian. The Master is bloody useless. He’d probably have to ask for the Doctor’s help. The Black Guardian is much more frightening, even though he hasn’t actually done anything yet. I’d rather have **** all than a **** up.
Me: Thanks for that. OK, Si Hart want to know: “If you had to go for a drink with any of Tom’s companions, who would you choose?”
Sue: The first Romana. I think she’d be the most interesting, although I wouldn’t say no to a threesome with Sarah Jane Smith. No, not like that. OK, this is getting a bit weird and it’s only the second question.
Me: Moving swiftly on, James P. Quick…
Sue: Does he?
Me: You did that joke last time. Anyway, James wants to know: “If you were, for some inexplicable reason, asked to take part in the 50th Anniversary special, what role would you like?”
Sue: Is it the Moff asking that question?
Me: No, it’s James P. Quick.
Sue: Like that’s his real name. OK… hmmm… I’d like to be a scientist in a white lab coat, and I’d like to set-off an alarm, if that’s OK.
Me: I’m sure you’d do it beautifully. Anyway, Alisaunder says: “According to Neil, Tom Baker took his boots with him when he left Doctor Who. (Hang on, when did I say that? – Neil) Which companion costume from the Tom Baker era would you have taken home with you?”
Sue: Romana’s pink coat. I keep looking for one on Ebay.
Me: Gdb wants to know: “Tom Baker has said in passing that he’d like to play the Master in the new series. What do you think of this idea?”
Sue: It’s a stupid idea. Look, he’s too old and there’s far too much baggage – you wouldn’t be able to take him seriously in the role. And it might damage your memory of him, too. It’s not worth the risk.
Me: Matthew Clarke and Ruth Deller both want to know: “Who should Romana look like the next time she regenerates?”
Sue: Her off of Episodes. (She means Tamsin Greig).
Me: Here’s a very odd question from Richard Lyth: “If Adventures With the Wife In Space was made into a movie, who should play yourself, Neil and Nicol?”
Sue: It’d be a very boring movie. OK, I’d get Jenny Eclair to play me. Does she count as an actress? I would have said Ewan McGregor for you five years ago, but now it’d probably have to be Ian from EastEnders. And Nicol looks like Katie Holmes, not that Katie Holmes needs the money.
Me: JB from Chicago has opted for this old chestnut: “Snog, Shag or Kill – Murray Gold, Dudley Simpson, and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.”
Sue: How could I possibly shag the Radiophonic Workshop? Wait, don’t answer that… Oh, I don’t know… I’d kill Murray Gold (sorry) and I’d probably marry Dudley. I bet he’s really nice and he could play his marimbas to me as I fell asleep on the couch. Oh, I hate questions like this.
Me: John Wilson and Glen Allen both went for a safe, but interesting, question: “Who’s your favourite Doctor so far?”
Sue: Patrick Troughton. The rest haven’t come close.
Me: Fair enough. OK, Paul Roche asks: “If you and Neil were to renew your wedding vows, would you dress as Romana and the 4th Doctor?”
Sue: Yes, but not during the ceremony itself. And not at the reception, either.
Me: Lots of people asked variations on the next question, including Ciaran Dunne, James Skinner, Chris Orton, Andrew Marsden and many, many more: “Did Tom Baker stay in the part for too long? And if he did, when should he have left?”
Sue: He should have left when Romana and K9 did. In fact, none of them should have done the last season. Peter Davison should have turned up when John Nathan-Turner turned up. I don’t think Tom enjoyed himself very much in his final year.
Me: Lots of people want to know: “Will we ever watch Shada?”
Sue: I don’t know. Will we?
Me: Wait and see. Right, Sarah Hadley would like to know: “When Tom Baker was interviewed about his imminent departure, he introduced a little bit of controversy by suggesting the next Doctor might be a woman. What do you think? Could the Doctor be played by a woman? And if so, who should play her?”
Sue: That’s a very good question. I have no problem with the Doctor being a woman. It doesn’t bother me at all. I’d cast the woman from Episodes.
Me: Right, Bob McCow asks: “Did you ever fancy Tom?”
Sue: Never. I liked his roman nose but he was far too hairy for me.
Me: Oodverse asks: “Tom improves his acting when he’s playing against someone he respects. Who did he respect the most?”
Sue: Himself. He was brilliant whenever he had to share the screen with himself.
Me: Roderick T. Long came up with this: “What question should I ask, and what would your answer to it be?”
Me: He’s a philosopher.
Sue: OK, right… OK, the question you should ask is: “Are you going to do the New Series?” and the answer is: “Neil won’t let me.”
Me: Johnny Morris wants to know: “If it wasn’t for Neil, when would you have stopped watching?”
Sue: I wouldn’t have started watching it in the first place! You should probably ask this question to Neil instead. How long would you have lasted if I wasn’t watching it with you, love?
Me: The Sensorities Episode Three, probably. And on that bombshell, you have to pick your favourite question, so the person who set it can win a mug.
Sue: OK, let’s pick somebody who used their real name… The question about the female Doctor. I really like that idea.
Me: Sarah, I’ll be in touch soon. OK, one final question before we go: if you had to sum up Tom Baker in three words what would they be?
Sue: Charming, unpredictable and bonkers.top
We will begin the Peter Davison era on Tuesday, which just happens to be Sue’s birthday (I really know how to treat a woman). The first Davison update should be here on Thursday, but if you are really, really lucky you might get something extra special before then…
Revised – update now expected 8th September.
The experiment continues…top