Fu­neral games

New au­dio se­ries Baker’s End sees Fourth Doc­tor Tom Baker play­ing him­self

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert - Baker’s End: The King Of Cats is re­leased by Baf­fle­gab Pro­duc­tions on 2 Septem­ber.

For­mer Doc­tor Who Tom Baker’s imag­i­na­tion is be­ing let loose in a new au­dio se­ries, in which the ac­tor plays… Tom Baker! Af­ter Paul Ma­grs wrote three Who au­dio se­ries star­ring the ac­tor, the two stayed in touch, trad­ing “silly ram­bling sto­ries” by email. From those have grown the pun­ning­lyti­tled Baker’s End, which be­gins with Tom’s fu­neral, af­ter he fakes his own death...

“It’s Tom play­ing Tom, in­volved in spooky earth­bound mys­ter­ies,” Ma­grs ex­plains. “He’s re­tired and try­ing to get away from fan­dom, but mys­te­ri­ous events pur­sue him into his ev­ery­day life in this vil­lage, Hap­pen­stance, where all the vil­lagers are quite pe­cu­liar.”

Who fans can ex­pect the odd fa­mil­iar ref­er­ence. For ex­am­ple, episode three fea­tures a talk­ing cab­bage (Baker once in­fa­mously sug­gested the Doc­tor’s next com­pan­ion could be one). “It’s a world 90 de­grees to the stuff I’ve done be­fore in Doc­tor Who,” Ma­grs says. “There are very slanted nods to things – rather than Daleks run­ning about we’ve got the old ladies in the vil­lage be­com­ing pos­sessed and shoot­ing lasers out of their tits! It’s the anec­do­tal world that Tom al­ways launches into drama­tised, but with knobs on!”

It’s also a fol­low-up to an­other classic Tom TV se­ries, in which he en­cour­aged read­ing. “It’s more of a riff on The Book Tower [see Sci-Fact above], which was the spook­i­est thing I’d ever seen, aged nine,” Ma­grs re­veals. “Here gob­lins come to Tom in his dreams, and they’re build­ing a tower at the bot­tom of the gar­den that’s go­ing to be filled with all his books…”

The se­ries also teams Baker with for­mer Who com­pan­ion Katy Man­ning (Jo Grant) for the first time. “They had this in­stant chem­istry,” Ma­grs says. “She be­comes very droll and he be­comes wilder and more ex­u­ber­ant! It’s Tom ex­ag­ger­ated – which no­body ever asks him to do. No­body says, ‘Push it that bit fur­ther,’ but we went there!”

Paul Ma­grs with the mighty Tom (it’s pro­nounced “Mars”, btw).

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