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