Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor himself, has revealed that no one else apart from Matt Smith welcomed him to the set of 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.
In an interview for the Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 12 Blu-ray boxset, which is released on 2nd July 2018 in the UK, the actor recalls:
“Matt Smith is a darling young man; he made me very welcome. He was the only one who welcomed me. I drove through the night to Cardiff, and Matt Smith came seeking me out, so full of joy and so happy to see me! He made it very, very easy acting with him, and I’m so glad he’s going on to tumultuous success. Nobody else bothered with me at all. I was a bit nettled about that. They didn’t have Matt’s warmth. That’s what he’s good at, warmth… Absolutely wonderful, and there’s not much of him – he’s sort of lean, and exudes this warmth.”
It’s quite a surprise to think no one else welcomed Tom on set; then again, this is just one side of the story, we don’t know who else was there on what was a closed set, and it was filmed in the early hours of the morning. It feels wrong to judge the production team on this alone, but it remains a shocking anecdote considering the amount of love Baker generally (and rightly) gets from Doctor Who fans.
What we should take away from this, however, is the bond between Doctors Four and Eleven. It’s always glorious to hear stories about the Doctors getting on well behind-the-scenes. In fact, The Day of the Doctor seems to have been a joyous shoot, with David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) and John Hurt (the War Doctor) joining the team or being welcomed back, resulting in an abundance of recollections of their time together.
Baker, of course, played the Fourth Doctor between 1974 and 1981 and returned to the show for the 50th anniversary as the Curator, a mysterious character who might just be a future incarnation of the Time Lord…
Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 12 Blu-ray is released on 2nd July 2018.