Controversy has sparked over a comment made by Colin Baker at the recent BFI event to celebrate the upcoming HD release of Season 23 for The Doctor Who Collection.
Following the screening of Mindwarp, the second story in the series, guests were treated to the usual snippets from the brand-new special features as well as a talk from special guests, Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor) and Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown).
The recent controversy concerns something that Colin did or didn’t say depending on who you talk to, when he spoke about not returning to film a regeneration scene. Though I wasn’t at the BFI screening for Mindwarp so I don’t know 100% what was said, many have quoted Baker as saying:
“This was in November, and filming the regeneration would take place the following March/April… I wasn’t going to commit myself to two weeks of work in March/April time… And I’ll be honest I was hacked off. I saw no reason to be nice to them. I forgot about you, (the fans) sorry. I was being brutishly selfish at the time and I just felt annoyed. Because I loved that part and I thought I had much more to give.”
He also interestingly said that he wasn’t against returning to film a regeneration scene; he just wanted it to be at the end of another season rather than kicking off one and to be honest, I think that would have worked better. Instead, we got Sylvester McCoy in a ridiculous blonde-curly-haired wig that wouldn’t have fooled anyone.
However, no one can blame him for not wanting to return for two-weeks work. Colin Baker was treated shockingly at the BBC and in particular the BBC chief at the time, Michael Grade. It’s little wonder he didn’t want him to return and nobody thinks him selfish.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that Colin had every right to be angry following this treatment and his being fired from the show. We all know how badly he and the show were treated by the Beeb.
So exactly what was said is up for debate, but it has gone a little mad of late. Of course, he has given us 20 glorious years of his life and time with Big Finish, recorded so many excellent adventures including his own regeneration story in the form of The Last Adventure. He’s had many new friends, Evelyn, Charley, Constance, and Flip who rank among the best and fought of more alien invasions than some Doctors could shake a stick at.
Colin, you have nothing to feel guilty about and we fans are glad you are still making magic with the maestros at Big Finish. It’s clear how much you love the character through your work on television and audio and you’ve given us so much more than we could ever have wished for.