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Happy Birthday: Fourth Doctor Actor, Tom Baker, Turns 90 Today

Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor, turns 90 today.

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Baker played the fourth incarnation of the Doctor between 1974 and 1981, becoming the longest-running Doctor, and one of the most instantly-recognisable in the show’s long history. For so, so many, Baker is considered “My Doctor”, whose stories, whether good, bad, or middling, will forever stick in the mind and be much-loved. Indeed, he makes even the dodgier tales enjoyable.

The Fourth Doctor was first seen at the conclusion of Planet of the Spiders in June 1974, then his first full story, Robot, came that December, ebbing into January 1975. He travelled with Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Leela, K9, two incarnations of Romana, Adric, and, sort of, Tegan Jovanka and Nyssa, before finally regenerating, courtesy of the Master, in Logopolis.

And though Tom didn’t come back for the 20th anniversary special, The Five Doctors, in 1983, he did appear in a surprise cameo as the Curator in the 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor.

I wouldn’t normally say anything, but as it’s his 90th, I’d just like to note how cool it is to share a birthday with Tom Baker. I was born on the same day (though not year — okay, I’ve a couple of grey hairs, stop looking!) as the Doctor — how awesome is that?!

So which Fourth Doctor stories do you think are the best? Which are you most attached to, be it because they’re great or because they’ve nostalgic value to you? For me… I think probably The Robots of Death is my favourite, though I’ve a soft spot for so many Fourth Doctor adventures, including The Ark in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Planet of Evil, The Face of Evil, City of Death, Nightmare of Eden, and State of Decay.

Happy Birthday, Doctor.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Happy Birthday: Fourth Doctor Actor, Tom Baker, Turns 90 Today

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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