As we all prepare for the arrival of the new series of Doctor Who, we can’t help but reflect on the iconic roles played by Peter Capaldis long-time companion and sometime sidekick Tom Baker.
The show’s first 10 seasons, including the most recent run, have been an absolute pleasure to follow, with a plethora of memorable moments and unforgettable adventures, from his early adventures on Earth to the first of the TARDIS’ sonic screwdrivers to the infamous “death” scene in The Impossible Astronaut.
In this exclusive interview with The Hill, the Doctor Who veteran and the series creator talks about the show’s many unforgettable episodes and the best part of the show as a whole.
What’s your favourite episode?
The most memorable episode of Doctor Whoniverse, in my mind, is probably “The End of Time.”
That’s a really good episode.
It’s very good.
Was it hard to create the world of The Doctor Who with a limited budget?
I don’t think so.
We had to use an amazing amount of budget and resources, and we were able to get a really, really good story, with great characters and great acting, all done in such a way that it’s almost impossible to make something that is not a success, to make it feel cheap.
So it’s really hard to make a show that doesn’t feel cheap?
It is very hard.
We have to take all of our resources and go through this process.
But the world is so huge and diverse.
It takes so much effort to create something that feels just right.
How do you keep track of the Doctor’s adventures and his journeys?
That was really difficult.
I’m very lucky that we have a lot of amazing friends who have a hand in the Doctor.
They’ve done a lot for us, and it’s very important for us to keep track.
But when we did the first series, I couldn’t get over how many people had died, because I had so many ideas about the Doctor and his adventures.
So the other problem was that I was not getting much feedback.
It was hard to keep it straight.
Are you ever disappointed that the Doctor isn’t around anymore?
No, not really.
The Doctor is such an important part of our lives, so I am grateful to be able to do him.
He’s such a big part of all of us.
He always has been and always will be, and he’s just so important to us.
But he’s not around anymore.
And he’s a little bit sad, too.
Did you feel any pressure from the producers when they first decided to go with a male-led version of the Doctors?
I always felt very, very comfortable when I was playing the role, and the writers and the producers were really happy with the way I played it.
The last few episodes were so exciting, and I was so happy to play the Doctor, but I also felt a little pressure from my producers.
But that pressure disappeared, and they really liked the Doctor in the first season.
Is there any one Doctor you’d rather be playing?
I love playing the Doctor so much, and my first Doctor was very important to me, and to Peter, so when he’s around, I love to be there.
I think I’ll always have him.
Why do you think the Doctor is so popular in the UK?
I think there’s something really appealing about the character, and because he’s so powerful and such a good guy, people feel like he’s the most appropriate person to be a companion.
And it’s also because of the fact that he’s such an iconic character, who’s such funny, who does so many great things, and people just fall in love with the character.
The British public really do love to see that.
Do you have any other favourite Doctors?
I really love playing Rose Tyler, because she’s so amazing.
And Tom Baker, I’m really glad I had him as a companion on the show.
I have so many favourite Doctor Who actors, but who is the one you love most?
I love Peter Capaldo, because he was the one who really gave me that confidence and that drive to get out of my comfort zone.
I had that confidence to do a lot more, to do things that I wasn’t doing before.
I have a couple of great episodes, and when I got to do those I was like, “Wow, this is it.”
And then I had a really big breakthrough with The Impossible.
And of course, I had the best moment of the whole series when I played the Doctor at the end of the series, and of course that was when the Tardis broke and the Trenchcoat blew up.
And then Peter played the Taser.
And that was really special.
Which Doctor would you want to have played you in a movie?
I’d love to have had