Tom Baker, the actor best known to science fiction fans across the globe as the actor who played the Fourth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, has been trending on Twitter in the UK and various territories across the world today as he celebrates his 89th birthday.
The veteran actor, who is considered by many to be the best-ever Doctor in the BBC’s science fiction series, is the person to have played the lead character in the show for the most episodes racking up an incredible 172 episodes of the show between 1974 and 1981.
And fans of Doctor Who have taken to social media to celebrate the actor’s birthday, and with it share some of their favourite moments from Baker over the years, led by the official BBC Doctor Who Twitter account, which wrote:
“The Doctor that rattles around time and space with a disarming smile on his face – and a bag of jelly babies in his pocket!
“Wishing a very happy birthday to the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker”
Big Finish insider shared a video of Tom Baker reciting a Shakespeare sonnet from memory…
And the BBC Archive shared the original video report from October 1980 when Tom Baker announced he would be leaving the show to Sue Lawley on Nationwide.
Another Twitter user shared a very emotional piece of video where Tom Baker remembered the late Elisabeth Sladen, who played companion Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who.
And many others chose to share a brilliant interview Tom Baker gave to Vortex Magazine from November 2013, where he describes an encounter with a Doctor Who fan in London after being asked of his strongest Doctor Who memory.
“I remember a man stopping me in Oxford Street once, looking at me with absolute incredulity; he couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘Tom Baker?’ A man in his late thirties. I said, ‘Yes’. He said, ‘Tom Baker?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ And he looked at me and in his brain he catapulted back in time and he said, ‘You know, when I was a boy, I was in a home for children; nobody wanted us, you know? It was terrible. And you made Saturday night good.’ And I went to say something to him and I could see him so close to tears that he couldn’t speak.
And he shook his head as if to say, ‘Don’t go on, don’t remind me’ and he just did [a thumbs up]. Such a common thing, isn’t it, but suddenly backed up with an expression on his face through his tears that was a knighthood. It was a knighthood. Just thumbs up, meaning it was great, and thanks. It’s incredible, isn’t it? Just a gesture.”
Doctor Who returns to screens in November 2023 for three special episodes starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. This will be followed by the first episode starring Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor with his new companion Ruby Sunday played by former Corrie star Millie Gibson. Season 14 of Doctor Who which is being overseen by Russell T Davies as showrunner will play out in 2024.