Tom Baker, who portrayed what is arguably the most popular incarnation of the iconic space and time travelling protagonist in Doctor Who, admits that if he were presented with the opportunity to ‘blow up the BBC’ he’d be very keen on the idea.
As the Fourth Doctor in the 1975 Doctor Who serial Genesis of the Daleks, Baker’s character was presented with the opportunity to wipe out a manufactured genocidal alien race, the Daleks, before they were created. Only having to touch two wires together, the Fourth Doctor asks “Have I the right?” before reasoning that such a destructive action would make him no better than what the Daleks would become.
At the launch of the classic era of Doctor Who coming to the Horror Channel, Baker was answering a question about that particular scene when he used the moral dilemma faced by his character to segue into his thoughts of the BBC:
“I like that one very much, because of the big speech part and the line ‘do I have the right?’ If somebody gave me two wires now and said, ‘If you touch them together you could blow up the whole BBC,’ I think I might be tempted, yeah.
“But I’d only be tempted for a second – and then I’d do it!”
”The thing with the BBC is you’ve really got to be able to suspend your disbelief, I mean anything can happen at the BBC,” Baker went on to say. “The monsters on ‘Doctor Who’ were never so amazing as the monsters on the sixth floor as I remember them. There were some very improbable looking people there.”
Tom Baker played the Fourth Doctor from 1974 to 1981, the longest time an actor has held the lead in Doctor Who. Talking to the Week In Geek, Baker confessed that he may have stayed on one series too long and perhaps should have left the show earlier:
“John Nathan-Turner and I did not see eye-to-eye really about very much. It was only afterwards when he’d gone that I got to realize what he was doing for Doctor Who – he was promoting it all over the world, which was all to my advantage. We became quite good friends as time passed – we forgot all about those disagreements.”
“Probably I stayed on too long – I think I should’ve gone when John was taking over to liberate him to recast. Maybe I did one series too many.”
Despite his thoughts on his original run, Baker is now very open to the idea of returning to Doctor Who. He made a surprise cameo in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor and says he wouldn’t rule out another appearance.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out. If it was a nice part, with some good lines, I might deign to appear!”
“I greatly admire [Twelfth Doctor Peter] Capaldi, he’s lovely and apparently he’s a great fan of Doctor Who – he might ask for me!”
Baker played a future incarnation of the Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, calling himself “the Curator”, and gave Matt Smith’s then-current Doctor some rather helpful advice…or did he?