Tom Baker turns 83: Greatest moments

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

Tom Baker is 80! National treasure, cult legend and Doctor Who's longest-serving lead, Tom is now an official octogenarian.

To celebrate, Digital Spy has compiled eight of Baker's greatest moments from both the small and silver screens - Happy Birthday, TB!

1. Tom breaks big with Nicholas and Alexandra

Photo credit: Moviestore Collection / Rex Shutterstock
Photo credit: Moviestore Collection / Rex Shutterstock

In the early '70s, Baker got his big break, taking on a role he was surely born to play - the mad monk Rasputin - in historical epic Nicholas and Alexandra. He was recommended for the part by Laurence Olivier, donchaknow.

2. "The definite article, you might say…"

"Well, here we go again..." In 1974, Tom Baker replaced Jon Pertwee as the star of Doctor Who and television history was made. Alright, so Tom's debut adventure 'Robot' is unlikely to lead any fan's top 10 list, but his commanding charisma had viewers hooked from the off. Jon who?

3. "Do I have the right?"

Perhaps Tom's finest moment on Who - in 1975's 'Genesis of the Daleks', the Doctor has been transported back to ancient Skaro for the express purpose of wiping his arch-enemies the Daleks from existence, but when it comes to the crunch, our hero has a crisis of conscience...

4. "It's the end…"

After a record-breaking seven-year run, Tom ditched the long scarf and waved goodbye to Doctor Who. 1981's 'Logopolis' may not be the perfect send-off, but there's much to love about its final scene, from Paddy Kingsland's haunting score to Baker's broken, haunted turn.

5. Tom does drunk in Blackadder II

Baker featured in one of the very best Blackadder episodes, playing the appropriately sozzled Captain Redbeard Rum in series two's 'Potato' (1986) - a deranged sailor lacking any real navigation skills, Rum resorts to just sailing round and round the Isle of Wight 'til everyone gets dizzy.

6. Tom becomes the voice of Britain. Little Britain.

Tom's unmistakable tones were put to perfect use by Matt Lucas and David Walliams on Little Britain - as the offbeat sketch show's nutty narrator, Baker provided many of the best and biggest laughs. Good boo!

7. Tom livens up a bonkers remake of Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased

As barmy TV concepts go, hiring Vic and Bob to star in an early '00s revamp of cult '60s series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) ranks pretty high on the 'What the heck were they thinking?' scale. Amping up the insanity still further is a typically eccentric performance from Tom, who stars as Marty Hopkirk's ghost mentor Wyvern.

8. Tom makes a 'surprise' cameo in the Doctor Who 50th special

Remember that terrific surprise moment when Tom Baker made a completely unexpected appearance in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special this past November?

Nah, us neither - Baker blabbed just a few days prior to the episode's November 23 broadcast. Ah well, the scene's wonderful regardless, with Baker recreating all of the fourth Doctor's most famous mannerisms in a brief but magical exchange with then-Doctor Matt Smith.

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