The 4th Doctor Tom Baker was the longest-running Doctor in Doctor Who on television, playing the role on the long-running BBC series from 1974 to 1981. To this day, he is still one of the most beloved Doctors and the one most associated with the show in both the US and the UK. His adventures were constantly rerun on PBS in America, helping cement his fan status.
Now, he has authored a new Doctor Who novel Doctor Who: Scratchman, based on the plot for a movie that he and former co-star Ian Marter wrote together back in the day.
This is his third book, following his autobiography Who on Earth is Tom Baker? and the hilariously twisted kid's book The Boy Who Kicked Pigs. In Doctor Who: Scratchman, the Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry Sullivan meet the Devil. As you can see from the official synopsis below, hilarity ensues:
The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn't go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.
With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor's worst nightmares are coming out to play…
Here's Baker answering fan questions while on his promotional book tour:
Baker has a reputation for being as off-beat as his portrayal of The Doctor always suggested. He's like the eccentric uncle who's even more eccentric than you are, and he never phones in his answers when people ask him questions. His reason for why the Daleks are his favourite monsters on Doctor Who is priceless: because they're stupid and he always beats them. And the producers always edited out him winking to his fellow actors when the Daleks are ranting in a scene. He never beats about the bush when a direct answer will do – a direct answer with extra gravy on top. That's why we love him.
As a bonus, here's Baker reading excerpts from his book. The greatest joy of Tom Baker is his sonorous voice as he says the strangest things – because he wouldn't be Tom Baker if he didn't say the strangest things. It's part of the job description for being Tom Baker.
The really fun version of the book will be the audiobook – just to hear him reading as the voice of the Doctor and the voices of all the other characters. Wouldn't you want to have Tom Baker read to you on your daily commute or your bedtime?
Doctor Who: Scratchman will be out on 12th February in hardcover, ebook and audiobook, which you can order here.