Tom Baker on Dr Who

No discussion of Seventies pop culture would be complete without a mention of Tom Baker playing The Doctor in Dr Who. He was The Fourth Doctor, playing the role from 1974 to 1981. Although the series was futuristic, his costume, humour and hairstyle was very much Seventies.

Tom Baker as The Doctor

Dr Who has been recently fabulously reinvented, but the iconic image of Tom Baker with his floppy hat, mad eyes and huge scarf screams Seventies at me. Children would ask their Grans to knit them Dr Who scarves and the poor Grans would stay up late into the night in front of the Testcard knitting these damn things.

Scarf worn by Tom Baker as The Doctor

Tom Baker is directly responsible for the rise in sales of wool in the mid-seventies. According to Wikipedia, the ridiculous length of the scarf was a mistake but Tom decided he wanted to wear it. How we loved those long scarves, wearing them even in the sweltering summer of ’76 and tripping over them when they unwound.

In fact, it was Dr Who that got me knitting, so that by the time the Eighties came around I made a fortune on fingerless gloves. I used knitting as a way of watching the scary bits (still do). Instead of hiding my head in a cushion like a baby, I had to work on a tricky cable.

The best thing about Tom as The Doctor was his distinctive voice. It was so luscious you knew it was him talking even if you couldn’t see him. And he had this fabulous way of staring at aliens until they exploded. When I was four, I wanted to be Tom Baker when I grew up.

The Doctor making his staring face

Who was your favourite 70’s Dr Who personage? One of the villains or side-kicks, Jon Pertwee, who was The Third Doctor, or like me, Tom Baker? I am instigating a dedicated Dr Who category on this blog as this is something I foresee being v popular as a topic.

Dr Who Book illustrated by Darryl Joyce


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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One Response

  1. […] The amazing technology of those beepy robot boxes! It was the height of sophistication. And as with Dr Who, although the film was set in a completely different time and space dimension, the haircuts were so […]

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