A Conversation for Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

Peer Review: A35135822 - Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

Post 1

wonko the sane

Entry: Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of - A35135822
Author: wonko_the_sane - U10845568

Tom Baker

Tom Baker is best known as the fourth Doctor from the popular TV series Doctor Who.
Early Life

Tom Baker was born in 1934 in Liverpool, England1 and he grew up during the Second World War. During the war he was quite small obviously and he knew that if you were an orphan the American soldiers would bring you things sometimes, this to him was the ideal situation to be in. He used to pray that a bomb would fall on his mother on her way home from the shops. Luckily that never happened. When asked at school one day what he wanted to be when he grew up he answered that he'd like to be an orphan. His teacher was horrified that he wanted both his parents to die and sent him to the school priest to ask for forgiveness for wanting to be a murderer. The priest forgave him.

His mother Mary Jane Baker was a devout catholic and he was brought up Christian. He was during his childhood overly aware of God being everywhere (including up his grandmothers knickers and in the toilet with him). He used to spend a great deal of time in church and was an altar boy for a while. During funerals when it was cold and windy his nose used to run and his eyes would water from the cold or the smoke from the incense and he would shiver because he was freezing cold and he looked for all the world as though he was crying. He says in his autobiography that in this way he conned people though not purposefully into tipping him.
In the monastery

At school they would sometimes come around asking the kids if they would like to try out different professions. One day when a Father from the church came and asked if anyone would like to be in religion Tom Baker put up his hand and couldn't understand why no one else did. He was 15 when he left school to become a monk. He spent a year in training and then spent 5 years with the Brothers of Ploermel. He was desperately unhappy during this time. He was in charge of keeping the monastery warm and he says that he often entertained thoughts of throwing the burning clinkers out into the wooden hallway of the monastery and burning it down. During Easter a monk would come round and visit and during one of these visits Tom Baker confessed his desire to break all 10 Commandments particularly the ones about murdering and he also confessed his desire to burn down the monastery. It became clear to the visiting priest that Tom Baker was desperately unhappy as a monk and helped arrange for Tom Baker to leave the monastery. He felt terribly guilty for abandoning the monastic life but when he reached his home again and saw his mother he cheered up considerably. His mother although disappointed at losing the status of "Holy Mother" conveyed on her by having a child in religion was overjoyed to see him.
Out of the monastery and into acting

He soon left home again and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. where he was a medical orderly. It was during this time that he became interested in acting. He then served a 7 month stint on the Queen Mary before going to the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in Kent on a scholarship.
Tom acted in a theatres around the country before joining up with the National Theatre. Here he acted with famous and respected actors such as Maggie Smith and Anthony Hopkins and Laurence Olivier. They helped him get roles in films and although he was nominated for 2 Golden Globes was working on a building site when he became the Doctor.
During this time Tom Baker met and married his first wife Anna Wheatcroft with whom he had 2 boys. Her family owned a florist. He loathed them as they made life generally very horrible for him. A few years into their marriage Alfred Wheatcroft, Anna Wheatcroft's father, had a stroke and was bedridden. Although they were well off the Wheatcrofts were very nasty and not a single male nurse would look after Alfred. Tom having been in the Royal Army Medical Corps. knew how to look after someone who was bedridden. This being the case the job fell to him and he looked after Alfred for an entire year. Alfred was depressed during this time and so the doctor prescribed anti-depressants for him. As Alfred was usually asleep during the time when he was supposed to take his afternoon pill Tom began to stockpile the untaken pills. When a considerable number had accumulated he went into the kitchen of their house and took all of them at once. Tom was needless to say very depressed himself. They didn't kill him however merely made him pass out. It did leave him severely constipated though.
Constance Wheatcroft the mother of Anna was also a horror. After Alfred died she ran the flower business and kept Tom busy doing odd jobs. One day he and a man called George Sycamore were painting a caravan in preparation for a flower show when they began to run short of paint. Tom popped off into town to get some more. While he was away Constance turned up and began ordering poor George and a student around. When Tom arrived back, she saw him after he'd had a chance to assess the situation and began to order him around as well. Suddenly he just snapped and told her to f*** off and leave them alone. She began insulting him and his entire body wouldn't co-operate. There were in the back of the car 10 or so newly sharpened hoes and so after an unsuccessful attempt to get into the front of the car and drive away he managed to get to the back of the car and at the hoes. These he began throwing at her and although there was only 15 feet between him and her and his aim was excellent she ducked and dogded every single one all the while screaming at him that he was nothing without them and the he was a "kept man".
Something snapped inside him and he ran literally screaming to their house about a mile away. He threw up several times in the bath and then had a bath to calm down and relax his muscles which were really tense after all the stress. He then realised his boys were up at the Wheatcroft's house and so he drove up very calmly to collect them. Constance was there but he just ignored her and took his boys. When he got them home he bathed them and put them to bed and then left. It was the last time he saw them.
The Doctor

In 1974 Tom Baker became the Doctor in the long running television series Doctor Who. He stayed in teh role for 7 years and became almost everyones "Doctor". After being told he was being given the role he had to keep it secret for 2 weeks and it nearly killed him2. However once the opening episode had aired he gained instant recognition and fame all over the world within a week. He says of his time as the Doctor that it as one of the happiest times of his life. As he was so well known he says he used to carry around hundreds of pictures of himself to sign and give out to people if they wanted. Tom says to never trust an actor who doesn't carry around at least 100 pictures of himself. After his 7 years as the Doctor Tom Baker decided to leave. Coming back to reality was very difficult for him. After being greeted ecstatically by children and their parents for 7 years he was suddenly nobody again and it was very difficult for him to get used to.
During this time he also married Lalla Ward who played his "assistant" Romanadvoratrelundar II3
After the Doctor

After his time as the Doctor he began drinking a lot and spending much of his time in pubs with other friends who were also heavy drinkers such as Jeff Bernard and occasionally Francis Bacon and Dan Farson. He found it difficult to get work because he wanted to spend all his time in the Colony Rooms with Jeff Bernard and the others. 16 months after getting married to Lalla Ward they parted mutually each knowing that it wasn't going to work out.
After a while he began seeing Sue Jerrard again. As they began to get to know each other better Tom began spending more and more time with Sue and less and less time in the Colony Rooms. Eventually they got married and decided to move to the country. Tom now spends his time mowing the grass in front of the local church and contemplating his gravestone.
List of plays/films/TV shows he's been in

For a list of all the plays, films, TV shows etc. Tom Baker has been in see www.tombaker.tv
Further Reading

Who On Earth Is Tom Baker by Tom Baker is his autobiography. It is a brilliant book full of funny stories and witty comments.
Tom Baker's official website is www.tombaker.tv
Information on his stories as the Doctor is available on the BBC Doctor Who Website at www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/index_fourth.shtml
1 Home of the Beatles
2 Though not literally of course!
3 A Time Lady usually known as Romana

Peer Review: A35135822 - Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

Post 2

wonko the sane

blah sorry i got a bit confused!! smiley - biggrin

Peer Review: A35135822 - Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

Post 3

Secretly Not Here Any More

Looks like a decent entry so far, could do with a few tweaks though. I'll have a proper look soon. smiley - ok

Peer Review: A35135822 - Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

Post 4

lil ~ Auntie Giggles with added login ~ returned

Hi Psy,

Wonko got a little confused and removed this from PR.. It is now being discussed in:


lil x

Peer Review: A35135822 - Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

Post 5

Secretly Not Here Any More

Ah right. Fair dos.

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Peer Review: A35135822 - Tom Baker - The Life and Times Of

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