Doctor Who - An Interview With Colin Baker

WhatCulture.com catches up with the sixth doctor!

Colin Baker appeared this past weekend at the Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest. After appearing before a room of fans, where he talked about how he hated the polls ranking Doctors, his issues with the newest season, and how much he loved working with Patrick Troughton on "The Two Doctors"; he took a few minutes to chat with WhatCulture.com's Chris Swanson. ME: Thank you for sitting down and interviewing with me! I really appreciate it. BAKER: My pleasure. Me: Allow me to say that when I€™m on panels and people ask my who my favorite Doctor is, it€™s a tie between the Sixth and the Eighth. I put that almost completely on the audios, because you have been so consistently fantastic in the audio stories. Baker: Thank you very much. Me: So what was it like coming back to the character after all those years, and €œpeeling away the onion layers€ of the character's personality? Baker: Well, it€™s been reaffirming, actually. Even though my Doctor had his critics when he was on television, when they have those ghastly polls on audio, I come out on top. Audio Doctors, they think I€™m number one, which I have to regard with the same jaundiced eye as I do when they make me last for the TV ones. It is a measure of the fact that my Doctor is coming through on audio. Maybe I work if you don€™t have to look at me. Perhaps people should watch TV with bags over their heads so they only hear my voice! Me: I will say that when I€™m talking about Big Finish while on panels, I do like to point out that one of the advantages of the Sixth Doctor audios is you don€™t have to see the costume. Baker: Exactly! Me: Condolences on the passing of Maggie Stables . I€™m sure it was very difficult. She was an ideal companion to the Sixth Doctor. Baker: Yes, I hadn€™t seen Maggie for a couple of years. She hadn€™t been well for a while, so we hadn€™t done any Evelyn Smythe stories for at least a couple of years . It€™s very sad that she died. I miss her enormously. She was a very lovely lady, and her character and mine worked well on audio. Me: It was an excellent pairing, but I€™ve also quite enjoyed Flip as well. Baker: Yes, they€™ve been wonderful at Big Finish, because they€™ve given me such a diversity of companions. From Flip to Charlie Pollard. I loved her, because she was kind of enigmatic. And it€™s lovely as a Doctor to have the opportunity to be seen in different ways through the spectrum of your companion, as it were. Me: Now you had mentioned in the panel earlier today that you had very much enjoyed €œThe Wrong Doctors€, which featured you playing the Sixth Doctor at two very different stages in his life. Was it like playing against yourself? Baker: Well, at least I had someone good to work with! (chuckles) It was quite nice that they gave me the opportunity to differentiate between the Doctor then and the Doctor now. Me: So it was a nice surprise for fans to find out that you€™ve been cast in Star Trek Continues! Baker: Yes! I met Vic Mignona at a convention about a year ago, and we got on really well. I bumped into him since then, and he€™s doing a series online called Star Trek Continues. Three of which he€™s made already, and I appear to be in number four. Playing€well, I should probably not say who I€™m playing! Me: A man with a great forceful personality, I think we can safely assume. Baker: Well, I€™m the leader of my nation, let€™s put it that way. I€™m really looking forward to it. I€™m going down to someplace called Jacksonvile (Florida), in January. I couldn€™t resist the crossover. For Doctor Who to be in Star Trek. It appeals to me. And I€™ve got one over on Shatner, because he€™s only ever done Star Trek! Me: That€™s true! And the recent segment for NASA, how did that come about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPSN4PwL1Mg Baker: I was in Houston, and we were given a tour of the facility. And while I was there, they said, €œWould you mind doing a voice over?€ I said I€™d love to. I was so honored, because I love NASA, and I love Orion. I just wish we plowed more money into what they€™re doing. Me: It is nice to see some progress on the space program. Baker: Yeah! Because we owe it. I might be a hundred generations, but this planet is going to get a little bit hot soon, and so we need to get somewhere else fast, and now€™s a good time to start. Of course it€™s expensive, but there are other things we€™re spending money on. That kind of money, which are not worth spending on. Me: Going back to the audio stories, I know that Big Finish has announced one with the Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. That must€™ve been a fun one to record. Baker: Haven€™t done it yet! Doing it next week. Haven€™t even read it yet. Me: That€™s something I€™ve often wondered. Do they announce things before they€™ve recorded them. Baker: They do usually wait until we€™ve approved them. But they know in my case I€™ll do it whatever it is. I just love Big Finish so much. Me: I did like the trilogy you did a few years back with the Sixth Doctor and Jamie. I thought that was a very good series of stories. Baker: Yeah, they were good stories, weren€™t they? Me: Is there anything else coming up on the Big Finish front that you€™re particularly looking forward to? I know we get €œThe Rani Elite€ later this month. Baker: Oh, yeah. You know, I do them, and then I forget about them. Me: Do we have a wonderful new Rani who does a good job of following in the wake of Kate O€™Mara? Baker: We have a brilliant new Rani. It€™s much like with a new Doctor, you know. The same, but different. You know, the Rani€™s a Time Lady, and we€™ve got a really good UK actress who I was delighted to be working with. Siobhan Redmond, who€™s in lots of amazing stuff. She knew Kate, and was aware of the responsibility, and she€™s very good. Me: Of all the work you€™ve done on Doctor Who, both in the audios and on TV, what are you most proud of? Baker: Well, I€™m proud of everything I do. No, that€™s the wrong way of putting it. Not that I€™m proud of everything I do, but I€™m€I do it all in the same way. I do my best, and I move on. So to be honest, I can€™t single out any individual thing, because it implies the others aren€™t worth boasting about. Me: Well, thank you for taking time out to speak with me! Baker: My great pleasure.

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Chris Swanson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Phoenix, Arizona, where winter happens to other people. His blog is at wilybadger.wordpress.com

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