Baker 2

Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor was an icon. Voted the number one Doctor in numerous polls, there is something truly magical about his performance on screen, and only David Tennant and Matt Smith have ever come close to taking his. (Personally, I would put Matt Smith as a VERY close second!)

But what is about The Fourth Doctor that makes him the best of the best? Tom Baker’s manic, alien, comical, dramatic performances? A run of brilliant companions? Some of the very best stories ever committed to screen? Visionary writers and executive producers? Great monsters? Terrifying villains?

The truth is, it is all of those elements. Across seven series, Tom Baker had opportunity after opportunity to shine, and even when some stories were weak, he was always at his best. Like Matt Smith, I could watch Tom Baker reading a book aloud for the entirety of an episode.

But it’s not just the fact that he had more stories than anyone else. If he had done just three series, he would still be the best of the best in my opinion. The trouble is, there is so much greatness in this era, that, when writing about the ‘best of the Fourth Doctor’, I could easily list 20 best episodes or 50 defining moments…

So instead, this article is about broad themes, highlighted by those fantastic episodes and defining moments, that all point towards the one insurmountable truth of Baker’s superiority. Because with the Fourth Doctor, there is just too much good stuff to write about…

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This article was first posted on July 18, 2013