Quick DVD Review – ‘The Doctors: The Tom Baker Years’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I’m glad I got four ‘Doctors’ DVDs from the ‘Myth Makers’ series for my birthday this year from my parents. I’ve greatly enjoyed ‘The Doctors: The William Hartnell Years’, ‘The Doctors: The Pat Troughton Years’ and recently ‘The Doctors: The Tom Baker Years’. I hope soon I’ll get ‘The Doctors: The Peter Davison Years’ DVD later this year and hopefully more ‘Myth Maker’ interviews on DVD. 🙂

Last week, I checked out ‘The Doctors: The Tom Bakers Years’ DVD and greatly enjoyed it. This contains six features as well as an introduction at the beginning that covers the Tom Baker era of ‘Doctor Who’ in general. This includes interviews with Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter, Louise Jameson, Mary Tamm and John Leeson. Sadly there isn’t an interview with Lalla Ward here. 😐

The introduction given by Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Daleks) and producer Keith Barnfather is very heartfelt, especially considering some of the people interviewed for this DVD like Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter and Mary Tamm have passed away. I feel very saddened about this since I would’ve liked to have met Lis Sladen, Ian Marter and Mary Tamm at conventions and they seem to be nice people.

First up we have a Tom Baker feature. Nick Briggs interviews Tom Baker at the village location for ‘The Android Invasion’. Tom Baker’s ‘Myth Makers’ interview was fun to watch and it was done in 1989, the year I was born. 😀 I would’ve preferred fewer distractions of vehicles driving past in the village as Nick interviewed Tom. At least Nick was able to get some very good stuff from Tom here. 🙂

Tom shares some interesting stories about what it was like to work on ‘Doctor Who’ and how much he enjoyed the role. I’ve seen Tom twice at conventions including the ‘Timey Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014 and the ‘London Comic Con Spring’, March 2019. It was amusing when Tom Baker left once Nick Briggs went into the post office. Very soon, Nick got caught by John Levene. 😮

Next is a feature with Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in ‘Doctor Who’. This was recorded in 2000 and Lis gets interviewed by Nick when they’re at the castle location in ‘The Time Warrior’. I’m saddened I never got to meet Lis Sladen at a convention since I enjoyed her both in the classic and the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ and when she featured in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’. 🙂

It was fun to hear Lis share her memories of working in ‘Doctor Who’, both with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker as well as her appearances after ‘Doctor Who’ including ‘K-9 & Company’, ‘The Five Doctors’ and ‘Downtime’. It was nice to see a guest cameo of Jeremy Bulloch who played Hal the Archer in ‘The Time Warrior’ and it seems that Lis’ ‘Myth Makers’ was directed by Christopher Barry.

After that, it’s a feature with Ian Marter, who played Harry Sullivan in ‘Doctor Who’. Sadly, Ian Marter died a few weeks after he did his ‘Myth Makers’ interview with Nick Briggs in 1986. This is the first time I’ve seen Ian be interviewed about ‘Doctor Who’ and it was nice to hear him talk about his acting and writing career. Nicholas Courtney provides a lovely introduction in this ‘Myth Makers’.

It was great to see Ian chat to Nick about his ‘Doctor Who’ career, both as Harry Sullivan and as a writer of many Target novelizations. The interview was filmed at the locations for ‘Terror of the Zygons’. I’ve read/heard a number of Ian’s Target novelizations of ‘Doctor Who’ including ‘The Invasion’, ‘The Ribos Operation’ and ‘Earthshock’. It was very intriguing to hear how he found the writing process. 🙂

The next one after that is a feature with Louise Jameson, who played Leela in ‘Doctor Who’. I’ve been lucky to meet Louise at many conventions and have found her to be a nice, warm, friendly person. I attended her ‘Timey Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014 and the recent convention I saw her at was ‘Science of the Time Lords’ in Leciester, January 2019. She is a nice lady.

I enjoyed how Louise was interviewed by Nick at a Victorian museum somewhere, which had echoes of ‘The Talons of Weng-Chaing’ about it. Louise and Nick performed some sketches together whilst at the museum, including from a Shakespearean play and some poems. I liked it when Louise read from the Target novelizations of ‘The Face of Evil’ and ‘The Talons of Weng-Chaing’ for us to enjoy. 🙂

Then it’s a feature with Mary Tamm, who played the first Romana in ‘Doctor Who’. I’m saddened I never got to meet Mary at a convention, since she comes across as a nice lady and I enjoyed her in ‘The Key to Time’ season as that’s my favourite season from the Tom Baker era. I’ve chatted to Sarah Sutton about Mary Tamm at ‘Collectormania Glasgow 2012’ in the year that she sadly died. 😦

I enjoyed Mary’s interview with Nick Briggs, though I was surprised and astonished to see her dress up as Alice in Wonderland at some points. Nick Briggs even dressed up as the White Rabbit; a green caterpillar and the Mad Hatter at some points. Weird! It was all made out to be a dream in Mary’s ‘Myth Makers’ which was funny. I enjoyed the memories Mary shared about her being in ‘Doctor Who’.

The final feature of the DVD is of course with John Leeson, who voiced K-9 in ‘Doctor Who’. I enjoyed John’s ‘Myth Makers’ and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him at conventions. John is a friendly chap and he comes across as a pretty versatile voice actor as well as being K-9. I enjoyed it when John shared his memories of working in ‘Dad’s Army’ and also playing Bungle the Bear in ‘Rainbow’.

John gets interviewed by Nick Briggs along with an early interview conducted by someone else involved in the ‘Myth Makers’ series named Keith Harrison. I enjoyed it when John shared his memories of voicing K-9 in ‘Doctor Who’ as well as appearing in ‘The Power of Kroll’. K-9 gets a look in at times when he’s talking to John Leeson and John himself gives us lessons on how to cook a Yeti.

What?! Overall, ‘The Doctors: The Tom Baker Years’ has been a joy to see! I’m happy to be watching these ‘Myth Maker’ DVDs of ‘Doctor Who’ during these unprecedented times – please keep safe! A shame that Lalla Ward wasn’t interviewed for this DVD, but I’ve greatly enjoyed the interviews with Lis Sladen, Ian Marter, Louise Jameson, Mary Tamm, John Leeson and of course…Tom Baker himself!

I’m looking forward to checking out ‘The Doctors: The Sylvester McCoy Years’ DVD next!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Quick DVD Review – ‘The Doctors: The Tom Baker Years’

  1. Have to check this one out, i was bit dubious as not BBC Official but your review persuaded me spend some Lizzie Windsors & purchase it.

    Great review Tim.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Simon.

      Hope you’ll enjoy the DVD when you receive it in the post. It’s a very insightful DVD featuring interview with the stars from the Tom Baker era. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

      Currently enjoying ‘The Sylvester McCoy Years’ DVD at the moment. Hope to review that sometime for next week.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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