Tom Baker was the fourth ‘Doctor Who’ – the one with the scarf, which has become as much a part of Doctor Who mythology as the Police Box. I had the opportunity to meet him at a Film Convention at Westminster Central Hall on Saturday 29th March, where he was signing autographs in aid of charity.
There were other sci-fi actors there too, but there was no mistaking who was drawing the crowds – the queue for Mr Baker’s autograph stretched down a corridor, and doubled back on itself. The wait was going to take a while!
When I finally reached the table, there was a selection of photos to choose from, and I picked a publicity still that showed the fourth Doctor with my ‘Doctor Who’ hero, the Brigadier. “Ah, he was such a popular character,” said Tom Baker, turning the photo around and readying his pen, “And such a lovely man. The fans just adored him, and we were all grief-stricken when he died.” He signed the picture, shook my hand as I thanked him, and I moved away to show off my photo to the friend who’d captured the moment on camera.
In total, he signed for four hours, exchanged a few words with every single fan and – with me at least – hadn’t talked about his own role at all. His stamina and his willingness to engage with his fans was amazing, and I was thrilled to have met him. A true star.
Karen McCreedy (SCIFFLe Group)