Saturday, 23 November 2013

An Appointment with The Doctor

Half a lifetime ago, in 1980 to be precise, a small Hertfordshire community service organisation called Bushey and Oxhey Round Table (BORT) received a visit from Doctor Who.

Tom Baker had been The Doctor since 1974 and was not in the habit of condescending to lesser planets let alone to a provincial Donkey Derby, but BORT had a reputation for punching above its weight, and somebody in BORT knew somebody very near the top in BBC Enterprises. So The Doctor came to our fund-raising event, complete with the pukka Tardis.

For the purpose of publicity stunts, we also acquired a number of other genuine Doctor Who props and costumes : a Dalek and a round headed monster whose name escapes me, plus a generic Time Lord outfit, which is why the young fellow in the picture - as BORT chairman - got to be a Time Lord for a day.

To be quite honest I got the impression that Mr Baker – surrounded by his BBC minders (not Dennis Waterman, the real thing) – was not best pleased to be dragged around a Donkey Derby. In the event he did a stalwart job. Great fun was had and lots of money raised for charity.

The very next year, 1981, Doctor Who regenerated again: enter Peter Davison. I do hope it wasn't anything I did.

BREAKING NEWS: So Tom Baker has another place in the 50 years of Who history – The Curator.