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Doctor Who on the big screen

Dr. Who: Genesis of the Daleks

Monday night was a special night for all “Whovians” as Fathom Events and the BBC teamed up to show for the FIRST TIME ever in the US, the Directors Cut of one of the best loved classic serials of The Fourth Doctor(Tom Baker) Genesis of the Daleks.  Originally broadcast as the 4th serial of the 12th season of Dr Who(yep the classic Dr Who seasons were “oddly numbered”) over 6 weeks in 1975. It was remade into a 1080I 90 minute “Directors cut” specifically to promote the release of the blu-ray release of the first season of the fourth doctor.

Genesis of the Daleks explores numerous themes including the moral right to commit genocide.  Watching Dr Who in a movie theater was rather interesting in that the directors cut is NOT remastered(special effects wise or coloring) in any way. It was also shown in the original TV aspect ratio format of 4:3.  Yes you can tell it is a digital showing, but it retained the original TV look and feel, so with the exception of eating popcorn and sitting in decently comfy movie theater chairs, it has the old time feel to it.

There was also an interview with “The Fourth Doctor” Tom Baker, after the showing, and we actually learn a bit about his life. including how he actually got the role as “The Doctor”.  Baker who was working on a construction site sent a letter to Bill Slater(head of BBC Serials) who had directed Baker in a play.  4 days later Baker was cast as the New Time Lord, and he could not tell anyone, because the BBC wanted him to wait 2 weeks so they could set up a big press announcement.  Baker wound up in the role for 7 years(1974-1981), and he was the first Doctor to hit the airwaves in the US(British Sci-fi was big at that time with Gerry Anderson’s UFO and Space 1999 being broadcast).

Baker was up for the role as Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy but turned it down because it would require him spending a lot of time in New Zealand.

 

Baker as “The Doctor” from Shada

Baker appeared in the 50th anniversary episode “The Day of the Doctor” as the curator of the National Gallery.  In November 2017 he once again resumed the role as “The Fourth Doctor” completing an episode that was started in 1979 but unfinished due to a writers strike. The episode entitled “Shada” was written by Douglas Adams(The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), while some animation was created to finish the episode, Baker filmed 1 new scene for the episode.

Tom Baker, Season 1 will be released on Blu-Ray in the US on June 19th.

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