Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? An Autobiography by Tom BakerOne of the great British television phenomena of the 60s and 70s, known to all who are now entering or firmly placed in mid-life, was the advent of Doctor Who. This original and most British of television series chronicled the travels and tribulations of the famous Doctor Who and his merry band of followers. Tom Baker, though not the first but probably the most unforgettable of the actors who took on this role, has published an autobiography that not only lets us explore the man made famous but also the man himself. Tom inhabited the world of television production agencies, the BBC with its cast of thousands, and the drinking haunts of Soho with the likes of Jeffery Bernard, Anthony Hopkins and actors for whom feast and famine were a daily way of life.
Tom, with his expressive face and kind eyes was born in Liverpool to a raucous and lively Irish family where love and a good respect for the teachings of the Catholic Church were able to prepare him for an interesting and fulfilling life. In fact, Toms early experiences with the church involved a trial at a monastery for an unsuccessful preparation as a priest and an insight into the daily workings of these institutions. A slow starting but rapidly improving acting career was followed by time spent pulling pints and on London construction sites before the big break. Then came with the casting agent and the meeting that allowed for instant world-wide recognition for the famous Doctor Who that still exists today.
The style of the story is very much that of a black comedy with a marriage, children and a certain fixation with a lawnmower and the mowing of the grass around his own gravestone, making for an enjoyable read. He is now happily married and living in a rural utopia outside of London, millions of miles and light years away from the hectic and all- consuming career of both straight acting and in the television role that has made him famous in more that 70 countries. --Brian Reinker
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Who on Earth is Tom Baker: an Autobiography
At the risk of turning into one of those dreadful thirtysomething nostalgia bores, the Tom Baker incarnation of Dr Who has a special place in the hearts of those of my generation. The cops sealed off the high street, which was lined with kiddies wondering where the Tardis would materialise to disgorge the tousle-haired timelord. Suddenly he appeared, striding down the middle of the road in full Who garb, dishing out jelly babies to the gobsmacked hordes. My illusions took a slight dent a few years back when I saw one of those unbroadcastable out-take reels BBC technicians compile to amuse one another at Christmas, in which Baker was shown getting saucy with an assistant and taking the piss out of K9. And like all the best monsters, this one turned out to be — gasp! Alas, the man with the sonic screwdriver had no advanced defence against venereal disease, and soon contracted a dose of the clap. Not that they want to be around him for long.
Polycarp of Smyrna was a second century bishop. He was burned at the stake after he refused to burn incense for the Roman Emperor, but the fire did not touch him. Eventually he got stabbed to death instead, and became a martyr and a saint. I found myself wondering if Polycarp was real or invented, and so I looked him up. There he was on Wikipedia, and maybe that story was true after all, in which Baker puzzled a group of fellow monks at the breakfast table by calling out the name of Polycarp of Smyrna as an example to be followed. He tells a lot of tales, and most of them seem so strange that you wonder if they can be factually correct.
Tom Baker Harper Collins, I was the Doctor and the Doctor was me". For seven years Tom Baker was a Time Lord. He travelled the universe in his Tardis saving the earth from Daleks and other horrors, and he loved the part and lived the part. He gloried in the adulation of children, spoke the "gobbledygook" with the conviction of a Catholic who had been brought up on the reality of Guardian Angels, Heaven and Hell, and hated that "insufferable" little "tin dog", K9.
Normally, I shy away from celebrity memoirs. Unless the biography takes place within the context of something much bigger than the celebrity himself/herself.
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Great book well worth either signed or not. Verified purchase: Yes Condition: pre-owned Sold by: webuybooks. I have searched for this book for many years and have always known Tom Baker to have a somewhat strange sense of humour. After seeing him on panel and chat shows I have always found him funny. Absolutely Brilliantly Funny. Will have you in stitches.
When I met Tom Baker in January this year at the superannuation adverts film set, I saw a side to the man that he doesn't usually project in public, and indeed at the Afternoon With Tom Baker event a few days later, he was far more restrained than he had been in private conversation. As he explained to me when we discussing arrangements for the event, he tones down his colourful anecdotes when there are young people present. For the uncensored Tom Baker, look no further than this book, which will probably shatter a few fans' illusions about the man behind the most popular and widely-recognised Doctor. Of course, Tom is a great raconteur and I suspect that the facts of any event recounted in his autobiography fall secondary to his desire to embellish an anecdote. The broad strokes of Tom's life as it is widely known are there - his poor wartime upbringing, Catholic faith, monastical training, army service, etc - yet Tom brings each part to life in a way that no potted biography of his life has ever managed.