Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: Tom Baker at 80

BakerA ramble through the life and times of the venerable actor…

Interviewing can be an odd business: no matter how much you prepare, something can happen which will throw you off the planned path and you are then improvising. Good interviewers know how to go with the flow, but still divert the conversation back to the subjects they want to discuss – although there are times you have to follow your gut and allow your interviewee to have their head.

Nick Briggs has been interviewing for a long time, and it shows in this delightful two hour conversation with Tom Baker. It’s vaguely chronological (eventually) but starts with a potentially morbid discussion about mortality and the way Tom has changed during his latter years; once his revised version of the Book of Genesis has been debated, the conversation steers to his upbringing in Liverpool.

That pattern extends across the discs. This isn’t a “Doctor Who interview” with Tom (there are more than enough of those out there!); if any label has to be given, it’s a retrospective, with due prominence given to some of his key roles – which of course does include the Doctor. Tom admits he’s prone to dramatization, and there are a few stories here that you may have heard differently in the past, but he is never less than entertaining – at times this is like sitting in the green room at the Big Finish studios and listening to Tom holding forth (which he does with great style!).

Verdict: A wonderful look back at a rich and colourful life. Recommended. 9/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Tom Baker at 80 from Big Finish

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