In Depth

Tom Baker returns to Doctor Who to complete ‘lost’ episode

36 years since he last played the role, the fourth Doctor is stepping back into the Tardis

More than three decades after his last appearance as the Time Lord, Tom Baker has made a surprise return to Doctor Who, “donning his trademark stripy scarf in a newly-released episode”, reports the BBC.

The 83-year-old actor played the fourth incarnation of the Doctor between 1974 and 1981, and has made a return to the small screen in order to finish the incomplete Doctor Who episode Shada, the original footage of which was shot in Cambridge 38 years ago. 

The story was cut short by a strike at the BBC, but over seven hours had already been filmed.

The missing parts of the show that were omitted from filming in 1979 will be completed using animation, which Baker will voice, and the veteran actor has also filmed a live-action scene.

The Guardian reports that the producers of the new footage “used 1970s TV cameras and the original Tardis set and K9 robot dog model to make it look part of the original lost episode”.

The news triggered an outpouring of surprise and nostalgia among the old guard of the show's fanbase, who remember him as “one of the best actors in the role”, according to the BBC. When asked why his portrayal was so popular, Baker told The Guardian: “Because I was the silliest.”

Others, however, were less focused on nostalgia:

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