Colin Baker played the sixth Doctor in the long running series Doctor Who from 1984-1986. The star of television, audio books, print, stage and even video games, Colin Baker is the only actor to have played the Doctor in each of those genres. I caught up with Colin for an interview at Rhode Island ComicCon.
Hello Colin, a pleasure to meet you! Thank you for chatting with Shallow Graves for a bit.
Colin: My great pleasure, nice to talk to you.
What do you think about the resurgence of popularity for Doctor Who, and how has it affected you?
Colin: Well, it’s always been popular, of course. It was off the air in England in 1989, and amazingly, for the next ten years, remained almost as popular. There were still conventions; there were still fans demanding more. We were doing lots of audio stuff with Big Finish. So, Doctor Who has really never gone away.
How would you compare the audios to the Doctor Who show?
Colin: The audios are lovely because I look the same. I look just the same one audio as I did in the 1980s. (Laughs)
How did the audios affect your character?
Colin: Well, I had the chance to develop my character which was quite nice. It was something I wasn’t able to do, in the way I wanted to do in the 80s. So, Big Finish has enabled me to do that, and that’s fantastic.
I have recently heard that you are in production for a new show called “The Mild Bunch” with Doctor Who comics writer Tony Lee and Frazer Hines (Jamie in Doctor Who). What can you tell us about it?
Colin: Oh well, Tony Lee has written a lovely script which they have asked me if I’m interested in doing, and I said yes. The screenplay is based on a story Tony came up with Frazer Hines called The Mild Bunch, this is very much an homage to 50s westerns like High Noon or Rio Bravo. But, that’s all there is at the moment. I’m hoping that it will happen, but I don’t know yet.
You have also been working with the fans recently starring in “The Shadows of a Stranger”.
Colin: Yes, it was a fan film I did a bit in which is yet to be released. It’s a fun re-telling of the Christmas Carol.
You also made a film for the fans, The Five (ish) Doctors Re-Boot in conjunction with the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special “Day of the Doctor”. I read that it “was both a satisfying in-joke for Whovians and a naughty dig at the neediness of actors.”
Colin: Now, that was something! That was Peter Davidson’s idea. He wrote the script and we [Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann] worked on it and came up with what I believe is a lovely piece of work. And really we did it for the fans…they were being deprived of the best doctors for heaven sake so we gave them to them.
You and the new incarnation of the Doctor played by Peter Capaldi share something in common. You both played characters in Doctor Who before landing the part of The Doctor himself. How was it moving into the lead role?
Colin: Well, I’m an actor, so whatever script comes in front of me is what I do next. So, there was no major leap for me because I’ve done that all my career. Play one part one week and another next week. So, in those terms, it was business as usual.
Do you prefer performing in theater, film, or television?
Colin: Really it comes down to whichever I haven’t been doing much of lately. Because I have been doing so many conventions because of the 50th anniversary, I’m quite keen to get back to television again. But, I’m just not free. I’m already booked up until this time next year doing these kinds of things. I like it though. It keeps me going.
We appreciate you giving us some time from your busy schedule Colin, and we look ahead to your upcoming events.
You can catch Colin at various conventions and Doctor Who events across the world. Don’t forget to check him out in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.