Tom Baker On The 50th Anniversary Special: "I Contemplated Not Doing It"

Tom Baker has spoken out about taking part in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebrations, and his surprise appearance in The Day Of The Doctor. Tom, who played the fourth incarnation of the Time Lord in Doctor Who, was talking to an invited audience of journalists and bloggers at the launch of Horror Channel's WHO ON HORROR season, which sees specially selected adventures featuring the first seven Doctors airing on the channel for the first time. During the Q&A session, Tom confessed that he actually came close to turning the appearance down. 

"I did contemplate not doing it, and I was persuaded by a girl called Caroline Skinner who was the producer," he said. "And she came to meet me in Rye at the Mermaid Hotel, a lovely antique place, and she begged me to be in it. She’s a very persuasive girl and she was very charming about it and said I could tamper with the script and whatever, and so I said yes to her."
He continued in a more tongue-in-cheek and surreal vein, "Anyway, then the script arrived and I didn’t much care for the script, so I rang the BBC and said, 'Get me Caroline Skinner.' They said, 'I’m so sorry, she’s not with us any more.' And it was only later I found out she’d been murdered, by someone else in the BBC, I suppose, who was after her job. And I never heard of her again."

Tom appeared in a short scene at the end of the special alongside Matt Smith. 
"Going to Cardiff on a winter’s morning at four o’clock couldn’t possibly be fun," he said. "But [Matt] was nice, and I didn’t understand the cameras any more because of the HD, so I was a bit uneasy. But Matt Smith was a charming young man, and we did this little scene which people liked a lot."

But as to the identity of his character, whether he represented a museum curator or an older version of the Fourth Doctor or something else entirely, Tom was as much in the dark as the rest of the audience:
"Well, typical of the BBC, nobody knows. He could be anything, he could be the next Director General for all I know." 

Finally, Tom was asked if he was aware that his appearance in the Special had upset the other surviving classic Doctors so much?

"Oh, I hope so, yes!" he confessed, flashing that broad, trademark grin. "Yes, that really pleased me."

Horror Channel begin their run of classic Doctor Who episodes with the WHO ON HORROR launch weekend starting on Good Friday (18th April) at 7pm BST with the first ever adventure An Unearthly Child starring William Hartnell. This leads into a classic marathon from Saturday 19th featuring one story from each of the Doctors across the Easter weekend.  There will then be weekday double-bills in daytime and evening slots with stories shown in chronological order starting on Easter Monday (21st April). 

UK viewers can find Horror Channel on Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138

And for anyone worried, Caroline Skinner is, of course, alive and well!