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Real Time | Interviews | Gary Russell
Brilliant Baker
Gary Russell Picture Why do you think Colin Baker has suddenly become, according to the polls, the most popular audio Doctor? What have you done to the character to make him such a hit?

If I was to be entirely egotistical, I would say the thing that we have done that has made the Sixth Doctor popular is that, unlike on television, we’ve given him some good scripts. Beyond that there is nothing.

Colin is, I think, one of the finest actors around today. He was brilliant back then and he’s brilliant now. The difference is to do with the scripts and the attitude. Between now and 1986, I don’t think we’ve done anything different.

I think what has happened is, back in 1986, coming out of the Peter Davison era, there was a very conscious decision to make the Sixth Doctor a type of character. I think that went against the grain of what Colin wanted to do. It went against the grain in some respects of what the character of the Doctor is generally, so what we’ve done is strip away that ridiculous baggage.

All we’ve said to Colin is, "Do the Doctor as you’d like to have done him back in 1986." So without those artificial constraints he is allowed to be more Colin, he is allowed to be more Doctorish.

Nowhere in the world will you find a bigger fan of Doctor Who than Colin, a man who believes in the show, believes in the concepts, understands the scripts, has so much energy and so much enthusiasm for what he’s doing. You get him into that studio and there is a man who’s just vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom.

That’s not to say that you don’t get that with Peter, Sylvester and Paul, because you do, but with Colin there is just that determination not to do Doctor Who like it was done in 1986.

So I think that’s what we’ve done, we’ve allowed the Sixth Doctor to be the real Sixth Doctor with no baggage, and maybe that’s why he’s popular now. I think people are realising that, if anything was wrong with the TV series in ’86, it was that the costume and the stories and the baggage blotted out or covered up what a great Doctor Colin was. With that all stripped away we’re just getting pure raw Colin Baker and I think that’s what makes the Sixth Doctor now very popular.

Also, we’ve given him Evelyn and I think Colin and Maggie bounce off each other very well. They’re very happy working together. I mean, I know Colin loves working with Nicola and Bonnie as well, but there is a definite frisson between Colin and Maggie and that lifts everything.

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