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The Tale of Tom Baker & The Very Long, Very ‘Who’ Queue

During a panel at Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans (USA) David Tennant recalled a moment from his childhood while meeting the legendary Tom Baker that could only be described as a glimpse into his future. Is it just a small world or is there truly such a thing as fate? Or is Tom Baker just really a Time Lord?

The 46 year old Scottish actor who played the tenth Doctor was more than happy to answer fan questions last weekend while seated in a comfortable chair on a simple but cozy stage setting, overlooking the excited audience before him. After congratulating him on his ginger hair which he claims he will only have for another two months or so, it was time to get down to business. The questions asked spanned from “What’s the most Scottish thing about you?” to “Do you wish Jessica [Jones] would have tried harder to rehabilitate Kilgrave?”

When asked what it’s like to be so involved with a program he watched as a child, the actor reminisced a bit, much to the crowd’s delight.

“I had a poster of Tom Baker on my wall, signed on the bottom. He came to John Menzies, which is a bookshop in Glasgow. He came to John Menzies, in 1970-I’m-not-quite-sure-what, I went along and got the Doctor Who Monster Book which had a poster in the middle and Tom Baker signed it.” – David Tennant

A lovely memory, to be sure. However, what came next seems like an amazing coincidence. He continued, “Also in the queue that day, I have since found out, was [former show runner] Steven Moffat, would you believe? Also getting something signed.”

Image Sources: [Left], [Right] Baker at John Menzies, Glasgow 1970s
Is that coincidence not amazing enough for you? Wait, there is more to come.

“I only recently found out that there was somebody who missed it, who came too late with his book and didn’t get it signed that day […] Peter Capaldi turned up late. So yeah it’s quite weird that three of us, for whom Doctor Who has ended up being quite a large part of our life, were nearly in the same queue.” – David Tennant

The actor finished his thought by expressing how odd it felt to go from being a child fan, having books and posters, to being part of Doctor Who, playing the lead role, and having “a responsibility for in some sense”. He expressed, “it’s quite surreal and it keeps being quite surreal. Even now it’s quite surreal.”

Tennant isn’t the only one to remember being in queue for Tom Baker. In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine (#510) Steven Moffat also recalled the extraordinary event that took place that day.

“John Menzies, Glasgow, the 1970s. My friend Billy McColgan and I joined a massive queue, and waited for hours. And then in a swirl of hat and scarf was the real, actual Doctor Who. When my turn came, our conversation scintillated along the following lines: “What’s your name?” “Steven.” “Have a badge, Steven.” He handed me a Target Books badge, which I treasured for most of that week, and signed my copy of Planet of the Spiders, which I have to this day. I put my signed picture of Jon Pertwee inside it, and that’s where it remains. Years later I discovered that a little David Tennant was also in that queue, and that after the event dispersed, and Doctor Who flew off in his TARDIS, there was some scary Scottish shouting and skidding through the door, with a general air of being Far Too Late and a pair of terrifying eyebrows, came Peter Capaldi.” – Steven Moffat

We still don’t know former Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi’s accounts of the day. Just what made the actor late on that magical day? What matter of great importance had kept him from meeting the world’s favourite Time Lord? We may never know!

[Sources: David Tennant News ,  DWM #510 , Radio Times]