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Tom Baker returns to Doctor Who for Shada cameo

Tom Baker has reprised the role of the Fourth Doctor to help complete the unfinished Doctor Who story Shada.

Filming on the Douglas Adams-penned episodes – intended to round off the show’s seventeenth series – was abandoned in 1979 due to industrial action.

The new release from BBC Worldwide, announced last month, combines a specially-filmed scene featuring Baker with original live-action footage and new animation.

Baker filmed his appearance at BBC Television Centre earlier this year, with the scene using Adams’ original script as the Fourth Doctor wonders:

“I expect that sometime in the future – in about 200 years’ time – someone will meet me and say is that really the Doctor? He seemed such a nice old man.”

Of his cameo appearance, Baker said:

“Shada was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories. I have many fond memories of shooting the location scenes in Cambridge, and it was disappointing not to finish the story in the studio.”

Apart from the 1993 Children in Need special Dimensions in Time, Baker has not played the Fourth Doctor on-screen since leaving the role in 1981. However, the actor has reprised the role in recent years for several Big Finish audio productions, and in 2013 made a cameo in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor as the mysterious Curator.

On his latest return to Doctor Who, Baker said:

“When I was doing Doctor Who it was the realisation of all my childhood fantasies … so I took to it like a duck to water and I still do.

“I loved doing Doctor Who because it was life to me…. My real life was really rather drab… I used to dread the end of rehearsal…

“I never left (Doctor Who) and that’s why I can’t stay away from it.” 

 As well as returning for the new live-action scene, Baker’s voice also features in new animated sequences alongside several members of the original cast, including Lalla Ward as Romana.

Shada is available from today (Friday 24th November) as a digital download and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 4th December.

[Source: Doctor Who TV]