Of the 13 people who’ve played the Time Lord known as “The Doctor” on Doctor Who over the last 55 years, Tom Baker — the fourth — remains among the most popular, if not top dog. With his curly mop of hair, big, googly eyes, and eccentric mien, the English actor manned the brainy English sci-fi role from 1974 to 1981, sandwiched in between the comparatively staid Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison. The role has stuck with Baker over the years; he even appeared in the 50th anniversary episode in 2013, though as a curator, not the Doctor. And now, as per EW, he’s even co-written a Doctor Who novel, due out early next year.
Entitled Scratchman, which Baker has written with author James Goss, it’s essentially a novelization of a film that was never made. During his Who reign, Baker and actor Ian Marter worked on a script for a big budget movie, which would find the Doctor trying to save a town from murderous scarecrows. There would have been robots known as Cybors, the Greek god pan, and the titular boogeyman — a devil god villain. The action-packed climax, with an appearance from the dreaded, scary-voiced Daleks, would take place on a giant pinball table.
During the early days of the show in the mid-’60s, there were a pair of moderately budgeted, fairly dumbed-down, non-canonical Doctor Who movies, starring Peter Cushing and in both cases featuring him battling the Daleks. But despite Baker’s efforts, he was never able to get any financiers to fund his own project, which has laid dormant ever since.
Doctor Who is now yet again cool, with Jodie Whittaker taking over as the first female Doctor. So it’s a good time for Baker to have dusted off a project that might never exist on the silver screen. Although who knows? It has been 52 years since the last big screen Doctor Who film, after all.