Happy 85th Birthday to “Doctor Who” Star Tom Baker!

Each week, our Sci-Fi Sunday post celebrates an iconic science fiction film, program, actor or character, and this week we are turning our attention to the most famous of all Doctor Who‘s, Tom Baker. Although he is most famous as the time-traveling Gallifreyan, Baker’s career has spanned over 40 years, with the notoriously witty actor earning fans in everything from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad to the sketch comedy series Little Britain (for which he served as the bemused narrator). But it will be his 1974-1981 reign as the Fourth Doctor that Baker will always be most associated with.

To commemorate this milestone birthday, I wanted to share some of my favorite Baker-related Doctor Who videos. I think you’ll agree that they showcase his warmth and sense of humor:

Prime Computer Ads

In 1980, Tom Baker and then-wife Lalla Ward (who portrayed Time Lady Romana on the series) appeared in a series of ads for Prime Computers. This fun-filled promotions serve as lost episodes of Doctor Who that are more delightful than a pocketful of jelly babies.

1979 Doctor Who Season Promotion

To promote the 1979 season of Doctor Who (and the Daleks returning to the show), the BBC commissioned this fascinating advertisement that includes otherwise unavailable footage. As low-budget as the program itself, this is an example of how the classic version of the show was advertised at the peak of its popularity.

New Zealand Marketing Campaign

In 1997, Tom Baker returned to his most-memorable role for in a marketing campaign for the New Zealand Superannuation Services. All of these are featured above, proving that you can’t keep the good Doctor down.

Seaside Special

The UK TV show Seaside Special featured a memorable 1976 installment in which Baker popped by (in full character attire, giant scarf and all) to promote the series and a then-ongoing Doctor Who exhibition…which I would love to travel back in time to visit!

Afternoon Plus

To learn more about the man behind the Doctor, I encourage you to spend an hour with this vintage episode of Thames TV’s Afternoon Plus interview program in which Tom Baker has a candid discussion about his career and time in the Tardis.

Share your thoughts on all things Tom Baker and Doctor Who in the comments!

Previously on MovieFanFare:
Travel Through Time to the Disco Era with Doctor Who
Tom Baker’s First Season of Doctor Who Hits Blu-ray