For a certain generation, Tom Baker is the one and only Doctor. Obviously, it’s sacrilege to say that in the Whovian universe of regeneration, which, as the original director of the show Waris Hussein tells us in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine, provided the magic ingredient that transformed a '60s sci-fi drama into a BBC classic for the ages.


But Baker’s years were memorable, his performance magisterial, and his tenure of the TARDIS the longest in the show's history.

In this issue we celebrate a TV landmark with a special issue largely devoted to Doctor Who. David Tennant reveals what it took to persuade him to return to the role, having done so much to revive the show alongside showrunner Russell T Davies, and explains why he and Davies have teamed up again for three fresh adventures.

Davies himself joins us for a conversation with Hussein. And we also bring together a companion from the past – Bonnie Langford – with a companion from the future, Millie Gibson, who will make her Who debut as Ruby Sunday this Christmas. Together they swap notes on what it takes to accompany a Time Lord across time and space.

Which brings us back to Baker, who gave Radio Times the rare honour of an interview just a few weeks shy of his 90th birthday. We sent broadcaster and Who fan Matthew Sweet to meet Baker. Like your editors, Sweet grew up with Baker's Doctor and found his childhood hero in charmingly mischievous form.

As Baker puts it, “Knowing anything is a bit dangerous when you play Doctor Who.” But don’t take that to mean he didn’t know what he was doing. As he makes clear in a candid interview, he has long enjoyed the power that came with the role. So to what does he attribute his success? “I found this performance, which I’ve done non-stop ever since... It’s been very successful so far.”

doctor who 60th radio times cover

Also in this week's Radio Times:

  • Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan reflects on the challenges he faces, how psychologist Steve Peters has helped him manage his emotions and his friendship with artist Damien Hirst.
  • Eleanor Tomlinson and Sam Heughan chat about working together for the first time in Channel 4’s new psychological thriller The Couple Next Door, the relief of it not being a period drama and working with intimacy coordinator Vanessa Coffey.
  • Speaking to the Radio Times Podcast: Romesh Ranganathan on why he never watches himself, living in a B&B after his dad went to prison and being racially abused at private school.

Doctor Who's first 60th anniversary special The Star Beast airs at 6:30pm on Saturday 25th November on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Classic episodes are available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who with a special issue of Radio Times. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.