Chris Chibnall closed out his era of Doctor Who with an episode that went heavy on fan service, bringing back a number of actors from the show's history - but fans noticed one big presence was missing.


Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor between 1974 and 1981, did not appear in The Power of the Doctor, which seemed odd to some viewers given that Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann were all involved.

In addition, David Bradley returned as the First Doctor (standing in for the late William Hartnell), while Janet Fielding was back as Tegan Jovanka, one of the Fourth Doctor's companions.

Chibnall assured the Irish Mirror that Baker was approached about a role in the episode, but it ultimately came down to an issue of availability.

"We asked Tom, but sadly he could not do it. He was not available. Such a shame," he explained.

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The outgoing showrunner also addressed why no former Doctors or companions from the revived seasons – i.e., everything post-2005 – appeared in The Power of the Doctor, alluding to the upcoming 60th anniversary specials.

"I didn’t want to tread on anything that might be happening in future, so those ones felt the right ones. I wanted it to be classic Doctors and there’s not a huge amount of those," he continued.

As discussed in the video review of The Power of the Doctor, the focus on classic Doctor Who characters seemed quite fitting given this episode was part of the BBC's centenary celebration – which demands looking back further than just the last two decades.

That said, the inclusion of the earlier Doctors in the script was something of a gamble, as Chibnall wrote their cameo appearances on nothing more than hope that the actors would agree to them. Fortunately, they didn't disappoint.

"It was a bit of an instinct, and we asked them, and they said yes. I didn’t tell anyone we were going to be doing it, I just put it in the script. It’s about as metaphysical as the show’s been. I just thought this was the moment we can ask," he added.

"They were all really keen. We got incredible messages back. To see those people back on the set was an incredible thing."

Now, all eyes are looking towards Russell T Davies and his 60th anniversary specials, particularly after The Power of the Doctor's jaw-dropping ending which saw David Tennant return and Ncuti Gatwa's debut teased.

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