Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television

Tom Baker returns as Doctor Who’s mysterious Curator

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For the first time since his surprising appearance at the climax of the 50th anniversary Doctor Who TV story “The Day of the Doctor,” Tom Baker has reprised the role of the mysterious Curator in an audio drama for Big Finish Productions.

Considered by many – but never confirmed on screen – to be a future incarnation of the Doctor, the Curator will take a pivotal role in the forthcoming Eighth Doctor full-cast series, Doctor Who: Stranded, making his first introduction in the box set due for release in July 2020 but released early on June 17.

The TARDIS is gone. Stranded in one time and place, the Doctor, Liv and Helen seek refuge in Baker Street. But the house has changed: they now have neighbours – not all of them welcoming. And someone has a dire warning for the future.  

The Doctor and friends face their greatest challenge yet: living one day after another, in 2020 London. 

On coming back to the Curator, actor Tom Baker said: “Who would have thought that doing that little scene written for me all those years ago would have such repercussions years and years later? A lot of fans were intrigued by it, and here we are at last doing something else with him.  

“We had to have a little discussion about how to do it. The lines as they are written are very evocative but they don’t mean exactly what they say. Am I being deliberately evasive, or am I playing a part? Whichever way I look at it, the language remains compelling.” 

Producer David Richardson added: “Stranded is Doctor Who, but it’s also a contemporary drama… and present-day Earth is precisely where the Curator resides, so it was an irresistible idea to have him step into this series. We approached Steven Moffat with the idea and he was very enthusiastic – giving us some insights to the character which were incredibly useful! The Curator joins River Song, new UNIT, The Paternoster Gang and Missy at Big Finish – fantastic Steven Moffat creations that have gained an extended life on audio.”

Doctor Who: Stranded 1 comprises four stories:  

  • “Lost Property” by Matt Fitton — Trying to find a way to resume his travels, the Doctor calls in some old favours. As the residents get to know the new arrivals, something else finds its way into Baker Street, seeding suspicion. Helen meets a man with a very familiar face – and a terrible warning. 
  • “Wild Animals” by John Dorney — After weeks of London living, some of the TARDIS crew are finding it easier to adjust than others. Liv has found a new friend, but Helen is worried about the Doctor. And when a tragic crime takes place, the Time Lord must learn the limits of his powers. 
  • “Must-See TV” by Lisa McMullin — There are new arrivals in Baker Street: Sergeant Andy Davidson, and the helpful Mr Bird. The Doctor isn’t happy that someone else in the house is more useful than him. When the residents’ TVs start to malfunction, he suspects foul play. Someone is watching… 
  • “Divine Intervention” by David K Barnes — As the Doctor becomes desperate, Helen and Liv advise him to accept their situation. Liv makes a date – but gets more than she bargains for when the whole household comes along. And when a threat from the future finally arrives, the Doctor is placed in real danger. It’s time for the truth to emerge…

Paul McGann stars as the Doctor, alongside Hattie Morahan (Helen Sinclair), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka), Rebecca Root (Tania Bell), Tom Price (Sergeant Andy Davidson) and Clive Wood (Mr Bird).

“The more we explored this large ensemble, the more excited we got – we’ve found, I think, a very different way of telling Doctor Who stories,” Richardson said.

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