Time in the TARDIS: Baker & McGann


By Amanda Rock

The Ninth Doctor was MY Doctor. Christopher Eccleston captured everything I wanted in the Doctor: brooding, intelligent and wry. I am of the new generation of Whovians, those who caught on late in life, with the latest regeneration (har) of the popular British series. It’s not all bad, there’s a lot of fun stuff to buy like TARDIS slippers and earrings. But I’ve always been a little jealous of die-hard fans who have been following from the beginning or staying up late to catch reruns on Saturday nights.

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 was my first chance to geek out properly – my first Comic Con and I was lucky enough to be selected as a guest blogger! I was more than thrilled to cover the Paul McGann and Colin Baker panel, budding Whovian that I am. I made my way through versions of the Doctor and TARDISes to find an empty seat. I did not know what to expect but there was a happy, excitable buzz. I was pleased the panel started with clips of the Sixth and Eighth Doctor, shown on large screens on each side of the stage. I wasn’t too familiar with the previous incarnations and this was a wonderful introduction.

Colin Baker, who played the Doctor in a vivid, colorful jacket in the ‘80s, and Paul McGann, the Doctor from a 1996 made-for-TV movie, took the stage to the sound of wild applause. Once seated on the couch (a rather deep couch, much to the chagrin of Baker) the two Doctors entertained questions from fans who lined up by the stage. My favorite question was from a young woman with a service dog. She politely asked if Baker and McGann would give the dog a treat, stating that she knew they liked dogs, referring to K9, the Doctor’s robot canine companion. Both were gracious and charming, indulging the black lab to a few treats. Baker even let the dog take a biscuit from his own mouth. The fans were asking great questions, getting to the all the stuff I was curious about.
“Where should I start watching Doctor Who,” asked a youngster, baiting both Baker and McGann.

The fanboy in each of them was gleefully revealed with the answer. “Start at the beginning,” they insisted.

“Then you’ll understand why we loved being the Doctor!” exclaimed Baker.

The answer to the question, “Who is your favorite villain?” prompted the reply of “Slitheen and the Silence” from Baker. Mcgann’s response, “the Weeping Angels,” terrifying angel statues that come to life when you close your eyes, was popular, as well. A huge cheer from the audience erupted when Baker insisted the Weeping Angels would be easy to conquer by simply alternating blinking eyes.

Both cherished their short-lived time as the Doctor and helped move the series forward in their own way. The world of Doctor Who (or the “Who-niverse,” if you prefer) is better off from these two charming fellows embodying our favorite Time Lord. I’m looking forward to traveling back in time to explore older versions of the Doctor, and yes, I’m starting from the beginning.

Amanda Rock is an Official Salt Lake Comic Con Blogger. Check out her work on Twitter!

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