• Title: Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? An Autobiography
  • Author: Tom Baker
  • ISBN: 9780002558341
  • Page: 285
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Who On Earth Is Tom Baker An Autobiography One of the great British television phenomena of the s and s known to all who are now entering or firmly placed in mid life was the advent of Doctor Who This original and most British of telev
    One of the great British television phenomena of the 60 s and 70 s, known to all who are now entering or firmly placed in mid life, was the advent of Doctor Who This original and most British of television series chronicled the travels and tribulations of the famous Doctor Who and his merry band of followers Tom Baker, though not the first but probably the most unforgettOne of the great British television phenomena of the 60 s and 70 s, known to all who are now entering or firmly placed in mid life, was the advent of Doctor Who This original and most British of television series chronicled the travels and tribulations of the famous Doctor Who and his merry band of followers Tom Baker, though not the first but probably the most unforgettable of the actors who took on this role, has published an autobiography that not only lets us explore the man made famous but also the man himself Tom inhabited the world of television production agencies, the BBC with its cast of thousands, and the drinking haunts of Soho with the likes of Jeffery Bernard, Anthony Hopkins and actors for whom feast and famine were a daily way of life Tom, with his expressive face and kind eyes was born in Liverpool to a raucous and lively Irish family where love and a good respect for the teachings of the Catholic Church were able to prepare him for an interesting and fulfilling life In fact, Tom s early experiences with the church involved a trial at a monastery for an unsuccessful preparation as a priest and an insight into the daily workings of these institutions A slow starting but rapidly improving acting career was followed by time spent pulling pints and on London construction sites before the big break Then came with the casting agent and the meeting that allowed for instant world wide recognition for the famous Doctor Who that still exists today The style of the story is very much that of a black comedy with a marriage, children and a certain fixation with a lawnmower and the mowing of the grass around his own gravestone, making for an enjoyable read He is now happily married and living in a rural utopia outside of London, millions of miles and light years away from the hectic and all consuming career of both straight acting and in the television role that has made him famous in that 70 countries Brian Reinker

    One Reply to “Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? An Autobiography”

    1. nwhytevejournal/1742012Four years ago I listened to an abridged audio version of this book, read by the man himself; now I've finally read the whole thing, fourteen years after frenziedly speed-skimming a newly published copy in an Oxford bookshop without actually buying it. It is quite an extraordinary and painful book, by a man who doesn't much like himself and, to his continuing amazement, found in his early 40s that everyone suddenly liked him. Baker confesses many tales of personal betrayal [...]

    2. I first started reading this book back in the late '90s, but for some reason I gave up. Somewhere around the beginning of his time in the monastery I think. So I returned to the book, some ten years later, with some trepidation – maybe I'd given up on it because it just wasn't that good. In short, Tom Baker is nuts. He's bonkers, bats in the belfry, crazy. But he's also charming, funny and has both a genuinely interesting story to tell and an engaging and cheeky style with which to tell it. Wh [...]

    3. I've said before I'm not really one for autobiographies but this one was brilliant. It was both hilarious and tragic at the same time. It was so sad to read how Tom had so little connection with people, how he was unable to relate to anyone. His childhood seemed so sad, not because of the poverty, but rather cause of the great loneliness and self loathing that it produced. It was especially sad that someone who'd made so many childhoods so much fun didn't have that for himself. For me it was muc [...]

    4. Scripts notwithstanding, I've enjoyed every incarnation of The Doctor thus far, but I suspect the fourth will always be my favourite. With his booming voice, goggling eyes, shock of curling hair and enormous grin, he always seemed to be enjoying himself - a mostly benevolent, occasionally dangerous, wise and gleeful figure.So, what would the actor behind this larger-than-life figure be like?Frightened. Ashamed. Ignorant. Desperate. Obedient. Cowardly. Furious.Tom Baker's young life, his poverty [...]

    5. I gave this autobiography 2 stars not because it was poorly written particularly or due to a lack of interesting content- but because it strikes me as a sad story of a wounded, hollow man.Tom Baker is in the top ten of my all-time favorite actors due to his tenure as Doctor Who. I made a special effort to locate this book since most copies seem to be located across the Pond.Tom's life can pretty accurately be divided into 6 sections:1. Impoverished, rough childhood in Liverpool.2. The years he s [...]

    6. This is an odd book by a self-confessed odd character, never at ease with the world or himself and turning to acting as an escape from both. I found the book quite patchy in that there seemed to be holes in the story that Baker doesn't want filled in. What exactly happened to his first marriage that cost him a relationship with his kids? Was he an alcoholic? A lot of what he misses out means you are left to draw your own conclusions but Baker doesn't seem to mind if you do. I chuckled over a lot [...]

    7. WOW Okay, Tom's life is very unfortunate. And while I was interested, I realized I wanted more of the stories of his career and less about how he came to be. The first half of the book is his struggles with God in a religious upbringing, the third quarter is his struggles in military service. And while these stories are simultaneously heartbreaking and emotional, they are such a drag to read. It's not that he doesn't tell the story well, he does, injecting his trademark humor onto just about eve [...]

    8. At times infinitely mysterious and at other moments, startling in its honest revelation, Tom Baker's autobiography is without doubt one of most intriguing memoirs I've read by ( and about) an actor/performer. Like his most famous incarnation of The Doctor from the long-lived BBC series, Baker seems to be the " hero with a thousand faces," -- alternating between side-splitting memories about growing up in World War II- era Liverpool as a Catholic and heartbreaking memories of also enduring terrib [...]

    9. An intriguing read. You really can imagine Baker narrating it, not only because of his unmistakeable and captivating voice, but because the book reads like a series of anecdotes. Odd thoughts pop in and out of his mind throughout - it's like you're sat in a pub with him, listening to him reminisce.Of course it helps that he's lived a very interesting life: from a devout Catholic upbringing in WW2 ravaged Liverpool, to 8 years in a monastery, followed by national service and many financially unst [...]

    10. The earlier chapters of this book are hilarious (albeit crude humour much of the time) and wonderfully self-effacing. Knocking off one star because I felt it became a bit dull as he wrote about his time in the theatre, and he could have written more about his time as The Doctor. He only spends two chapters out of 20 (not counting the introduction) writing about his time on Doctor Who, in spite of his own admission that it was the best, happiest time of his life, to say nothing of the fact that i [...]

    11. Tragedy and humour, pathos and bathos, fact and fiction, wisdom and mischief, bawdyness and monasticism, it's all here, told in Tom's unique way of spinning a yarn. It'd be nice to read an updated autobiography as this book is quite old now!

    12. Along with many of my generation, Tom Baker was "my" Doctor Who. By this, I mean that he was the first Doctor I knew about and will always be the person I first think of as playing the role, despite Christopher Ecclestone's best efforts recently. Whilst those slightly older than I may recall William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee, they were before my time and I didn't enjoy anyone's roles as the Doctor as much after Tom Baker as I did his.I may not be alone in this remembrance of Tom Baker's Doctor Wh [...]

    13. At first, I just looked at Mr. Tom Baker as my favorite Doctor from the Doctor Who franchise.After reading this, I appreciate him more as a stage actor.

    14. Anyone who knows me will know how dear to my heart Doctor Who is, and Tom Baker was most definitely MY Doctor. I've been wanting to read this for many years, although I was hoping to track down the audiobook - sadly it is only available on cassette and so I plumped for the print (well, Kindle) version. Tom Baker is an anecdotalist par excellence, and this book is full of funny/sad stories about his life, though it is very much like reading a stream of consciousness in that it follows no particul [...]

    15. This took me entirely too long to read, mostly because after some time, it became painful. During the first few chapters, I was roaring with laughter and insisting on reading passages to others. I mistakenly assumed the whole book would have me laughing out loud.I soon realized that the child who joked to nuns that he'd prefer to be an orphan so he could receive exciting presents from America (during WWII), was probably every bit as lonely and maladjusted as that might suggest if taken seriously [...]

    16. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found multiple parts to be very humorous and engaging, I was left with the feeling of wondering, "who on earth is Tom Baker?" This book has the relaxed feeling of listening to someone share stories about their life down at the pub, where random elements and thoughts keep interjecting themselves. It is entertaining and gives some interesting insights but is never quite complete. I found elements of this story from his child hood and youth to be ver [...]

    17. I've been looking for this one for a while and, while it took a few pages to get into it, I ended up really enjoying it.Surreal and laugh-out-loud funny, this autobiography doesn't follow the usual pattern. It's really like Tom is speaking to you and it reflects his personal idiosyncracies and patterns. Once your brain clicks into the way he writes, it's a very cozy read although he is very honest in his story telling and lays his heart on his sleeve quite openly.As may be apparent from my other [...]

    18. All my life I have felt myself to be on the edge of things. All my life I have suffered from bad dreams. All my life I have had difficulty in knowing whether I am awake or in a nightmare. All my life I have had learning difficulties and been unable to grasp the point of what everybody else sees clearly. All my life I have entirely missed the point; and the turning, as I also have no sense of direction. This long period of uncertainty in the twilight land of the fuddled (it is now more than sixty [...]

    19. Great story about Tom's life. He wrote this when he was in his 60's and is now in his 80"s. Long live the forth Doctor!

    20. This is a great autobiography, but just by his nature the reader doesn't always know which stories to believe. It is kind of like a list of pup crawl stories written down. Some of it is pretty sad and he obviously had some difficult times (like the episodes with his first wife and in laws) and he is extremely self-deprecating. Overall though he has had a pretty good life and he knows it. It's also important to note that since this book was written his star has risen again with parts like Donald [...]

    21. I remember the book being rather depressing, as he put his melancholic side very much on display. The audio abridgement has, I think, got a decent balance between humour and morbidity, to the point that I was laughing out loud, to the dismay of fellow passengers.[return][return]There's not a lot here about Baker's time playing Doctor Who. There is a huge amount about his childhood and early life, hilarious and moving: the Liverpool Catholic education, the years in a monastery, the unwise early m [...]

    22. I would never ask Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? as I am a longtime fan. I might ask, "Who on earth is Matt Smith???" but I know exactly who Tom Baker is - simply the best Doctor Who ever! I was so happy to finally obtain a copy of this book. It is always nice to find out that one of your childhood heroes is a good person, and Tom Baker does not disappoint. He grew up Catholic, and his views on his Irish Catholic upbringing are funny, touching, and easy to relate to if you also grew up Catholic and/ [...]

    23. I have been in love with the series Doctor Who forever and so when the opportunity to learn more about the 4th Doctor came along, I couldn't pass it up. For many who grew up watching the original series Tom Baker is the iconic Doctor with his huge beautiful eyes, curly hair and goofy smile. Imagine finding out that he suffers from depression and a terrible sense of infiriority along with a self loathing as he describes it. Growing up poor in the town of Liverpool, England and raised in a strict [...]

    24. If you're looking for a bunch of behind the scenes Doctor Who stories, you won't find them here. In fact, you won't really find many stories pertaining to any of what most would consider big events in Tom Baker's life. But what you do get is a view into the mind of a man who was obviously going through a very rough time when the book was written. I sincerely hope he is doing better now because this book clearly paints the picture of a troubled man. The stories he tells give more insight into wha [...]

    25. A bittersweet, poignant, and often funny look at the life of the man who occupied the shoes of a certain Time Lord in the mid-late '70s. You can tell that Tom Baker is a very intelligent man, yet, despite his popularity as The Doctor, has almost crippling self-esteem issues. He admits as much and lays the blame for most of his misfortunes in life solely at his own feet, though I would argue his upbringing in Liverpool is more to blame to that than his own shortcomings.If you're looking for a beh [...]

    26. Really tough to get through , I'm a big who fan, a big baker fan, and a fan of biographies in general, but I could not finish this book. Partially being American I feel a lot of the references were lost on me but also I think there might be an insurmountable generation gap where certain things are discussed that are taken for granted as understood or references made that were jokes that I am unclear as to why they were jokes or if there were jokes at all. Definitely some interesting stories and [...]

    27. Between a three and a four star. This guy is a complete eccentric and there are some laugh out loud bits in this. However, he glossed over a lot of his life. The failed marriages, the lack of contact with his kids, his work post Dr Who. You don't really get to know him. And there are questions that remain unanswered. Was the waiter Anthony Hopkins? Was it his son? Who knows. He was the best Dr Who though. I did not buy it for the Dr Who section, but for those Whovians expecting a lot on this, yo [...]

    28. I happen to know that Tom Baker was thrown out of The Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama for getting a girl pregnant. I too was thrown out of that school, and I make no secret of it. The best Dr. Who actor, however, chooses not to reveal this particular truth. I wonder what else is missing from his autobiography? But a good read and, as a fellow Scouser, I appreciated reading how he was dragged up.

    29. You purchased this item on 29 Oct 2000. Don't see a review for it, though, so This was my favorite 'Doctor', and pretty much still is, and have read this book, which luved of course, as well as The Boy Who Kicked Pigs. As far as the tele, any who is better than no Who, but there is still one just the one and only Tom Baker; that Voice, that man, that legend. Saw on amazon US but did not see available on amazon uk

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