Payday Loans
George Baker (1931-2011)

  1. Stephen Boyd, Ben-Hur, 1958.      Answering the open call and test, he was asked on-camera: “Have you driven chariots?”“Not yet!”
  2. Sean Connery, Dr No, 1962.
  3. Neil McCarthy, Doctor Who #102: The Power of Kroll, TV, 1978-1979.      Director Norman Stuart changed his mind about Philip Madoc as Thawn and gave it to Baker - who suddenly opted out. McCarthy took over during Doc4 Tom Baker’s search for The Key To Time - on the third moon of Delta Magna. Where else? I often met Baker when he was part of the Salisbury Arts Theatre repertory company during my first journalistic years on The Salisbury Journal.
  4. Richard Johnson, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, 1978.       When  Baker had to quit, director Ralph Thomas called up the star of two of his Rank  films (Deadlier Than The Male, 1966; Some Girls Do, 1968)  to take over SA police Inspector Watford  Featuring  David Nvien as the hoodlum called  Ivan the Terrible, this was the director’s 41st and final film.  Elke Sommer, who replaced the late Jean Seberg in the caper, had  also co-starred with Johnson in Deadlier Than The Male. Instead of this  Inspector Warford, Baker found  fame as Ruth Rendell’s Detective Chief Inspector Reg Wexford on  TV, 1987-2000. 
  5.  Frank Windsor, Doctor Who #128 : The King’s Demons, 1983.      The 80s’ scandal-ridden producer John Nathan-Taylor’s usual suspects were flagpoled for Sir Ranulf Fitzwilliam at the court of King John, circa 1215… Baker, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Julian Glover, Michael Jayston, Peter Jeffrey, Dinsdale Landen, Alfred Lynch, TP McKenna, Clifford Rose, Peter Vaughan, Edward Woodward. Plus three Z Cars cops: booming Brian Blessed, Irish James Ellis… and the quiet Windsor.
  6. Patrick Stewart, Lifeforce, 1984.
  7. Aubrey Morris, Lifeforce, 1984.
  8. John Normington, Doctor Who #135: The Caves of Androzani, TV, 1984.       Baker, Joss Ackland, Patrick Allen, Ian Bannen, Julian Glover, Martin Jarvis, Michael Jayston were all on the Morgus wish list.
  9. Martin Jarvis, Doctor Who #138: Vengeance on Varos, TV, 1984.       Baker, Jarvis, Keith Barron, Brian Blessed, John Carson, Frank Finlay, Julian Glover, John Hallam, Terrence Hardiman, John Hurt, Derek Jacobi, Michael Jayston, Dinsdale Landen, Ian McKellen, Anthony Valentine, and David Warner were the 16 choices for the beleaguered Governor of Varos, a kind of Pontius Pilate.
  10. Terence Alexander, Doctor Who #139: The Mark of the Rani, 1984.      Baker, Joss Ackland, Harry Andrews, Bernard Archard, Robin Bailey, Ian Bannen, Geoffrey Bayldon, John Carson, Peter Cushing, Allan Cuthbertson, Frank Finlay, Robert Flemyng, Michael Gough, Dinsdale Landen, TP McKenna, Donald Pickering, Peter Sallis, John Standing, Patrick Stewart, Peter Vaughan… and the Z Cars cops James Ellis and Jeremy Kemp - 23 contenders for Lord Ravenworth. Phew! Standing was the most suitable as he was the the fourth baronet in his family’s line.

  11.  John Stratton, Doctor Who #140: The Two Doctors, TV, 1985.    The two Time Lords were Doc2 Patrick Troughton and Doc 6, the short-lived Colin Baker. Shockeyes were more plentiful. The 22 prospects were: Baker, Stratton, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Brian Blessed, Denholm Elliott, James Ellis, Frank Finlay, Ronald Fraser, Michael Gothard, Don Henderson, Donald Houston, Freddie Jones, Jeremy Kemp, Roy Kinnear, Ronald Lacey, TP McKenna, Aubrey Morris, Donald Pleasence, Peter Sallis, George Sewell, Peter Vaughan.
  12. Laurence Payne, Doctor Who #140: The Two Doctors, TV, 1985.     Director Peter Moffatt shuffled another 16 guys for the dastardly Dastari, genetically experimenting on the Androgum race. Baker, Joss Ackland, Bernard Archard, James Bree, Michael Craig, Peter Cushing, Anton Diffring, Neil Hallett, Bernard Hepton, Peter Jeffrey, Freddie Jones, Jeremy Kemp, Clifford Rose, Nigel Stock, John Woodnutt. The semi-retired Payne won and joined the two (?) Time Lords, Doc2 Patrick Troughton and Doc 6, the short lived Colin Baker.
  13. William Gaunt, Doctor Who #142: Revelation of the Daleks, 1985.     For the second time, 25 actors were up for a single rôle… in a Doctor flaming Who. Preposterous! An unlikely choice for a mercenary, Gaunt was selected late in the game after an exhausting Orcini search through Joss Ackland, Ray Brooks, James Ellis, John Fraser, Peter Gilmore, Denis Lill, Philip Madoc, Peter Vaughan… Plus survivors of the astonishing army of 203 candidates for just 18 roles in Lifeforce the year before: Baker, Tom Adams, John Carson, Frank Finlay, Julian Glover, Michael Gothard, Del Henney, Peter Jeffrey, TP McKenna, Patrick Mower, Clifford Rose, Patrick Stewart, Nigel Stock, Anthony Valentine, David Warner and Frank Windsor.
  14. Michael Craig, Doctor Who #143: The Trial Of A Time Lord, TV, 1986.     The role of Commodore Travers in the third of four chapters (lasting the entire season) was one of many script sent to Baker. So many, he decided to write his own. Still in a drawer somewhere.
  15. George Sewell, Doctor Who #148: Remembrance of the Daleks, 1988.      Aunty searched for fascist leader Ratcliffe among Joss Ackland, Kenneth Cope, Peter Gilmore, Bernard Hill, Glyn Houston, Stratford Johns… and survivors of that 1984 Lifeforce army: Baker, Keith Barron, Steven Berkoff, John Carson, Kenneth Colley, Del Henney, Ronald Lacey, TP McKenna, David Warner, Frank Windsor. Then difference beintg that Who was science fiction, Lifeforce was science fart.
  16. Ronald Fraser, Doctor Who #149: The Happiness Patrol, 1988.      If the cap fits… Sixteen actors, from the rarely changing Whoverse casting register were seen for the same three roles. Fraser won Joseph C from Baker, Keith Barron, John Carson, Peter Cellier, Kenneth Cope, Frank Finlay, Nigel Hawthorne, Glyn Houston, William Lucas, Michael Robbins, Clifford Rose, Moray Watson, Frank Windsor.
  17. Innocent, Doctor Who #149: The Happiness Patrol, 1988. Innocent became Gilbert M from the same group…
  18. John Normington, Doctor Who #149: The Happiness Patrol, 1988.     … and Normington was selected for Trevor Sgma instead of any of the others…
  19. James Ellis, Doctor Who #152: Battlefield, 1989.      Also short-listed for Peter Warmsly opposite Doc7 Sylvester McCoy in the final episode of Nicholas Courtney’s Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart were Baker, Joss Ackland, Geoffrey Bayldon, John Carson, Kenneth Colley, Freddie Jones, Ronald Lacey and David Warner. But producer John Nathan-Taylor had been determined to land the Irish Ellis since the 1980 start of his here ending scandals tenure. JNT got Baker much earlier - as Login in Doc4 Tom Baker’s #111: Full Circle, 1980. But, as you will have noticed… never again…

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