Who On Earth Is Tom Baker?
Tom's autobiography: excerpt from chapter 17
© Tom Baker 1997
About the Daleks
By now I was getting to know Lis Sladen and Ian Marter rather well and life became full of fun. When we were in hotels or pubs on location we usually had our meals together and discussed the day's filming and swopped ideas for the next day's work with our director. Lis sometimes talked about the Dalek stories she had done with Jon Pertwee and we all looked forward to Terry Nation's script 'Genesis of the Daleks'. I was already meeting small numbers of fans who constantly wanted to talk about my attitude towards Daleks. Of all the monsters in all the stories, I have no doubt that the Daleks were the most successful. They could not go upstairs, of course, and they always screeched at the top of their voices about how they were about to destroy me but somehow, with the help of Lis Sladen and the writers, I always escaped them.
When we were rehearsing at BBC North Acton, the chaps playing the Daleks never wore their top bits. This meant that during the scenes when were threatening me, they held out their right arms in place of the regular sink plungers. They took it all very seriously, of course, and this only added to the fun. Very often the cast of Z Cars would creep into the back of the rehearsal room and watch us with delight. They particularly liked my turn-of-the-century style of pretending to be frightened. Frank Windsor told me that I reminded him very much of his Great-aunt Mimi who never married because she was frightened of men, whom she saw as aliens from another planet. I was very flattered by this and I filed away the idea that perhaps, if they wouldn't let me play Lady Bracknell, I could do Miss Prism in the style of Frank Windsor's Aunt Mimi.