Saturday, 13 May 2017

GEOFFREY BAYLDON IS THE DOCTOR. 'WHO' DID YOU SAY...?



GEOFFREY BAYLDON died on Wednesday,
which is a shame not only for his family & friends, but
also fans of his portrayal of CATWEAZLE.  Apparently,
he was offered the role of DOCTOR WHO twice;  the first
time in 1963 when they were looking for someone to play the
part that eventually went to WILLIAM HARTNELL, and
the second time when Hartnell left the show in '66.  Had he
accepted, it's interesting to wonder whether he'd have con-
tinued as the first Doctor, or another version entirely.
'What ifs' are always fascinating, eh?

When an actor is so established in a role from the
beginning, it's always difficult (if not impossible) to later
imagine anyone else in the part who would be as effective
in the same way, but there are two exceptions to that in my
mind, the second of which I only just remembered as I type
this.  Let's deal with the second one first, eh?  I think actor
STANLEY BAKER could probably have played JAMES
BOND as effectively as SEAN CONNERY.  At least, I
imagine he could've, and it's not often you can say
that about a role so dominated by another.

Baker...Stanley Baker...

Baker's widow said that he had been offered the
role of Bond in 1961, but didn't want to commit to a 3-
movie deal.  Imagine it for yourself:  it's surprisingly easy
to 'see' Stan B in any of Connery's Bond films.  However,  I
digress.  The other instance is the very first one I thought of
Geoffrey Bayldon as Doctor Who.  I have absolutely no dif-
ficulty in envisioning him in all the Hartnell episodes, a fact
which makes me feel somewhat disloyal as I'm a huge fan
of Hartnell's portrayal.  Had Bayldon played The Doctor
however, we'd have had the same character, but with-
out the fluffed lines that WH was prone to (due to
illness it has to be said, so not his fault).

What about the rest of you faithful Criv-ites who
were around at the 'Dawn of The Doctor' ?  Can you
too see Geoffrey in the part of the time-travelling titan,
or am I spouting my usual load of old pants?  Feel free to
give me a piece of your mind (but only if you can spare it)
should you disagree with my 'retroactive recasting' of the
role of the Guardian from Gallifrey.  Go on, join in and
let's have some fun around here, chums!  (Before
The DALEKS exterminate the lot of us.)

(H'mm, Geoffrey from Gallifrey has a nice ring
   to it.  Maybe that's the Doctor's real name.)  

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loved Catweazle he played that so well. Can not work the Doctor roll out though time has the better of me there would have to zone in on it!

Terence

Kid said...

Well, when you feel like it, T, zone in to your heart's content - then let me know what you think about the idea of GB as DW.

Dougie said...

In 2003 and 2005, there were two Big Finish audios where Geoffrey Bayldon played a version of the First, Hartnell Doctor. I haven't listened again to them since then; I do remember that there's a strong streak of Magical Realism that I don't care for in DW.

Kid said...

Yes, I mentioned the two Big Finish CDs in the comments section of the previous post, D, but I've never heard them. I'll have to track them down. When you say 'Magical Realism', do you mean in DW in general, or the two CDs in particular? Either way, feel free to elaborate.

Colin Jones said...

I was listening to the obituary programme "Last Word" on Radio 4 yesterday and there was no mention of Geoffrey Bayldon - obviously he wasn't considered famous or notable enough to be included. That wouldn't have been the case if he'd been the first or second Doctor !

Kid said...

I actually heard his death announced several times on the Radio 4 news on the Thursday, CJ, so he wasn't ignored. I suspect the episode of Last Word is a repeat from Sunday's (or whenever it's first broadcast) edition, or that it was already recorded when news of GB's death came in. I'd be surprised if his death isn't mentioned in the next new edition. (Edit: Just checked, and it was a new programme, so I assume it was recorded before Geoffrey's death was announced.)

Colin Jones said...

Perhaps GB's death will be mentioned on next week's programme but Last Word has included people who had died only hours before the show was broadcast. They like to be as up-to-date as possible so yesterday's edition definitely wasn't recorded before GB's death on Wednesday. I'd never heard of any of the people on yesterday's programme but it seems they were all considered more interesting than Geoffrey Bayldon.

LeicesterJim said...

The first Doctor will always be William Hartnell, but I would have loved to see Bayldon in the Five Doctors instead of Richard Hurndall.

Kid said...

Were their deaths mentioned in the news to the same extent as GB's 'though, CJ? (I don't think I've ever heard of them either.) Perhaps because his got more attention (mentioned on TV, radio & newspapers), they felt that would 'tide him over' 'til the next programme?

******

Of course he will, LJ, that's beyond dispute. Only saying that I don't find it impossible to imagine Geoffrey in the role, which is not something I can do with other well-known roles if I try and imagine other actors in them.

John Pitt said...

Firstly, I have to say how much Geoffrey is looking like an old Bill in that photo and secondly, yes, I certainly could envisage his taking over from Bill as the first Doctor after the Tenth Planet, no disrespect to Pat, whose Doctor I also grew to love. As for Bill's fluffs, - as a kid, I NEVER noticed them and it was, after all, a KID'S programme back then. In real life, people fluff their speech, so you could well expect an eccentric old scientist to talk like that!
Anyway, GB was a fine actor and he could definitely have done justice to the rôle!
( I can also see the Stanley Baker as the Shcottish Bond working too! )

John Pitt said...

Ah, now ,that's interesting, looking at his work on IMDB, not only did he appear in 3 episodes of DW, but also in Worzel Gummidge as the Crowman! No wonder I used to get WG and Carweazle mixed up!

Kid said...

The occasional fluff is understandable, JP - even the two stars of my favourite comedy show, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, sometimes stumbled over their lines. And you're right about not noticing them as a kid. However, as an adult (allegedly), I find WH's fluffs very frequent, and you can see that he clearly doesn't understand exactly what he's saying sometimes. However, Dr. Who was (and still is) made by the drama department of the BBC, not the children's, and it was (so I'm led to believe) intended to be a show for the family, not just kids. Incidentally, I've just learned that David Bradley as the first Doctor is rumoured to be Capaldi's 'travelling companion' in the 2017 Christmas Special. Do the BBC read this blog, do you think? I suggested Bradley should play the first Doctor 'for real' about three and a half years ago. Let's hope it's true.

John Pitt said...

I know you did, was it really 3 and a half years ago already?!?!
And I, too, would like to see that!
Another fluff I never noticed as a kid was Pat's shouting, "Go over to sexual air supply!" ( instead of sectional )!

Kid said...

November 2013 was when I suggested the idea, JP, so yes indeed, 3 and a half years ago. Nowadays I'd need an air supply if were having - oh no, I can't say that word - I'm a prude.

Philip Crawley said...

Sad to hear of the passing of Mr Bayldon as I have very fond memories of his Catweazle, and on re-watching them all on DVD last year I think they stand the test of time and duly took me back in time! Always been a fan of his, first saw him in To Sir With Love I think, and enjoyed both him and Jon Pertwee in Worzel. I agree - I think he would have made an excellent Doctor and it's pity that we never got to see his version of the character. Also a fan of Mr. Baker and also agree with his JB potential.

Kid said...

I saw Catweazle from time to time, PC, but couldn't say I was a particular fan of the show. I'll maybe watch some episodes on You Tube and see what I think now. In an alternate universe somewhere. GB IS Dr. Who, and Stanley Baker IS James Bond.

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