Bob Baker
BornRobert John Baker
(1939-07-26)26 July 1939
Bristol, England
Died3 November 2021(2021-11-03) (aged 82)
OccupationScreenwriter, television writer
Period1971–2010
GenreComedy, drama, science fiction
SpouseMarie Baker
Children8

Robert John Baker (26 July 1939 – 3 November 2021) was a British television and film writer. He was best known for working on the original run of Doctor Who, and for being a co-writer of the Wallace and Gromit films The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and A Matter of Loaf and Death (in which the character Baker Bob is named after him).

Career

Baker and Dave Martin began writing for Harlech Television (HTV), the local ITV franchise. One of their earliest works was Thick As Thieves starring Leonard Rossiter.

Baker wrote for Doctor Who between 1971 and 1979. For all but the last of his contributions to this series (Nightmare of Eden), Baker collaborated with Dave Martin on numerous scripts including:

Together, they were nicknamed "The Bristol Boys" by the Doctor Who production teams with whom they worked.[5]

Baker and Martin devised for Doctor Who the robotic dog K-9 (created for The Invisible Enemy), the renegade Time Lord Omega (created for The Three Doctors, Doctor Who's 10th anniversary story) and the Axons. K-9 was originally intended to appear in one story only, but the BBC decided to make it a recurring character.[4] Several of Baker's stories had elements of hard science not often found in Doctor Who, despite having been criticised for scientific inaccuracy. Prior to his death in 2021, Baker was the last surviving Doctor Who scriptwriter from the Third Doctor era.

Together with Martin, they also created fantasy television serials for children including Sky (1975).

Baker's other contributions to British television include Vision On animation with Laurie Booth, scripts for episodes of Shoestring and Bergerac. A new series featuring K9, K-9 created in Australia, aired in the UK and worldwide in 2009 and 2010.

Baker revealed on the DVD commentary for Nightmare of Eden that he contacted Russell T Davies about the possibility of writing for the 2005 revival of Doctor Who but was told in no uncertain terms that writers from the original series were not wanted, though K9 did appear in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures under Russell T Davies.

In 2013, Baker wrote his autobiography entitled K9 Stole My Trousers with help from Laurie Booth.[1] Later in 2015, he co-wrote with Paul M. Tams The Essential Book of K9 which was crowd-funded on Indiegogo.[6]

Personal life and death

Baker was married to Marie and had eight children and seven grandchildren.[7][8] He resided in Stroud, Gloucestershire.[9] He died on 3 November 2021, at the age of 82.[7]

Writing credits

Television

Production Notes Broadcaster
Doctor Who 38 episodes (1971–1979):
"The Claws of Axos" (1971)
"The Mutants" (1972)
"The Three Doctors" (1972–1973)
"The Sontaran Experiment" (1975)
"The Hand of Fear" (1976)
"The Invisible Enemy" (1977)
"Underworld" (1978)
"The Armageddon Factor" (1979)
"Nightmare of Eden" (1979)
BBC1
Thick as Thieves Television film (1971) ITV
Pretenders "The Last Battle" (1972)
"Prizemen" (1972)
ITV
Arthur of the Britons "People of the Plough" (1973) ITV
Late Night Drama "Item" (1974) ITV
Z-Cars "Quiet as the Grave" (1974)
"House to House" (1974)
BBC1
Hunter's Walk "Villain" (1974)
"Kicking & Screaming" (1976)
ITV
Public Eye "Lifer" (1975) ITV
Sky 7 episodes (co-written with Dave Martin, 1975) ITV
Machinegunner Television film (1976) ITV
King of the Castle 7 episodes (co-written with Dave Martin, 1977) ITV
Follow Me Television miniseries (1977) ITV
Cottage to Let "The Last Day" (1977) ITV
Scorpion Tales "Killing" (1978) ITV
Target "Big Elephant" (1977)
"Hunting Parties" (1977)
"Carve Up" (1977)
"Rogue's Gallery" (1978)
BBC1
Murder at the Wedding Television miniseries (1979) ITV
Shoestring "Knock for Knock" (1979) BBC1
ITV Playhouse "Rat Trap" (1979) ITV
Into the Labyrinth 15 episodes (1981–1982) ITV
Jangles "Getting It Together" (1982) ITV
Bergerac "Unlucky Dip" (1981)
"The Moonlight Girls" (1983)
BBC1
Function Room Television miniseries (script editor, 1985) ITV
Call Me Mister "The Creative Accountant" (1986) BBC1
Succubus Television film (1987) ITV
The Jazz Detective Television film (1992) ITV
Kipper "The Umbrella" (1997) ITV
The Mysti Show "Episode #1.12" (2004) BBC One
K-9 "Mind Snap" (co written with Paul Tams, 2010)
"Angel of the North" (2010)
Channel Five
Network Ten
Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention 6 episodes (2010) BBC One

Short films

Year Title Notes
1993 The Wrong Trousers Co-written with Nick Park
1995 A Close Shave Co-written with Nick Park
2008 A Matter of Loaf and Death Co-written with Nick Park

Feature films

Year Title Notes
2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Co-written with Steve Box, Nick Park and Mark Burton

Books

Year Title Notes
2013 K9 Stole My Trousers! Autobiography
2015 The Essential Book of K9 Co-written with Paul M. Tams

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Category Result Reference
2006 British Academy Television Awards The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (shared with Claire Jennings, David Sproxton, Nick Park, Steve Box, and Mark Burton) Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Won
Hugo Award The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (shared with Nick Park, Steve Box, and Mark Burton) Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Nominated
2009 British Academy Television Awards A Matter of Loaf and Death (shared with Nick Park and Steve Pegram) Best Short Animation Won
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Comedy/Entertainment Nominated

References

  1. ^ a b c d Southall, J. R. "Interview: Bob Baker". Starburst. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Bob Baker (1990s)". Dr Who Interviews. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  3. ^ "The Sontaran Experiment". BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Interview: Bob Baker". Sci-Fi Bulletin. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  5. ^ "About Bob". Bob Baker tv. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  6. ^ Foster, Chuck (28 January 2015). "The Essential Book of K-9". Doctor Who News Page. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b Molina-Whyte, Lidia (5 November 2021). "Doctor Who writer and K9 co-creator Bob Baker dies, aged 82". Radio Times.
  8. ^ "Bob Baker obituary". The Guardian. 7 November 2021. Archived from the original on 14 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Bob Baker". bobbaker.tv. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2017.