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Subject:  Bob Baker

07/11/2021 03:12 GMT

Bob Baker (26 July 1939 to 5 November 2021) was born as Robert John Baker in Bristol. He trained as a stone mason and experimented with animation. A chance meeting at a tobacconist shop Bob worked at with an advertising copy writer named Dave Martin saw Martin offer to write up Bob's project as a screenplay. This project was picked up and while ultimately going unproduced, brought together Baker and Martin as a writing partnership.

Their script A Man's Life was read by Terrance Dicks who invited the pair to write for Doctor Who. He soon commissioned their story The Gift, later titled The Vampire from Space, and filmed as Claws of Axos for season eight in 1971. This was successful enough that Baker and Martin were commissioned for the subsequent two series, The Mutants and The Three Doctors. This tenth anniversary story would release the Doctor from his exile on Earth and introduce the time lord stellar engineer Omega.

Their career outside Doctor Who was also successful with Patrick Dromgoole of Harlech Television commissioning thier movie Thick as Thieves (1971) and episodes of dramas. In 1975 HTV made their mystic themed time travel series Sky. Both had onscreen roles in their feature Machinegunner the next year. Meanwhile Baker continued as an animator on the children's series Vision On.

Baker and Martin continued to contribute scripts to Doctor Who into the Tom Baker era and new production team, usually with a brief to add to their story. In The Sontaran Experiment they reused the Sontarans from the preceding year, in The Hand of Fear they wrote out Sarah Jane Smith and in The Invisible Enemy they introduced K9. Underworld was filmed cheaply and largely on blue screens and The Armageddon Factor resolved the series long Key To Time storyline. Baker alone wrote Nightmare of Eden for series 17 in 1979, with he and Martin writing less together trough the 1980s. In 1980 Dromgoole commissioned Baker's series Into the Labyrinth, with Baker acting as script editor and Martin contributing one script.

In 1993 he was approached by animator Nick Park, co-writing Wallace and Gromit shorts The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and A Matter of Loaf and Death, this last featuring a character named "Baker Bob". Feature The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) won an Academy Award, with Bob also honoured with a British Academy Television Award for this and A Matter of Loaf and Death.

The 2005 Doctor Who revival offered the opportunity to return to the show, Bob later saying he approached Russell T Davies only to be told they didn't require any writers from the previous series. K9 was used in a 2006 episode School Reunion, and the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Baker and Paul Tams pitched their own spin-off, K-9, which was produced in Australia by Stewart & Wall Entertainment. Network Ten pre-purchased 26 episodes, and the show was picked up by Disney XD. Following this they announced a feature, K9: TimeQuake would pit the mechanical dog against Omega.

Bob is survived by his wife Marie, sons Martin and Andy, daughters Cathy, Laura, Sarah, Rachel, Joanna and Clare and grandchildren Holly, Amy, Ivan, Archie, Freddie, Ellie-May and Bea.

Last modified: 07/11/2021 04:34 GMT by Martin

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