eeth and Curls, the arrival of the Fourth incarnation of our favourite Time Lord took place in 1974 and his era lasted for up to seven years. Seven years of the bohemian of the Doctors. An era that shows us gothic literature with a twist, stories such as 'The Pyramids of Mars' (1975) and 'The Brain of Morbius' (1976) showed us what many would describe the Hammer Horror era of the show. The stories became darker and we saw a side of the Doctor that many people today will them back on a nostalgia trip to their childhood.
The big mound of curly dark hair, the eye-popping blue eyes and the immensely long scarf were to become the Doctor’s signature look. Many of the show’s audience will always refer to Tom Baker as their favourite incarnation. It all depends when their childhood took place. Tom Baker is my personal favourite out of all the Doctors. That is mainly down to the fact that I used to watch his stories as a child on BBC Two and UKTV Gold. For me, the stories of his era are far more enjoyable and exciting. My one favourite story of his era is 'Genesis of the Daleks' (1975).
'Genesis of the Daleks' is what it says on the tin. It showed us the early days of the Daleks and how they came about, the story also introduced us to Davros and ever since the 1975 serial he’s been making appearances ever since. It wasn’t until the show returned did he have a bit of break from crossing the Doctor’s path. That is however until the two-part story 'The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End' (2008). Davros was the Hitler of the cosmos, a mad scientist who was desperate for the survival of the Kaled race resorted to creating the Daleks, which led to his hunger for power and the birth of the evilest and feared creatures of the universe. The Daleks shone brightly in the 1970s and they more or less reigned supreme.
Another favourite of mine is 'The Brain of Morbius' (1976). The only way I can describe the serial is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in space. The story also introduced us to the Sisterhood of Karn, who made a comeback in the prologue 'Night of the Doctor' (2013) for the Fiftieth Anniversary Special Day of the Doctor and again in 'Hell Bent' (2015).
As mentioned before, the series borrowed traits from Gothic literature for its serials and another story that pays homage to classic literature was 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' (1977) where the Doctor is dressed as a familiar looking sleuth from the imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Another story that had a dark theme was 'The Horror of Fang Rock' (1977), which featured for the first time the appearance of a Rutan host, an alien race that is at war against the war-hungry clone race the Sontarans.
Tom Baker’s era also featured a story that would branch out through an entire series. 'The Key to Time' (1978-79) consisted of six stories, which featured the Doctor and his new companion Romana I (Mary Tamm) who are searching for the six segments of the Key to Time under strict instructions of the White Guardian. But along the way their mission is put the test as the evil Black Guardian wants his hands on the device to have total domination over time and the universe. The final install of the story; 'The Armageddon Factor' (1979) guest starred Lala Ward as the beautiful Princess Astra, who happened to be the final segment of the key, however, the actress would soon return the show as the next incarnation of the Time Lord’s companion; Romana.
The Fourth Doctor had a great selection of companions; Sarah Jane, Harry Sullivan, Leela, K-9, Time Lady; Romana, Adric, Tegan and Nyssa. All helped the Doctor on his travels right up until 'Logopolis' (1981) which brought the Fourth Doctor era to a close. The stylisation this incarnation’s demise was that of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes: Final Problem. Where our hero falls to his supposedly death. 'Logopolis' was a great swansong for a great Doctor. After attempting to defeat the Master, the Doctor falls from a satellite dish and as his incarnation comes to end he’s surrounded by his newly found friends and at that moment he changes into a rather young, blonde man who would soon develop a liken for cricket and a stick of celery. The 80s was here and it would soon make a huge difference for the show’s existence.