The Doctor Who does this woman’s work

 1981_farewell-tomThanks to “SillySteve2006” for coming up with the ingenious idea of posting this rather moving clip on Youtube.  It’s the last moments of Tom Baker as Doctor Who accompanied by the Kate Bush song “This Woman’s Work“.   

Picture the scene – it’s 1981 and the tall curly haired goggle-eyed, toothy-grinned man, who a generation of children has come to know as the hero of Saturday evening TV has just plunged to his imminent death from a radio telescope in the process of saving the universe yet again. 

And now he’s about to morph into that vet from “All Creatures Great & Small”. 

OK, so at the end of the day in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal.  All that’s happened is that the lead actor in a children’s TV show is being replaced by another actor.  But when seen in conjunction with the song, which is poignant and moving enough in its own right, it stirs certain emotions in the listener/viewer.  We get the apocalyptic sense that this is truly the end of an era.  The song is actually about pregnancy and childbirth and the traumas and emotional pain involved, a theme which fits in nicely with the regeneration of a dying Time Lord and the beginning of a new life.   The Doctor’s battered body lies prostrate on the ground as he sees flashbacks of old friends calling out his name while Kate mournfully wails about all the things she should have said but didn’t say and urges him not to die, citing “I know you have a lot of strength left, I know you have a little life left in you” – brilliant:

No doubt something similar will occur when David Tennant, probably the most popular Tardis pilot since Tom Baker morphs into the controversially chosen Matt Smith.  But it just won’t be the same.

But this blog posting isn’t really about Dr Who or Kate Bush, but about how childhood memories, certain powerful and evocative pieces of music or film can trigger off strong emotions in the human mind.  The real video for the song, featuring Kate herself alongside Tim “Percy/Captain Darling from Blackadder” McInnerney can be viewed here.   I would defy anyone to play  it without being moved in some way.

But then maybe it just affects 36-year old batchelors with too much time on their hands.  “Batchelor?” I hear you cry in amazement.  Well, I write a blog and I like Dr Who.  Go figure as the Americans would say.



  1. That’s a bit rich coming from you, Stoffels, considering you don’t actually exist and are merely a figment of my imagination, a sock puppet used to stimulate controversial comment in order to rouse the indifferent masses out there in Cyberspace.

  2. Shit! You’ve rumbled me.

    Wait a minute, if I’m not real, how come I’m still posting comments on your blog?

  3. Can anyone prove anything beyond reasonable doubt?

    How do we know we’re real and not virtual beings in a simulated universe artificially created by some higher being within an artificially simulated universe created in turn by an even higher form of life within a real universe?

  4. Maybe it’s you who’s not real. Maybe CW is simply a fictional character created by Stoffels du Plessis and The Dreaming Arm is simply an illusion.

  5. A further point – the divine Tim McInnerny (from a divorced middle aged woman’s pov) also starred in the fourth series of the current Dr. Who as the Ood master, Mr.Halpen

    And yes, I only have to hear the song to visulise the film, and reach for the tissues… a Pavlovian response, no less!

  6. Yes, I haven’t seen a lot of Tim McI since Blackadder/Notting Hill, in contrast for example with Stephen Fry who seems to be everywhere these days. I did see Tim in a documentary about Blackadder and he had piled on the pounds and was going thin on top since then, – a not uncommon feature in middle-aged men, but as much as we would all like to be able to do it – you just can’t turn back the clock.

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