“Bill – do not do this!”

This is a Tweet where you have to show it all or it makes no sense:

(LATER: In the first version of this posting, it said “22 people are talking about this”. And I put, at this point: “Make that 23”. Ho ho. But now I note that the above manifestation of this tweet automatically updates itself. Blog and learn.)

Maybe, to you, that tweet still makes no sense. Well, on the right there is a black-and-white fifties British film actor, saying all that stuff. And on the left, William Hartnell, about to become the very first Doctor Who.

It was surely this attitude, that television didn’t matter and would never amount to anything, which was all part of why some of those early Doctor Who episodes went missing. Shame. Selfishly, I don’t much mind, because I never got excited about Doctor Who when it first happened. But I have a friend who still does mind.

9 thoughts on ““Bill – do not do this!””

  1. By all reports, Hartnell genuinely was initially reluctant to take the part of Dr Who, and it was mainly for those reasons. He was talked into it, though, and later came to love playing the part, at least partly because it made him enormously popular with his grandchildren.

  2. The still comes from “Helldrivers” whose cast – alongside Hartnell and Stanley Baker – includes Patrick McGoohan, Herbert Lom, Sean Connery, Gordon Jackson & David McCallum. Or – to put it another way – Doctor Who, Number Six, James Bond, Inspector Dreyfus, Hudson, George Cowley and Ilya Kuryakin.

  3. Yup.

    When I was writing the comment I also noticed that other than Chard there wasn’t a lot of Baker’s acting that would be familiar to modern audiences.

    When something like that happens e.g. A.J.P. Taylor, in a different context, it’s usually for a good reason. But to my perhaps untrained eye Baker’s acting still holds up.

  4. I think the reason Stanley Baker isn’t remembered so much for any one part is that he never appeared in a leading part in a series. All the shows you list are series (serieses?). Two movie series(es?) (Bond and The Pink Panther) and the rest on TV (Dr Who, The Prisoner, Upstairs Downstairs, The Professionals, The Man From UNCLE). If you play the same character lots of times, you get remembered for that.

  5. When it comes to series, it helps if the show itself is remembered. Sci-fi, adventure and detective dramas are good for this; soap operas less so.

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