A couple weeks back I spent a week carpooling with English actor Tom Baker.
Baker, best known as the fourth actor to portray the “doctor” on Doctor Who, was a very entertaining passenger and made my time in the car go by very quickly.
Okay, in fairness Baker was there in CD form narrating a Doctor Who story but it was still a very entertaining week and certainly felt like he was right there in the car with me.
The week started at a local used book store by my house which happened to have a rather impressive Doctor Who display. Among the books and other Whovian wares were some audio CD’s of various episodes.
Usually I prefer my books to be in page turning paper form which is why I am slow to adopt the E-reader craze.
But the idea of audio books has often intrigued me since it adds a certain performance element to the tale.
There is a certain appeal to an audio only performance that harkens back to the old radio serial days when listeners had to paint the pictures in their minds without the aid of a television picture showing them what was happening.
Often times a radio broadcast of a sporting event will be much more vivid than the television counterpart as well.
So as I was looking at the selection of audio Who, one episode in particular caught my eye because it was narrated by the Doctor himself.
Tom Baker was the first Doctor I ever recall watching. And while I have also enjoyed David Tennant and Matt Smith as the Doctor there is just something that always seems to draw me back to the Tom Baker stories.
The same thing happens in the James Bond world with Roger Moore. While I enjoy movies from each of the actors who portrayed Bond, James Bond, it is the Roger Moore movies that were my first exposure to the franchise and tend to be the ones that are the most enjoyable.
With it being well established that Tom Baker as the Doctor holds a special place in my Whovian heart I figured what could be better than having him take a car ride with me?
The episode was three hours spaced out over four CD’s and it took me a week to get through them despite having the CD running every time I was in the car.
Of course the sum of my driving during the week would be about 20 miles a day so there really was not a lot of time in the car on a daily basis which helped stretch out the story.
Now I know that there are many people reading this who have a commute that would allow them to listen to a three-hour story in a couple of days but I have been fortunate to have short commutes for most of my professional life.
Each time I drive to Minute Maid Park and see the southbound cars at a rush hour standstill I am thankful that I am not one of those cars trapped in the bumper to bumper traffic.
Of course if I were ever forced to be one of those commuting cars I can always take Tom Baker along with me and I am sure that the ride would seem to go just a little bit faster.
When the day finally came when the end of the story was reached I found myself going through serious withdrawal as my car transitioned from the adventures of the Doctor back to the sounds of music and sports radio.
I knew that my commute with Tom Baker would be finite but I guess I did not know how much I would miss that long scarf wearing thespian.
I went back to the book store to see if perhaps there was another Tom Baker episode that I had missed the first time I was there.
While I did not find any more Tom Baker I did find another Doctor Who episode that helped me stay calm and carry one for a few more days until the time when the commute will be filled with the sounds of Major League Baseball once again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to the book store to see who I can “commute” with next.
Copyright 2014 R. Anderson