One of the great British television phenomena of the 60's and70's, known toall who are now entering or firmly placed in mid-life, was the advent ofDoctorWho. This original and most British of television series chronicledthe travels andtribulations of the famous Doctor Who and his merry band of followers.Tom Baker,though not the first but probably the most unforgettable of the actorswho took on thisrole, has published an autobiography that not only lets us explore theman made famousbut also the man himself. Tom inhabited the world of televisionproduction agencies, theBBC with its cast of thousands, and the drinking haunts of Soho withthe likes of JefferyBernard, Anthony Hopkins and actors for whom feast and famine werea daily way oflife.

Tom, with his expressive face and kind eyes was born in Liverpool to araucous andlively Irish family where love and a good respect for the teachings ofthe Catholic Churchwere able to prepare him for an interesting and fulfilling life. In fact,Tom's earlyexperiences with the church involved a trial at a monastery for anunsuccessfulpreparation as a priest and an insight into the daily workings of theseinstitutions. A slowstarting but rapidly improving acting career was followed by time spentpulling pints andon London construction sites before the big break. Then came with thecasting agent andthe meeting that allowed for instant world-wide recognition for thefamous Doctor Whothat still exists today.

The style of the story is very much that of a black comedy with amarriage, children and acertain fixation with a lawnmower and the mowing of the grass aroundhis owngravestone, making for an enjoyable read. He is now happily marriedand living in a ruralutopia outside of London, millions of miles and light years away fromthe hectic and all- consuming career of both straight acting and in the television role thathas made himfamous in more that 70 countries. —Brian Reinker