Doctor Who? That’s Sir Doctor to you. Or at least, some fans think it ought to be.
A new Change.org petition is demanding that the British government award Tom Baker a “long overdue” knighthood. Baker played the fourth incarnation of the Doctor on the British sci-fi classic Doctor Who.
The 12 Doctors
So far, 12 actors have portrayed the Doctor — 13 if you count John Hurt’s one-shot “War Doctor”.
The Doctor is a “Time Lord” — a nigh-immortal alien who can travel through time and space. When his body is damaged beyond repair, the Doctor can “regenerate” into a new one. The process changes his physical appearance and personality. It’s also allowed the show to continue for more than 50 years, with new actors stepping into the iconic role as needed.
The role was originated by William Hartnell in 1963. In 1966, Hartnell’s failing health led to his replacement by Patrick Troughton. Since then, a host of actors have played the role. Scottish actor Peter Capaldi is the 12th and current Doctor. He took the reins from Matt Smith in 2013.
The definitive Doctor Who
But Baker, who played the role between 1974 and 1981, is considered by many to be the definitive Doctor.
The petition calls it a “travesty” that Baker has not been recognized by the British government. It cites his “lifetime in entertainment and tireless charity work.” The petition will be delivered to the U.K. Cabinet Office Honours and Appointments Secretariat.