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Doctor Who: Scratchman

4th Doctor Novel
By: Tom Baker
Narrated by: Tom Baker
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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Summary

In his first-ever Doctor Who novel, Tom Baker’s incredible imagination is given free rein. A story so epic it was originally intended for the big screen, Scratchman is a gripping, white-knuckle thriller almost 40 years in the making.  

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures - hideous scarecrows who are preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan - the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them. 

With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play.... 

Tom Baker himself reads this legendary Doctor Who adventure, a spine-chilling thriller 40 years in the making.

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • Leamington Spa
  • 25-01-19

Evocative and perfect. If you love 4 this is it.

Ok, so if anyone is qualified to write the quintessential 4th Doctor novel, the it is Tom Baker. And he writes this with ease and style. It is a perfect 4, Sarah & Harry novel. Written with real heart and love for the characters and the era.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Down The Rabbit Hole We Go

It all starts out on familiar, frightfully amusing ground - then goes full tilt through the looking glass and into the Doctors adventures in Bakerland.

It's best listened to, not so much narrated as performed by the Great Curator himself, features one unwelcome and ear-numbing cameo, and is full of literally laugh out loud moments from start to finish.

In-jokes, irreverent references to incarnations past, present and future, witticisms which meander to a punchline that makes it all make perfect sense suddenly...macabre imagery and breathless access into Bakers vision of his own private TARDIS...including a chilling peek behind the door of the one room the Doctor keeps locked...from himself. It all comes together like clockwork, a heartsfelt, close-up portrait of the Fourth Doctor in the first person, as only he could paint him.

It's a tall story all about fear, told by a man who smiles everytime he delivers bad news, then laughs and holds up a Jelly Baby in the face of danger...and who isn't afraid to pen a familial-love letter to a friend and fellow traveller he, and we, can't help but confess to adore.

Does it all work? Of course not. Would I personally have wanted to miss one word of it?

Not for all the world...or even, perhaps, the next one ;)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tom Baker is The Doctor; the definite article you might say.

A Fourth Doctor story written by Tom Baker. I feel genuinely grateful that this even exists. As for the story itself - it’s everything and some what than I had expected. Just brilliant - buy it now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Baker is a national treasure.

Fantastic Doctor Who novel performed beautifully by MY DOCTOR. I hope Tom writes more.
100% would recommend.

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Absolutely fantastic.

Loved everything about it, the story was great and Tom baker was a brilliant Narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An enthralling and energetic performance!

I wont give any details about the story itself. All I will say is that the doctor is being judged by fellow Timelords and his telling of this tale is of paramount import. It is a story of two halves and each completely different from the other!
What really makes this special is the performance given by Tom Baker. Enthralling is the only way to describe it. His actual age is soon forgotten and you quickly see The young 4th doctor galavanting about saving the human race and more!
Even the Chapters are announced with gusto!
Love the small details and observations from the UK during the 70s and early 80s that crop up here and there. It really felt that Tom Baker himself popped back to check some details and jog his memory. Love it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Dr Who exactly as it should be .....

The lines are definitely blurred between Tom Baker and his most famous character in this performance*; the two are intertwinable, and its hard to know where Tom Baker ends and The Doctor begins (deliberately so, as I’ve read he always ‘just played himself’ when playing the Timelord).

*I say performance as you have to perceive this audiobook narration in that way; Tom’s reading of his own novel is a tour-de-force. For an 80-something actor to perform his book with the verve, nuances, wit, speed and power of when he first played Dr Who in the mid-1970s is really quite remarkable.

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the way I wanted

feels just like the 4th doctor with all his quirks and strange and funny ways. having tom Baker read it makes the book a million times better. Hope he makes more of theses.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dull

I really wanted to like this but there's a reason actors act and writers write.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tom Baker is The Doctor

Utterly faultless. A masterclass of story telling, performed to perfection. And a brilliant ending.
Tom Baker and James Goss have delivered a great Dr Who novel.

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  • JOhn Michelin
  • 26-01-19

OMG

this is the best reading of doctor who yet! Baker had reached back to the original idea.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • NM
  • 31-01-19

Narrated and Written by THE (4th) Doctor!!

One of the reasons I jumped on the Audible bandwagon was to gain access to Doctor Who (4th Doctor) Audio Books as Tom Baker is (of course) the One True Doctor Who. There is the usual fare where the BBC releases a full length audio narration of one of the original TV shows, and those come out at a rate of several a year with usually a former companion/cast member, etc doing the narration (Ex: Sunmakers is out Feb 2019 and Warriors Gate is April 2019). However the BEST 4th Doctor stories are of course the ones narrated by Tom Baker himself and the Best of the Best - in my opinion - were always when something NEW was released as those are a joy to listen to. Previously, if my memory holds, three previous examples of this were the trilogy of Serpent's Crest, Hornet's Nest, and Demon Quest, and I think that is (or will be) available here in Audible Land as "The Nest Cottage Chronicles". With Scratchman you have something unique in that not only is this a "new" story narrated by Tom Baker, since he is also the author this would be the first Fourth Doctor story actually written by the Fourth Doctor!! Who (no pun intended) else would know the character better than Tom?

So far as the story itself goes, I would say it takes place back in between Classic Seasons 12 and 13 since it has Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan as companions. From what I read, this was supposed to have been a Dr. Who feature film in the mid 70s, but it wasn't in the cards and the script ended up gathering dust for 40-ish years. Then again, if it HAD been made into a movie back in the 70s, odds are it would have been on a shoe-string budget and the end result would have been a movie that was only aired during the the 2am time slot. While the original script was filed away, with Tom's return to the character over at Big Finish with the Fourth Doctor Adventures, interest in the "lost story" grew and in 2019 we are fortunate to have a "new" story that has been allowed to mature and improve along with the character. Plus with the benefit of it being an audio-only (theater-of-the-mind) production, lack of a huge special effects budget isn't an issue and what we end up with is a first rate story.

Performance? Great! I am not the best at describing things, so I guess I would say what makes this a great listen is that you can tell he is Having Fun with the character and the narration. For lack of a better analogy, think of having to read a work of Classic Literature in high school vs reading it For Fun later in life. You can tell the difference when it's Fun rather than a Chore, and you can tell that Scratchman is - Fun.

I don't want to give anything away, so the only part of the story I would like to focus on is at the end where he sort of / kind of breaks the Fourth Wall. The "Epilogue" and "PS From The Doctor" are quite moving, and worth listening to by themselves.


Unrelated Stuff (why an Audible subscription is worth having):
If you would like to listen to another great 4th Doctor-era short story (narrated by Tom Baker), there is "Jak and the Wormhole". It's only 23-ish minutes, but it's worth a listen. Also it would appear that some of the previous BBC Stories (Unit Era) that were narrated by Tom are being re-released as "collections", so you can fill out your collection for only a credit or two.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Phoenix
  • 26-01-19

Absolutely brilliant.

My first and perhaps best ever audio book . What a treat. I loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Baratta
  • 30-01-19

4th Doctor adventure with a visit from 13th Doctor

For Whovians and Tom Baker fans. Sarah Jane is a companion here and leaves an afterword in the last chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarge Davis
  • 30-01-19

smart

what a smart and fancyful boOk.
so nice to hear your voice again Doctor. thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim
  • 25-01-19

Ol' Scratch has got nothin' on The Doctor

A Tall-tale from a Great Soul. A life's work bound in a single story. There are so many deeply meaningful insights as throw-away lines, delivered in the inimitable Tom Baker style it is like a crash course on British understated bravado. Keep Calm and Doctor On. I will revisit this as many times as I can and hope to learn about the power of the word and story telling from The Master (NO - The Doctor!).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zack
  • 25-01-19

Tom Baker was the best Doctor

It's kind of like having the Fourth Doctor personally recount one of his adventures to you. Tom Baker truly knows his Doctor inside, and out. He gifts the listener with a peek inside the head of his Doctor. His performance is superb! It's like the perfect episode of Classic who, and he hints at New Who a few times, which is delightful. I cannot recommend this audiobook enough for any fan of Doctor Who. The Fourth Doctor is always a joy to see (or hear) in action! I was sad when it was over. Best audiobook I've heard in awhile.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin Kennedy
  • 13-02-19

Loved it!

Great story and a fun performance from my favorite Doctor! Now for some Jelly Babies.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin E.
  • 12-02-19

Obvious bias is obvious

Written and read by Tom Baker. What else do you need to know? It was awesome.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leah J Purtee
  • 12-02-19

The 4th Doctor at his best!

Tom Baker can turn a phrase on it's head and make it sing God Save the Queen. I laughed, I cried and was completely entertained.