Colin Baker played the sixth incarnation of the Doctor from 1984 to 1986, beginning with the concluding scene of ‘The Caves of Androzani‘ and ending with ‘The Ultimate Foe‘. He reprised the role for the 1993 Children in Need special, ‘Dimensions in Time‘. As the Doctor, he had a mass of curly fair hair and a lurid patchwork coat. He was assisted by companions Peri Brown and Melanie Bush.
Prior to being cast as the Doctor, Baker had guest starred in the programme, as Commander Maxil in the Peter Davison serial ‘Arc of Infinity‘. At one point in the serial, Maxil shoots the Doctor; Baker often jokes that he got the part of the Doctor by killing the incumbent.
Baker’s era was interrupted by an eighteen-month hiatus, officially because the show was moved back from the spring to the autumn schedule. He was ultimately dismissed from the part at the insistence of BBC management, who wanted to refresh the show. The Controller of BBC One at the time, Michael Grade, criticised Doctor Who, saying that the programme had become overly violent and its storylines farcical. Baker was offered the first four episodes of the next season in order to pave the way for a regeneration, which he turned down as he did not wish to miss out on other work in the meantime. He did offer to do the whole season and have the Doctor regenerate at the end, but this was refused. So far, he is the only actor to play the Doctor who has been fired by the BBC.