The concerned look over that final destination with the good Doctor.
The idea of death is a profound one and the mere consideration of it is often daunting for the mind to comprehend. Tom Baker, too, suggests it difficult to fully understand, because we never actually experience it, return and digest the experience to inform our comprehension.
For whatever reason, former fourth Doctor Who Tom Baker seems to acutely get my own sense of unease on the subject. He manages to articulate thoughts on the matter quite eloquently. We are very much of one mind on the subject of mortality. Now, perhaps many have these thoughts, but never actually verbalize them. Whatever, the subject is replete with great emotional depth and somehow every time Baker broaches the subject he manages to impart some wisdom of observation on the topic and captures my own relative thoughts on the matter quite succinctly. Click here for Part One and Part Two.
My tribute to Nicholas Courtney and a check of Doctor Who Magazine #436 revealed a Tom Baker interview. He waxed poetic on his old friend, and once again, addressed his personal obsession with death. It is clearly a concept of some fascination for the the man and I certainly understand especially given the passing of so many of his creative partners.
One particular excerpt struck me and I wanted to share it here as part of a direct connection to the two aforementioned earlier entries on the theme, thus the reason for the title.
Baker certainly isn't simply presenting his thoughts to be theatrical or raise a brow, of which he's certainly not a stranger. But Baker clearly has mortality on his mind and the end of this great run we call life, "electric word life...." I don't know what the future brings, but I know that I too consider such existential quandaries and I know that I understand him.
"It's quite difficult to think happily about the fact that life is only 4,000 weeks, isn't it? Or a thousand months."
"And for one third of that, you're asleep! The one thing that happens to us all is we die, but it's the one, single thing in our lives that we can't imagine."
"My first job was as a professional funeral-goer. But now, I find going to a funeral distressing, actually. The sense of loss is so acute, because I identify with it myself, 'actuarially speaking', as they say. 'Actuarially speaking, Tom, you'll be the next Doctor Who to die.' 'Thanks,' I said."
"Life is frequently coming to terms with a sense of loss, isn't it? Losing one's childhood. People dying. People betraying you. Breaking up from your partner. Becoming an orphan. It's always loss. The sense of loss that we all feel, all the time. But especially when we lose someone like Nick."
"Seeking consolation - the only consolation we have - is that we knew him, and we loved him. We were part of that. It was a fantastic privilege. We should be grateful for that, and hope that when it's our turn to be eulogized someone might say that of us." Amen brother Baker.