Bob Baker, writer, dies

Bob Baker in K9 Unleashed (1999)Writer Bob Baker, a former Doctor Who script writer who, with his frequent 1970s writing partner Dave Martin, created the character of K-9, dies at the age of 82. Born in Bristol, Baker forged a fruitful writing partnership with Martin, with their first Doctor Who story, The Claws Of Axos, transmitted by the BBC in 1971. They continued to be frequent contributors to that series throughout the 1970s, while simultaneously creating children’s fantasy series closer to home at HTV, including Sky and King Of The Castle. A 1977 Doctor Who script, The Invisible Enemy, introduced the enduring character of robot dog K-9, who would continue to appear regularly through 1981, even meriting a pilot for a spinoff series, K-9 & Company, that same year, and eventually making guest appearances in the 21st century revival of Doctor Who and its spinoff, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Baker and Martin stopped working together in the late ’70s, with Baker pursuing one solo Doctor Who writing assignment (1979’s Nightmare Of Eden) before co-creating another HTV fantasy series, Into The Labyrinth, which ran for three seasons starting in 1981. In 2009, after years of pitching the idea, a K-9 spinoff produced in Australia launched, produced by Baker (who also wrote or co-wrote two scripts). Baker was still trying to attract co-production interest in a second season of K-9, or possible a movie spinoff, toward the end of his life. Baker gained wider recognition as co-creator of the Wallace & Gromit animated shorts and movies (as well as their spinoff, Shaun the Sheep), which won both Oscar and BAFTA awards.