Pip Baker, along with his wife and writing partner Jane, was one of the best-known writers from the mid 80's era of Doctor Who, writing eleven episodes for the series. Together they created the Rani, a female Time Lord scientist who was brought to life so vividly by the late Kate O'Mara, as well a creating the companion Mel.
Pip and Jane Baker began writing together in the 1960s working on the films The Painted Smile, The Break, The Night of the Big Heat and Captain Nemo and the Underwater City. On Television, they worked on the children's thriller Circus as well as episodes of Z-Cars and Space 1999.
In 1985 they were commissioned by producer John Nathan Turner to write for the first full series of the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, producing the story Mark of the Rani. The story was well received and the couple returned the following year to pen Terror of the Vervoids The third segment of the Trial of a Time Lord Season, envisaged as a whodunnit in space.
Later that year the couple were called in following the departure of the then Script editor Eric Saward, who left following a disagreement with Nathan Turner. Saward had withdrawn his script for the final episode of the season leaving the Bakers to come up with an alternative ending, without access to anything already written, and without creating anything which needed a new set to be built. They had just three days to come up with a script capable of concluding a season they had very little part in conceiving.
In 1988 Pip Baker told Doctor Who Magazine about some of the problems they encountered.
We went over to Eric’s empty office and talked it through – whether we could do it justice – not just because of the time period, as we had experience of that kind of speed on American series – but because we were being asked to wrap up thirteen episodes. If people have watched it that long, there’s an expectation that has to be satisfied – this has got to be it. We had three days in the end – two to write, and one to type up from out longhand, which we always write in, and collate everything.After the transmission of the season, Phi and Jane Baker found themselves defending their scripts on the BBC's feedback programme Open Air, facing criticism from some fans including future showrunner Chris Chibnall.
The Bakers returned to Doctor Who at the start of the next season, introducing the seventh Doctor in Time and the Rani, a script which brought back their most enduring creation The Rani.
In the early 1990's they created the children's programme Watt on Earth which ran for 24 episodes on BBC One.
Jane Baker died in 2014. Pip Baker died this morning after being ill for some time following a fall.