4th Doctor Peter Davison - The Fifth Doctor 6th Doctor
Castrovalva - The Caves of Androzani
Peter Davison
The Fifth Doctor
(1981 - 1984)
The Sound Vault
The Sound Vault
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 Following Tom Baker’s portrayal of The Doctor, the Fifth Doctor’s debut appearance created a marked contrast between the two characters; while the Fourth took some while to recover from the trauma of his regeneration and spent several days unconscious, the Fifth, although mobile, was portrayed as highly confused and requiring assistance, this aspect of his personality made all the more prominent by the fact that he required the aid of the Watcher - a kind of ‘ghost’ of his future self that had appeared over the course of the Fourth Doctor’s last adventure - in order to regenerate in the first place.

 The new Doctor was very different than his other selves. While other Doctors had always appeared fairly old, assuming a father - and, in the First Doctor’s case, grandfather - role to his companions, the Fifth appeared physically far younger, giving a softer, almost naïve impression as he travelled. This attitude prompted some to regard this Doctor as the ‘weakest’; indeed, during "The King of Terror" the Third Doctor’s old enemy Control - head of the CIA - referred to the Fifth Doctor as ‘the vulnerable one’, and mockingly suggested he sit down before he hurt himself. His debut episode did little to negate this impression, his companions forced to carry him to the TARDIS before he began to wander around his ship, discarding his old clothes to help him find his way around and calling his companions by the wrong names (Adric was referred to as Jamie and Tegan Jovanka was briefly mistaken for Vicki ). Fortunately, despite The Master’s attempts to set a trap for the newly-regenerated Doctor, his plans failed as The Doctor and his companions escaped, The Doctor casually commenting that he now felt ‘absolutely splendid’.

 Unlike his predecessors, who commonly assumed an air of mystery that avoided giving away anything more than was necessary, the Fifth Doctor regularly came across as being a very expressive-faced, boyish mixture of ancient intelligence and eager curiosity. As his regeneration stabilised a very likeable personality developed, The Doctor displaying a willingness to teach and a simultaneous eager desire to learn, curious to a fault, generous of spirit, strong of body, co-ordinated, limber, and warmly courteous. However, his faults were also evident, sometimes prone to snapping and lecturing at others - on one particular occasion he commented that he sometimes wondered why he liked Earth so much given humanity’s habit of seeking the most violent solution to problems ("Warriors of the Deep") - also sometimes offering sarcastic responses to what he perceived as the incredible density of his companions' reasoning abilities; he once even yelled at his own future self when he briefly met the Tenth Doctor (Although it should be noted that he initially didn’t know who the other man actually was) ("Time Crash").

 As far back as the First Doctor we find a scientist adventurer with a soft spot for orphans (even if he was initially unaware of their orphaned status when he met them). William Hartnell's Doctor - originally found travelling with his granddaughter Susan - went on to take Vicki and Dodo under his wing, while Patrick Troughton's brought Victoria aboard, and even Tom Baker's independent Doctor Who couldn't resist the fatherless Leela's plea to travel with him or send the stowaway Adric back to his home planet of Alzarius. Even shortly before his regeneration, the Fourth Doctor took action to save Nyssa - the now-orphaned daughter of Tremas, a friend of The Doctor’s whose body had been taken by The Master after his own regenerations were exhausted - leaving his fifth self the unofficial guardian of two alien orphans and an outspoken, act-before-you-think young human called Tegan Jovanka.

 Like many Doctors, the Fifth Doctor’s relationship with his companions defined much of his identity. Adric was seen as almost a pupil in need of fatherly guidance, being occasionally on over to the point of view of villains such as Monarch or the vampire Aukon, although he was nevertheless a capable companion when the situation truly required it. Nyssa, by contrast, was treated as an equal or niece, The Doctor respecting her intelligence and helping her to grow up during their time together, culminating in her leaving to help treat the dangerous Laxar’s Disease on the ship Terminus. While his relationship with Tegan was initially more of a trial than the others - due to her habit of blundering into any sort of trouble and of freely and loudly expressing her disagreements, as well as her continued frustration at his inability to return her to her own era - her fundamental loyalty to him, possibly combined with the fact that he might have felt that he deserved her scorn to keep him in check, helped to overcome these problems. During her travels, Tegan eventually coming to enjoy herself to the extent that she formed an almost sisterly bond with fellow companion Nyssa, later meeting and briefly travelling with the First Doctor when rogue Time Lord Borusa drew The Doctor’s past selves together for his own ends.

Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity
 Later companions would be Vislor Turlough, another orphan, simultaneously an alien exile trapped on Earth for reasons unknown, who was manipulated by The Black Guardian into joining The Doctor’s companions so that he could kill The Doctor in revenge for him depriving The Black Guardian of the Key to Time. Although Turlough rarely volunteered information about his past beyond his alien status, The Doctor respected this desire, genuinely coming to like the younger boy as time went on. The android Kamelion, a shape-shifting machine that had been stolen by The Master at some point in the past, was another intriguing addition, with The Doctor showing a great willingness to treat Kamelion as a sentient being even after he learned that Kamelion was essentially a slave by his very nature. Even at the very end of his life, as Peri Brown - a runaway college student escaping an apparently abusive stepfather - joined him, he quickly demonstrated an attachment to her, her original request for a three-month trip quickly extending to the point where she travelled with him for well over a year even after his regeneration (To say nothing of agreeing to her suggestion that Erimem, a previously-unknown female Egyptian pharaoh, travel with them for a brief time).

 The Fifth Doctor, like his predecessors, feels strong responsibility for the safety of his companions, putting them and others first at the risk of his own life on many occasions, risking such varied methods of death as suffocation, snakebite, electrocution, madmen and gunfire in order to help his friends and companions. This trait proved particularly useful as he faced a diverse range of enemies in this incarnation, ranging from old foes such as The Master (who orphaned Nyssa and murdered Tegan's aunt before being responsible for the end of The Doctor’s fourth incarnation), the Cybermen, Silurians, Sea Devils, and Daleks, to new enemies like the frog-faced Urbankans, colourful Terileptils, malevolent Mara, treacherous Eternals, terrible Tractators, and the menacing Malice. During this incarnation, The Doctor had two particularly personal encounters with the Cybermen, their plan to destroy Earth resulting in the death of The Doctor’s companion Adric (“Earthshock”), while a later trip to Mondas in its distant past revealed that the entire Cyber-race was essentially based on The Doctor, the Cybermens’ creator Doctorman Christine Allan perfecting the design of the Cybermen after scans of The Doctor inspired her to mimic his brain’s structure and create a third lobe that controlled all body functions while leaving the rest of the brain free to operate more efficiently ("Spare Parts").

The Five Doctors
The Five Doctors
 Despite the Fifth Doctor’s intelligence, his boyish face worked to his disadvantage at times, as authority figures reacted with hostility to the idea that this seemingly young man tried to order them about; The Toymaker once taunted The Doctor with this, claiming that he only kept his current companions around because otherwise nobody would take him seriously ("Divided Loyalties"). His clothing further encouraged this appearance; while previous Doctors had worn rather elaborate outfits, ranging from the Third Doctor’s velvet jackets to the Fourth Doctor’s long scarf, the most distinctive thing about the Fifth Doctor was the stick of celery he regularly kept pinned to his lapel - apparently to warn him of the presence of certain gases - otherwise wearing an Edwardian cricket outfit (A game for which he demonstrated a certain fondness in this incarnation). Although he, like all Doctors, desired a peaceful solution to the problems he faced, this Doctor commonly found himself facing crises on such a scale that he failed to win his enemies over, sometimes demonstrating a lack of confidence in his skills - such as asking Adric to check an equation he’d just calculated - or making crucial errors in judgement, such as allowing Davros to gain the upper hand during their confrontation aboard a Dalek space station ("Resurrection of the Daleks"); during a meeting with his sixth and seventh selves he injured his leg during their attempt to escape an attack by the mysterious ‘Sirens of Time’, and was nearly killed before a being called the Temperon sacrificed itself to imprison the Sirens once and for all ("The Sirens of Time").

 This habit of making mistakes was not simply a matter of The Doctor senselessly berating himself; on one occasion he accidentally destroying an entire planet of beings of pure thought while trying to stop a race of psychic pirates ("Omega"), and on another occasion being forced to witness the deaths of the crew of an underwater base when the Silurians and the Sea Devils attempted to trigger a nuclear war ("Warriors of the Deep"). This violence eventually drove Tegan to leave The Doctor after he was forced to unleash a lethal virus to destroy a Dalek army, as she could no longer cope with the violence that she witnessed while travelling with him even as she acknowledged that he never intended to cause such damage. Despite his occasional apparent ineptitude compared to his other selves - on one occasion he even required the aid of his first three incarnations to break through the hypnotic influence created by his old teacher Borusa ("The Five Doctors") - The Doctor nevertheless won some important victories in this incarnation, outwitting The Black Guardian’s attempt to claim revenge and leading an army of various races - the army including his old enemies the Sontarans, the Ogrons and the Cybermen - against the evil Time Lord general Morbius ("Warmonger").

 When circumstances forced him to take on the role of Lord President of the Time Lords as Borusa's political manipulations had left the High Council in such a state that none of the other members had the political strength to carry out the necessary reforms after Borusa had created a system that depended on his presence, the Fifth Doctor actually did well in the role, using the opportunity to make some changes to Gallifrey's political process that he felt were necessary ("Time in Office"). However, he finally chose to abandon his role once Gallifrey was politically stable rather than remain in power to encourage a more interventionist policy, his old companion Leela helping The Doctor recognise that taking such a stance would turn himself and his people into tyrants enforcing their will on other civilisations. This Doctor was also responsible for a crucial victory when he was called upon to find the segments of the Key to Time, which had been unintentionally damaged by the actions of his previous self, helping to encourage his new companion Amy and her 'sister' Zara - sentient Tracers created by the mysterious beings known as the Grace - to explore their own identities rather than just blindly seek the segments for the Grace. As a result, at the conclusion of the quest, he defied both the Grace and the Black and White Guardians as they each demanded the Key, trusting Zara to make the right choice and give the Key to him, allowing him to destroy it and prevent anyone from using its powers ("The Key 2 Time: The Judgement of Isskar" and "The Key 2 Time: The Chaos Pool").

Resurrection of the Daleks
Resurrection of the Daleks
 Interestingly enough, despite the monstrous aliens The Doctor regularly encountered, many of his foes in this incarnation were simply unbalanced rather than evil, such as when The Doctor and Adric were imprisoned on Deva Loca by a man suffering from a nervous breakdown while Tegan was left in danger from a powerful entity known as the Mara, which bent and corrupted her mind on two occasions to use her as its host in the real world ("Kinda” and "Snakedance"). A particularly memorable encounter with a Victorian expedition to the Moon in 1878 culminated in The Doctor and Turlough being imprisoned and nearly killed by a lieutenant on one of the spaceships who had been driven half-mad by fear of what the expedition had encountered, the situation made worse by his inability to cope with the freedom that his skills as a space pilot offered him in a world where class restrictions were the norm, thus prompting The Doctor to take action to end Victorian exploration of space ("Imperial Moon"). Even at the end of his life, The Doctor found himself surrounded by madmen on Androzani, forming a tentative alliance with the deformed and enraged Sharaz Jek to save Peri’s life and battle Jek’s insane counterpart, the ruthless Tra Morgan, Jek’s grief-induced madness providing an intriguing contrast to the intentional cruelty of the gunrunners and the infernal hypocrisy of General Chellak.

 Given this Doctor’s sometimes-failed but never-weakened desire to avoid causing death, it is no surprise that the Fifth Doctor’s death came about as a result of sacrifice to save his companion. While visiting the planet Androzani Minor, The Doctor and Peri both unintentionally contracted the fatal disease Spectrox Toxaemia, The Doctor’s best efforts to acquire the antidote - the milk of a giant bat native to the planet - resulted in him only acquiring enough for one of them, causing him to give Peri the milk while allowing himself to die. As visions of his old friends passed through his mind, encouraging him not to die - countered by a vision of The Master ‘ordering’ him to do the opposite - energy swept over The Doctor, altering his features and physical appearance before he sat bolt upright, a new man in appearance while still remaining indisputably The Doctor.

The Caves of Androzani
The Caves of Androzani
 Even after his regeneration, however, the Fifth Doctor’s legacy remains with his future self. During the events of "Timewyrm: Revelation", when the powerful being known as the Timewyrm hid inside the Seventh Doctor’s mind, it was revealed that the Fifth Doctor has come to personify the conscience of his future incarnations, The Doctor’s companion Ace travelling into The Doctor’s mind to free the Fifth Doctor - The Doctor having buried his conscience out of what he perceived to be necessity - before the Seventh killed her to defeat the Timewyrm (An action that proved to be a wise decision, as The Doctor’s guilt over his actions would otherwise have led to the Timewyrm being reborn). During a brief meeting with his tenth incarnation after their two TARDISes unintentionally collided - the Fifth Doctor appearing far older than usual due to the presence of two Doctors shorting out the ‘time differential’ - the Tenth Doctor told the Fifth before his departure that the Fifth Doctor was his favourite past self, the Tenth Doctor regarding it as the point when he stopped trying to be old and important and simply allowed himself to have some fun as he travelled around in the TARDIS, even noting elements of his own clothing that he had assumed from the Fifth Doctor such as his trainers and ‘brainy specs’ (Commenting that The Doctor didn’t actually need his glasses but wore them because they made him look smarter).

Book - Goth Opera
Goth Opera
(Paul Cornell)
Book - Cold Fusion
Cold Fusion
(Lance Parkin)
Book - The Ultimate Treasure
The Ultimate Treasure
(Christopher Bulis)
Book - Empire of Death
Empire of Death
(David Bishop)
Audio - The Sirens of Time
The Sirens of Time
(Nicholas Briggs)
Audio - Phantasmagoria
(Mark Gatiss)
Audio - Exotron and Urban Myths
Exotron and Urban Myths
(Paul Sutton)
Audio - The Chaos Pool
The Chaos Pool
(Peter Anghelides)
Big Finish Productions

Peter Davison - The Actor
All Creatures Great and Small
All Creatures Great and Small (1978 - 90)
 Peter Moffat, who is better known by his stage name "Peter Davison", was born on 13th April 1951 in the Streatham area of London. After a move in 1961 to Woking in Surrey that Peter became interested in acting after tacking part in a number of school plays while attending the Maphill School. This eventually led him to joining an amateur dramatic society - the Byfleet Players. On leaving school he took on a number of casual jobs but being still keen on pursuing an acting career he decided to seek a place at a drama school and was lucky enough to be offered a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

 His first professional acting work came in 1972, at the age of 21, in a small stage role in Love's Labour's Lost at the Nottingham Playhouse. For the next three years he played in a variety of repertory companies mainly in Shakespearean roles. Then in 1975 he made his television debut in The Tomorrow People in the 3 part episode "A Man for Emily". Also appearing in this production was American-born actress Sandra Dickinson whom he would marry 3 years later.

Anna of the Five Towns
Anna of the Five Towns (1985)
 A quite period then followed in which Peter was able to pursue his interest in singing and songwriting which resulted in the release of a number of singles with his wife. Then in 1978 he took on the role of Tristan Farnon that was to propel him into stardom in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. Playing the part of a country vet based on the popular vet books by James Herriot, alongside Robert Hardy and Christopher Timothy. The series ran initially from 1978 to 1981 but a number of Christmas specials continued up until 1990.

 Davisons success in this role led him to being offered many other television roles including LWT's Holding the Fort, BBC's Sink or Swim both in 1980-82, and of course Doctor Who in which he played the role of the Fifth Doctor for 3 seasons from 1981 to 1984. At first Peter was reluctant to accept the role that was offered to him by the then producer John Nathan-Turner as he felt the role was more suited to an older actor. However, because John was keen for Peter to become the next Doctor he changed his mind and so on the 4th November 1980 it was announced on the evening BBC News that a new a replacement for Tom Baker had been found.

 However, just before he took on the role of the Fifth Doctor Peter took on a small cameo role in the highly popular 1981 BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adam's The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy in which his wife Sandra was apart of.

The Last Detective
The Last Detective (2003)
 After Doctor Who he continued to pursue a successful television acting career including: L Driver, Anna of the Five Towns and Magnum PI, a popular American detective series, all in 1985. This was then followed by A Very Peculiar Practice in 1986-88, Tales of the Unexpected in 1988, Campion in 1989-90, Ain't Misbehavin in 1994-95 and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries and At Home with the Braithwaites both in 2000.

 As well as reprising his role as Tristan Farnon in specials of All Creatures Great and Small, and more recently in the ITV drama The Last Detective, Peter has also returned as the world of Doctor Who a number of times. He returned as the Fifth Doctor in the Children in Need charity special "Dimensions in Time" in 1993 and was involved in the BBC Dr Who - 30 Years radio documentary also in 1993. He also had a small part in the Dr Who Evening that was broadcast on BBC2 in November 1999.

 As well as television he has had a number of stage, film and radio appearances including the 1995 film version of Black Beauty and on stage in a number of Christmas Pantos. Peter has also appeared in a number of the BBV direct to video drama's and also narrating the Target story adaptation of "Warriors of the Deep" for BBC Worldwide's Doctor Who audio book series.

 He can currently be heard reprising his role as the Fifth Doctor in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who Audio series along with previous and new companions and enemies.

The Television Companions
Adric Full Circle (4th Dr story) - Earthshock Matthew Waterhouse
Nyssa The Keeper of Traken (4th Dr story) - Terminus Sarah Sutton
Tegan Jovanka Logopolis (4th Dr story) - Resurrection of the Daleks Janet Fielding
Turlough Mawdryn Undead - Planet of Fire Mark Strickson
The Brigadier The Web of Fear (2nd Dr story) - Battlefield (7th Dr story) Nicholas Courtney
Kamelion The King's Demons & Planet of Fire Gerald Flood (voice only)
Peri Planet of Fire - Trial of a Timelord (Mindwarp) (6th Dr story) Nicola Bryant
The Book and Audio Companions
2nd Romana The Big Finish Audio Stories Lalla Ward
Erimem The Big Finish Audio Stories Caroline Morris
Thomas Brewster The Big Finish Audio Stories John Pickard
Amy The Big Finish Audio Stories Ciara Johnson
Monsters & Villains
 Like all the previous Doctors the Fifth Doctor was to confront both the Daleks and the Cybermen. This time though it appeared that there are two factions of the Daleks to deal with as well as their creator Davros. The Fifth Doctor also had to deal with another attempt from the Silurians and Sea Devils to reclaim 'their' planet from humanity.

 However, it was the return of both The Black Guardian and The Master that was to prove to be a thorn in his side especially when both use his current and a future companion against him. Adric was to fall foul of The Master in the very first story and Turlough's initial reason for joining The Doctor was so as to assist The Black Guardian.

 The Fifth Doctor also had problems with his own kind - The Timelords. He had to not only face Borusa but also the return of Omega who he last encounted as the Second Doctor.

 New monsters and aliens also needed to be thwarted and these included The Mara and Terileptils.

Memorable Moments
Audio - The Judgement of Isskar
The Judgement of Isskar
(Simon Guerrier)
 Possibly this Doctor’s most memorable moment was when he was called upon by the powerful beings known as the Grace to recover the six segments of the Key to Time, which he had previously been challenged to find in his fourth incarnation; as a result of the Fourth Doctor being forced to create a makeshift sixth segment to gain temporary access to the power of the Key and stop an inter-planetary war, the segments had become damaged and were starting to warp the fabric of reality around them. Aided only by a new companion in the form of the sentient Tracer Amy, The Doctor not only salvaged the six segments, but defied both The Black Guardian and The White Guardian and the Grace themselves, recognising that none of them deserved to possess the Key, destroying it himself rather than allowing it to fall into the hands of the powerful forces against him ("The Key 2 Time: The Judgement of Isskar" and "The Key 2 Time: The Chaos Pool")

Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
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