Friday, July 6, 2007
Peter Davison: The Fifth Doctor
Peter Davison (born Peter Moffett 13 April 1951) is an English actor, best known for his roles as Tristan Farnon in the television version of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small and as the fifth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, which he played from 1981 to 1984.
In 1981, Davison signed a contract to play the Doctor for three years, succeeding Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) and, at age 29, still the youngest actor to assume the lead role. Attracting such a high-profile actor as Davison was as much of a coup for the programme's producers as getting the role was for him, but he did not renew his contract because he feared being typecast. Reportedly, Patrick Troughton (who had played the Second Doctor) had recommended to Davison that he leave the role after three years, and Davison followed his advice.
It was not until 1986 that Davison worked on another very popular series. He played Dr Stephen Daker, the ingenuous hero of A Very Peculiar Practice, written by Andrew Davies. The surreal comedy-drama was revived several years later as A Very Polish Practice. Davison also played the lead in Campion, a series based on the period whodunnits of Margery Allingham. This, and the opportunity to play Tristan Farnon again in 1985 and 1990, kept Davison busy until the early 1990s, when he gradually faded from the public eye. He continued to appear occasionally on television, including playing the lead in Harnessing Peacocks in 1992 and an appearance on the American show Magnum, P.I., but it was not until 2000 that he returned in another major role, that of David Braithwaite in At Home with the Braithwaites.
Davison has appeared in several radio series including Change at Oglethorpe in 1995 and Minor Adjustment in 1996. In 1985 he appeared in the BBC Radio 4 comedy drama series King Street Junior, as teacher Eric Brown, but he left after only two series and was replaced by Karl Howman (as Philip Sims). In the 2000s, he starred in the comedy series Rigor Mortis.
In 1999 he appeared as the outgoing headteacher in the television series Hope And Glory. He has also starred in the television series The Last Detective (2003–) and Distant Shores (2005) for ITV, in the latter of which he also played a doctor. In 2006 he appeared as Professor George Huntley in The Complete Guide to Parenting. He has also appeared on the TV series Hardware as himself.
Davison returned to play the Doctor in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time. He continues to reprise the role in a series of audio plays by Big Finish Productions.
Davison made a guest appearance in the first episode of the second series of the BBC Radio 4 science fiction comedy series Nebulous, broadcast in April 2006.
Davison also worked on the stage. In 1996 he played the role of Tony Wendice in the theatrical production of Dial M for Murder, the play on which the movie by Alfred Hitchcock was based.
Following the success of At Home with the Braithwaites, Davison is now appearing in the new BBC comedy Fear, Stress and Anger, also starring his daughter Georgia Moffett. Davison plays one-half of an overworked couple with two irresponsible daughters and mother-in-law at home.
Prior to her casting in Fear, Stress and Anger, Davison's daughter Georgia auditioned for the role of Rose Tyler in Doctor Who. Georgia Moffett is Davison's daughter by his marriage to Sandra Dickinson; he has two other children, sons Louis and Joel, with his present wife, Elizabeth Morton.
The 5th Doctor Opening
The 5th Doctor Episodes
Season Nineteen - 1982
Four To Doomsday
Season Twenty - 1983
Arc of Infinity
The Guardian Trilogy:
The King's Demons
20th Anniversary Special
The Five Doctors
Season Twenty-One - 1984
Warriors of the Deep
Resurrection of the Daleks
Planet of Fire
The Caves of Androzani