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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

This article is written from the Real World point of view. TARDIS
Peter Davison in a 1992 agency publicity portrait

Peter Davison (born 13th April 1951) is the stage name of Peter Moffett, who played the fifth incarnation of the Doctor from 1981 to 1984, beginning with the conclusion of "Logopolis" and ending with "The Caves of Androzani." He reprised the role for the 1993 Children in Need special, "Dimensions in Time", again for the 2007 Children in Need special "Time Crash", and has also voiced the Doctor for numerous Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish. Davison is also well-known for his roles as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small.

Davison was born Peter Moffett in London. His father was originally from Guyana. He studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and appeared in several stage productions and some minor television roles before he got his big break in 1978. His performance as the ne'er-do-well Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small made him a household name. He married American actress Sandra Dickinson in the same year, but they divorced in 1994. He and Dickinson had previously appeared together in an episode ("A Man for Emily") of the television series The Tomorrow People (1975) and together composed and performed the theme tune to Button Moon, a children's programme broadcast in the 1980s. He made a cameo appearance alongside Dickinson as the Dish of the Day in the television version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981), whose producers considered it humorous for an actor known for playing a veterinary surgeon to appear as a cow. Davison also appeared in some British sitcoms, including Holding the Fort, Sink or Swim and Ain't Misbehavin, as well as appearing in dramatic roles.

In 1981, Davison signed a contract to play the Doctor for three years, succeeding Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor). Aged 29 at the time of his first appearance in the series, Davison was for more than a quarter century the youngest actor to have played the Doctor in the series or in any BBC-sanctioned Doctor Who production; however, he will hand over this distinction to Matt Smith, who has been cast as the Eleventh Doctor and began filming his first episodes as the Doctor in July 2009; Smith turns 27 in October 2009.

Coincidentally, several of Davison's stories were directed by one Peter Moffatt and on the 2008 DVD release of The Five Doctors, Davison recalls friends thinking he not only starred in the show, but directed it as well.

Attracting such a high-profile actor 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.

After leaving Doctor Who, he continued to appear occasionally on television, including an appearance on the American show Magnum, P.I. (following the lead of Tom Baker who similarly made a high-profile US TV appearance in Remington Steele after leaving the series).

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. He also worked on several occasions with BBV Productions, co-starring with several other former Doctors in the SF film The Airzone Solution, and he also reprised the Fifth Doctor for the controversial Dimensions in Time special. In 1999 he appeared as the outgoing headteacher in Hope And Glory. He also appeared with Mark Gatiss in a Reeltime Pictures-produced Doctor Who spoof, The Kidnapping, in which he appeared as himself (this skit was later included in the The Beginning DVD set). In 1995 he presented "Heavenly Bodies" a six-part series about astronomy, broadcast on BBC1. This led to him being featured on the cover of "Practical Astronomy" magazine (Volume 1, number 5, dated March 1995).

It was not until 2000 that he returned in another major role, that of David Braithwaite in At Home with the Braithwaites.

More recently, he also starred in the television series The Last Detective (2003-date) and Distant Shores (2005) for ITV, the latter where he coincidentally also played a doctor.

His daughter with Dickinson, Georgia Moffett, had a child while still in her teens, making Davison a young grandfather. Georgia is also an actress who auditioned for the role of Rose Tyler when Doctor Who was revived in 2005, and also auditioned for a role in the 2008 episode, The Unicorn and the Wasp. Ultimately, she was cast as Jenny, the titular character in the Series 4 episode The Doctor's Daughter, which aired several months after her father's appearance in Time Crash. She is also voicing a different character for the upcoming animated serial Dreamland.

External links

  • Peter Davison at the Internet Movie Database
  • Violence & Vulnerability - Peter Davison article at
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Peter_Davison. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "Peter Davison" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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