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     Home »  The Peter Davison Era »  The 5th Doctor and You
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    The 5th Doctor and You Views: 1674
     Wednesday, March 15 2006 @ 11:11 PM EST
    When I started watching the program, Baker was in his last season in Britain. I think I'm right in remembering that by the time my local PBS station made it to the end of the "loop" that first time through, I was able to see "Logopolis", and knew Baker was out. Through an odd quirk, my PBS station actually ran All Creatures Great and Small, so when I saw the regeneration, I kind of knew who "that guy" was. It took a bit more time for us to actually get the Davison episodes, and, I think we actually got Five Doctors before Castrovalva. While I was waiting for new shows, I therefore more eagerly lapped up All Creatures--which, incidentally, no sane urban, American kid of my age really should be interested in. Finally, season 19 came and I kind of "got" what Davison was doing, playing against both the "Baker" and the "Tristan" type.

    But as I've participated in more forums now, around the release of the 2005 series, I've heard whisperings that there are those who really don't like Davison. I like him, but I can't particularly define why. Is it just the fact that I watched a lot of him in the two different roles? Is it that I was totally into Nyssa? Is it that he blatantly refused to go back at save Adric? Is it that some of the stories were actually still halfway decent? I dunno.

    What do you think about the Davison Doctor? I'm especially interested to hear from those who actively dislike the characterization.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Wednesday, March 15 2006 @ 11:34 PM EST
    I have never liked Davison. As you don't know why you like him I can't say why I disliked him. Maybe it was that he wasn't Pertwee or Baker who I was used too or maybe it was the characters lack of control over situations. You could always feel with all the Doctors before Davison that they knew what was going on and had a plan (even Troughton with all his bumbling always had control over the situations he got into) but with Davison he was more wrong than he was right. I like the Doctor to give that knowing smile and get out of every situation with his usual wit and intelligence; Davison seemed to get out of trouble with a bit of luck, a blaster or speed of foot most times.

    I think this vulnerability is what most Davison fans liked but for me it just wasn't the Doctor. Just my opinion though.

    Having said all that I did however enjoy him leaving Adric to die, it was the only good thing he ever did. Twisted Evil

    That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal Lie, And With Strange Aeons Even Death May Die.
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     Thursday, March 16 2006 @ 12:13 AM EST
    I've heard it suggested that there's a fundamental development of the character from the first story to the last, with a attitudinal shift coming as a result of Tegan's messy departure. Do you see any particular variability in the character over time? Is he more likable in one set of stories over another? Do you buy into the notion, for instance, of Caves being one of the best stories of all time, or do you think that's more of a charity tossed in Davison's direction because "every Doctor deserves at least one 'great' story"?

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Thursday, March 16 2006 @ 08:14 AM EST
    I really liked Davison, myself. As warrenpeace says, I do like the vulnerability and the blasters blazing aspect of his character. It was just quite different from Baker, who was a master detective. Ken spoke about this on an early podshock, but it seems the powers that be behind the camera wanted to steer the series into more action oriented territory, and being a red blooded American, action scenes and gunfire and explosions, as seen in Earthshock and others, really played well with me. But I also liked the other doctors and their mental sparring with the villains. I guess in the end, I can't put my finger on why I liked him, just like you. I definitely liked his dynamic with his companions, most of the time. I also suppose I liked him more because he was a bit younger and more relatable on some level. I do think that Caves of Androzani was not the only great story. I think Davison had lots of good stories. Androzani was a good story, but probably has a reputation for being the best (or one of the best) because it is Davison's swan song. I enjoyed his Dalek episode, which was either Rememberance or Ressurection of the Daleks, I can never remember, where the Daleks explode and squirt out of their armor when shot. And there were consequences in that episode too. Davison's not my favorite, but he is my second favorite. I think. oh, I like them all.

    Heath Holland
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     Thursday, March 16 2006 @ 08:54 AM EST
    Yeah, in the Podshock contest, I put Davison down as my favorite, mostly because of the stark contrast between him and the final seasons of Baker before him.

    It was great to see a Doctor not so fully *censored*-sure, and totally in control. I thought he had some of the more serious adventures.

    I challenge anyone to watch Black Orchid and not appreciate Davison as the Doctor.

    (Go on, I dare ya. I'll give ya a cookie.)


    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Sunday, March 19 2006 @ 01:21 AM EST
    I have always loved most of the Davison era - for FIVE reasons really: 1)He was the first Doctor that I actually followed almost from beginning to end (just happened that way on my local PBS station) 2)The early 80s vintage seems to seduce me - that whole Douglas Adams & HHG2G/computer & video game/fantasy & scifi/new wave era 3)The special effects coming of age just before the stories started falling apart. 4)Peter Howell's etherial synthesized Radiophonic incidental music 5)The 5th Doctor's vulnerablity & very adult stories. I can't say why I liked HIM though - but my review of "the Caves of Androzani" for Netflix (Davison's best story, and one of the series best by far) pretty much sums it up:

    [The 5th Doctor's (Peter Davison's) era of Doctor Who, which was produced and televised in the early 1980s has received a great amount of criticism--mainly because he had the misfortune of following Tom Baker's 7 1/2 year run on the programme as the most popular (and familiar, even to Americans) 4th incarnation of the Doctor. The 5th Doctor's stories, however, were quite possibly the most adult and least comical of all (also contributing to the lack of popularity). He regenerated into a youthful, energetic, impatient, athletic, and compassionate sort of character that didn't always win the day as easily as his predecessor would ('Earthshock'/Adric, 'Warriors of the Deep', 'Planet of Fire'/Kamelion). He seemed to be more of a peer and friend to his companions than an elder, and often was willing to make sacrifices ('Mawdryn Undead') and take chances (Turlough & Kamelion) that made the programme more dramatic. 'The Caves of Androzani' was no exception. It is unfortunate that this story, one of the best, would be immediately followed by so many poor scripts. The only poor element to this story is the underground creature (very fake looking-but we are used to this as viewers of the The incidental music is some of the best in the series and a perfect mood setter. The Doctor also finally delivers two explanations for wearing the sprig of celery on his lapel. The ending is emotional for many reasons, but the best is seeing Peter Davison's 5th Doctor be given a satisfactory send off doing what he has always done best - racing against time while carrying his friend in his arms as he (literally) ran for their lives in one last burst of athletic energy, only to discover that things wouldn't be solved so easily once again. This time he would be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. The regeneration scene is also by far the best of the series.]

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     Sunday, March 19 2006 @ 04:39 AM EST
    There was a time when I would have put Davison as my favorite Doctor since it was during his era that I started to get hooked during the 1980s. However, over the last ten years, I might have to put Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee above him.

    I still have my favorites: Time Flight, Mawdryn Undead, Enlightenment, The Five Doctors, Arc of Infinity, etc. While his last season started out strong with Warriors of the Deep, I wasn't that happy with the stories from that last season. Caves just wasn't the same as the episodes from the first two seasons. Too dark and depressing.

    Maybe it was 1984 and everyone was trying to go dark and gritty for shock? Maybe they were purposely trying to play the grimness off of his vunerability? Maybe I just didn't like JNT's change of the show??? It seems the angry & grim stories with everyone shouting and putting each other down continued into the Colin Baker era, which made it my least favorite.

    But that's just my take on the series from back then. I've softened a little with those episodes over the years but they took some of the fun and innocence away then, starting in Davison's last season. For me, Colin Baker's era is summed up with an angry Doctor and Peri's boobies.

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     Sunday, March 19 2006 @ 09:32 AM EST
    I am a big Davison fan myself I thought his era was excellant, I thought he played the 5th Doctor well. Peter had a hard task taking over from Tom Baker who thanks to playing the Doctor for 7 long years had become firmly fixed in peoples minds as the Doctor.

    Dr Who is back baby Yeah !!!
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     Saturday, March 25 2006 @ 11:01 AM EST
    I happen to enjoy the Davison era a lot. I like the youthfulness and his sort of general aura of being confused and perplexed...while at the same time being in control

    Like previous posters have said, The Caves of Androzani is in my opnion one of the best ever Doctor Who stories. Even though it is often criticized, I also happen to like Time Flight a lot. Planet of Fire is a great wrap-up for Turlough's character. And I am always affected by Adric's demise in Earthshock. In fact that story was the first Doctor Who DVD that I bought.

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     Friday, June 30 2006 @ 07:17 PM EDT
    My theory is that you can probably guess the age of someone by their favorite Doctor - at least in my case I liked Peter Davison because I was 1. In love with him and 2. He was the Doctor when I was old enough to really start to enjoy/understand the show.

    So, I bet a lot of fans just plain like the Doctor they grew up with.

    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
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     Saturday, October 21 2006 @ 09:08 AM EDT
    Late to the party. I like Peter Davison's Doctor, but he's not my favorite. My first Doctor was Tom Baker, and he was my favorite for the longest time, backing what Magpie suggested earlier about loving the Doctor you grew up with. But, just like getting older made me appreciate the subtleties of Shemp over the manicness of Curly, as I got older I really grew to like Jon Pertwee's Doctor best (I'm strictly talking classic Doctors...I haven't decided where 9 or 10 fall into my rankings yet).

    One particular scene I do love with Davison's Doctor is when his regeneration is not going well in Castrovalva. I love his little impressions of the previous Doctor, particularly his impression of the 1st Doctor. Smile


    I'm going "Full Circle" and putting my avatar back to what it was when I first joined. :)
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     Saturday, October 21 2006 @ 10:13 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] I do think that Caves of Androzani was not the only great story. I think Davison had lots of good stories. Androzani was a good story, but probably has a reputation for being the best (or one of the best) because it is Davison's swan song.

    and also maybe because it is also his most widely available episode?

    i've always liked davison's doctor. when he first arrived the show had an odd atmosphere about it brought on from the last few tom baker episodes. much more calm than usual, and i really like some of those stories that i've seen.

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     Sunday, October 22 2006 @ 02:23 PM EDT
    although exactly how many times did this happen in davison's era? (what i mean is at the end of the clips)

    i think it's quite funny!

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