a real world point of view
|Other names:||Peter Moffett|
|Birth date:||13 April 1951 (Age 62)|
|In the DWU|
|Main roles:||Fifth Doctor|
|Main time period active:|
|Notable non-DWU work:|
The Last Detective
All Creatures Great and Small
A Very Peculiar Practice
- You may be looking for director Peter Moffatt.
Peter Davison (born 13 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" and again for the 2007 Children in Need special, Time Crash, making him one of the few actors to star in both the classic and new series of Doctor Who. He has also voiced the Doctor for numerous Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish Productions. 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 the three-part story A Man For Emily in the ITV Sci-Fi series The Tomorrow People (1975) and together composed and performed the theme tune to ITVs Button Moon, a lunchtime children's programme broadcast in the 1980s.
Davison made a cameo appearance alongside Dickinson as the Dish of the Day in the BBC 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 and Sink or Swim during his time as Doctor Who and later Fiddlers Three and Ain't Misbehavin, as well as appearing in dramatic roles.
Doctor Who Career Edit
In 1981, Davison signed a contract to play the Fifth Doctor for three years, succeeding Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor). Twenty-nine at the time of his first appearance in the series, Davison was, until recently, the youngest actor to have played the Doctor in the series or in any BBC-sanctioned Doctor Who production. In 2010, he handed over this distinction to Matt Smith, who has twenty-six at the time of his début.
Coincidentally, several of Davison's stories were directed by Peter Moffatt (only a slight variation from Davison's birth name, Peter Moffett), 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 (similarly to Christopher Eccleston's reason of retirement from the same role years later). 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 Doctor Who Edit
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 one off TV film A Very Polish Practice. Davison also played the lead in another BBC production, Campion, a series based on the period whodunnits of Margery Allingham. This, and the opportunity to play Tristan Farnon again in 1985 and 1990 in the revived series of All Creatures Great and Small, 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 reprised the Fifth Doctor for the controversial Dimensions in Time special. In 1999 he appeared as the outgoing headteacher in Hope And Glory. He 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, which ran for four seasons on ITV.
More recently, he starred in the television series The Last Detective (based on the Dangerous Davies novels by Leslie Thomas) (2003-2007) and Distant Shores (2005) for ITV, the latter where he coincidentally also played a doctor. In 2011, he took a major recurring role on Law and Order: UK.
His daughter with Dickinson, Georgia Moffett, had a child while still in her teens, making Davison a young grandfather. Georgia auditioned for the role of Rose Tyler in Doctor Who's 2005 revival and also auditioned for a role in the 2008 episode, The Unicorn and the Wasp. 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 also voiced a different character for the animated serial, Dreamland. She married the Tenth Doctor's actor, David Tennant, on 30 December 2011, meaning Davison is Tennant's father-in-law.
Davison was also a regular in the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Rigor Mortis.