I have this faded memory of being in Sunday School at about the age of nine: I don’t remember what the particular lesson was, but I remember that we were supposed to be working out of these large workbooks that the Sunday School teacher had passed around. As the teacher walked around the class checking on our progress, she stopped and noticed that I wasn’t reading the book she had handed out. Hidden between the pages of the Sunday School book I had slipped one of those old Target Doctor Who novelizations. The book was Kinda and on the cover was Peter Davison in the role of the Fifth Doctor. The book was quickly confiscated and a call was made home that evening to my mother; the Sunday School teacher didn’t feel that there was any place for Doctor Who in her class, and my mother wholeheartedly agreed. But to me, well, Doctor Who was far more exciting than Bible studies. I mean, wasn’t Doctor Who also about the battle of good versus evil?
To put it quite frankly, Doctor Who, and especially Peter Davison, was my childhood hero. At a time where I first was cutting my teeth on fan culture, Doctor Who was my first pop culture obsession and after watching Tom Baker regenerate a very short time after discovering the show, Peter Davison became “my” Doctor. The moon and the sun revolved around Doctor Who as I jumped head first into the world of fandom.
Although Peter Davison is best known throughout the world as the fifth actor to take on the iconic role of one of Britian’s most famous fictional characters, since 1975 he has been a regular cast member on 14 different television series. First hitting the pop culture radar in 1978 in the role of Tristan Farnon on the classic BBC series All Creatures Great and Small, Peter Davison has also either starred or co-starred in Love for Lydia, Sink or Swim, Holding the Fort, A Very Peculiar Practice, Campion , Fiddlers Three, Ain’t Misbehaving, The Last Detective, At Home with the Braithwaites, Fear, Stress and Anger, and Distant Shores. Currently he appears as Henry Sharpe on Law & Order: UK, and makes regular appearances on the new ITV comedy series Pat and Cabbage. But his tenure as the Doctor from 1981 to 1984 has made him a pop culture icon to millions of fans worldwide.
With the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who coming up in November 2013, Peter Davison has been extra busy doing interviews, press conferences, and making personal appearances worldwide. With Doctor Who fandom being larger in scope than ever before, Peter Davison has kept his feet firmly into the world of Doctor Who. In 2007, he became the first actor to reprise the role in the current Doctor Who series in a special Children in Need mini-episode with the then current Doctor David Tennant. Incidentally, Tennant is married to Davison’s daughter, Georgia Moffet, whom he met when she appeared in the role of Jenny in the Doctor Who episode The Doctor’s Daughter. Talk about keeping Doctor Who in the family!
In conjunction with Peter Davison’s upcoming appearance in Toronto for Reversed Polarity’s 50th Anniversary celebration of Doctor Who on November 1st through 3rd (click here for more details), I had the great honor to talk to Peter Davison about his career. Warm, friendly and easy to talk to, there was much joy and laughter as I spoke with not only one of England’s busiest actors, but my childhood hero.