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Peter Davison

Doctor Who
Celebrity Hall, Bay Center 2nd Floor

Peter Davison portrayed 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 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 program 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 the Doctor, and later in Fiddlers Three and Ain't Misbehavin, as well as appearing in dramatic roles.

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 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 was twenty-six at the time of his début.

Attracting such a high-profile actor was as much of a coup for the program'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.

In 2013 Davison also wrote, directed, and starred in the The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, a comical film released on the Red Button in which he, alongside Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, attempts to appear in the 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode, "The Day of the Doctor". In anticipation of the debut of actor Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor in 2014, he hosted two specials, "The Ultimate Time Lord" and "The Ultimate Companion", in which he interviewed former Doctors, companions and production staff for the BBC. Davison also still appears regularly as the Doctor in Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio range.

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 Kidnappers, in which he appeared as himself (this skit was later included in the The Beginning DVD box 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 (a fact played up for laughs in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot). Davison was also a regular in the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Rigor Mortis.