My Doctor Who: Peter Davison

Posted: November 25, 2013 in watching
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For me, Doctor Who will always be Peter Davison.

It’s a matter of age. I was just old enough to be watching Doctor Who during his tenure, and to be traumatised by his near-death and regeneration at the end of The Caves of Androzani. As a little kid, this charming, energetic young man was everything I wanted to be. The fact that he beat alien menaces without resorting to violence really clinched it.

Seriously, how much cooler can a person get?

Seriously, how much cooler can a person get?

Of course I enjoyed Colin Baker, for all that I know now that he was controversial. And I loved Sylvester McCoy, with his erratic energy and weird, dark plotlines. Berty Bassett still gives me the creeps. I watched the older doctors on video, and took a particular liking to Jon Pertwee, for reasons I can’t even remember.

I was gutted about the McGann mess, for all the flare he brought to the role, and then immensely releaved when the RTD revival got it right. I’ve enjoyed Eccleston, Tennant, Smith and now Hurt, and I cannot wait to see Capaldi take on the big blue box. These days, the Doctor just seems to get better and better.

But for me, and I suspect many others, the appeal of Doctor Who isn’t in the quality of the show, which has swung wildly about over time. It’s in my emotional attachment. And that lies forever with the fifth doctor.

  1. Ben Burston says:

    Tom Baker for the Win! (and yes – you are entirely correct about eras and identification with ‘your’ Doctor). Though I do have a soft spot for Paridise Towers!

    • Paradise Towers is one of the ones I’d consider going back to watch. I’m always nervous doing that, as old Who doesn’t always stand the test of time, but that one somehow stuck in my mind.

  2. Much of McCoy’s Who is really bad. And McCoy is my favourite, hands down (even though everything you say about Davison is true as we’re the same age). Paradise Towers is one of the many bad ones that are particularity frustrating as there is a good story trying to get out. The pitch:

    ‘An idyllic planned community becomes a horrific ghetto when a distant war takes all those of fighting age away leaving only the very young & very old to fend for themselves. Years later gangs of teenagers who have raised themselves roam the corridors, malfunctioning automated maintenance systems prey on the lost, and a community of old ladies have turned to cannibalism to survive. Landing in the Basement The Doctor and Ace must get to the top floor to find out what’s really going on.’

    Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? And that pitch equally led to what we got. Much of McCoy is like that. Happiness Patrol, Greatest Show, Battlefield & Survival are all achingly close to something really good.

    Luckily some of it is amazing, especially Fenric, Ghostlight & Remembrance.

  3. John Moley says:

    Weirdly, I think “my Doctor” may have changed.
    I think it was once McCoy (the first Doctor I watched consistently, when it aired). However, over the past year or two, I’ve had the pleasure of re-watching a great deal of Dr Who with my littl’uns. Some of the classics for sure, depending on what’s available, but the focus has been heavily on the last three Doctors. There isn’t one of the 21st-century episodes that we haven’t seen at least twice. They were awestruck by Eccleston, but it was Billie Piper who carried them through. So, perhaps inevitably, they followed her every step and fell head over heels in love with Tennant. And, as I was right there with them, experiencing it all afresh through their eyes, my loyalties have blurred somewhat with theirs. There is one notable distinction. They prefer the series 2 episodes; the Doctor and Rose… running. I, on the other hand, have always preferred sitcoms to soaps. Give me the Doctor Donna any day of the week; Runaway Bride, Partners in Crime, Fires of Pompeii, Midnight, Turn Left: Witty, compassionate, haunted and dangerous… that’s my Doctor, right there.

    • I really liked Donna as well. Rose was good, but the show got a bit too emo about her for my taste at times. Glad the kids are enjoying it though. I think that’s part of the power of the reinvention – it’s made it accessible to a new generation.

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