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Fandom / Television PopWrapped | Fandom

The Fifth Doctor: Cricket, Celery, And Cleverness In Peter Davidson's Doctor Tenure

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


11/05/2013 6:03 pm
PopWrapped | Fandom
The Fifth Doctor: Cricket, Celery, And Cleverness In Peter Davidson's Doctor Tenure
Media Courtesy of the BBC

Kayleigh Falvey

Staff Writer

When Tom Baker decided to hang up his multi-coloured scarf and long coat for the last time, the producers knew it was time to change things up on Doctor Who. In 1981, shows like Dallas, Magnum P.I and Only Fools and Horses had begun and if Doctor Who was to survive, it needed a charming young man to take control of the now infamous TARDIS, this young man was Peter Davidson. Davidson was only 29 when he took control of the TARDIS making him the youngest actor to ever play the Doctor, a title later given to the 26-year-old Matt Smith, but that didn’t seem to faze him in the slightest. Dressed in a cricket suit with a celery stick as a accessory, the Fifth Doctor was much younger and gave the impression of being, “an old head on young shoulders”, which was not surprising seeing as this was his fifth incarnation! The Fifth also had been given the short straw, as he had to take over from the Fourth Doctor, who was a seemingly hard act to follow after his seven-year tenure.  But with this Doctor, we always knew when he struggled with something because, unlike the other Doctors, he could never hide it. You always knew he would try his very best to fix whatever situation he had gotten himself and his companions into. This made him a less over-confident Doctor but he was always a clever Doctor. In many ways, he was similar to the second Doctor, who always seemed to doubt but our Fifth Doctor could never truly hide it from anyone, especially not his companions. In this era, the Doctor had 6 companions and he was reunited with an old friend. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) was a part of the Doctor Who family for years, being the brains behind the institution that is UNIT, he met with the Fifth Doctor in 1883, when he was an A-levels maths teacher at Brendon Public School where a young Humanoid alien Vislor Turlough (Mark Stricken) is a pupil. Turlough went on to be one of the Fifth’s companions, later leaving the TARDIS to return to his homeland with his brother Malkon. The Fifth’s other Companions included Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), Tegan (Janet Fielding), Kamelion (Gerald Flood) and Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant). The fifth Doctor had his own share of defeating the Monsters that we all know, Daleks, Cybermen, Silurians and Davos. The Fifth even had a swordfight with The Master himself! And let’s not forget when the Fifth united with his predecessors in the 20th Anniversary special The Five Doctors (1983). In the Fifth’s era he also fought new monsters like Terileptils who first appeared in 1982. These were a race of reptilian humanoids that breathed flammable soliton gas. When their ship crashed on Earth in the 17th century, they began to develop of super-strain of the bubonic plague. As always the Doctor put a stop to them but when their command centre started burning the fire took hold and burned much of London, this became known as the Great Fire of London. Another new Monster that this Doctor faced was the The Mara, who also first appeared in 1982. These were also reptiles, but were found inside the human heart and when they took control of companion Tegan, the Doctor managed to use his mental energy to destroy the Mara. An interesting thing to remember about the Fifth Doctor is that through his era, he didn’t have the infamous sonic screwdriver. Nowadays, we see the Doctor being able to fix anything and everything with his “sonic”, but in 1982 while defeating the Terileptils, the leader of the race destroyed the sonic in “Visitation”. With the Doctor saying,” I feel as though you’ve just killed an old friend…” The decision was made by the show’s then producer John Nathan-Turner to do away with it, because he thought that the screwdriver was used too often as a “magic wand” to solve any problem that the Doctor faced. It was also done to make the Doctor appear more vulnerable. The Fifth Doctor regenerated in 1984 in a bid to save his companion Peri Brown from a deadly virus. He would later make a re-appearance in a special for Comic Relief where he had to save the TARDIS along with the Tenth Doctor David Tennant. In this special, you see 5 and 10 working together and at the end 10 says the words that every Whovian has said at one time or another about a Doctor, “You were my Doctor”. And you know something; The Fifth Doctor is my Doctor!


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