|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2008)|
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|The Fifth Doctor|
|Portrayed by||Peter Davison|
|First appearance||Logopolis (Part 4)|
|Last appearance||The Caves of Androzani (regular)
"Time Crash" (charity special)
|Number of series||3|
|Appearances||20 stories (69 episodes)|
|Preceded by||Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)|
|Succeeded by||Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)|
|Series||Seasons 19 to 21|
Within the series' narrative, the Doctor is a centuries-old Time Lord alien from the planet Gallifrey who travels in time and space in his TARDIS, frequently with companions. Because he is a Time Lord, when the Doctor is critically injured, he can regenerate his body; in doing so, his physical appearance and personality change.
After Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor, and the BBC had announced that he was leaving the role, the show's producers decided that the next Doctor was to be played by someone who presented something of a physical contrast to Baker and by an actor who was already firmly established in the British public's mind. Peter Davison was chosen due to his critically acclaimed role as Tristan Farnon in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small which had Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner as line producer.
The Fifth Doctor's era was notable for a "back to the basics" attitude, in which "silly" humour (and, to an extent, horror) was kept to a minimum, and more scientific accuracy was encouraged by the producer, John Nathan-Turner. It was, at times, a darker and grittier series, in part for seeing the death of one of his companions, Adric. It was also notable for the reintroduction of many of the Time Lord's enemies, such as the Master, Cybermen, Omega (a founding-father of Gallifrey), the Black and White Guardians, and the Silurians.
The Fourth Doctor's regeneration into the Fifth was a problematic one, and nearly failed, with the Doctor briefly taking on personality aspects from his four previous incarnations. After recovering in the fictional city Castrovalva (actually an elaborate trap created by his arch-enemy The Master), he continued his travels with Tegan Jovanka, Nyssa and Adric. Initially his travels centred on getting Tegan back to Heathrow Airport in time for her first day as an airhostess, but the TARDIS repeatedly missed this destination and Tegan eventually decided to stay in the TARDIS. After trips to the future and the past encountering villains such as Monarch and the Mara, the Fifth Doctor was confronted with tragedy when Adric died trying to stop a space freighter from crashing into prehistoric Earth (Earthshock).
Following Adric's death, the TARDIS accidentally arrived at Heathrow airport (Time-Flight). Here the Doctor and Nyssa left Tegan assuming she would want to stay (when in fact she did not any more). The Doctor and Nyssa then travelled together for an unspecified amount of time before the renegade Time Lord Omega, attempting to return to our universe, temporally bonded himself to the Doctor (Arc of Infinity). Faced with this threat, the Time Lords were forced to attempt executing the Doctor, but he eventually tracked Omega to Amsterdam where he defeated him and re-encountered Tegan (who having now lost her job, had no second thoughts about rejoining the TARDIS crew).
When the Doctor met a new companion, an alien boy stranded on Earth by the name of Vislor Turlough, he did not know that Turlough had been commissioned by the Black Guardian to kill him. Soon after, Nyssa left to help cure Lazar's Disease on the space station Terminus. After meeting the entities known as Eternals racing in yacht-like spacecraft for the prize of "Enlightenment", Turlough broke free from the Black Guardian's influence, and continued to travel with the Doctor and Tegan. Landing in the reign of King John, the crew again encountered The Master, who was using a shape-shifting robot Kamelion to impersonate the King. However, the Doctor helped Kamelion to regain his free will and the robot joined him in his travels (although he rarely left the TARDIS). The Doctor met three of his previous incarnations when they were summoned to the Death Zone on Gallifrey by president Borusa, who was attempting to gain Rassilon's secret of immortality.
After further adventures in which the Doctor re-encountered old foes, including the Silurians and the Sea Devils, both Tegan and Turlough left the TARDIS. Tegan would find the death and violence they encountered on their travels too much to bear (Resurrection of the Daleks), and Turlough returned to his home planet of Trion in the company of his younger brother, as well as other exiles of Trion, from the planet Sarn. The Doctor was eventually forced to destroy Kamelion, when the Master used his mental connection to the robot to regain control of him, a process the robot realised was irreversible (Planet of Fire).
Ultimately, the Fifth Doctor and his last companion Peri Brown were exposed to the drug spectrox in its deadly toxic raw form on Androzani Minor. With only one dose of the antidote available, he nobly sacrificed his own existence to save Peri, expressing doubt for the first time that regeneration might be possible this time, then regenerating into the Sixth Doctor.
A sketch of the Fifth Doctor is seen in John Smith's book in the new series episode "Human Nature" (2007). Visions of the Fifth Doctor (alongside other past Doctors) appear in "The Next Doctor" (2008) and "The Eleventh Hour" (2010).
Somewhere in his life (perhaps set after the events of Snakedance) he crashed his TARDIS into the TARDIS of the Tenth Doctor and consequently nearly opened a "Belgium sized" black hole because of the paradox caused, which the Tenth Doctor also uses to explain the notably aged appearance of his former self. However the Tenth Doctor, remembering the event, knew how to stop it because he recalled watching himself correct the mistake when he was the Fifth Doctor. ("Time Crash")
The Fifth Doctor was far more vulnerable, sensitive, and reserved than his previous incarnations and often reacted to situations rather than initiating them. Frequently, he made decisions by flipping a coin. Unlike his more authoritative predecessors, he treated his young companions as parts of a team, and often willingly participated in situations under the leadership of someone else who had the strong command presence that he apparently lacked. However, the Fifth Doctor's boyish appearance, nervous energy, and charm all hid the fact that he was a Time Lord of great age, compassion, and experience. He could decipher the ingredients of a drink by smell alone and rosemary made him sneeze.
This Doctor greatly abhorred violence and often hesitated about taking matters into his own hands. For the first time, indecision weighed seriously on the character, and it had its consequences – yet this Doctor was also one of the most courageous of his incarnations. He was willing to take chances with companions like Turlough and Kamelion, who were originally threats, even as he pretended to be unaware of it at first in order to grant his companion the opportunity to do the right thing. He was also willing to make enormous personal sacrifices (Mawdryn Undead) simply to keep his word and liberate others from suffering. It was perhaps the awful realisation that his very existence begat violence and the weight of companion Adric's death on his conscience, and perhaps Tegan's near emotional breakdown as well, that led him to sacrifice his own existence to save his last companion, Peri. In an episode of Doctor Who Confidential, Steven Moffat said that "this Doctor takes the emphasis off the eccentricities and turns it into a pained heroism of a man who is so much better than the universe he is trying to save but cannot bear to let it stand."
The Fifth Doctor was the last to use the sonic screwdriver in the original series, having been destroyed during The Visitation. The Seventh Doctor and subsequent Doctors were later seen using versions of the tool in the television movie and the revived series. In "Time Crash", the Fifth Doctor declined to borrow the Tenth Doctor's sonic screwdriver.
The Fifth Doctor's chosen mode of dress was a variation of an Edwardian cricketer's uniform, and he was even seen to carry a cricket ball in one of his pockets (which saved his life in one adventure). He wore a cream-coloured frock coat, striped trousers, plimsoll shoes, and occasionally a pair of spectacles. He frequently wore an optimo-style Panama hat that had a red band studded with sparkling stones, which he would roll up and place in an inside coat pocket. The Tenth Doctor, who inherited various traits from this incarnation such as spectacle use, revealed in "Time Crash" that the spectacles were not actually needed to aid the Doctor's eyesight but were just for show to make him look clever (perhaps to counter his youthful appearance), although in Four to Doomsday, he makes a remark about being a bit short-sighted in one eye when questioned about the contents of his pockets, which included the aforementioned cricket ball, a book (The TARDIS Manual) and a magnifying glass. The Fifth Doctor's costume also retained red question marks embroidered onto the collar, which producer John Nathan-Turner added to the Fourth Doctor's costume in 1980. The Fifth Doctor displayed an unusually acute sense of taste in Planet of Fire, also inherited by the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor.
On his lapel, this Doctor wore a celery stalk. He claimed in The Caves of Androzani that the celery would sometimes turn purple in the presence of certain gases in the "Praxis" range to which he was allergic, although this allergy was not mentioned by any incarnations before or since. He said that if that happened, he would then eat the celery, adding "[I]f nothing else, I'm sure it's good for my teeth." In the same story, while attempting to revive a feverish Peri from spectrox toxaemia, he had noted that celery was an "excellent restorative from where I come from," but that the human olfactory system was "comparatively feeble." Supporting this assertion, in the 2010 episode "Cold Blood", the Eleventh Doctor asks if there is any celery handy after being subjected to a decontamination process intended for humans (which proved potentially lethal to a Time Lord biology). The Tenth Doctor poked fun at the celery in "Time Crash", describing it as a "decorative vegetable".
Peter Davison stated in an interview on the DVD of Castrovalva that he thought the clothes he wore were far too "designed" and that he would have still kept them, but wanted to add some individual flair to them, as other actors portraying the Doctor have done in the past. In an interview with BBC Breakfast in July 2011, Davison stated that the cricket jumper was his idea, as the producers wanted something that conveyed both action and eccentricity.
During production of the mini-episode "Time Crash", it was necessary to reassemble the Fifth Doctor's costume; this was accomplished through borrowing various items from the Doctor Who exhibition in Blackpool; knitting a new cricket sweater; procuring a new hat with the original band added; and Davison wearing the trousers that were originally altered for Colin Baker in the final scene of The Caves of Androzani.
The Fifth Doctor was first seen on television in the last episode of Logopolis, broadcast on 21 March 1981. Davison played the role through the 19th and 20th seasons of Doctor Who, including the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors. Patrick Troughton, who played the Second Doctor, advised Davison to stay in the role for three years, and acting on this advice Davison informed producer John Nathan-Turner that he would leave the role after the 21st season. In a break from recent tradition, Nathan-Turner decided to regenerate the Doctor in the season's penultimate story, in order to introduce the Sixth Doctor to audiences before the seasonal hiatus. Davison's last regular appearance as the Fifth Doctor was in the last episode of The Caves of Androzani, broadcast on 16 March 1984.
Davison returned to the role briefly in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time. Beginning in 1999, he recorded a series of Doctor Who radio dramas for Big Finish Productions. In 2007, Davison, at the age of 56, appeared alongside Tenth Doctor David Tennant in a Doctor Who special for Children in Need, written by Steven Moffat and titled "Time Crash". This was the first official time that a Doctor from the New Series met a Doctor from the original 26-year run. This is the first "multi-Doctor" story in the revived series and the first televised one since The Two Doctors in 1985.
The Fifth Doctor has also appeared in officially licensed novels, short stories and comics.
Non-television appearances 
Short stories 
- "Birth of a Renegade" by Eric Saward, Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special
- "Fascination" by David J. Howe, Virgin's "Decalog"
- "Lackaday Express" by Paul Cornell, "Decalog"
- "Lonely Days" by Daniel Blythe, "Decalog 2: Lost Property"
- "Past Reckoning" by Jackie Marshall, "Decalog 3: Consequences"
- "Zeitgeist" by Craig Hinton, "Decalog 3: Consequences"
- "The Parliament of Rats" by Daniel O'Mahony, "Short Trips"
- "The Eternity Contract" by Steve Lyons (writer), "More Short Trips"
- "Hot Ice" by Christopher Bulis, "More Short Trips"
- "A Town Called Eternity" by Lance Parkin and Mark Clapham, "Short Trips and Sidesteps"
- "Sagittarius: Five Card Draw" by Todd Green, "Short Trips: Zodiac"
- "Hearts of Stone" by Steve Lyons, "Short Trips: Companions"
- "Qualia" by Stephen Fewell, "Short Trips: Companions"
- "The Canvey Angels" by David Bailey, "Short Trips: Companions"
- "The Comet's Tail" by John Binns, "Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors"
- "Long Term" by Andrew Campbell, "Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors"
- "Soul Mate" by David Bailey, "Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors"
- "Erato: Confabula" by Ian Potter, ""Short Trips: The Muses""
- "Clio: The Glass Princess" by Justin Richards, "Short Trips: The Muses"
- "Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Mark Wright, "Short Trips: Steel Skies"
- "No Exit" by Kate Orman, "Short Trips: Steel Skies"
- "Greenaway" by Peter Anghelides, "Short Trips: Steel Skies"
- "The Immortals" by Simon Guerrier, "Short Trips: Past Tense"
- "Graham Dilley Saves The World" by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett, "Short Trips: Past Tense"
- "White Man's Burden" by John Binns, "Short Trips: Past Tense"
- "Observation" by Ian Farrington, "Short Trips: Life Science"
- "Lant Land" by Jonathan Morris, "Short Trips: Life Science"
- "The Gangster's Story" by Jon de Burgh Miller, "Short Trips: Repercussions"
- "The Juror's Story" by Eddie Robson, "Short Trips: Repercussions"
- "The Assassin's Story" by Andrew Collins, "Short Trips: Repercussions"
- "Flashpoint" by Matt Grady, "Short Trips: Monsters"
- "Categorical Imperative" by Simon Guerrier, "Short Trips: Monsters"
- "Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life" by Anthony Keetch, "Short Trips: Monsters"
- "Artificial Intelligence" by Andy Campbell, "Short Trips: 2040"
- "In the TARDIS: Christmas Day" by Val Dougla, "Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury"
- "Never Seen Cairo" by Darren Sellars, "Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury"
- "Last Minute Shopping" by Neil Perryman, "Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury"
- "The Eight Doctors of Christmas" by Matthew Griffiths, "Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury"
- "Lily" by Jackie Marshall, "Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury"
- "The Feast of Seven... Eight (and Nine)" by Vanessa Bishop, "Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury"
Virgin Missing Adventures 
- Goth Opera by Paul Cornell
- The Crystal Bucephalus by Craig Hinton
- Lords of the Storm by David A. McIntee
- The Sands of Time by Justin Richards
- Cold Fusion by Lance Parkin (Appears with the Seventh Doctor)
Past Doctor Adventures 
- The Ultimate Treasure by Christopher Bulis
- Zeta Major by Simon Messingham
- Deep Blue by Mark Morris
- Divided Loyalties by Gary Russell
- Imperial Moon by Christopher Bulis
- The King of Terror by Keith Topping
- Superior Beings by Nick Walters
- Warmonger by Terrance Dicks
- Fear of the Dark by Trevor Baxendale
- Empire of Death by David Bishop
Eighth Doctor Adventures 
Telos Doctor Who novellas 
Doctor Who Magazine 
- The Tides of Time
- Stars Fell on Stockbridge
- The Stockbridge Horror
- Lunar Lagoon
- 4-Dimensional Vistas
- The Moderator
- The Lunar Strangers
- The Curse of the Scarab
Doctor Who Yearbook 
- Blood Invocation
IDW series 
- The Forgotten
Video games 
Short Trips audios 
- The Deep
- Seven to One
- Wet Walls
- The Lions of Trafalgar
- Nathan-Turner, John (1986). Doctor Who – The Companions. New York: Random House. pp. 18–21. ISBN 039488291 Check
- Howe, David J; Stammers, Mark (1995). Doctor Who – Companions. London: Doctor Who Books. p. 103. ISBN 1852275820.
- "Doctor Who – Classic Series – Companions – Kamelion". BBC. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Interview with Peter Davison (April 2009)
- Pixley, Andrew (2008-08-14). "Time Crash". Doctor Who Magazine (Royal Tunbridge Wells: Panini Comics). The Doctor Who Companion: Series 4 (Special Edition 20): 6–9.
- Nathan, Sara (21 August 2007). "Dr Peter is back in the Tardis". The Sun. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Fifth Doctor|
- Fifth Doctor on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
- The Fifth Doctor on the BBC's Doctor Who website
- Fifth Doctor Gallery
- Fifth Doctor's theme music QuickTime file
- Fifth Doctor title sequence
|Companions of the Fifth Doctor|
|Season||Season 19||Season 20||Special||Season 21 →|
|← Tegan||Peri →|