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Feature
The Doctor Who's Who: A Guide To The Time Lord's Incarnations Through The Years
The Doctors profiled, vote for your favourite companion and the best episodes to watch

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The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison, 1982-1984)

PETER DAVISON
THE YOUNG TOFF

 

When Peter Davison was cast at the tender age of 29, it caused ripples. Some embraced the fresh face, while others harrumphed at the thought of such a youthful Doctor (if only they'd journeyed to 2010!). With the behind-the-scenes team aware they had a lot to live up to after Baker's term, the result was a clean break with history and some new blood in the writing room, which didn't always lead to the best results. Still, Davison became a firm fan favourite, striding about in his posh togs and – despite the young face – giving off the air of a father figure. That's no mean feat when you're accessorising your cricket whites with a vegetable. And yes, the celery had a point, even if we had to wait until the end of his run to discover what it was. Another key point of this Doctor was that he had less (obnoxious) confidence than some of his predecessors. Occasionally crippled by indecision, he'd flip a coin to figure out his next moves and sometimes ended up paying the price.
 


COMPANIONS

Adric, Nyssa and Tegan continued over from Baker's run, with Adric meeting a tragic end that seems a little less sad given how bloody irritating he could be. Turlough (Mark Strickson) was a complicated sort from a planet riven by civil war, and at one point fell under the influence of the Black Guardian and tried to kill The Doctor. One of the more unusual companions was Kamelion (Gerald Flood), an android originally used as a tool of The Master, but then recruited to travel with The Doctor. Finally, we have the most memorable Fifth/Sixth Doctor companion Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown (Nicola Bryant), a US college student known for screaming a lot and leading to the Fifth Doctor's regeneration.
 

Quick poll: Vote for your favourite Doctor Who companion


FIVE EPISODES TO WATCH

1 Castrovalva
Davison's first story, this digs into the idea that regenerating really can take a toll on a Time Lord. The Master's back and up to his usual tricks – trying to destroy our hero and all that is good – and there's a world that turns out to be an entropic equation, collapsing in on itself. You know, that old story.

2 Earthshock
The Cybermen are back, this time using androids as their servants on the planet Terradon. Their evil plan involves a giant bomb, which ends up killing Adric.

3 The Five Doctors
One of those anniversary shows – the 20th, in this case – this finds The Doctor's various incarnations pulled together to solve some huge crisis. William Hartnell, who died in 1975, was replaced by sort-of-lookalike Richard Hurndell.

4 Resurrection Of The Daleks
This is a surprisingly dark, violent Dalek encounter and one of the very few times we see The Doctor fire a gun. Davros (played here by Terry Malloy) gets a sizeable role again and it's full of action.

5 The Caves Of Androzani
Davison's swan song was a chance for The Doctor to be typically heroic. There's a great villain team in Morgus (John Normington) and Sharaz Jek (Christopher Gable), who are sufficiently threatening that our hero has to give his life to save Peri.

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Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1
I might be missing something but shouldn't John Hurt be on the list as the 9th Doctor? More

Posted by CaptainAwesome on Thursday November 28, 2013, 13:53

2 This was great...
...although I guess **SPOILERS** (sort of) you'll have to re-arrange the numerical order now - and although it was a one-off, I would consider Sally Sparrow to be a companion, and definitely one of my favourites - such a shame that now Carey Mulligan has made it SO big, we're unlikely to see her reprise the role... well, not until the 2025 Children In Need special anyway More

Posted by christofurr on Monday November 25, 2013, 15:41

3 RE: Missed one
L: Morehumanthanhuman I'm not a massive Dr Who fan, but I fail to see why Paul Mcgann gets a mention as the 8th doctor and yet Peter Cushing played the character several times never gets a mention. I loved those films as a kid getting constant repeats during the summer holidays. Peter Cushing played A Doctor, not THE Doctor. And he only did it for 2 TV movies. While the two movies, Doctor Who and the Daleks, and Doctor Who: Daleks Invasion Earth were based on the television series, they are not considered as canon within the main, TV universe. Cushing's Doctor was a human inventor, not a Time Lord. He also invented and built his Tardis, rather then it being the product of Time Lord science. The characters name was also Doctor Who. Who being used as the family/surname, rather then just the title of The Doctor. More

Posted by GrizBe on Monday November 25, 2013, 00:05

4
livapr99. There WAS A Christmas Carol for the Doctor. It was called a Christmas Carol and aired on Christmas Day 2010 More

Posted by PaoloCorleone on Sunday November 24, 2013, 20:58

5 Missed one
I'm not a massive Dr Who fan, but I fail to see why Paul Mcgann gets a mention as the 8th doctor and yet Peter Cushing played the character several times never gets a mention. I loved those films as a kid getting constant repeats during the summer holidays. More

Posted by Morehumanthanhuman on Sunday November 24, 2013, 13:39

6
Nice handy article :) Also concur that The Girl In The Fireplace and Blink should be in the mix. Still don't understand why Moffatt's more intellectual approach to story-telling is often viewed negatively - beats the dumbed down approach of RTD's run (The Big Red Button Era). I would disagree with the comment on the 10ths Master - Jacobi was fantastic, Simms was pantomime dreadful! RTD's period was often camp, but Simm's Master was better suited to Adam West's Batman. Shame, as he is a great actor usually. More

Posted by sirvolkar on Sunday November 24, 2013, 11:54

7
until I saw the bank draft that said $8966, I be certain ...that...my father in law woz like they say truley bringing in money in their spare time on their apple laptop.. there neighbour has done this less than seventeen months and resently paid the dept on there mini mansion and bought a gorgeous Porsche 911. I went here,...JUMP85.COM More

Posted by RachelMcCarter9012 on Sunday November 24, 2013, 02:53

8 Love the article. But...
...it's DEREK Jacobi. Not David. More

Posted by wgfuzzydunlop1 on Friday November 22, 2013, 20:36

9
What about 'A Christmas Carol' for the Eleventh Doctor? Overall, though, a good article. More

Posted by livapr99 on Friday November 22, 2013, 18:25

10 Where's K-9?
You forgot the snooty dog thing. Both of them. More

Posted by Sean Alexander on Friday November 22, 2013, 17:23

11 Great Article
Fantastic piece this. Genesis of the Daleks from the Tom Baker era has to be my favourite Doctor Who story, even though I am a huge fan of the modern era shows. Despite the still somewhat wonky sets, Genesis was the first thing on television that showed me that a TV series could have real dramatic depth and still be entertaining. His moral anguish when on the brink of committing genocide is brilliantly played by Tom Baker, off an excellent script. More

Posted by Topper_Harley on Friday November 22, 2013, 00:48

12 Probably one of the best articles you've written for a while...
But I agree with the others. Girl in the Fireplace and Blink defiantely needed to be on the list for the 10th, and A Good Man Goes to War and Vincent defiantely for the 11th. More

Posted by GrizBe on Thursday November 21, 2013, 21:36

13 Great list but....
Great list but for me Girl in the Fireplace & Vincent and the Doctor are 2 of my favourites. Blink is a great episode too and well deserved to be on the list. More

Posted by casheliser on Thursday November 21, 2013, 20:19

14 Amazing Feature
But for the 11th Doctor, I feel "A Good Man Goes To War" should included. It perfectly shows eleven's wit and his amazing sense of showmanship, as well as his wrath. Best 11 episode in my opinion. More

Posted by tommyinglis on Thursday November 21, 2013, 19:23

15
Awesome list but there's an episode missing from Tennant's run in my opinion: the awesome Girl in the Fireplace; my favourite tenth stand-alone More

Posted by cahoopuk on Thursday November 21, 2013, 14:53

16
Excellent feature and beautifully presented. Thanks. More

Posted by TimEdwards on Thursday November 21, 2013, 13:57

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