Skip to content

Peter Davison discusses classic era in new interview

The Doctor Who: The Collection Season 19 is set to release on 10 December. Featuring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, this limited edition set has some exciting extras. For instance, we get to hear the former Doctor talk about his time working on Doctor Who. Apparently, Davison believes leaving when he did was a dodged bullet.

The blu-ray box set features brand new, recently recorded interviews.  It also features behind the scene footage and other never before seen extras.

Matthew Sweet, historian and fan of the long running program, suggests that Doctor Who was treated poorly after 1984. This is the year Davison left the program. He was replaced by Colin Baker as the new eccentric incarnation of the time lord. Doctor Who had been receiving strong viewing figures in previous years but starting with the sixth Doctor things changed. The program had moved to a time of “flux and uncertainty”.


The BBC soon decided to move on from Colin Baker and reduce the number of episodes. This would be the beginning of the end for the classic era of Doctor Who. Had Davison jumped ship at just the right moment? Or as Colin Baker so famously said “Change, my dear. And it seems not a moment too soon”.

In an interview featured on the blu-ray, Davison reveals that he was “very happy” to have left when he did. Did he dodge a bullet? When asked, the actor replied “Yes, probably”. The actor also added that he was “upset about what happened, really – because, first of all, it wasn’t to do with Colin, I know that. It was to do with other issues.”

Davison described the show as being “handled very badly” in his recollection. He also suggested that Colin Baker had been a “victim”. But why such a drastic change by the BBC? Davison suggested “The power structure in the BBC had changed and they didn’t want John Nathan-Turner around.”

John Nathan-Turner was the producer of Doctor Who during this time. In 1984 Michael Grade had become the new controller of BBC One. Apparently, Grade wasn’t too keen on Doctor Who, and wanted to see it gone. Davison claimed that in order to get rid of John Nathan-Turner, they told him “We don’t like your choice of Doctor, you have to get rid of the Doctor” assuming he’d just resign. Instead of resigning, the producer just replaced Colin Baker.

“He probably should have moved on, actually, he probably should have done the decent thing and said, ‘In that case, I resign'” – Peter Davison

Of course all of this was after Davison had already left the program and started work on other projects. His sentiment? “I was very happy I’d moved on.”

Of course Peter Davison wasn’t completely done with Doctor Who. Fans would get to see him again in 2007’s mini-episode Time Crash. He also donned his old cricket jumper live in London earlier this year along side The Muppets. This paired with hours upon hours of Big Finish audios, fans can truly feel like Davison never truly left the Whoniverse.