The Fifth Doctor

Having followed the most popular Doctor ever, it’s not surprising that Peter Davison’s performance as the Fifth gets criticized for being so different. Many find him to be too mild or too cold. I really like the personality of the Fifth Doctor though—very poised and never off-the-wall, polite but firm, and a great combination of being somewhat young and yet very self-assured and world-wearied. Davison developed lots of nice little nuances for the character like his exasperated sigh, his voice cracking at times of tension, and his thoughtfulness in place of brash action. Most of his era is also marked by having a lot of companions and the accompanied family tensions of a large group. He thus had to develop a father figure role as well. The storylines for his era were often a bit more complex and layered, one of the reasons that I enjoyed his time as the Doctor very much. Some signature traits include:

  • A constant calm demeanor
  • Exceeding politeness even in the face of evil
  • Sighs of exasperation and arched eyebrows of embarrassment at his companions
  • References to cricket from his costume, to an ever present cricket ball, to actually playing
  • Slow to rush to action but always thinking through the situation
Signature story: The best story is Kinda but his character is probably shown best in The Visitation
Best match to a companion: It always seems like he got along best with Nyssa and she in turn came to resemble him most by the end.

A man is the sum of his memories, you know. A Time Lord even more so.”