Doctor Who on-demand: Peter Davison
Simon Kinnear | On 17, Nov 2013
Photo: BBC/Matt Burlem
Doctor Who turns 50 on Saturday 23rd November with a special anniversary episode on the BBC. To celebrate, VODzilla.co is running a daily countdown of every Doctor to date, providing our expert tips on which stories to see – and where to watch them online.
Peter Davison (1982-4)
How do you follow “the Tom Baker show?” The series confirmed the appeal of the 180 degree swerve by Davison, then the youngest incarnation and already a popular screen Doctor thanks to All Creatures Great And Small. Davison’s vulnerability chimed with a new approach to the series that favoured literate SF and post-Star Wars action over the monster fantasies of old.
Top 3 Peter Davison Episodes to Watch:
Not to be confused with the egg-shaped confectionery, this is one of the weirdest stories in Who history – a subversion of the classic “base under siege” format in which the threats are psychological and metaphysical. Densely written and sensitively directed, it feels more like avant-garde theatre than an adventure in space and time.
The ‘shocks’ are several here and – if you’ve never seen it – who are we to spoil things? All you need know is that this is Doctor Who doing a convincing stab at Star Wars on a shoestring: faster and more urgent than anything the series had seen before, and therefore a forerunner of the show-stopping epics that are produced today.
The Caves Of Androzani (1984)
Regularly voted the series’ all-time best by the fans, Davison’s swansong is an unusually bleak action thriller involving drug-runners, deformed maniacs and the Doctor slowly dying of poison. Notable for the being the return to the series of ace writer Robert Holmes after a five-year absence, and the directorial debut of Graeme Harper, the only man to helm episodes in both the original and new eras.
Other Doctor Who episodes also available on-demand:
Doctor Who: The Best of the Fifth Doctor
Including: Castrovalva, The Visitation, Earthshock and The Caves of Androzani.
Planet of Fire
Warriors of the Deep
Arc of Infinity