In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.
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Name: Peter Davison aka Peter Moffet
Notable Work: Doctor Who, Law & Order: UK, All Creatures Great and Small
“I felt that I had found my home when I did television for the first time, because I felt I understood it. I can’t figure out why that was, but I sort of knew when the camera was on. Things like that seemed to have a certain degree of instinct.” – Peter Davison
Peter Davison (or Peter Malcolm Gordon Moffet as he is known outside the entertainment industry) is best know as the fifth Doctor from the classic series of Doctor Who, but he has graced the small screen – or at least British television for many years. Before getting his first role in The Tomorrow People in 1975, Davison was trained in acting at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He had his first stint of acting while also being the assistant stage manager for the show, Love’s Labour’s Lost, at Nottingham Playhouse where he chose to change his stage name to Peter Davison because of the actor and director known as Peter Moffatt (who he himself directed seven Doctor Who serials for BBC). He thought that although they had different spellings, it would be too confusing to people.
Peter went on to appear in a couple roles on television including an alien named Elmer for The Tomorrow People and Tom Holland for Love for Lydia, which led him to catch his big break by being cast as Triston in All Creatures Great and Small which is based off of the books written by the famous country vet, James Herriot. Davison starred in 65 of the 90 episodes made up until 1990 on top of the fact that he gained two other recurring roles as Russell Milburn and Brian Webber on sitcoms Holding the Fort and on Sink or Swim, respectively. The role on All Creatures Great and Small got him the major attention and it was even the main reason he had the role of the cow, Dish of the Day, for the classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy miniseries due to him playing a vet and the producers thought it would be funny to have a famous veterinarian play a cow.
At this point, he was established as a very successful television actor and it was his next role of the fifth Doctor in Doctor Who which garnered him the acclaim that most people would know him for. He carried this character for three years lasting 70 episodes before his iconic cricket outfit with a piece of celery on his lapel passed on the Doctor torch to the patchwork jacket of Colin Baker’s in 1984.
During the Christmas following this run, he had a daughter, Georgia Elizabeth, with his then wife Sandra Dickinson. Oddly enough, Georgia would grow up to star in an episode of the revived Doctor Who in 1998, playing who else but the Doctor’s genetically created daughter. During the filming she fell in love with David Tennant, who was the Doctor at the time; the two got married, making the fifth Doctor’s actual daughter and the tenth Doctor’s genetically created daughter the actual tenth Doctor’s wife. Yeah, I know it is kind of confusing, but that is what you get with the wibbly wobbly timey wimey complications of Doctor Who. Davison actually also appeared in two shorts after his run on the official show for the charity Children in Need: one in 1993, titled Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time and another in 2007 called Doctor Who: Time Crash where he met the tenth Doctor as the fifth Doctor, all the while not knowing that he was actually meeting his future son-in-law.
As far as more Doctor Who, he was not included in the 50th anniversary special as it only included the tenth and eleventh Doctor, a prequel short that had the eighth Doctor and a cameo by the fourth Doctor, but he did write and direct a wonderful short for the fans, which featured a large amount of people who were not included in the special and of course some who were as well. The short was titled The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot which focused on Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylester McCoy trying to figure out a way to be featured in the 50th anniversary special.
Through the years after his initial Doctor Who run, Davison has tried theater, radio and different films – including a run as King Arthur in the musical Spamalot! based off of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and as Professor Calahan in Legally Blonde, the musical. A lot of his radio experience can be connected to Doctor Who as well as Big Finish production creates many audio plays that continue the adventures of past Doctors so that we can all have a little bit more of each Doctor. Although he has tried all these different venues, Davison always seems to find his way back to the television screen, where he feels he truly belongs. He made a couple returns to All Creatures Great and Small through the years as well as playing Clive Quigley in Ain’t Mibehavin, David Braithwaite in At Home with the Braithwaites, George Huntley in The Complete Guide to Parenting, Martin Chadwick in Fear, Stress and Anger, DC Davies in The Last Detective, and most recently as Michael in Pat & Cabbage, and Henry Sharpe in Law & Order: UK with fellow Doctor Who alum, Freema Agyeman.
None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (BBC, NBC Universal Television). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with DC Comics editor and writer of Batman and Robin, Peter Tomasi.