Fifth Doctor Who Peter Davison bares all in this new autobiography, ‘Is There Life Outside the Box? An Actor Despairs’, released today
With the help of author Andy Merriman Davison explores his childhood and personal life. Before taking readers through the rest of his remarkable journey from a jobbing actor to the Doctor and beyond.
The foreword is written by Davison’s son-in-law and Tenth Doctor David Tennant.
Peter Malcolm Gordon Moffett would go on to secure his place in science fiction history. In the process becoming a veritable icon of British television he took the hardest job in acting filling the shoes of the legendary Tom Baker as the fifth Time Lord, Doctor Who.
Peter’s father, Claude, was born in British Guyana of mixed race . Claude left Guyana when war broke out and joined the Royal Signals. He felt it was his duty to serve and had been told that the streets were paved with gold . He went to France a month after D-Day and met Peter’s mother, Sheila, in Pairs, where she worked for British Intelligence.
Peter admits to being very lazy at school and failed his 11plus exam. He used to forge his reports and so parents never found out how badly he was doing. He took five GCSEs, passing only one (English Language). I was the only person ever to have failed CSE woodwork the teacher was absolutely appalled, ‘All you have to do is to recognise a piece of wood!’
Becoming the Doctor
When first offered the role of the fifth Doctor, Peter took a week to decide about taking on the part and nearly turned it down. He was daunted about playing a childhood hero: Tom Baker had played the part for 7 years and a tough act to follow. Peter was also very young the youngest Doctor Who at that time.
His first day on the set was the regeneration scene when he had to morph into Tom Baker’s persona. Peter was covered in thick white make-up and had to have three make-up girls scrubbing hard to remove the slap. Peter was thus in a bit of a panic when he was rushed through to the set and says his first ever close up on Doctor Who was a natural expression of alarm and terror… needing no acting ability whatsoever.
He has appeared in numerous shows, films and starred in a number of television series including Love for Lydia and A Very Peculiar Practice, At Home with the Braithwaites, The last Detective, but is probably best known for his role as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small.