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Peter Davison Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (37)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 13 April 1951Streatham, London, England, UK
Birth NamePeter Malcolm Gordon Moffett
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Peter Moffett, now better known by his stage name Peter Davison, was born on 13 April 1951 in the Streatham area of London. In 1961, he and his family - parents Sheila and Claude (an electrical engineer who hailed from British Guiana) and his sisters Barbara, Pamela and Shirley moved to Knaphill, Woking in Surrey, where Davison was educated at the Winston Chirchill School. It was here that he first became interested in acting, taking parts in a number of school plays, and this eventually led to him joining an amateur dramatic society, the Byfleet Players. On leaving school at the age of sixteen, having achieved only modest academic success with three O Levels of undistinguished grades, he took a variety of short-lived jobs ranging from hospital porter to Hoffman press operator. He was still keen to pursue an acting career, however, and so applied for a place at drama school. He was accepted into the Central School of Speech and Drama and stayed there for three years. Davison's first professional acting work came in 1972 when, after leaving drama school in the July of that year, he secured a small role in a run of "Love's Labour's Lost" at the Nottingham Playhouse. This marked the start of a three-year period in which he worked in a variety of different repertory companies around the UK, often in Shakespearean roles. He then made his television debut, playing a blond-wigged space cowboy character called Elmer in "A Man for Emily", a three-part story in the Thames TV children's series The Tomorrow People (1973), transmitted in April 1975. Appearing alongside him in this production was his future wife, American-born actress Sandra Dickinson, whom he had first met during a run of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Edinburgh. They married on 26 December 1978 in Dickinson's home town of Rockville in Maryland, USA. Davison spent the following eighteen months working as a file clerk at Twickenham tax office. He also took the opportunity to pursue an interest in singing and song-writing, which led him to record several singles with his wife. He later provided the theme tunes for a number of TV series, including Mixed Blessings (1978) and Button Moon (1980). Davison played the romantic lead, Tom Holland in Love for Lydia (1977), a London Weekend Television (LWT) period drama serial transmitted in 1977. His greatest acting success came when he played Tristan in the BBC's All Creatures Great and Small (1978), based on the books of country vet James Herriot, a highly successful series, which ran initially for three seasons between 1978-1980. His success in All Creatures Great and Small (1978) brought him many other offers of TV work. Amongst those that he took up were lead roles in two sitcoms: LWT's Holding the Fort (1980), in which he played Russell Milburn, and the BBC's Sink or Swim (1980), in which he played Brian Webber. Three seasons of each were transmitted between 1980 and 1982, consolidating Davison's position as a well-known and popular television actor. He announced he was taking the lead role in Doctor Who (1963) on the BBC's lunchtime magazine program "Pebble Mill at One", on 3 December 1980, when he discussed with the presenter a number of costume ideas sent in by viewers and was particularly impressed by a suggestion from one of a panel of young fans assembled in the studio that the new Doctor should be 'like Tristan Farnon, but with bravery and intellect'. His appearance in The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (1981), was recorded on 19 December 1980 and transmitted on 2 February 1981, by which time the viewing public were well aware that he would soon be taking over the lead role in Doctor Who. There was in fact only a month to go before he would make his on-screen debut in the series - albeit a brief one, in the regeneration sequence at the end of Doctor Who: Logopolis: Part Four (1981). His first full story was in "Castrovalva", the first story of season nineteen transmitted on 4 January 1982. His final story was season twenty-one's story "The Caves of Androzani". The final episode of this story was transmitted on 16 March 1984. He became a father when on Christmas day 1984 his wife gave birth to a daughter, Georgia Elizabeth, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London. Ten years later, however, his marriage to Dickinson broke down and they separated. Although he has taken occasional roles in theatre, radio and film, most of the actor's work has been in the medium for which he is best known: television. His credits have included regular stints as Henry Myers in Anna of the Five Towns (1985), as Dr. Stephen Daker in A Very Peculiar Practice (1986), as Albert Campion in Mystery!: Campion (1989) and as Clive Quigley in Ain't Misbehavin (1994) all for the BBC, and as Ralph in Yorkshire TV's Fiddlers Three (1991). In addition, he has reprized his popular role of Tristan Farnon on a number of occasions for one-off specials and revival seasons of All Creatures Great and Small (1978). He has also returned several times to the world of Doctor Who (1963). In 1993 he appeared as the Fifth Doctor in Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time (1993), a brief two-part skit transmitted as part of the BBC's annual Children in Need Charity appeal, and in 1985 he narrated an abridged novelization of the season twenty-one story "Warriors of the Deep" for BBC Worldwide's Doctor Who audio book series. In addition, he has appeared in a number of video dramas produced by Bill Baggs Video. In 2003 and 2004 he appeared as quiet and unassuming detective 'Dangerous' Davies in The Last Detective (2003), the Meridian TV adaptations of Leslie Thomas's novels.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (4)

Elizabeth Heery (4 August 2003 - present) (2 children)
Sandra Dickinson (26 December 1978 - 1994) (divorced) (1 child)
Diane Russell (1973 - 1975) (divorced)
? (? - ?)

Trivia (20)

Made singing debut on Pebble Mill (1972).
Belsize Park, London, UK: Made a citizen's arrest after a 15 year old youth allegedly stole a video camera from his car. Peter gave chase and then restrained the youth for 10 minutes before police arrived. [August 2001]
Father, with Sandra Dickinson, of daughter, actress Georgia Moffett.
He previously held the record for the youngest actor to be cast as Doctor Who, aged just 29 when he made his first appearance in the role. His record was broken in 2009 when 26-year-old Matt Smith was cast for the role.
When he reprised the role of the Doctor in 2007 at age 56, he was older than William Hartnell was when Hartnell originated the role at age 55.
Enjoys reading and has contributed book reviews for Richard & Judy (2001).
Along with Elisabeth Sladen and John Leeson, he is one of only three actors to play the same character (the Doctor) in both Doctor Who (1963) and Doctor Who (2005).
Of the 20 Doctor Who (1963) stories he starred in, his favorite was his final one, Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani: Part One (1984), largely due to the combination of Robert Holmes's writing and Graeme Harper's direction.
Grandfather to Tyler Peter Moffett (b. May 2002) and Olive Tennant (b. March 2011).
His favorite roles on television have been A Very Peculiar Practice (1986), At Home with the Braithwaites (2000), Mystery!: Campion (1989) and All Creatures Great and Small (1978).
He has named Martyn Friend, David Tucker and Graeme Harper as his favorite directors.
He has had a regular role in a total of thirteen different television series: All Creatures Great and Small (1978), Holding the Fort (1980), Sink or Swim (1980), Doctor Who (1963), A Very Peculiar Practice (1986), Mystery!: Campion (1989), Fiddlers Three (1991), Ain't Misbehavin (1994), At Home with the Braithwaites (2000), The Last Detective (2003), Distant Shores (2005), The Complete Guide to Parenting (2006), Fear, Stress and Anger (2006) and Law & Order: UK (2009). In most cases, he played the male lead.
Father-in-law to David Tennant.
His mother was born in India as her father was a British Army officer serving in Calcutta at the time.
When it was announced in 1980 that Davison was to play the Fifth Doctor, Patrick Troughton, who played the Second Doctor, advised the 29-year-old actor to limit his time on the series to three years, as he had done, in order to avoid being typecast. Davison followed this advice. In March 1987, Davison advised Sylvester McCoy, who had been announced as the Seventh Doctor that month, to do likewise. Though the advice proved academic as the show was canceled in 1989.
Starring as King Arthur in the musical "Monty Python's Spamalot" at the Palace Theatre in London's West End. [August 2007]
Father, with Elizabeth Heery, of sons, Louis Davison and Joel James Davison.
Was offered the role of Derebridge in Lifeforce (1985), but Nicholas Ball won the role. If Davison had accepted the role, he would have acted with his future wife.
While at the Central School of Speech and Drama, one of Davison's fellow students was Dave Clark from The Dave Clark Five. As a result, Davison made an appearance on Top of the Pops (1964) as part of the crowd singing along to the band when they performed their 1970 number eight hit single "Everybody Get Together".
Considred for Caine in Lifeforce(1985).

Personal Quotes (37)

I followed Tom Baker, I was cast to be different from Tom Baker. So I was my own Doctor, no doubt about that.
I couldn't turn down the possibility of being the Doctor, I had to accept the part. You just think all the time 'am I ever going to work again? I am now playing a 750-year-old Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who is going to cast me in anything serious?'
[on Christopher Eccleston in Doctor Who (2005)] I feel sorry for the fans, as I feel they've been rather let down. What it really needed, after all the effort and dedication of the fans over the years to get the show back on air, would be to have someone committed enough to stay with the role for two or three years. As it is, the fans must be disappointed and left feeling up in the air a bit.
I must admit I'm a bit old-fashioned and just wait for things to turn up. I really love getting offered a job - although I don't believe it's true until the costume designer rings me up.
A drama student is a fantastic thing to be because you can prance around in a long coat, carrying a script under your arm. Then a brutal thing happens - you leave, and realise you are at the bottom of the heap.
Getting on with people is important. I cannot bear working in a tense atmosphere, so when I'm filming a series I'm quite strong on making sure everyone gets on. Acting is hard work - especially if you are in every scene of a series - but it's wonderful when, at the end of a shoot, everyone has had a really great time.
I just do not buy the connection between screen violence and violence in society. I think it's a feeble excuse for the failings of society.
Radio is great because you don't have to learn the lines! Theatre's great because once you get it on, and get past that first week, you only have to work three hours a night. Admittedly, you have to do the same thing every night, but that depends on the audience. It's extraordinary how you can have a depressing and unresponsive audience after two weeks, or you can have a fantastic show after you've been doing it for months and months because the audience kind of lifts you up and they're having a good time. There's no great difficulty in doing it over and over again, surprisingly. Television and film are the hardest work, because you simply are there for hours and hours and hours. Television especially, because you don't quite get pampered in the way you do in film. You're there from quite early in the morning till quite late at night. You see less and less of your family, but I enjoy doing it.
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.
If I couldn't find a new acting job, I would sit on the sofa for as long as the money lasted. I've no idea what else I could do. I literally can't do anything else. That's why I've stuck with acting for so many years!
I certainly think the writing, as a generalisation, is better. There were some very suspect scripts we did, knocked off by TV writers who'd turn their hand to anything. Fair enough, but they weren't science fiction fans. You do get the impression, both with the television series now (Doctor Who (2005)) and Big Finish, that they are fans of science fiction and that's why they are doing those stories.
I never had a problem about going back to Doctor Who (1963) and I don't quite understand people who have a problem going back, albeit temporarily.
[on his most popular serial, Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani: Part One (1984))] I think you immediately knew when you read the script, that it was a very good Doctor Who (1963) story. It was a Bob Holmes (Robert Holmes) script, and he was one of the writers that you dreamed of having on Doctor Who (1963). Graeme's (Graeme Harper) philosophy was that it needed pace and it needed energy. Graeme's input, and the fact that it was a great script, really lifted it, I think.
[before the 2010 UK general election] I'll be voting Labour without a doubt. I tremble at the idea we might put a Tory government back into power. I think back to the last time a Conservative government was running the country and can't believe we might do it. I'm also a big Brown (Gordon Brown) fan; he might not have that slick charm that we seem to buy into these days, as we did with Blair (Tony Blair), which turned into a big mistake, and as we seem to be doing with Cameron (David Cameron). With Brown, it's substance over style; he's a career politician, who has spent his life working to help people. I like that he isn't slick, unlike Cameron, who's only been in politics for a few years.
I don't believe in life after death. I don't believe in God, to be honest with you. I was brought up Church of England, I was Christened, I went to Sunday School, I was told the stories and then at a certain age, I forget exactly what age, I just thought this doesn't make any sense at all. I've nothing against religion, I think in a social sense, in a community sense, in a support structure sense, it's great, but if you ask me if I believe in God, no. I mean, it seems to me to be impossible. In a logical world, I don't see how God can exist, not the kind of God that we think of, in other words a caring God who is looking over us and looking after us. I wonder about huge things like the creation of the universe, there's no answer I have to that, but I don't think that God is the answer, or if God is an answer, if he created the universe, I don't think he's even aware of our existence, because in the whole scheme of things the universe has been here for 15 billion years, we have been on this planet for 300,000 years approximately, Christianity has been around for 2,000 years. There will be another religion that comes along and the universe will carry on for billions of years after the sun has died. I can't equate that with the idea that there is a God who is concerned about our existence and our life and our death. I don't think we need to depend on religion to tell us what is right and what is wrong. I think we are quite capable of knowing what that is and we want to live like that, we're a social animal. It's a very comforting thought, probably, when you die or are about to die, that you are going to go somewhere else, and it's comforting I'm sure that if someone close to you dies, you think that they've gone somewhere else, but I don't think it's true.
I have fond memories of All Creatures Great and Small (1978) - it was a great series. I was a BBC newcomer then and it seems like an age ago, but people still watch it. The other day somebody told me it's on the Yesterday channel!
[on Patrick Troughton] I think he had, in a way, the most difficult job. He was the first regeneration and no one had any idea about another actor playing the Doctor at that time. And I just remember sitting down with apprehension and watching his first episode and just being won over just in that very first episode. So in a way he was my Doctor.
They get terribly afraid of things like 4:3. They don't want to show anything that's 4:3 on a 16:9 television, in case people think it's boring. I remember that day when the BBC decided they weren't going to show any black-and-white films in the evening because people wanted colour - I'm not sure that's right...If people really want to watch something iconic - and let's face it, this year is a very special year for Doctor Who - people will put up with that. It's fine.
I think the idea that there's frisson in the TARDIS is absolutely fine and works very well. I'm rather envious of the number of times that the Doctor gets to kiss girls now! I don't know why [in my era] they were so obsessive that there should be no flirtation and I think it was part of the reason why they never quite mastered the whole companion idea. They were struggling for many years to make the companions more rounded characters and... they never once thought it was a good idea to put any frisson or sexual tension - even in its most innocent form - between the Doctor and companion. I think it would make it easier to write a better character.
They've struggled for many years to write a good companion's part. I don't think they've ever really managed it till Rose, when the series came back.
I prefer filming to those old multi-camera things. Doctor Who (1963) used to be shot like this: you would rehearse for ten days and then you'd go into the studio for a couple of days to record those scenes, so the advantage was you have had time to rehearse them but you're in that rather static environment of multi-cameras where they just cut here, cut here, cut here, and it's always a compromise. When it's filming, it's one camera, sometimes there's a second camera, but it's mainly one camera and they light that shot. It takes longer and you have to do your rehearsal within the time it takes them, but it's still I think preferable.
[on his despair with the directors on Doctor Who (1963)] It wasn't until "Caves of Androzani" (Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani: Part One (1984)), that was the first story of mine which was shot, with Graeme Harper, who moved the story along, in terms of directing it, with a kind of pace.
(On whether All Creatures Great and Small (1978) could come back) There was a chance - somebody dug up an old All Creatures Great and Small (1978) script but [the BBC] didn't seem keen on doing it. Maybe they just thought we were too decrepit, I don't know! But they found an old Christmas episode which they'd never done, which had been commissioned by Johnny Byrne, who has since died, sadly. But the BBC didn't seem to be keen on it at that particular moment, although I thought it would be rather a good story. It was about a year and a half ago.
[on whether he would return to Doctor Who (2005) for a longer stint] Oh, absolutely. I don't think it would happen - I have to be straight on that, because it sounds as if I'm prophesying about it, which I'm not. I can't think of a reason why I would say 'Sorry, I don't want to be in one of the most successful television series ever'. I think it's unlikely. I loved doing Time Crash, but I don't know it would go any further. Unless there's a spin-off for old codgers roaming around the universe!
(on his daughter Georgia Moffett getting a part in Doctor Who (2005)) I was very pleased for her. People think she got it because of me. I think she got it despite me. I think they had to think very carefully they cast her, as people would say 'oh, it's Doctor Who's daughter', but she's a great actress. I'm looking forward to it. EDIT
(On his children's opinion of Doctor Who (1963)) Well, they don't know any other world in which their dad is not in Doctor Who, so they're not as impressed as their friends are. We had David Tennant around the other day and they were almost unimpressed with him, I have to say! That was really extraordinary - it was almost like he didn't exist, it was very weird. My son Louis had a birthday party and Georgia [Moffett, Davison's daughter] was coming to his party and she turned up with David Tennant and every other child in the garden was like (makes shocked face), but my children were like 'I've met him before'.
(about the 'Big Finish' Radio plays) I certainly think the writing, as a generalisation, is better. There were some very suspect scripts we did, knocked off by TV writers who'd turn their hand to anything. Fair enough, but they weren't science fiction fans. You do get the impression, both with the television series now and Big Finish, that they are fans of science fiction and that's why they are doing those stories.
(on appearing in "Spamalot" in the West End) I'm still taken aback when I come on and take a bow at the end of the curtain call as the star of the show, I think a lot of my friends and family would laugh - well, have laughed - hysterically at the idea of me starring in a West End musical. It's not really what I would have imagined myself doing.
Dangerous Davies is an unassuming detective, who seems unfazed by anything that is thrown at him. In a way, he is my ideal, because I have to confess I do get irate at times, especially when I'm driving in traffic.
(on his young sons' view of Doctor Who (2005)) Peter: They reckon the new Doctor Who is too scary and asked if they could watch Daddy playing him instead. Although in fact, I'd say that was a compliment to the new series, as it implies that my episodes weren't scary at all and they merely wanted to be comforted by them.
[on doing Doctor Who: Time Crash (2007)] I loved it. When I got into my costume, which they created - most of it was real, though they had to buy another hat - I felt a bit out of place, because I felt that my costume was designed to be overly 'BBC Television Centre Studio', and suddenly I was on this proper atmospheric set. David was dressed in this cool dark outfit, suit and tie, stuff like that, and I was in pyjamaed Victorian garb, hat...so it took me a bit of time to get used to that. But once I got into it I had a great time doing it. He was a bit in awe of me because I was 'his' Doctor, I was in awe of him because he's a terrific actor and I was on his territory. So in a way it kind of balanced out. There was that wonderful moment you always kind of get at the read-through; people first of all brace time by showing off the set and saying 'First of all we'll start out here, and then this is the way up' and so on, and then eventually they say 'Okay, shall we just try a run-through of the lines?' . And the moment you run through the lines, it's great. It was all very quick. The only thing I felt about it was that we are both so quick in terms of speed...I timed it at something like ten minutes and it ended up as just under eight minutes - we just zipped through it.
Mine was Patrick Troughton, yes. I had a similar experience of being in awe when Pat was in Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (1983) - he, more than Jon Pertwee, was my Doctor.
I was a fan of the Doctor Who (1963) programme from the start and it had a very big impact on me. Along with millions of other children I used to hide behind the sofa every Saturday evening. The stories used to terrify me and even now I can still vividly remember certain parts, in particular, the Hartnell-Troughton eras.
My total view of Doctor Who (1963) is that I am playing a part. However, I realise that there is a lot more to it than just acting on the screen. You somehow take on the mantle of the Doctor and a kind of instant charisma goes with the job.
(On Doctor Who (1963)) It is really no surprise to me that the programme has been going for such a long time. It is unstoppable now, I think, and has a vast following that just goes on increasing all the time.
I see my Doctor as well meaning, although he doesn't always act for the best. But his overriding consideration is still to sort out whatever problem he is faced with as best he can. He may even endanger his companions in doing this. And he always starts out being polite - but usually gets less and less so as disaster looms!
I remember listening to an interview with Colin (Baker) on the radio talking about all the marvellous things he was gonna do with the Doctor, how it's gonna be different. And I think, 'You haven't started it yet. You don't know what you're up against.' You're always battling against it. We did scenes in Doctor Who (1963) that were done virtually live because we got from 5:00-10:00, and they switched the lights off at 10:00. One scene, one climax to one story was done with no rehearsal at all, other than what we'd done the week before in the room... You're thinking, 'This actually quite thrilling! It's almost like live television!' And, of course, the problem is the folks at home don't know you've done that with no rehearsal, and so it looks rubbish. You're getting a kick out of it, 'cause you're thinking 'I'm virtually making this up as I go along!' But the folks at home are going, 'That looks a bit sloppy, isn't it? Why's the camera still moving here? Why's it missing his head?'"

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