-Doctor Who in Sculpture: 1963 to 2013-
Customarily May follows April, and so in the spirit of predictability I present my sculpted representation of the Fifth Doctor who came after the Fourth. I wasn’t very good at maths in school, but the progression from one number to another by simply adding one digit was something I understood.
The Fifth Doctor was a charming slip of a man, played equally charmingly by Peter Davison (the then youngest actor to play the part, aged only 26…or thereabouts.)
This Doctor was one of gentle persuasion, friendly pep-talks, dashing about, playing cricket and generally being the older brother you never had…sort of thing.
Where Tom Baker had been a mop of curls and a scarf dozens of yards in length at a time, Peter Davison was a Doctor of many contrasts. His costume for one differed greatly from his predecessors.
His Doctor wore a “Cricket-themed” outfit, essentially a beige frock coat with red piping, cricket jumper, stripy trousers and sneakers. Not forgetting the sprig of celery stuck to his left lapel for….whatever reason. Eccentricity I suppose (Note: Celery turns purple when toxic gases in the Praxis range of the spectrum are present. When said gases are about eat said celery. If nothing else, good for teeth.)
A Doctor for running around, hands in pockets, hair flicking with every break-neck turn of the head. Not terribly different perhaps to a certain Tennant.
This Doctor often fought to have his authority acknowledged, his case being hampered by the fact his vast and experienced 900 year old mind was trapped inside a much younger body that at times prevented him from being taken seriously in the height of whatever danger he and his companions happened to be in.
This Doctor was highly moral, continually willing to make enormous sacrifices either for his friends or the Universe itself and repeatedly put his life on the line (A recurrent trait in all Doctors)
The Fifth Doctor’s tenure lasted from 1981 to 1984 and travelled with a handful of companions. These being Adric the Alzarian with a Gold Star for excellence in Mathematics, Nyssa of Traken, Tegan Jovanka an Australian air-hostess, Vislor Turlough, a manipulative and deceptive lost boy controlled by the evil Black Guardian wanting for the Doctor’s destruction and Peri Brown an American student. Oh and briefly an extremely tedious “Robot” companion called Kamelion who could seamlessly take on the form of anyone desired. Sort of.
He also was confronted with many new advisories, as well as several old favourites. The Fifth Doctor fought the Master (New body included), Dark thoughts from the inner depths of the mind personified as an enormous puppet snake (no less than two times), Terileptils with their beautifully gaudy jewel-incrusted androids, the Black (and White) Guardian who maintain some sense of balance in the Universe, Lepers, Silurians and their blood-cousins the Sea Devils, enormous Woodlice with telekinetic powers called Tractators, The immortal and perpetually bored Eternals, Davros with Daleks in tow, Cybermen with clenched fists, Cybermen again, with tighter fists and ancient figure of Timelord history, Omega in Amsterdam
This era of Doctor Who also featured the Fifth Doctor meeting his five previous selves in the Anniversary special named imaginatively “The Five Doctors” written by Doctor Who legend and all round lovely guy Terrance Dicks, he is also the first and so far only “Classic” Doctor to reappear in the current Doctor Who series in the Steven Moffat written Children in Need sketch “Time Crash” in which his TARDIS and that of the Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant collide after the Tenth Doctor forgets to put the TARDIS shields up. Fortunately the Fifth Doctor reminds him to do so.
Not only the favourite Doctor of David Tennant, but also my favourite too, simply because he was the first Doctor I ever watched in Resurrection of the Daleks, back when I was a tiny impressionable kid.
Next time, June, Sixth month, Sixth Doctor.
Played bombastically but brilliantly (and hideously maligned-ly so) by Colin Baker.
See you then.