Peter Davison Poster

Quotes (44)

  • 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's decision to leave Doctor Who (2005) after just one series] 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!
  • [on the revived series of Doctor Who (2005)] 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • [on the BBC's reluctance to show episodes of the old Doctor Who (1963)] 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" (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.
  • [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.
  • [on The Last Detective (2003)] 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)] 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 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.
  • [on his favourite Doctor] Mine was Patrick Troughton, yes. I had a similar experience of being in awe when Pat was in The Five Doctors [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 [Colin Baker] on the radio talking about all the marvelous 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?'"
  • [on Tom Baker] I don't really understand Tom. He seems perfectly charming but he never seems to want to appear with us and that baffles me. I don't sense hostility but he doesn't want to engage, unlike other former Doctors who are all great friends.
  • I suppose I am slightly envious of the special effects now. But that was just the way television was made then. Doctor Who (1963) was never regarded as a prestigious series until it was revived much later. We were very much a stock programme, even though Doctor Who (1963) was sold to 39 countries and made a lot of money for the BBC. There were no digital effects and even the end credits were still done on a roller.
  • When I was offered the part, I thought I was too young. Unfortunately or fortunately, if you're a fan of Doctor Who (1963) and you get offered the role, you can't really turn it down. You might think 'I'm not sure about this', but in the end you think 'I've got to do it'.
  • [in 2013 ] I have a slight problem with that because it's not as if genders are interchangeable on Gallifrey. I have no problem with female Time Lords, and my daughter has already whizzed round the galaxy. But I don't like the idea of the Doctor having a sex change - it's not as if you would have a female James Bond.
  • I'm incredibly grateful for whatever combination of my parents made me the way I am. I'm quite optimistic about things - I don't worry about the past or the future, and tend to think things will be fine whatever happens. I think it's a healthy way to go about life.
  • I think it's a fantastic opportunity for her and I think that it will be hard for some fans to adjust to it. As I said before, it's difficult to adjust to any new Doctor, but I think the important thing is that those are uncertain fellows, those who are uncertain should be encouraged to watch it with an open mind. ... I don't know, I feel... I think the time for discussion about that is past. They've made the announcement. Jodie Whittaker is the next Doctor and that's great! [break] I feel.. if I feel any doubts about it, it's the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for. So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that you've got to open it up, so that's absolutely fair enough. So she has my best wishes and full confidence. I'm sure she'll do a wonderful job. [break] As a viewer, I kind of like the idea of the Doctor as a boy, but then maybe I'm an old fashioned dinosaur. Who knows? But I think that's irrelevant now. The time for discussion is over. We have a new Doctor. And let's give her our full support. [break] I would encourage them to watch. I think there's too much... you know on the internet... there's too much bile coming from both sides. And too many people are being horribly sexist about it, and too many people are saying, 'Well, we don't care about you. You're old fashioned. Go away and watch something else.' I think fans who are doubtful, who are uncertain should be encouraged and welcomed. And just approach it with an open mind. [break] Oh yeah, of course. I mean, she's a terrific actress. And you can absolutely understand it. Look, someone rings you up... I know this feeling... someone rings you up one night. You're sitting at home and they say 'how would you feel about being the next Doctor Who?' It's a fantastic opportunity, so of course, she grabs it with both hands. I'm sure she'll do a wonderful job!
  • [his controversial opinion on the Doctor in 2013] I'll probably get into trouble for saying this but I think it sort of has to be a man. To have a female would be like having a female James Bond. It would be a rather odd thing. If you suddenly make the Doctor a woman, you effectively say, "Well, let's give him a sex change" and I don't think that works.