Doctor Who News 5thdr-timecrash-hp3

Published on September 14th, 2013 | by James Lomond

Peter Davison “making an appearance” During 50th!

Is this THE news we were waiting for – classic Doctors in the 50th anniversary episode?

Fifth Doctor Peter Davison has been active all week – littering the pages of Kasterborous – and his comments to BANG Showbiz follow hot on the heels of the news that he is in possession of a 50th anniversary script personally earmarked for him. But what exactly did he say?…

I’m making an appearance somewhere over that period of time but I can’t reveal in what… it’s a big year for the show and we’re all doing our bit for it. Trust me.

Hold up. Several news sites are leading with an announcement that Davison is actually in the Day of the Doctor anniversary episode though don’t specify whether they think he’ll be playing the Fifth Doctor or have some other role. Digital Spy is rightly more cautious citing his “involvement” in the anniversary celebrations and noting that he actually refused to say whether he was in the special or not.

There’s certainly a lot of smoke but no sign of what sort of fire is behind it. No surprises there. The obvious problem with involving classic Doctors is that they don’t really look like they used to. Some viewers may find this pushes their powers of belief a bit too far. There’s a reason he returned for a Children In Need minisode Time Crash and not the main series. So – how is Davison pulling it off? Here are some suggestions:

Could Davison be starring as a Fifth Doctor from an alternate timeline in which Peri never developed Spectrox Toxaemia, allowing the Time Lord to knocked-back the antidote himself and live to go a bit silver on top?

Is he doing a reverse-Baker/Capaldi and starring in a non-Doctor role after his tenure?

Could Peter Davison be providing a voice-over (it’s not like he hasn’t got the experience…)


We’ll find out in November. In the meantime what do you think about some other comments Davison made?


“There will get to a point where people get a bit tired of Doctor Who. I don’t know, maybe it will need a little rest. I’d love to see it carry on but you never can tell.”


Wait, wut?? Is this Grumpy-Old-Man pessimism showing through or does he have a point? We had a ‘rest’ over 2009 with Tennant’s series of specials and there were the Wilderness Years between Classic and New Who. Arguably these may have been good for the show and protected it from the curse of familiarity. But the whole remit of Doctor Who is to change and enthuse. There will always be new viewers because there will always be a new generation. And have you SEEN American fans?! They’re amazing – they don’t get tired of ANYTHING. Personally I think the home audience will tire of Who when we tire of Tea (some time after Hell re-brands as a demonic ski-resort).


So what do you think? Are we looking at a 5th Doctor appearance in Day of the Doctor? Or is Davison talking about another part of the celebrations? And does he have a point about people tiring of Who, or is he mis-reading the nature of fandom?


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21 Responses to Peter Davison “making an appearance” During 50th!

  1. avatar Ian Gettings says:

    Well. it’s a bit of a mistake if it isn’t an appearance in the Bad Hair Day of the Doctor. It’s being reported everywhere as an involvement with a classic Doctor. Would be a bit on an anti-climax if it isn’t what people are reporting.

  2. “There will get to a point where people get a bit tired of Doctor Who”

    I think he’s referring to the non stop media attention we’re going to get over the next four months. It will seem like overkill to non-fans.

    I don’t mind having to wait until next August until we see Peter Capaldi in full flow, We do have a ton of previously broadcast episodes to revisit/catch up on, let alone the many new books, audios etc.

  3. avatar Ian says:

    Remember he said he has a copy of the script with his name on it.

  4. avatar vortexter says:

    ‘…were ALL doing our bit for it…’

    That indicates that all the Doctors are involved. What excellent news! In what capacity though? Davison’s copy of’ Day of the Doctor’ indicates it’s the special itself but I’m wondering if it isn’t a little 5 minute prequel leading up to the show each night by each classic Dr leading up to the big event. Plus appearing in the paintings in the main story. Perhaps it shows them being captured and imprisoned within?…

  5. avatar authorman94 says:

    While I’m still sceptical whether it’s the actual special or if it’s a live thing, if it did turn out to be true, it would explain why he’s turning up at many of the events the BBC have put together such as the Proms and Capaldi’s announcement.

    • avatar dr jon says:

      I think peter davison is in the 50th it may only be 5 min’s screen time but I’m sure he and at least one more dr from the old series will be in it. I think he may have said to much when he said he had a script with his name on it for the 50th. Then a day or so later he is covering his tracks saying he and the other doctors will be doing their bit in some way or form with the 50th. But he has not out right denied it . Yet cast your mind back six months ago when all the old dr’s were asked if they were in the 50th they all said no straight away.

  6. avatar lee moone says:

    It’s a voice over against footage in the painting of his younger self. But even then I doubt he has the whole script.

  7. avatar Hyncharas says:

    Another possibility is simply that Davison really will be playing the 5th Doctor from our timeline/universe.

    In the movie Tron Legacy, the producers used “digital makeup” techniques to superimpose a younger version of Jeff Bridges’ face onto a Body Double actor. That could be what the studio is doing.

  8. I’d be happy with the Time Crash explination of classic Doctors looking older than they were because of the time disrupption of the Doctors appearing together. It’s flimsy, but it works for me if I can have classic Doctors on screen again.

  9. avatar Colin says:

    Obviously, to incorporate the classic Doctors in any way in the Special would be awesome. Will it happen? I don’t know. I think it’s more likely there’ll be some kind of a tongue-in-cheek thing either before or after the special featuring 4th-8th–but even that would be better than nothing.

    On the one hand, I can see the benefit of a break–leave the fans wanting more, an opportunity to step back and re-evaluate where the show’s going, etc. On the other, as much as a break can build anticipation, it can also allow audiences a chance to find something else (hah–like there is anything else!), which means when the show comes back, you find yourself having to convince people to return. And then you look at soaps like Corrie and Eastenders that have been running non-stop for years and always get huge ratings. And as you say, James, the fans over here (i.e., the US) are bonkers for the show. You talk to American Trekkies and you’ll see how committed (and, perhaps, committable!) US fans are.

    Personally, I favour keeping it going without a break. The trick is to keep it fresh. Cycle in new writers, new directors, and don’t forget the directors and writers who can be relied upon to turn in good work. That way you’re guaranteed some new approaches and new ideas, with a couple of guaranteed stellar episodes a series to make sure the fans come back. As long as the Beeb give it enough money to allow for creative freedom, I don’t see why Who can’t keep going for a long time.

    And if Peter Capaldi needs to take a break, Perhaps one year do a shortened regular series, and a Summer mini-series featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. There are so many Big Finish/BBC Books Eighth Doctor stories, there’s easily enough material out there already for a 6-Episode run that wouldn’t in any way impact the current story arc. Just a thought… Mr. Moffatt, if you’re reading… :)

  10. avatar Neu 75 says:

    When is Children in Need?

  11. I hope it’s true but you can only hope. But yes I think even though I love current who maybe this year has been another one like when they had the Tennant specials and they are getting prepared for November when the day of the doctor displays a big surprise and that someone like Davison makes an appearance and we do get a classic doctor as a twist in the plot so lets hope it does happen even though I will probably like what happens anyway.

  12. The comment in particular about people tiring of Doctor Who, made me laugh. Yes, we have been flooded with it this year, haven’t we? Only last years left overs, and only two new episodes in one year. Real overkill that is. Lest I forget, the months of waiting until Autumn 2014 for the new series. Which I hasten to add, will be a reduced number. Doctor Who’s 50th year so far is turning out to be a right farce.

    • Given people were sick of the sight of David Tennant during Christmas 2009 and his endless BBC One ident appearances, it’s a valid concern. By the end of 2013 Joe Public could well be Who’d out.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      “Which I hasten to add, will be a reduced number”

      Says who? This is basically a rumour going around the net. It may be true, but for all we know it may be completely inaccurate. Better to wait for official announcement, probably in January, than complain now about something that may not happen.

  13. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    I mention elsewhere on Kasterborous that I think Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy as well, could be guests on the edition of Have I Got News For You that is to be hosted by Peter Capaldi, and for which DW themed promos are being filmed at the moment.

    Much more likely that the Elder(ly) Doctors appearing in the show itself.

  14. avatar Al says:

    Has anyone noticed that this Bang Showbiz story everyone is quoting can’t actually be found anywhere? So-called news sites regurgitating the report have a link to the main front page of Bang Showbiz but the actual story itself is nowhere to be found.

    • That’s interesting you should point that out, as I can’t find anything on their website or YouTube channel (nothing there for the past month).

      Nearest I got was this:

  15. avatar DonnaM says:

    Of course it’d be great to see Mr Davison and all the other Classic Doctors, in some form or another, but it would have to be brief – there’s only 75 minutes to tell the story and give Ten, Eleven and Hurt proper breathing space. Turning it into a “Parade of the Doctors” however much we old-timers would swoon, could easily dilute the actual story.

    As for “giving the show a break” – well, the Christmas Special to Series 8 will be “a break” thank you! I’m happy to take 12/13 quality episodes per year for the next few years, plus Christmas specials; and I live in hope that the prime-time announcement of Peter Capaldi’s casting means the Beeb are going to give the new Doctor the kind of build-up we haven’t necessarily seen since RTD’s days. He revelled in hype; The Moff seems to me to disdain it.

    I kind of understand that view, but in this day and age, hype matters!

  16. avatar Geoff says:

    I just don’t think in this age of secrecy PD would have a script if he wasn’t actually in it. And like someone else said a few months ago all the classic Doctord were saying they hadn’t heard anything but now little gems like this are leaking out. I can’t believe that a fan like Steven Moffat wouldn’t have even bothered to meet or at Least write a letter to each classic Doctor if he didn’t intend to use them purely out of good manners and respect. Now let’s say he is using them…well to keep the surprise he’d tell them to say they’ve heard nothing and know nothing: which is exactly what they’ve all done! Don’t forget they only announced 10s appearance because he was filming outdoors.

  17. avatar Nicola Jones says:

    Am I the only one who has considered that maybe Davison is working behind the camera on this one? He has done visual effects work, he does voice work, and no one bat’s their eyes thinking he is directing a “basement 50th” but reveal he has a script and everyone assumes he is going to be in the episode.

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