DOCTOR WHO INTERVIEW: Peter Davison Talks His Time Lord Family Tree & Who’s 50th Anniversary (Part Two)

In Part One of my chat with Peter Davison at New York Comic Con, we focused on his time in the early ’80s playing the Fifth Doctor. For Part Two we move to more recent events for Davison, switching gears to discuss the Fifth and Tenth Doctors shared time in the TARDIS for the BBC’s 2007 Children In Need Special, the circumstances involved in becoming an in-law to David Tennant, and what Davison knows about Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary plans.

Before we get to the interview, let’s see if we can sort out Davison’s own amazing Time Lord Family Tree. Peter’s daughter Georgia Moffett (no relation to Who‘s current show runner Steven Moffat), guest starred as the title character in the 2008 Doctor Who episode titled, you guessed it, The Doctor’s Daughter. Georgia played Jenny opposite David Tennant’s then current Tenth Doctor. As fate would have it, Moffett and Tennant hit it off, married in 2011 and are proud parents to Davison’s granddaughter, Olive Tennant.

So the Fifth Doctor’s real life daughter portrayed the Tenth Doctor’s daughter on TV, and then married her TV Doctor father in real life. Additionally, said Doctor’s daughter is also both the proud mother of the Tenth Doctor’s daughter and Fifth Doctor’s granddaughter. Throw in for good measure that the Fifth Doctor is the Tenth Doctor’s father-in-law.

Got that? Now onto the interview.

Tell us about teaming up with David Tennant for the Doctor Who: Time Crash short in 2007.

DAVISON: I loved it because I was his Doctor. And that was really the point of that Children In Need special, a double thing about it. Him looking back at his own self, but also talking about him as David Tennant, watching me on the telly. It was fantastic and it was a great thrill doing it with him. He has since become my son-in-law of course. When I’m always talking about him as a different entity, then I think he’s my son-in-law. But no, he was great. It was an honor to be doing it and we had a great deal of fun making it. We did it in one day.

Thank you for the little lead into my next question. Your daughter Georgia had a memorable role playing ironically enough, The Doctor’s Daughter. What was your reaction when she told you she had a role in Doctor Who?

DAVISON: Originally when she went up, she was among the many other people who went up for Rose [eventually played by Billie Piper]. So I thought it was great. She came home and they offered her a part in a particular story, but they said “We’d rather you not do this part because we have a much better part in a later story if you’d like to hang on.” So she asked me what I thought she should do, “Well you just have to trust its decently written of course.”

When it came along the story they wanted her to do was called The Doctor’s Daughter, they obviously saw the irony of it. So they decided this would be a much better part for her to do because it worked on every level. I thought it was great, I think she’s a brilliant actress, Georgia. I think she’s terrific. I just saw her on the West End. I hope she sticks with it. But she’s a bit like me, I never had a driving ambition. I loved working, but I don’t think i ever had a driving ambition. I was mostly driven by the fact that people kept offering me jobs, which was great. I think she’s much the same way and she has the baby now. She wants to be a mother as well.


With two Doctors in the family now, you must get your fair share of double takes when you and David  are out together in public.

DAVISON: It’s very weird now. This just happened a couple of weeks ago: David and my daughter came over and we decided to go for a walk with the dog, so we got ready. Now as a matter of course when I’m in a crowded park I put on my baseball cap and dark glasses. So I do that, walk out and look around and David of course is wearing exactly the same thing. So we both have dark glasses and baseball caps pulled down over our heads because we both suffer from the same thing. I think I would be fine now actually, but I’m so programmed to be doing this thinking in case people go, “Hey mate, where’s your TARDIS?” But David of course still gets terribly hassled if you go out anywhere. I’ve not been out with him anywhere I’ve had to drag him away from people in the end. He wants to stand there and sign autographs but you just can’t do it. The more you do it the more people come up and just draws more attention. So in the end he has to be rescued.

What do you feel is your legacy in regards to the enduring near fifty year history of Doctor Who?

DAVISON: I think the legacy of not only me but the other Classic Doctors, which I think did suffer from sometimes dodgy scripts and dodgy sets, but you know out there watching these programs were I picture these three little boys: One of whom would grow up to be Doctor Who, another which would grow up to produce Doctor Who and another who got to write Doctor Who in David Tennant, Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat. So in another words, it’s the lunatics now running the asylum, and they’re doing a damn good job of it really! 

2013 will be a milestone year for Doctor Who. Can you share any news? Would you be open to participate in an Anniversary Reunion Special?DAVISON: Honestly I have not heard anything at all, so I don’t know. I’d be very happy to take part in whatever they want me to take part in. I’m just worried that it might be a little difficult to do it and make it work as a proper story. Unless it was a special, almost a bit like David and I did. He’s very resourceful Steven [Moffat], so he might come up with the way of doing it, who knows.Following our interview, Davison had this to add during his New York Comic Con Panel Discussion when asked about the Who Fiftieth Anniversary.

DAVISON: Every day I check the phone to see if Steven Moffat has called me. I have no idea. I’m sure people think I’m in some way sworn to secrecy, but I dont know what’s happening next year. I’ve nothing to report on this. I’m sure it will be something fantastic, but I don’t know what. I think Steven Moffat is playing it very close to his chest.

 
It should also be noted that these interviews took place prior to the recent announcement that the five living Classic Doctors (Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann)  would be lending their voices for an special anniversary audio drama called Doctor Who: The Light At The End. Whether they will appear together in the planned televised special on November 23rd or participate in other events still remains a mystery.
Jim Kiernan
Founder and moderator of Nerdy Rotten Scoundrel. Steering this ship the best I can. Lifelong opinionated geek & pop culture enthusiast. Independent television & film professional. Born & raised New Yorker. My dog Nicholas is awesome.

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