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Time is right for Doctor's return

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2014-01-18 Courier Mail.jpg

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Peter Davison joins the Queensland Symphonic Orchestra for a musical tribute to the popular British show, Doctor Who, writes Sally Bennett

PETER Davison, aka the Fifth Doctor, knows the secret to Doctor Who's longevity and predicts it will continue indefinitely.

Still growing in popularity after 50 years, Davison says it is because Doctor Who fans go from watching the television series to creating it.

"A great number of people who work on the show are passionate fans who grew up watching the series," he says.

"The reason it came back is because Russell T. Davies (the British screenwriter and producer responsible for its revival) was heartbroken when it went off the air. When the BBC asked him to write something he said, 'I want to bring back Doctor Who'.

"Now it's passed from Russell to the hands of Steven Moffatt and you couldn't get a bigger fan than Steven. That will, of course, continue, so I don't know when the series will ever go away."

Davison, who played the title role from 1981 to 1984, says he was probably the first Doctor to grow up watching the show. He remembers when the first episode went to air. It was the day after US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated and a welcome bright spot amid an eerie and unforgettable time in history.

"You just remember everything about that time because it was such a shock," Davison says. "I was only 12 years old but I knew something major had happened. People were distracted, so the following week they showed the first episode and second episode of Doctor Who again. I remember sitting down to watch and thinking, 'this is great, it's on twice'."

Davison will soon be in Brisbane to host the joint BBC Worldwide and Queensland Symphony Orchestra's Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.

He does not mind being dragged back to the role he left behind 30 years ago, having been a success on screen and stage before and after his stint as one of television's most iconic characters.

Davison's long list of acting credits go from TV's All Creatures Great and Small to Law & Order: UK to stage musicals, including Chicago and Legally Blonde.

But when he hosts the symphonic spectacular at Brisbane Entertainment Centre he says it will be all about the music.

"When you're watching TV or a movie, you're not fully aware of the music, it just sweeps you along," Davison says. "But to hear it being played by a full orchestra is an extraordinary thing."

The musical celebration of the BBC series will be based on the 50th anniversary concert at London's Royal Albert Hall in July. The QSO will perform the music of Murray Gold, who has been the Doctor Who composer since 2005, and pieces from the past 50 years.

"I love Murray's music, he writes amazing stuff," Davison says. "His influences are of other classical composers, as well as the original series, and I think he's brought those two things together fantastically well. They're a very important part of the program."

The concert will be set against a big-screen backdrop of footage from the show, as well as a procession of its other stars, such as Daleks and Cybermen.

Davison's visit to Brisbane is long overdue. In a Big Finish Production audio drama based on Doctor Who called The Butcher of Brisbane, and released in mid-2012, he played the Doctor attempting to take Tegan (played by Aussie Janet Fielding) back to her hometown of Brisbane but they mistakenly arrive here in the 51st century.

Doctor Who aficionados will, of course, know this and the rest will have to find out what happened next, or ask Davison to explain. Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, February 8, 7.30pm, ticketek.com.au


Spelling correction: Steven Moffat

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  • APA 6th ed.: Bennett, Sally (2014-01-18). Time is right for Doctor's return. The Courier Mail p. 10.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Bennett, Sally. "Time is right for Doctor's return." The Courier Mail [add city] 2014-01-18, 10. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Bennett, Sally. "Time is right for Doctor's return." The Courier Mail, edition, sec., 2014-01-18
  • Turabian: Bennett, Sally. "Time is right for Doctor's return." The Courier Mail, 2014-01-18, section, 10 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Time is right for Doctor's return | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Time_is_right_for_Doctor%27s_return | work=The Courier Mail | pages=10 | date=2014-01-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Time is right for Doctor's return | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Time_is_right_for_Doctor%27s_return | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 May 2024}}</ref>