Peter Davison, The Fifth Doctor
Next up is possibly a surprise choice? The Fifth Doctor.
Five was played by one of the youngest Doctors, the youngest at the time, Peter Davison. He was the Doctor from 21st March 1980 until being poisoned in the final episode of The Caves of Androzani on the 16th March 1984.
He was also the first (and one out of two) “Classic” series Doctors to appear in the “New” series (2005 onwards) having a lovely little CiN episode with David Tennant (Time Crash.)
So why is a very much loved Doctor in penultimate place?
Whereas people probably understand why McCoy comes last they might not be so understanding of Davison in 10th. The simple fact is we find him quite boring. Well his stories, not Five in general, the Fifth Doctor is actually quite a fun regeneration and his TARDIS team is one of the strongest at times, even if it did have one of the most disliked companions in its ranks. For us on the forum though the stories were usually dragged out and not at all our cup of tea.
There are a few “classic” episode’s within his run and personally I disagree with two of them. Caves and Earthshock are thought of two of his best episodes. Caves is pretty fun, I enjoyed it thoroughly even if I got bored in places, but I never understood the love for it. Earthshock is even more surprising seeing I can’t even stay awake until the last episode. I have yet to actually properly see Adric’s last brave actions.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t classic episodes in there, there is much love on the forum for Kinda and Snakedance, two really good episodes. The Mara is an interesting idea, Tegan is wonderful in both and unlike quite a lot of his stories it engages us all the way through the stories (plus young Martin Clunes, who could say no?)
In many discussions about Five I think we all kind of agree the more vulnerable and less leader like take on the Doctor meant that sometimes the story was forcing the story too much onto a group of people. Instead of it being us travelling with the Doctor and Companions for the first time it felt like we were travelling in a group and the Doctor was just one of that group. The stories then had to stretch as it wasn’t always the Doctor taking charge that saved the day, sometimes it was the slowly coming together of many things for someone completely different to save the day. We didn’t dislike that, but the slumps in stories often would have been hidden by the Doctor doing something clever in any other era.
The Fifth Doctor is very popular nonetheless, we aren’t averse to controversy here. Again like all the Doctors we don’t dislike the Fifth, but compare his TARDIS team with the family feel of Three and his UNIT family and the exciting of seeing Doctors work everything out and take the lead to Five’s more in the middle unless forced attitude and it might show you why we prefer others.
There is big love for Five though, his stories were interesting, we do enjoy most of them. Again like Seven he probably would’t be the first Doctor we’d reach into our DVD pile and pull out but there is a lot to his incarnation and his team.