English Actor Peter Davison (born Peter Malcolm Gordon Moffett was born 13 April 1955, he is best known for his roles as Tristan Farnon in the television version of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, and as the fifth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, which he played from 1981 to 1984.Also, he played David Braithwaite in At Home with the Braithwaites. Since 2011 he has been playing Henry Sharpe in Law & Order: UK. Davison studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His first job was at the Nottingham Playhouse.He chose the stage name Peter Davison to avoid confusion with the actor and director Peter Moffatt, with whom Davison later worked.In 1973, aged 21, Davison married Diane Russell.His first television work was in a 1975 episode of the children’s science fiction television programme The Tomorrow People, alongside American actress Sandra Dickinson, whom he married on 26 December 1978. Davison portrayed an alien named “Elmer”, who arrives on Earth along with his sister (played by Dickinson) and his mother, known as “the Mama” (played by Margaret Burton).In the mid-1970s, during a lull in his acting career, Davison spent 18 months working in a tax office in Twickenham.In 1976, he was offered a prominent role in the 13-segment TV miniseries Love for Lydia opposite a young Jeremy Irons; the series was broadcast on ITV the following year. In 1978, Davison’s performance as the youthfully mischievous Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small made him a household name. Davison has said that he was mainly cast in the role because he looked as if he could be Robert Hardy’s younger brother. Davison and his wife composed and performed the theme tunes to Button Moon, a children’s programme broadcast in the 1980s, and Mixed Blessings, a sit-com broadcast on ITV in 1978. Davison subsequently appeared alongside Dickinson as the Dish of the Day in the television version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981), whose producers considered it humorous for an actor known for playing a veterinary surgeon to appear as a cow. The couple had a daughter, Georgia Moffett, in 1984, but later divorced in 1994. Davison has also appeared in several British sitcoms, including Holding the Fort and Sink or Swim, as well as appearing in dramatic roles.
In 1981, Davison signed a contract to play the Doctor for three years, succeeding Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) and, at age 29, was at the time the youngest actor to have played the lead role, a record he retained for nearly thirty years until Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) took the role in 2009 at age 26. Attracting such a high-profile actor as Davison was as much of a coup for the programme’s producers as getting the role was for him, but he did not renew his contract because he feared being typecast.Patrick Troughton (who had played the Second Doctor and whom Davison had watched on the programme as a teenager) had recommended to Davison that he leave the role after three years, and Davison followed his advice.The Fifth Doctor encountered many of the Doctor’s best-known adversaries, including the Daleks (in Resurrection of the Daleks) and the Cybermen (in Earthshock). In 2008, Davison spoke unfavourably of some of the writing for the series during his tenure, claiming: “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.” Interviewed in 2013, Davison stated that The Caves of Androzani, The Visitation and Earthshock were his favourite serials from his time on the series, and that Time-Flight was the biggest disappointment because of a lack of budget.In 1982, Davison had lent his name to two series of short stories published by Arrow. The two were Peter Davison’s Book of Alien Monsters and Peter Davison’s Book of Aliens which both featured a photograph of him on the cover.
Davison did, in fact, return to play the Fifth Doctor in the 1993 multi-doctor charity special Dimensions in Time and in the 1997 video game Destiny of the Doctors (audio only). He continues to reprise the role in a series of audio plays by Big Finish Productions. He returned once again in “Time Crash”, a special episode written by Steven Moffat for Children in Need; in the episode, which aired on 16 November 2007, the Fifth Doctor met the Tenth Doctor, played by future son-in-law David Tennant. Tennant later presented a documentary, Come in Number Five, which examined Davison’s Doctor Who years in some detail, and which was included as a special feature on the 2011 DVD re-release of Resurrection of the Daleks. It is one of many DVD releases of his Doctor Who serials in which Davison has appeared as an in-vision interviewee or in DVD commentary recordings.In 2012, Davison expressed further interest in returning to the role of the Doctor for the series’ 50th anniversary,but he did not take part. He did, however, write and direct The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, an affectionate and comedic account of Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and himself attempting to get parts in the Anniversary Special, featuring cameos from numerous Doctor Who cast, crew, and famous fans.
After Davison left Doctor Who in 1984, he immediately landed a role in “Anna of the Five Towns,” a period drama. In 1985, he appeared in the television movies “Miss Marple Mysteries: A Pocketful of Rye,” an “All Creatures Great and Small” Christmas special, and a feature-length episode of the American show Magnum, P.I. (“Deja Vu”.Davison did not work on another full television series until 1986, when he played Dr Stephen Daker, the hero of A Very Peculiar Practice, written by Andrew Davies. The black comedy-drama ran for two series (the latter was in 1988) and had a sequel with A Very Polish Practice, a television film. Davison played Tristan Farnon again in two more series in 1988 and 1990, but largely sat out two series of “All Creatures” that aired in between in order to play the lead in Campion, a series based on the period whodunnits of Margery Allingham. Davison’s next lead television roles were in the TV movie Harnessing Peacocks (1992) and the sitcoms Fiddlers Three (1991) and Ain’t Misbehavin'(1993 and 1995). In 1995, Davison presented Heavenly Bodies a six-part series about astronomy broadcast on BBC1. This led to him being featured on the cover of Practical Astronomy magazine.
It was not until 2000 that he returned in another major role, that of David Braithwaite in At Home with the Braithwaites. During convention appearances in 2013, Davison cited this as his favorite among the roles he has played. Davison has appeared in several radio series including Change at Oglethorpe in 1995 and Minor Adjustment in 1996. In 1985 he appeared in the BBC Radio 4 comedy drama series King Street Junior, as teacher Eric Brown, but he left after only two series and was replaced by Karl Howman (as Philip Sims). In the 2000s, he starred in the comedy series Rigor Mortis. In 1992 he presented the video documentary release Doctor Who: Daleks – The Early Years, showcasing surviving episodes of missing stories featuring the Daleks.In 1994 he provided the voice of Mole in the The Wind in the Willows animated special Mole’s Christmas. He also played a doctor in Heartbeat episode “A Bird in the Hand”.
In 1997 Peter Davison acted the part Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella in the Arts Theatre in Cambridge.1998 he guest starred in the sixth episode of the crime drama Jonathan Creek as the son-in-law of a horror writer who was shot dead on Halloween.In 1999 he appeared as the outgoing head teacher in the television series Hope and Glory, and had the recurring role of Inspector Christmas in several episodes of the 1999 series of Diana Rigg’s Mrs Bradley Mysteries.He has also starred in the television series as Dangerous Davies in The Last Detective (2003–2007) and Distant Shores (2005), both for ITV, in the latter of which he also played a doctor. In 2006 he appeared as Professor George Huntley in The Complete Guide to Parenting. He has also appeared on the TV series Hardware as himself. Davison made a guest appearance in the first episode of the second series of the BBC Radio 4 science fiction comedy series Nebulous, broadcast in April 2006.
Davison has also worked on the stage. In 1984, he appeared in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park at the Apollo Theatre alongside his then wife, Sandra Dickinson. In 1991, he appeared in Arsenic and Old Lace at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Further theatre appearances include: The Last Yankee, by Arthur Miller at the Young Vic Theatre and later the Duke of York’s Theatre, London in 1993, and Vatelin in An Absolute Turkey, by Georges Feydeau, at the Gielgud Theatre in 1994. In 1996 he played the role of Tony Wendice in the theatrical production of Dial M for Murder. He also appeared as Amos Hart in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre in 1999, and as Dr Jean-Pierre Moulineaux, in Under the Doctor at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley and later at the Comedy Theatre, London in 2001. In early 2007 Davison appeared in a BBC comedy Fear, Stress and Anger, which also starred his daughter Georgia Moffett. Davison plays one half of an overworked couple with two irresponsible daughters and his senile mother at home. Davison performed as King Arthur in the London production of Spamalot. He first appeared in the role on 23 July 2007 and his final performance was 1 March 2008. Also in 2008 he voiced Simon Draycott in the radio adaptation of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. He appeared in the popular television show Al Murray’s Happy Hour in March 2008, and in January 2009 appeared in Unforgiven, an ITV1 drama starring Suranne Jones. Davison played John Ingrams, a lawyer who helps Jones’ character, Ruth Slater, find her sister after her release from prison.Davison has made television appearances in an episode of Midsomer Murders, in July 2009,and a guest appearance in Miranda Hart’s sitcom, Miranda, on BBC 2 in autumn 2009.In October 2009, Davison was seen in a small but memorable role as a bank manager in Micro Men, a drama about the rise of the British home computer market in the late 1970s and early 1980s.In December 2009, he played Denis Thatcher in The Queen, a docu-drama on Channel Throughout 2010 and 2011 he appeared as Professor Callahan in the West End production of Legally Blonde, which opened at the Savoy Theatre.Davison joined the regular cast of the UK version of Law and Order as Henry Sharpe, the Director of the London Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Davison’s debut in the role will be from the beginning of the series’ fifth season, he appeared in an episode of the police comedy-drama New Tricks in 2011, and an episode of Lewis in early 2013 alongside Freema Agyeman