The Fifth Doctor

Portrayed by: Peter Davison
Years active: 1981 - 1984
Series: Classic
Companions: Adric, Nyssa of Traken, Tegan Jovanka, Vislor Turlough, Kamelion, Peri Brown

The Doctor's regeneration between his Fourth and Fifth incarnation was the first that was shown to be a difficult transition for the Time Lord. It was so trouble-filled in fact that it almost failed, as he alternated mentally between states of fear and vagueness and assuming the personalities of his previous incarnations. The Fifth Doctor needed to recover in the TARDIS' Zero Room while his companions, Nyssa and Tegan piloted the TARDIS to Castrovalva, where the Fifth Doctor found himself taken captive by the Portreeve's men, while amnesiac, vague and confused. Once he had regained his memory however, and his sense of purpose, the Fifth Doctor managed to succeed in beating the Master again in Castrovalva (Classic Series). Following this, Tegan demanded the Doctor return her to Earth in 1981, though his Doctor's piloting skills with the TARDIS seemed to lack once more, and his many attempts at returning Tegan failed. The Fifth Doctor's travels with Adric, Nyssa and Tegan took him to Lord Cranleigh's ball in Black Orchid (Classic Series), and to 26th Century Earth. Just prior to the Fifth Doctor landing on 26th Century Earth however, his TARDIS and the TARDIS of his Tenth incarnation crashed into each other, causing the two incarnations to meet where the Tenth Doctor expressed his fondness for his Fifth incarnation (something the Sixth and Seventh incarnations would not). In Earthshock (Classic Series) on 26th century Earth, the Fifth Doctor uncovered a plot by the Cybermen to use a space freighter captained by Captain Briggs as a giant bomb. The freighter was shifted through time to the distant past, becoming the meteor that would wipe the dinosaurs from the planet, however Adric was still on the freighter was also killed in the process.

Adric's death deeply upset the Fifth Doctor, though he refused to go back in time to save him despite Tegan begging him to, the Fifth Doctor refused to break the laws of time. Shortly after Adric's death, the Doctor battled with the Master again before he was finally able to deliver Tegan back to Heathrow in 1981 as she wanted in Time-Flight (Classic Series), leaving just Nyssa travelling with the Doctor. The Fifth Doctor was summoned to Gallifrey following contact with an anti-matter universe and his encounter with an anti-matter being near the Arc of Infinity. The High Council of Time Lords ruled that the Doctor should be killed, issuing a Warrant of Termination. However, in the Matrix the Doctor met Omega and, more strangely, Tegan, before escaping Gallifrey and returning to Earth where he found both of them again. The Fifth Doctor then used the Ergon's matter converter gun to destroy Omega's body in the Arc of Infinity (Classic Series). Tegan re-joined the TARDIS crew following possession by the Mara in Snakedance (Classic Series), where the Doctor took her to Manussa, the Mara's homeworld, to seek a way of purging the Mara from Tegan. Later, the Fifth Doctor met Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from UNIT during an encounter with Mawdryn and his people, who had abused Time Lord technology. The Fifth Doctor was willing to give away the remainder of his regenerations, but an electrical discharge between two Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's providing the energy needed at the right moment. The energy was brought about when two versions of the Brigadier touched each other, creating a paradox that provided the energy instead in Mawdryn Undead (Classic Series).

Nyssa kisses the Fifth Doctor as she departs from the TARDIS

The Fifth Doctor also had an encounter with Lazar's disease following a breakdown of the TARDIS' internal dimensions, locking the TARDIS onto Terminus. Following this encounter, Nyssa chose to depart the TARDIS crew to find a way of curing the disease, leaving the Doctor with Tegan as his companion. The White Guardian also appeared to the Fifth Doctor, instructing him to fly the TARDIS to a spaceship piloted by the Eternals in the ultimate race for Enlightenment. Vislor Turlough, a young man who had accompanied Tegan and the Fifth Doctor from Earth, became the decider of the prize at the races end, and became a companion of the Doctor in doing so. On 13th century Earth the Doctor battled the Master again in The King's Demons (Classic Series), though when the King of England (who turned out to be Kamelion instead) gave the Doctor a choice between saving Geoffrey de Lacy or the Master, the Doctor chose to save Geoffrey, though the Master escaped in his TARDIS and Kamelion joined the TARDIS crew. The Fifth Doctor was then summoned to the Death Zone on Gallifrey by the Lord President Borusa, where he met three of his previous incarnations when they attempted to gain Rassilon's secret of immortality in The Five Doctors (Classic Series). The Doctor then travelled to the planet Artaris in Frontios (Classic Series) as well as other distressing adventures that prompted Tegan to leave the Doctor and the TARDIS crew permanently, leaving the Doctor to travel with Turlough and Kamelion. In Planet of Fire (Classic Series) however, Kamelion came under the Master's influence again and begged the Fifth Doctor to destroy him, which the Doctor did, while Turlough asked to be taken back home to the planet of Trion, which the Doctor also did. However, during their adventure in Planet of Fire, the Doctor acquired new companion Peri Brown, with whom he travelled before his regeneration.

The Fifth Doctor is considered to be the most vulnerable and human of all incarnations of the Doctor, being less selfish and pretentious, choosing to react to situations rather than cause them while openly expressing his feelings, hopes and fears to his companions. The Fifth Doctor was able to work out ingredients used in drinks by smelling them, though rosemary made him sneeze, and his young appearance was reflected in the youthfulness of his companions. The Fifth Doctor was the first Doctor to treat his companions as more of a team as opposed to the subordinate role his previous incarnations gave them and the death of Adric affected and upset him deeply. In Kinda (Classic Series), he survived opening the Box of Jhana without any ill effects, though Panna thought him to be an idiot for not turning insane to which he agreed. He also had a love for cricket and celery, a piece of which he wore on his coat. The Fifth Doctor lacked a strong command presence that his predecessors had, prompting him to work under the control of someone else rather than using his vast experience to just take charge. He also preferred to prove himself worthy of a task and gain peoples trust in doing so than to be aggressive like his predecessors. Despite his youthful body, the Fifth Doctor also preferred to deal with situation diplomatically rather than physically, being one of the least physical incarnations of the Doctor. However, in times of frustration he could take charge and would get annoyed, demonstrated when he met the "skinny idiot" of his Tenth incarnation in Time Crash (2007 Children In Need Special). Much like many incarnations of the Doctor, the Fifth wore a pair of glasses, which the Tenth Doctor dismissed as vanity "brainy specs" (despite wearing them himself) rather than being of any actual use.

The Fifth Doctor using a gun

The Fifth Doctor's humanity did make him prone to indecisiveness and would panic under pressure occasionally. He was also the Doctor most abhorrent to violence of all his incarnations, unable to kill Davros in cold blood in Resurrection of the Daleks (Classic Series) and only reluctantly killing Kamelion at the android's request, though he did fire a gun when the situation deemed it to be necessary in Earthshock. This combination of disliking violence coupled with the knowledge that his life seemed to be full of it, potentially prompted the Doctor to sacrifice his own life for Peri in The Caves of Androzani (Classic Series).

The Fifth Doctor wore light coloured clothes in this incarnation, his attire being a traditional cricket outfit with a long beige coat. On his left lapel he wore his stick of celery, which he used to detect certain gases in the praxis range of the spectrum that he was allergic to. The celery would turn purple and the Fifth Doctor would eat it if he was near any of the gasses. He would often top this outfit with a Panama hat studded with sparkling stones and a red band.

The Fifth Doctor meets the Tenth Doctor in Time Crash

In The Caves of Androzani, the Fifth Doctor and Peri were exposed to Spectrox toxaemia on Androzani Minor, which was caught in a power struggle between gun runners, the fiendish masked madman, Sharaz Jek, crooked politicians and government troops, all because of the precious mineral Spectrox. However, there was only one dose of the antidote available to cure it. The Fifth Doctor chose to sacrifice himself and allow Peri to take the antidote, resulting in the Fifth Doctor regenerating. During his regeneration, the last word the Fifth Doctor spoke was "Adric" before regenerating into his Sixth incarnation.