Peter Copes Well Against the Odds
The charming and self-effacing David Bickerstaff enters the stage to a deafening silence, rendering his "not so loud" somewhat superfluous. Fortunately the most excellent Peter Davison arrives to get things going. Talk quickly turns to Time Crash. Apparently Steven Moffat went to Davison's house a while ago, and Peter casually mentioned that he had two of his Doctor Who coats. Like a flash Moffat tried one on, and Peter thinks this was what gave Moffat the idea that he could still look like the Doctor he used to be. Peter also indignantly refutes the tabloid rumour that he had to use Sylvester McCoy's coat because he couldn't fit in the old one.
After a long ramble with no discernable question, talk turns to Big Finish. Then Peter talks about his children, and apparently his youngest dresses as Tennant 24 hours a day. As Neil says "At Home with the Braithwaites has nothing on this". Peter moves on to his time on the Cardiff set, and talks interestingly about the differences between the old days and now.
He's then asked the question "If computers had been around during the 5th Doctor era what would have been the desktop theme?". Peter understandably flails before deciding on the Long Room at Lords. "Mmm...champagne and strawberries" replies the interviewer inexplicably.
Peter talks rather wistfully how immediately after leaving the part he wished he could have gone back and done the role again. He makes the very sound point that Journey's End has set up a situation where Tennant can return to the role (in his half-human form) at any age in the future. Which makes it easier for Tennant to come back than Davison.
Graeme Harper is discussed, and we get onto the controversial topic of The Caves of Androzani. Was it brilliant, or was it fucking brilliant? And what would a Doctor Who panel be without a reference to the Unions turning off the lights at 10pm. If the unions hadn't had happened then the Doctor Who of the period would have been at least 0.5% better than what we now have. Bad unions.
Logopolis next. Peter started filming his first scenes at 2pm and later went to the bar with Baker. Peter mentions that Tom had no problem with him, but Pertwee certainly had a problem with Tom Baker. Peter explains that his expression at the end of Logopolis is just bewilderment at the whole filming process.
Briliantly Peter explains that at BBC Televison Centre there used to be a "horseshoe" car park which was apparently reserved for BBC top brass and Doctor Who. Bickerstaff then confuses Davison with Nicholas Lyndhurst and claims he was in a sitcom where Patrick Troughton played his grand-dad. There is a puzzled pause and so naturally enough the subject changes to knife crime. Peter tells a great story about tackling a thief who tried to stab him with an invisible knife while making knife noises.
First question: What was it like working with Tegan and Nyssa? It was nice apparently.
Second Question: What did you think of the costume? Peter would have preferred a more off the peg look.
DB brings up the fact that he likes Black Orchid, and was horrified by Peter's criticism of it. Peter explains that Terence Dudley was a very lazy writer who thought television was beneath him. I wonder if he was Chris Chibnall's uncle?
Apparently the DVD producers had to stop and re-record the Black Orchid commentary in an attempt to get Janet Fielding to say something nice.
Third question: Spamalot was it nice, and have you read the Anneke Wills autobiography? Yes, and wasn't Anneke a bit of a goer.
Peter is then asked about his finest moment in the show, and we pause briefly over Nicola Bryant's breasts before moving on. DB then renacts the last scene of Caves of Androzani 3 to a complete lack of recognition from Peter. Instead Peter fulminates about flower shows and reality television and gets a round of applause from the baying crowd. And Holby City gets it as well.
It's a suitable end to another great panel from Peter Davison who is probably the perfect convention guest.
Stay tuned until tomorrow when we're confident David Bickerstaff will be interviewing himself.
Georgia Moffett next.