Culturess’ Official Ranking of Doctors in Doctor Who

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Image via BBC

6. Fifth Doctor: Peter Davison

I struggled with this one. Because we never forget our first Doctor, he always has the highest place in our hearts. And Davison was *my* Doctor. The selfish part of me would put him as Number One. But the critical part of me can’t allow that.

Davison was deliberately chosen because his look contrasted Tom Baker’s image. After seven years, the show wanted to highlight how much the Doctor could change. But not all these changes were good—like the use of unnecessary question marking on the costume, and bringing in random quirks, like wearing a vegetable. The other big change with Davison was the decision to make this Doctor a pacifist. Though that is now a hallmark of the Doctor’s character, it was new at the time. This was also the point where the BBC attempted to add more “science” back into the science fiction nature of the show.

It worked, but it didn’t. Change is hard for people, and the ratings started to slump. Davison also had too many companions on the TARDIS when he arrived, leading to the decision to kill one off—the first time the show ever did so. Even though Davison was a gentle, thoughtful Doctor, the seeds of a darker show started here. It was also the start of the downward slide that would see the show cancelled in only five years’ time.