Very few actors to portray the doctor in BBC's original run of Doctor Who were taking quite the chance with the public as Peter Davison. Born Peter Moffett but picking the stage name Davison to avoid confusion with the actor/director of the same name who'd he'd later work with on Doctor Who, he was at age 29 the youngest actor to portray the time lord until Matt Smith took on the role at age 26 thirty years later. He was also the first actor portraying the doctor than known for another famous television role: in his case as Tristan Farnon from All Creatures Great And Small. Of course most famously he was taking over for the actor who, up until this point, played the role of the doctor longer than anyone before or since-Tom Baker.
Davison had watched Doctor Who in his youth,and had grown up with Patrick Troughton playing the role. When he began in the role,it was Troughton's mildly befuddled personality from which Davison used to expand on his portrayal of the character. Physically the fifth doctor which Davison portrayed had a very different image than his predecessor. He jettisoned Tom Baker's frock coats,long scarves and floppy hats in favor of a tan Cricket uniform,a V-neck vest and matching hat. And of course there was his famous stick of celery which he wore on the upper left hand corner of his coat in the manner of a broach.
During Davison's time on the show, the writing on Doctor Who took on a decidedly more adult direction-with story lines that were often heavier handed and emphasized somewhat darkly political stories over the more satirical approach of how the program had been directed during the 1970's. At first he had three companions during a period known as "the crowded TARDIS"-a return to the triad approach of the first doctor and his three companions. He signed on for three years but didn't renew due to concern over being typecast-on the advice of the actor he most admired in the role Patrick Troughton. Still involved in Who related events to this day I would like to wish Mr.Davison a very happy 62nd birthday and all my best to him and his family!