Today we’re taking at look at the 5th incarnation of the Doctor. Often referred to as the most human of the Doctors, but also as the only Doctor who hosted Entertainment Tonight. Wait, sorry that was John Tesh, who just happens to bare a passing resemblance to Peter Davison, the 5th regeneration of the iconic sci-fi time traveler.


Doctor Who Classics
5th Doctor (Wave 1)
5 Inch Scale
By: Character Options
$13.99

Although the Doctor has had many regenerations, there have only been a few times where the actor is under more pressure than normal. Sure, any time you’re stepping into the shoes of the lead in the Doctor Who franchise, there is a lot of pressure, but 2nd Doctor really had to set the pace as he was the first to replace another actor. Peter Davison, however, may have had the most pressure of anyone as he had the unenviable task of replacing the longest running and most beloved Doctor, 4th Doctor, Tom Baker.

Appearing younger than his predecessors, the fifth incarnation expressed a new and more Human side to the Doctor’s alien nature. Despite his youthful body and love of cricket, he was one of the least physical Doctors, preferring to use communication and diplomacy to solve a problem. In contrast to some of his more aggressive predecessors, he preferred to gain people’s trust by honestly proving himself, instead of using his vast experience as an excuse to take charge. Indeed, he often willingly participated in situations under the leadership of someone else who had the strong command presence that he lacked.

There was a fair amount of outrage at the 5th Doctor when he first came about, largely because he was young and it seemed as though Doctor Who was trying to capture the female demographic. Davison was seen more as a soap opera star and it seemed as though Doctor Who was being changed to be more marketable. It didn’t help that he soon became saddled with an annoying child sidekick in Adric, but despite the minor controversy the 5th Doctor would eventually grow into a moderately popular version of the character.

When fans were “treated” to the abomination known as Colin Baker’s 6th Doctor, Davison seemed infinitely superior by contrast. The 5th Doctor also has the distinction of being the only classic Doctor to have appeared in the Modern Doctor Who, at least as of this writing. Character Options Fifth Doctor figure was almost as controversial as the man himself.

Packaging:
If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all… At least as it relates to the Doctor Who Classics packaging. The single cards in Wave 1 were all identical, with only the title cards in each pack separating them. A very young looking picture of Davison was chosen, which is probably good since the figure appears very youthful as well.


The back of the package tells about the BAF for the series, the K-1 Robot.

Sculpt:
Character Options has done some really bang up sculpts for their figures, but of all the Doctors, the 5th may be the weakest. I’m not sure exactly what is off with the 5th Doctor’s sculpt, but there does seem to be something a little softer about his likeness. It’s not terrible, but it’s not nearly as good as the others.


It’s the face that comes up a bit short. It’s definitely got some Peter Davison in there, but it’s not quite as crisp as I’d like. I’m not sure if this was a case of weak sculpting, or if Davison himself preferred the way this version looked. Perhaps in a situation similar to Mattel’s Ghostbusters, where Bill Murray preferred the head sculpt of himself that actually looked less accurate.


The rest of the sculpt is top notch, as Character Options knows how to sculpt clothes. Plenty of little details sprinkled throughout, bringing the Fifth Doctor’s iconic Cricket outfit to life. I’ve heard some people gripe about the lack of articulation in these figures (a specious argument I contend) but ball jointed shoulders would ruin the tight angles that these simple cuts can achieve.


Character Options let loose their first major controversy with “Celery Gate” as they chose not to include the infamous celery stalk lapel on the jacket of the mass released single carded 5th Doctor. This meant that the only way to get a 5th Doctor with the celery was to purchase the much rarer, Time Crash SDCC two pack. At the time it was a big ordeal, but in the last year they have released several 5th Doctors with the celery.


Plenty of neat little details are hiding on this figure, including some dirt on the sneakers and tight work on the striped pants. I love that the sweater actually has a real texture to it as well, not just a printed pattern. I did notice some excess plastic around the joint of one of the legs on my 5th, as well as a black scuff on his fingernail. I only mention this because it’s so rare I find any QC flaws on my Doctor Who figures.


I also found that there was a tad bit of slop around some of the sharper red lines on the coat. Nothing to get offended over, but perfectionists might should beware.

Articulation:
The Classic Doctors has thus far all had the exact same number of articulation points. Presenting some great uniformity amongst the line. I’m all for that.


This includes a cut neck, cut shoulders, upper arm swivel, wrist swivel, waist swivel, Who Crotch® (Similar to a DCUC figure), thigh swivels, hinge joint elbows and knees

Accessories:
Because the first wave of Classic figures included a BAF piece, the accessories aren’t quite as light as they sometimes can be with this line.


You get his version of the Sonic Screwdriver, as well as an arm for the K-1 Robot.

Value:
At the original price this was a pretty good value. The 5th Doctor went through a bit of a price increase, but he seems to have dropped back down now. If you’re a fan of the Peter Davison era, this isn’t a bad piece. The versions with the celery are definitely more desirable and there’s nothing here to make this a “must have” other than really the K-1 piece. If you’re just getting into the line, you can probably find a better Fifth Doctor.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 6
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Sonic Screwdriver, K-1 BAF part
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

An average sculpt leads to an average score. I’d really like to see them go in a make a new 5th Doctor head sculpt, since they’ve cranked out so many Fifths this year. Seems like that’s a lost cause though. Still this is a decent figure and for a while, was the most readily available way to get Davison’s take on the character. That’s just not the case so much anymore.

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16 Responses to Doctor Who: 5th Doctor Figure Review

  • Fengschwing says:

    Ah, Mr Davidson. I remember him arriving, he was my first regeneration and I was really worried that 'the vet from "All Creatures Great and Small"' was basically going to suck, but he rocked!
    Have they also produced a version in his hat?

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    I watched the Peter Davison episodes years before Tom Baker's stuff, so Peter remains "my Doctor," as David Tennant so nicely phrased it. Aside from his lack of celery, paint slop can be a huge issue on this figure and its variants due to the costume's detailing. Very much recommended for anyone who's grown up with the Fifth Doctor, though.

  • bill says:

    This was a figure I waffled over for a long time over deciding to buy. The lack of the celery bothered me, though, so I decided to wait (you never know what CO has up their sleeve). I'm glad I did, as I got this figure WITH the celery stalk in the 11 Doctor set.

    I'm with you on the articulation, Newton: As long as the toys look this good, I'll forgive the lack of a joint here or there.

    I would love to see ball joint necks, though!

  • Indeed they have. Maybe I'll review him in the weeks ahead.

  • Patience is a virtue. A good one at times, though. I agree about the ball necks. Those would be great. But I don't think ball shoulders are warranted. Could they be fun? Sure, but it's hardly required.

  • I know it's probably a weak variant to have these days, but I like the no celery version, just to have some variety. Agreed about the slop. I'm not sure if it's the details on the costume so much as the red paint. I think maybe it's more prone to bleed or something.

  • Russ says:

    No no no no no no no no; do not knock Colin Baker. The man got strapped down with a period of awful scripts, which he actually salvaged. Peter Davison would've crashed and burned handling those.

    Baker was even praised for his performance in the radio plays as the Doctor, where he was given a fair chance, as compared to being brought in right after easily the most amateur of all actors to play the Doctor.

    I've warmed up a little on Davison, but not all that much.

  • Haha, well, while I actually don't hate the 6th Doctor and just prefer to use him as the butt of my jokes, I don't love him either. I'd be curious to see how the 5th would have done in 6th's episodes, but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the rest. I'd take Davison over Colin Baker anyday.

  • agaurdiandevil says:

    newton can't knock colinbut it's ok for yu to knock davidson?

  • I'm not sure what you're trying to say? Colin is my least favorite Doctor, he's historically the least popular of all the Doctors and thus the butt end of some jokes around here. That said, I've been very fair to the 6th Doc here, reviewing his figures pretty favorably and even mentioning some stories of his I liked.

    As for the 5th, I also poked fun at him here as well, comparing his dashing good looks to John Tesh. It's all in good fun peoples.

  • Russ says:

    The thing is….Colin gets a bad rap, but to be honest not really for fair reasons.

    His tenure featured a period of horrendously bad scripts, and he salvaged them like a pro. No one else would've been able to handle such awful scripts. I think it was a combination of that, and then directly following Davison.

    Again, he did some Doctor Who radio plays, and was voted most popular Doctor; when he's given really good material, he totally shines.

    People just blame him for the bad writing, which really isn't fair.

    Davison, himself, however has even said he wasn't ready for the role in hindsight. He said he was too young for it.

    I think unfortunately Matt Smith proved in the end Davison just didn't really have what it took, as he's blowing Whovians away…and doing it even younger than Davison ever did.

  • You're passing things off as fact, that just aren't. The things I hated about Colin had very little to do with the scripts. You can't say that "nobody else could handle them" because that's based off of nothing but your personal opinion. Unless somebody else did the same script, how would you know?

    As for Smith, I think he's doing a good job, but he's also getting way better scripts than Davison was getting too. I mean, that's a total apples and oranges situation. You can compare 4th and 5th, because their eras were pretty close, but the writing style, budget and overall tone of the show for the 11th is much higher quality than the 5th had.

    You seem to think it's ridiculous that anyone could criticize the 6th Doctor, but then level the same sort of arguments against the 5th as if it was an undeniable fact. Just because Davison says in hindsight he may not have been ready for the role, doesn't mean that he basically said everything he did was garbage. The reality is that the 6th Doctor is generally viewed as the least popular, perhaps with only Hartnell as competition… Audio Drama notwithstanding, as only a fraction of the Who fans have even heard the Audio dramas, much less all of them to compare.

    I like all the Doctors, but the 6th is still my least favorite. I'm hardly alone in that, so there has to be something to it… Not just bad scripts. If bad scripts were the merit for disliking Doctors, every Doctor would have issues as there have been plenty of stinkers through the years scriptwise.

  • Russ says:

    I think it was mainly because you connected your dislike of him with mention of him being the least favorite.

    I'm not saying it's ridiculous to criticize anyone, but I just find it a bit unfair when it sounds like he's being criticized for the same reasons he gets general criticism…and to be fair, other than hearing "bad stories" from people, I still haven't heard any reason from most why they didn't like him.

    I'm just under the impression he's one of those Doctors that gets a bad rap with the situation of "well, his era isn't considered that great, so since a good number of fans knock 'im, the rest will join in as well".

    I never said everything Davison did was garbage, but I certainly found him considerably underwhelming in general….though of course having Adric and Tegan on his team probably didn't help.

    And it's not just about getting better scripts, but how well the actors can handle them. You can get a total abomination of a script, but fantastic actors can salvage them and make them bearable to sit thru. You can get fantastic scripts, and the biggest amateurs on the planet can blow them beyond belief making them virtually unwatchable.

    So tell me, my good man: what exactly was your beef with Colin?

    I don' mean to sound like an @$$ when I say/ask these things if I do. If it is the case, I do apologize. I'm simply trying to present my case as best as I can, and inquiring in the process.

    As for the Davison figure though, I think the best one released was the two-pack with the Master.

  • In general, I find Colin's demeanor annoying. He comes off as rude, not just script-wise, but even moreso, he's just not engaging enough for me. I don't care for a lot of the 3rd Doctor's era but I like the 3rd Doctor. Not necessarily the same for the 6th. He just rubs me the wrong way more often than not.

    I like a Doctor with an edge, but the 6th's edge just never translates well to the screen, IMO.

  • The Castellan says:

    I think he'd have gotten a better rep if John Turner was not in charge, since to me, story quality starting to go down to make way for more visual effects and action bits.

  • johnmiic says:

    I think the details which throw the resemblance sightly off this character are:

    The hairline and hair color is slightly off

    Davison's nose and cheeks, (jowels?), was a bit more distinct

    The figure is bright eyed or wide eyed but Davison often had a furrowed brow in the thick of things.

    I still love having it tho.

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