He began with three companions: Adric, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka. All had joined the TARDIS crew near the end of his fourth incarnation. His relationship with Adric grew rocky over their lack of common interests. After the Cybermen's attack on Earth in the 26th century, the Doctor felt guilty over Adric's death and his inability to save his friend.
The Doctor tried repeatedly to return Tegan to Heathrow Airport. He succeeded eventually, but she soon rejoined him. They parted finally when she grew weary of the death and destruction the TARDIS crew continually found themselves amidst.
The Black Guardian pursued the Fifth Doctor and sent Turlough to kill him. However, the Doctor won over Turlough and defeated the Guardian. Turlough accompanied the Doctor until his exile from his home ended.
In an encounter with the Master, the Doctor gained a companion in the android Kamelion. However, by the time Turlough had left and Peri joined, Kamelion had died, too weak to resist the Master.
Soon after Erimem had left, the Doctor and Peri were exposed to unrefined spectrox on Androzani Minor and contracted spectrox toxaemia. The Doctor gave their single dose of vaccine to Peri and regenerated into his sixth incarnation.
Post-regenerationHis companions took the newly-regenerated Doctor to the Zero Room, to stabilise. While he was recovering, a message came from Adric, whom the Master had abducted, saying the TARDIS was heading for Event One. The Doctor left Tegan and Nyssa instructions on how to escape by ejecting mass from the TARDIS.
Much of the Zero Room had been ejected. The Doctor needed to find a peaceful place to stabilise and went to Castrovalva. After he had recovered, he learned the city was artificial, created by block transfer computations. The Master, in the guise of the Portreeve, had created the city with Adric's brilliant mind. The Doctor rescued Adric and the TARDIS crew fled Castrovalva as it collapsed in on itself, leaving the Master to be erased from existence. (DW: Castrovalva)
Looking for Heathrow
The Doctor got to 1981, but in the wrong place: Monarch's spaceship. The TARDIS crew stopped Monarch's mad scheme for time travel with cyborgs. Nyssa had almost been converted into a cyborg and was greatly weakened. (DW: Four to Doomsday) While she rested, Adric and the Doctor visited the planet Deva Loka and were arrested by a madman undergoing a nervous breakdown. After escaping and pacifying him, the Doctor found Tegan had been possessed by the Mara. The Kinda and the Doctor cured her and removed the humans from the Kinda's planet. (DW: Kinda)
The TARDIS landed at Heathrow three hundred years early. The locals accused him of carrying the plague. The Doctor found that aliens called Terileptils were enhancing the plague in carrier rats to rid the planet of humans so they could take over. In stopping them, the Doctor accidentally caused the Great Fire of London and destroyed his sonic screwdriver. (DW: The Visitation) He would not use one again for almost two incarnations. (DW: Snakedance, DW: Doctor Who)
On a side trip, the Doctor was mistaken by Lord Cranleigh for a cricket player. He helped Cranleigh win a match. Cranleigh invited the Doctor and his friends to a fancy-dress ball to celebrate their victory. The Doctor's costume was stolen and used as a disguise for a murderer and the Doctor was accused of the crime. He cleared his name by showing off his TARDIS and finding that Cranleigh's supposedly deceased son was the culprit. (DW: Black Orchid)
About this time, the Doctor met his tenth incarnation when their TARDISes crashed into each other. The Fifth Doctor found his future self annoying and called him a "skinny idiot". The Tenth Doctor poked fun at some of the Fifth Doctor's quirks. They saved the universe from being sucked into a black hole by blowing up the TARDIS at the same time as the black hole imploded and bonded over their success. (DW: Time Crash)
Adric was growing distant from the Doctor and wanted to return to E-space. Before he could leave, Adric discovered a plan by Cybermen to use Captain Briggs' space freighter as a giant bomb. He tried to stop the freighter by cracking logic codes on the ship's controls. The freighter shifted through time to the distant past. When a surviving Cyberman destroyed the controls, the freighter hit the Earth and killed the dinosaurs. Adric, trapped on the freighter, died trying to save the Earth. The Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan never ceased to mourn him. (DW: Earthshock)
After another encounter with the Master, the Doctor finally returned Tegan to Heathrow in the year she had come from. He was enlisted to help find a lost plane and found the Master was trying to repair his TARDIS, damaged at their last meeting. The Doctor sent the Master to a world full of people who loathed him. (DW: Time-Flight)
Journeys with Nyssa
The Doctor and Nyssa become embroiled in Time Lord politics on an alien world ruled by intelligent but flightless birds. (BFA: Spring) They fell afoul of Sir Isaac Newton and were arrested for having counterfeit coins, actually genuine coins from Earth’s future. (BFA: Summer) The Doctor set down in an English village to play cricket while Nyssa tried her hand at writing a novel. She caught the attention of a local boy, fell in love and contemplated life on Earth, left by the Doctor to grow old and die. (BFA: Autumn)
Instead, the Doctor and Nyssa continued to travel together. They returned to Earth a few times: in the past, after an accident with a teleportation experiment; and in an alternative Earth where the Dalek Emperor tried to manipulate a Mutant Phase infection. (BFA: Winter for the Adept, The Mutant Phase)
The Doctor returned to Traken before its destruction to find the cause of Nyssa's psychic sensitivity. They learned Kwundaar had caused her illness deliberately. (BFA: Primeval) On the planet Mondas while it travelled through interstellar space, he learned that he might have been part of the inspiration for the Cybermen. (BFA: Spare Parts) He spent time in Victorian London, then the lands of the Scorpion King, where he found that someone he thought dead had survived. (BFA: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster, The Boy That Time Forgot)
The Doctor and Nyssa continued their travels. They woke with no memory of where they were or how they had arrived. After escaping to a cabin in the woods and learning the date — 1624 — they met aliens who were assimilating/cloning the locals. The Doctor's Binary vascular system helped them save the world. (BFA: The Demons of Red Lodge) They went to hear some of the last Traken music in the universe and uncovered a plot involving a musical piece called "White Waves, Soft Haze". (BFA: The Entropy Composition)
On a planet where the Doctor used his "John Smith" alias, he was mistaken for a local criminal, arrested and sent to prison. While Nyssa tried to free him, the Doctor tried to warn the prison authorities of an explosion that was destined to destroy them. (BFA: Doing Time). After getting out of that fix, he took part in a DVD commentary of a horror film from the 1970s. In the film was an alien parasite that possessed people who watched a specific part of the movie. The Doctor destroyed all the parasitical footage. (BFA: Special Features)
The Doctor and Nyssa were swept up by a time storm to the futuristic village of Stockbridge. A strange rain was mutating the villagers into slaves of the Daleks. The Daleks tried to turn the Doctor into a Dalek and use his TARDIS to help conquer the universe. (BFA: Plague of the Daleks)
The Doctor was summoned to Gallifrey after dealing with an anti-matter being near the Arc of Infinity. The High Council ordered a Warrant of Termination issued; the Doctor was to be killed. He had an encounter with Omega and, oddly, Tegan Jovanka in the Matrix. He escaped to Earth and found Tegan and Omega, who had created a new body for himself, copying the Doctor's biodata and appearance. The Doctor used the gun of one of Omega's creations to destroy him before Omega could will his self-destruction. He also took Tegan back as his companion; she wished to resume travelling after losing her job. (DW: Arc of Infinity)
When Tegan began having precognitive dreams of the Mara, the Doctor decided to deal with the problem on the Mara's home planet, Manussa. The Doctor sought help from a snakedancer, Dojjen. The Doctor had to find his "still point", with no negative emotion for the Mara to feed on. He starved the Mara to death, apparently clearing Tegan for good. (DW: Snakedance)
The Doctor was attacked by a baby vampire sent by a Time Lord, Ruath. Ruath wanted his blood to resurrect the powerful vampire Yarven. Nyssa was bitten and became a vampire. The Doctor found Ruath, who was also a vampire, building a machine to freeze time in eternal night to allow vampires to feed forever. The Doctor allowed Nyssa to convert him, then destroyed the machine and Yarven, changing himself, Nyssa and Ruath back to normal, then trapped Ruath in the time vortex. (MA: Goth Opera)
The TARDIS got stuck in a warp ellipse and materialised on a starliner in 1983. The Doctor met a young man named [[Vislor Turlough]. The Black Guardian had persuaded Turlough to kill the Doctor. In return, Turlough's exile from his home planet, Trion would be ended.
The Doctor found a transmat capsule had caused the chaos. It exploded and sent the TARDIS to 1977, where he met his old friend, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, who had forgotten their time at UNIT.
The Doctor and the Brigadier went to a spaceship where the Brigadier from 1977 also was. Mawdryn, one of nine aliens who stole and abused Time Lord technology to become immortal, now wished to die. At first it seemed he Doctor would have to use his remaining lives to power a machine to save his companions and kill Mawdryn. However, the two Brigadiers met. The resulting Blinovitch Limitation Effect gave the younger Brigadier amnesia, restored the older Brigadier's memory and provided power for the machine. The Doctor returned the two Brigadiers to their proper times and welcomed Turlough onboard. (DW: Mawdryn Undead)
Turlough sabotaged the TARDIS on the Black Guardian's orders. It locked onto a spaceship carrying victims of Lazar's disease to Terminus. Terminus had originally caused the Big Bang and was about to reverse it, destroying the universe. The Doctor charmed the Garm, who prevented the engines from blowing up. Nyssa decided to stay on Terminus to help perfect a cure for Lazar's disease. (DW: Terminus)
While fixing Turlough's sabotoge, the Doctor was ordered by the White Guardian to what seemed to be a sea-going yacht. It was a space-ship piloted by Eternals in a race for Enlightenment. One of the Eternals, Wrack, sought the prize to end her boredom. She cheated, using the the Black Guardian's power to blow up the other ships. Tegan became infatuated with the Eternal Marriner, but he was only interested in the emotions she gave off. She sent him away angrily.
The Doctor and Turlough won the race. Both Guardians offered them the prize of Enlightenment. The Doctor offered it to Turlough to test his virtue. Though the Black Guardian tempted him with anything he wanted in exchange for the Doctor, Turlough did as the Doctor had hoped. He rejected the offer, making the Black Guardian vanish. The White Guardian explained that Enlightenment was the choice and Turlough has chosen wisely. (DW: Enlightenment)
On 13th century Earth, the Doctor met the Master in disguise yet again. King John of England gave the Doctor the choice to save either the innocent Geoffrey de Lacy or the Master. He chose Geoffrey, but the Master escaped in his TARDIS. It transpired that John was a peace-loving, weak-willed, shape-changing android called Kamelion. The Doctor took Kamelion with him. (DW: The King's Demons)
The Game of Rassilon
The Doctor took Tegan and Turlough to the Eye of Orion for a rest. However, all four of the Doctor's previous lives had been taken out his timestream. The Doctor began to fade away. His companions piloted the TARDIS to the Death Zone on Gallifrey, where his first three incarnations were, allowing him to stabilise. President Borusa was trying to gain Rassilon's secret of immortality. He wished to use the Doctors to clear the way past traps. In the end, the First Doctor tricked Borusa into Rassilon's final trap. (DW: The Five Doctors)
During a trip to the near future, the Doctor found that the Silurians from their earlier meeting had teamed up with a brood of Sea Devils to instigate nuclear war against humanity. He had to kill the Silurians and Sea Devils with poison gas. (DW: Warriors of the Deep)
The TARDIS was pulled to the planet Frontios, where it was torn apart by the Tractators, led by the Gravis. These aliens were stranded on the planet. They needed wreckage to make a functional ship. The Doctor tricked the Gravis into rebuilding the TARDIS, with him inside, separating him from the rest of the Tractators and leaving them without their hive mind. He left the Gravis on a barren, rocky planet. (DW: Frontios) Soon after, he met Iris Wildthyme again on the planet Artaris. (BFA: Excelis Dawns)
The Doctor ran into the Daleks again. This lot were loyal to Davros, the scientist who had created them. After defeating them, the Doctor was dismayed when Tegan chose to remain in her home time. She was tiring of the violence and death she had encountered during their adventures. (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks)
Kamelion received a distress signal and they went to Lanzarote in 1984. Turlough brought onboard an American girl, Peri Brown, whom he had saved from drowning. The Doctor piloted the TARDIS to Sarn, a colony world of banished Trions.
Kamelion had fallen under the Master's control again and was fronting for him as the god Logar. The Doctor was almost burned alive. Kamelion brought the real Master (who had accidentally shrunk himself while upgrading his Tissue Compression Eliminator) to the Control Room. Though he could not prevent the Master from using the gas to return to his proper size, the Doctor fiddled with the controls, leaving his old foe to the mercy of the flames.
Now free of the Master's control, Kamelion begged for death. The Doctor used the TCE on him. Turlough wished to return home; his exile from Trion had long been ended. The Doctor toke Peri on as his new companion for the last three months of her summer vacation. (DW: Planet of Fire)
Adventures with Peri
On a trip to Egypt with Peri, the Doctor became involved in a struggle with an alien parasite that infected people by touch and controlled them as a hive mind. They saved the young pharaoh Erimem from rebels and a conspiracy. Erimem decided to leave her throne to a distant relative and travel with them. (BFA: The Eye of the Scorpion)
Tracking members of the Celestial Intervention Agency, they set up a restaurant. They served the CIA food spiked with a vaccine to a virus the CIA members picked up while investigating the Doctor's recent actions on the planet Pointy. (BFA: Exotron)
They went to Paris in the 17th century. Peri was kidnapped after being mistaken for the French queen. (BFA: The Church and the Crown) They visited a market in the Garazone system. Erimem learned of a mystery in the Necromanteia system, where a war between humanoid soldiers and witches was being fought. The witches killed the Doctor. He entered a dreamlike plain and learned that the war was over a device to make someone immortal. The god of the witches resurrected him and they escaped before the planet exploded. (BFA: Nekromanteia)
A giant robot from the 64th century appeared in the TARDIS and pressured the Doctor into fulfilling his writing contract. They went to 1485 and met Richard III. Peri and Erimem were lost in time; the Doctor found the truth about who killed the princes in the tower and faced an unlikely enemy — William Shakespeare. (BFA: The Kingmaker)
The Doctor dropped Erimem and Peri off for a party in Monte Carlo in 1966 and told them to prevent the theft of the "Veiled Leopard". They spent most of the evening with the thief. (BFA: The Veiled Leopard) The Doctor, in the meantime, went to the Gogglebox instead of the ice caves of Shabadabadoda. He learned of a mystery involving 1984 and 2006. Another version of him was investigating in 1984, so he went to Brisbane in 2006.
He met an older Tegan Jovanka and a mysterious doctor, Katherine Chambers, who seemed to know about him. Tegan had contracted an alien brain tumour that was killing her. He offered to take her some place her tumour could be cured, but she was kidnapped by Katherine and an accomplice.
Katherine had been Peri's best friend when they were kids. In a later incarnation, the Doctor would be involved in a plot involving the Cybermen that would result in the paralysis of Katherine’s brother Nate and the death of her father. Katherine kidnapped Tegan for the first patient of her new medical computer. The Doctor stopped Katherine and offered Tegan a chance to travel with him again, but she refused. She had grown accustomed to her life on Earth. (BFA: The Gathering)
Before collecting Peri and Erimem from 1966, the Doctor was involved in a plot involving time leakage and the Vault of Interstellar Curios. He was attacked by a legion of Daleks helped by a man named Ulrick. The Daleks were trying to steal the Vault's contents. He met another Timelord (his Eighth self) and used their TARDISes to form a temporal loop. An older Ulrick appeared before him and sacrificed himself to help the Doctor defeat the Daleks. The Doctor joined his Sixth, Seventh and Eighth incarnations briefly before being returned to his own timeline. (BFA: The Four Doctors)
The Doctor was assigned a mission to seek out the pieces of the Key to Time once more because they were degrading. He was given a sentient tracer, whom he named Amy. (BFA: The Judgement of Isskar, The Destroyer of Delights, The Chaos Pool)
The Doctor and Peri arrived on Androzani Minor and were caught in a struggle over the precious mineral spectrox. As they dealt with gun runners, government troops, crooked politicians and a masked madman called Sharaz Jek, the Doctor and Peri were exposed to raw spectrox and contracted Spectrox toxaemia. They had only one dose of the cure to the fatal condition. The Doctor gave his own life to save Peri and regenerated into his sixth incarnation. (DW: The Caves of Androzani)
During his regeneration, the Master tried to interfere via Kamelion's lingering connection to the TARDIS, but the Doctor was saved by an older Nyssa who connected with him in his mindscape. (BFA: Winter)
- The Doctor attended Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart's funeral, as did all his incarnations. (ST: The Gift)
- River Song met the Fifth Doctor. As with all her trips into the Doctor's past, she wiped his memory with mnemosine recall-wipe vapour to not contaminate the timeline. (VG: The Eternity Clock)
This incarnation was probably the most open and vulnerable of all the Doctors. He was neither pretentious nor selfish and reacted to situations rather than starting them. He expressed his hopes and fears to his companions. His young appearance was reflected in the youthfulness of his companions, whom he treated like friends rather than subordinates. Adric's death affected him deeply. (DW: Earthshock)
Despite his youthful body and love of cricket, he was one of the least physical Doctors. He preferred to use talk and diplomacy to solve a problem. He gained trust by proving himself instead of using his vast experience as an excuse to take charge. Indeed, he worked willingly under the leadership of others who had the strong command presence that he lacked.
This did not mean he did not take charge in moments of frustration, as when confronted with a "skinny idiot". In an occasional reminder of his actual age, this Doctor would sport a pair of glasses when examining something. These were vanity "brainy specs", which he wore to make him look "a bit clever". (DW: Time Crash)
His humanity made him panicky and indecisive under pressure. He failed to execute Davros in cold blood (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks) and killed Kamelion reluctantly and only at the android's request. He did not move to help the Master. However, he seemed deeply upset by this after the Master's apparent death. (DW: Planet of Fire)
Of all the incarnations of the Doctor, the fifth showed the greatest abhorrence for violence, needless bloodshed and the pain and suffering of others. Despite this, violence and bloodshed dogged his footsteps in the massacre in Sea Base 4 (DW: Warriors of the Deep) and the deaths of anonymous soldiers which led to Tegan's departure. The Doctor acknowledged he had to mend his ways. (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks) Although this incarnation hated violence, he gunned down foes when he deemed it necessary. (DW: Earthshock)
Towards the end of his life, the Doctor displayed a more relaxed and controlled side. Even as he awaited execution on Androzani Minor he was fiercely curious about the spectrox mined there. He also developed a sarcastic side, mocking Chellak's insistence on being addressed as "sir". Perhaps a combination of realising that his lifestyle begat violence and the weight of Adric's death led him to sacrifice himself to save Peri. It was telling that his last word was "Adric". (DW: The Caves of Androzani)
This Doctor had two similar outfits. Both were based on traditional cricket whites. So close were they to whites that he could take off his coat and play the sport without comments on his appearance. (DW: Black Orchid, DWM: The Tides of Time)
His first outfit (DW: Castrovalva) was a long beige coat with red lining along the collars, sleeves and pockets. He wore a stick of celery on his left lapel for his allergy to gases in the praxis range of the spectrum. If any were near, the celery would turn purple and he would eat it. He wore a white, long-sleeved cricket jumper with a red and black V-Neck pattern. Under that was a white dress shirt with a red interior and embroidered question marks on the collars. His trousers were a unique pattern of brown and beige stripes. He wore white socks and white plimsolls. He would top the look with a Panama hat with a red band studded with sparkling stones.
His second outfit debuted after his first was ruined. (DW: Warriors of the Deep) The coat's colour was slightly faded and the collar was shorter. The jumper had a pattern of thick red and black lines on the bottom, the V-neck and sleeves; the dress shirt had a green interior and the pattern of the trousers changed to thick, orange lines. He sometimes wore suspenders adorned with question marks with this outfit. (DW: Planet of Fire)
Influence on later incarnations
After his regeneration, the Sixth Doctor hated having been this incarnation. (DW: The Twin Dilemma) The Sixth Doctor's companion Evelyn Smythe said he "seemed lovely" after observing him from afar. The Sixth Doctor was irritated by this statement. In spite of this, he admitted grudgingly that he enjoyed his fifth incarnation, that "being him was like a holiday. A very wonderful holiday." (BFA: The 100 Days of the Doctor)
While inside the Doctor's dreamscape, Ace discovered that this incarnation in the Doctor's subconscious had come to personify his future selves' conscience with his strong sense of compassion. (NA: Timewyrm: Revelation)
His tenth incarnation expressed a fondness for this life. (DW: Time Crash) He saw him as a turning point. It was in his fifth incarnation when he began to enjoy himself, an ironic statement considering the darkness of Adric's death (DW: Earthshock) and the departures of Nyssa (DW: Terminus) and Tegan (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks). He admitted to his earlier self that certain aspects of his wardrobe and personality were influenced by his fifth incarnation. (DW: Time Crash)
His eleventh incarnation made at least two references that may have been influenced by this incarnation: he asked for some celery after a physically distressing decontamination (DW: Cold Blood) and encouraged Canton Delaware with the words "Brave heart" as he often had done with Tegan (DW: The Impossible Astronaut).
Behind the scenes
- Richard Griffiths was considered for the role before Peter Davison was cast.
- After the popular fourth incarnation, it was decided that the next incarnation should be played by an actor who was already firmly established in the British public's mind. Peter Davison was chosen, due in no small part to his popular and critically acclaimed role as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small, a BBC series based on the books of James Herriot.
- Until the announcement in 2009 of 26-year-old Matt Smith as the eleventh incarnation, Davison, age 29 when he began the role, held the record as the youngest actor to play the Doctor officially. He beat his predecessor Tom Baker by eleven years. Davison was reluctant to accept the role because of his age.
- The fifth incarnation's era was notable for a "back to basics" attitude. Humour and horror were kept to a minimum, Scientific accuracy was encouraged by the producer, John Nathan-Turner. It saw the reintroduction of many of the Time Lord's enemies, such as the Cybermen, Omega, the Black and White Guardians, the Silurians and the Sea Devils, while the Master, who had been reintroduced at the end of the Baker era, became a recurring adversary, appearing at least once per season.
- In 2007, the fifth incarnation became the first and only past incarnation to appear in the 2005 series revival when he appeared in the mini-episode Time Crash.
- In several DVD commentaries, Peter Davison claims he abandoned his half-moon glasses because Janet Fielding teased him when he used them. Fielding seemed to agree with this assessment on the commentary for Earthshock.