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article imageDoctor Who: Peter Davison is a ‘gay icon’ and proud of it

By Mathew Wace Peck     Nov 4, 2013 in Entertainment
Peter Davison, the actor who portrayed the Fifth Doctor in the BBC’s flagship science-fiction TV series, has revealed that Doctor Who made him a gay icon.
He became the Fifth Doctor in 1981, taking over from the programme’s long-serving Tom Baker. At the time — at just 29 — Davison was the youngest-ever actor to take on the role, his youthful looks being a departure from his predecessors.
GSN reports that Davison was asked whether portraying the Doctor had made him a sex symbol, to which he answered that he thought Doctor Who made him more of a "gay icon, actually."
Elaborating, Davison said that the show “does have – and all power to it – quite a big gay following. I don’t know if that’s because he’s a bit of an outsider, I don’t know what that particular appeal is, but in terms of the fans that you meet along the way, as well as the straight ones there’s a gay fandom, so that’s fun.”
Asked why he thought gay fans were drawn to his Doctor, Radio Times says that the actor put it down to “the Time Lord’s position as an outsider”; that that “may have appealed to gay men at a time when being openly homosexual was far more difficult than it is today.”
“In those days,” Davison confides, “it was more difficult to be in that situation and I think the Doctor was something [gay people] could latch on to, as a slightly odd and out of place and not-quite-accepted character, and that had great appeal for them.”
Keeping it in the family
Doctor Who: Time Crash - Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) and Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
Doctor Who: Time Crash - Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) and Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
Davison — now 62 — played the Fifth Doctor from 1981 to 1984. He returned to the role in 2008, alongside his now-son-in-law, David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor, in the Steven Moffat-penned Time Crash; and, back in September, hinted that he would be involved in some way for the show’s 50th anniversary later this month.
In May, Peter Davison and the Fifth Doctor were made the focus at the BFI in London, as part of its monthly celebrations of Doctor Who. Tim Sandle’s report of that event appears elsewhere on Digital Journal.
Doctor Who returns to television and cinema screens in the UK and around the world, for the 50th-anniversary feature, The Day of the Doctor, on Saturday, 23 November 2013.
It marks Matt Smith’s penultimate outing as the Eleventh Doctor. Smith will return on Christmas Day, when he will hand-over to Peter Capaldi (The Hour), who has been selected to play the Twelfth Doctor.
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