Quick DVD Review – ‘The Doctors: The Peter Davison Years’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

This is a ‘Myth Makers’ DVD compilation I’ve been looking forward to very much. This is ‘The Doctors: The Peter Davison Years’. The Fifth Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ is my favourite. You can tell from my ‘Fifth Doctor’ series of stories starring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy as well as my ‘Nyssa Challenge’ reviews on ‘Bradley’s Basement’. I’ve also met a lot of the stars from the Fifth Doctor era!

I’ve met people like Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Matthew Waterhouse and Mark Strickson at conventions over the years. I’m saddened that I didn’t get to see any ‘Doctor Who’ stars like Sarah and Peter in person at conventions in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic – please keep safe. So, ‘The Doctor Who: The Peter Davison Years’ was a welcome treat to make up for the disappointment.

‘The Doctor: The Peter Davison Years’ contains seven features as well as an introduction at the beginning, covering the Peter Davison era in general. There are two convention panel videos featuring the Peter Davison team as well as interviews with stars like Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and Mark Strickson. There’s also a panel talk video with Anthony Ainley here!

Let’s go through each of the features in turn, shall we? The introduction is given by producer/director Keith Barnfather and presenter Robert Dick. I’ve seen and met Robert Dick at conventions over the years, including ‘Dimensions 2015’ and ‘The Capitol II’. In this DVD compilation, Robert Dick interviews Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse in their ‘Myth Makers’.

On Disc 1 of the 2-disc DVD set of ‘The Peter Davison Years’, we have The Peter Davison Team, Vol 1. Sadly, Reeltime Pictures haven’t been able to get a ‘Myth Makers’ interview with Peter Davison yet. Hopefully they will in the near future. To make up for the lack of ‘Myth Makers’ interviews with Peter Davison, we have these two convention panel videos taken from two ‘PanoptiCon’ events. 😀

The first convention panel video is from the ‘PanoptiCon VII’ event in 1986 at around the time ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ season – Season 23 – began in September. The panel features Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Matthew Waterhouse, Mark Strickson and…Gerald Flood who voiced Kamelion in the series! It was lovely to see the full Peter Davison team for a convention panel here!!!

Actually, I have seen this convention panel on YouTube once, long ago in 2013 at the time of the show’s 50th anniversary. It was lovely to see it again in this ‘Myth Makers’ edition and I enjoyed the anecdotes made by Peter, Sarah, Janet, Matthew, Mark and Gerald when answering questions to fans. Matthew Waterhouse provides the introduction and linking material for ‘The Peter Davison Team’ convention panel videos. He filmed himself for these introductions when at home in 2020. 😀

The first ‘Myth Makers’ interview featured in ‘The Peter Davison Years’ set is with Janet Fielding, who plays Tegan in the series. There are two segments to this ‘Myth Makers’. First, Janet is interviewed by Nicholas Briggs for a ‘Myth Makers’ which was done after she left the TV show in the 1980s. Janet and Nick walked on the location for ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ in that 1980s segment.

Nick later interviewed Janet inside her home. The second segment of Janet’s ‘Myth Makers’ is when Robert Dick interviewed Janet in early 2020, I believe. It was nice to hear Janet share her latest thoughts about ‘Doctor Who’ compared to when she shared them to Nick Briggs in 1985. She even talks about the ‘Project Motor Mouth’ events she ran in the 2010s (I attended the second event. 😀 )

The next ‘Myth Makers’ feature for ‘The Peter Davison Years’ is my personal favourite (for obvious reasons 😀 ). It’s of course with Sarah Sutton, who plays Nyssa of Traken, my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion. 🙂 I have seen Sarah’s ‘Myth Makers’ before, as I have reviewed it on my blog already (check out the link above). I’ll need to update my review on Sarah’s ‘Myth Makers’ sometime soon. 🙂

Sarah’s ‘Myth Makers’ is with Nick Briggs and there are two segments to it. The first is when Nick interviewed Sarah in the 1980s at the location for ‘Castrovalva’, which was Harrison’s Rocks in Tunbridge Wells. The second segment is when Nick interviewed Sarah in a studio in the 1990s. It was great to revisit Sarah’s ‘Myth Makers’ again and she always comes across as a nice friendly person. 🙂

On Disc 2 of ‘The Peter Davison Years’ DVD, we have The Peter Davison Team, Vol 2 convention panel video from ‘PanoptiCon VIII’ in 1987. This panel featured Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding. This was filmed sometime during the transmission of Sylvester McCoy’s first season of ‘Doctor Who’ – Season 24. I enjoyed the convention panel and it was fun to hear Peter, Sarah and Janet sharing anecdotes about the show. 🙂

Peter did have an injury whilst doing the convention panel since he cut his finger on his chair. Apparently he was bleeding quite a lot. 😀 I assume the chair was wooden. I enjoyed how Sarah became the nurse for Peter’s injured finger with tissues and bandages whilst Janet auctioned Peter’s blood to people. 😀 These convention panels do make me wish to see Peter, Sarah and Janet again. 🙂

Matthew Waterhouse provided the introduction and linking material for the second ‘Peter Davison team’ convention panel too. Speaking of which, Matthew Waterhouse‘s ‘Myth Makers’ is up next. In his ‘Myth Makers’, Matthew is interviewed by Robert Dick and they go to the locations where they filmed ‘Black Orchid’, including Buckhurst House. It’s really nice they went to those locations in 2017.

A year or so later, Matthew joined Peter, Sarah, Janet and Mark Strickson to revisit the ‘Black Orchid’ locations in the summer of 2018 to do the ‘Double Trouble’ making-of documentary. Matthew’s ‘Myth Makers’ is very enjoyable and enlightening as he shares his memories of playing Adric in ‘Doctor Who’. I feel I am appreciating Matthew more from watching his ‘Myth Makers’ interview. 😀

After that, we have Mark Strickson being interviewed by Nick Briggs for his ‘Myth Makers’ in 1997. They went to the filming locations of ‘The Awakening’, which was Shapwick in Dorset, I believe. I enjoyed Mark’s ‘Myth Makers’. Having met him at conventions over the years, I’ve appreciated more on how good an actor he is and he provides some very interesting insight in the character he played.

Mark of course played Vislor Turlough in ‘Doctor Who’. I enjoyed him sharing his ‘Doctor Who’ memories to Nick when they were having a pint in a pub. It was also fascinating to hear what Mark did after doing ‘Doctor Who’, including his acting career and moving to Australia before doing a zoology course. Lately, I’ve seen Mark play young Scrooge in 1984’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ with George C. Scott.

The final feature of ‘The Peter Davison Years’ DVD is a tribute to Anthony Ainley, who played the ‘fourth’ Master in ‘Doctor Who’. Sadly, Reeltime Pictures didn’t get to do an interview with Anthony since he sadly passed away in 2004. Thankfully, the Galaxy 4 shop in Sheffield recorded a panel talk with Anthony during a signing he did and they gave the panel talk to Reeltime Pictures to act as a tribute for him. 🙂

It was lovely to see Anthony be interviewed for a panel talk back in 2000. Anthony is regarded as a very private man and it was nice to hear him share his memories of making ‘Doctor Who’ when he played the Master on TV. It was interesting to hear his anecdotes, especially when concerning his working relationship with producer John Nathan-Turner. I would’ve liked to have met him.

‘The Doctors: The Peter Davison Years’ DVD was something worth waiting for. In a time when things seem really bleak at the moment, we all need some escapism at home to calm our anxieties. ‘The Doctors: The Peter Davison Years’ DVD did that for me with seeing recorded panel talks and interviews with some of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ stars that I look forward to seeing again soon. 😀

I’m looking forward to checking out ‘The Doctors: The Colin Baker Years’ DVD next!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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