Peter Davison spent three years at the helm of the TARDIS before departing Doctor Who in his acclaimed final adventure The Caves of Androzani.


But the actor has now revealed that he second-guessed his decision to leave the BBC sci-fi series, even up to the day of filming his regeneration scene.

Speaking at a BFI Southbank event to mark the release of the Doctor Who – The Collection season 20 Blu-ray set, Davison recalled "moments of regret" after handing in his notice.

"I'd said at the beginning that I would do three years, so it was a question of whether I went back on that and did another year," he explained. "In the end, I just thought... I was quite young then and I thought, 'There's a lot of other stuff I'd like to do'.

"We all have moments of regret when we decided to leave things. Indeed, when I made the decision absolutely to leave, I was very happy with it, but when it came to the actual day of doing the regeneration scene, there were moments where I thought, 'What have I done?'."

His predecessor Tom Baker had fronted the show for seven years, but Davison feared that staying in the role of the Fifth Doctor any longer might "affect [his] future employment".

"I'd seen what had happened to Tom – he found it difficult [after leaving] – and so I just thought, yeah, I'll say this is my final year."

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He continues, of course, to enjoy a fruitful acting career to this day, almost four decades later. "I was very lucky, I was very fortunate," said Davison, who, prior to Doctor Who, was well-known for starring in the BBC's television adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small.

"I had been in things before – that's probably what saved me."

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

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