Peter Davison had doubts about Doctor Who exit: “What have I done?”
"We all have moments of regret when we decide to leave things."
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."
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