Peter Davison has revealed that he didn't think he would get another big break in television after his considerable success in the late 1970s and '80s.


The actor rose to fame playing rebellious Tristan Farnon in the original All Creatures Great and Small, while his tenure as the Fifth Doctor in sci-fi drama Doctor Who won him even more fans.

However, acting is a tricky business to sustain, and he told there was "a period in the '90s" where he found himself in financial trouble as major opportunities dried up.

"I did get into debt, quite a lot of debt, which I slowly whittled away and eventually got on top of. But that was a very worrying period because I thought, at that point, that was it – I wouldn't have another break in television," explained Davison.

The actor was reflecting on his short-lived 2007 sitcom Fear, Stress & Anger for an exhaustive retrospective, which is available to read now exclusively on

Read more: Fear, Stress & Anger: Peter Davison and Georgia Tennant's lost sitcom

For that series, he stepped into the role of advertising executive Martin Chadwick, who also experiences money woes after being slapped with a major demotion at work.

Davison continued: "I was doing theatre and the odd TV job in the '90s, but I remember thinking: 'That's it. I've had my great time – which were really the late '70s and '80s – and that's as much as you can expect as an actor. And now I would be just doing odd little jobs here and there for the rest of my life.'"

Pippa Haywood and Peter Davison star in Fear, Stress & Anger, with Davison sitting at a table wearing a blue dressing gown
Pippa Haywood and Peter Davison star in Fear, Stress & Anger. Hartswood Films/BBC

This difficult experience helped him to empathise with Martin's plight all the more. He added: "Fortunately, it didn't work out like that for me, but I know what it's like to have that feeling of, 'How am I going to pay next year's tax?'"

Davison's later successes include At Home with the Braithwaites, The Last Detective, Law & Order: UK and Gentleman Jack, while he recently took a guest role in Prime Video's fantasy favourite Good Omens.

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