Fifth Doctor star Peter Davison has offered his thoughts on some recent criticism of Doctor Who's political messaging, saying that the show has always been "liberal and progressive".


Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, Davison admitted he hasn't recently watched the show, but said he is aware of the criticism.

He responded, saying: "Doctor Who was always liberal and progressive. It would have a go at corporations, at the arms race, whatever. But the point was: it never announced that that was what it was doing. As soon as you do that, it changes the optics."

The debate around the show's politics isn't new – in 2019, Seventh Doctor star Sylvester McCoy said that the series' addressing of political issues was what drew him to it in the first place.

Peter Davison
Peter Davison. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

McCoy told "When I watched Patrick Troughton all those years ago, you know, when the BBC was 'Auntie BBC' and it was a bit straight-laced, Doctor Who was definitely not of that ilk, and it was slightly rebellious. It was part of the swinging ‘60s philosophy of life. And that’s what I loved. I was 20-odd, so that’s what attracted me."

The current season of Doctor Who has addressed a number of social issues, from the debate surrounding reproductive rights in Space Babies to populist politicians in 73 Yards.

Elsewhere in his interview with The Telegraph, Davison also claimed he was previously "misquoted" when he appeared to express doubts about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor, citing a possible "loss of a role model for boys".

He explained: "My point was that the Doctor is a Don Quixote-type figure who rides into situations and the character who always puts him right is his female companion.

"And if you reverse that, you’ve got the difficult dynamic of a man telling a woman what she can and cannot do. But I do also think the Doctor is a good role model because he is a hero who isn’t beating the s**t out of everyone."

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Doctor Who continues on Saturday 8th June on BBC iPlayer and BBC One. Previous seasons are 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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