Played by: Peter Davison
When: 1982 – 1984
Significant contributions to the Whoniverse: It was during Davison’s time as The Doctor that the Doctor Who franchise hit its twentieth year. As such, it was in that specific year that he led the biggest gathering of Doctors to date. Unfortunately it was not genuinely a complete gathering, as Hartnell had passed away, and Baker did not wish to be a part of the adventure. Regardless, it was a great special that also featured both the Daleks and The Master.
Speaking of The Master, this brings me to the next most significant contributions in the Fifth Doctor era. Anthony Ainley became The Master at the end of Baker’s reign, but he truly became a recurring character again with Davison. Despite many times being defeated and supposedly finished, he just kept coming back, setting up the character again for his memorable appearances in the modern series of Who.
Perhaps most significant though, and something the Fifth Doctor is best known for, is the fact that he did not use a sonic screwdriver. In an early Davison episode, the screwdriver was destroyed by an enemy to prevent the Doctor’s escape. No effort was made to replace it, a conscious decision made by the writers to prevent giving the Doctor an easy option out of his various scrapes. This was so unique for The Doctor at the time, that in some respects, it eclipsed the fact the he was wearing a celery stick in his lapel.