Peter Davison on The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

Peter Davison, fifth Doctor Who. Pic: BBC
Peter Davison, fifth Doctor Who. Pic: BBC
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“SEEK, locate, exterminate.” That expression is sure to reverberate around the SSE Hydro a week on Friday, when it plays host to the only Scottish performances of The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, a concert crammed with music and monsters, hosted by the Fifth Doctor himself, Peter Davison.

The live show, which has already sold-out tours of Australia and New Zealand, features more than 100 performers, with music from the TV series performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and members of the BBC National Chorus of Wales, under the baton of conductor Ben Foster.

Davison, who is currently appearing in the West End smash Gypsy, is taking a week off to return to the iconic role he played between 1981 and 1984.

“Gypsy is a fantastic musical,” he says, admitting, “I didn’t realise quite how good it was until I started working on it. It is a special show really.

“It does something different to other musicals, it doesn’t end in an all singing all dancing finale, it’s very poignant and rather a tragic tale really...”

He continues, “The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular was a previous commitment. I was contracted to this last year, so when I took on Gypsy, I said I had to take this week off.

“They were fine with that because you have holidays to use when you do a musical, so I’m taking mine and going around the UK with Doctor Who.”

Next Friday, that brings the youthful 64-year-old back to Scotland, and rekindles memories of his second job out of drama school, a season in the Capital, as part of the long gone Lyceum Young Theatre Company.

“I worked on and off in Edinburgh for a year and an half,” he recalls, remembering one production in particular - on an open air stage in Leith Links.

“It was something like 1973 and we did a rock version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Leith Gala Day,” he laughs.

“It was extraordinary, because in those days we didn’t have radio mics, or if we did, we couldn’t afford them, so all the mics were wired.

“Most of the technical rehearsal was spent working out how not to get tangled up in the wires while we were singing - in the end we’d do things like throw the microphones to each other.

“It was quite exciting really as often fights would break out in the audience.”

Davison will be back on more familiar territory at The Hydro where a menagerie of the Doctor’s most famous adversaries, including the Daleks, Cybermen and spine-chilling Silence, are set to mingle with the audience providing a dramatic edge to composer Murray Gold’s evocative music.

The actor reveals he landed the gig after going “off script” when presenting a segment of the BBC’s 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Proms, at London’s Albert Hall.

“It was born out of that appearance,” he explains. “I have to say I was very apprehensive when they wanted me to come on and introduce a segment of music from the classic era of Doctor Who.

“I said to them, ‘Is anyone going to know who I am?’” he laughs

“Then when I went out there, it was just such a fantastic reaction that I went off script a bit.

“I think they kind of liked that because when I got off stage they said, ‘Would you be interested in doing the tour of Australia?’ I said ‘Yes please’.”

The music being showcased in the show is “based around Peter Capaldi’s first season” he says, adding, “but there are pieces of music from the other Doctors since it came back.

“There’s no reference in this particular show to the classic Doctors, apart from having me there I suppose.”

Of course, Davison bridges both classic and modern having made a cameo as the Fifth Doctor in the new series alongside his now son in law, and fellow Doctor, David Tennant.

Notwithstanding the long-running sci-fi series, Davison is now one of the country’s best loved actors.

For the best part of 40 years he seems to have been seldom off our screens. To many he will forever be Tristran Farnham in All Creatures Great and Small, to others, Henry Sharpe in Law and Order: UK.

“For many, many years I was very, very lucky,” he says. “I never finished a series without knowing what series I was going on to. It was never by design, very good series have just fallen into my lap. I must say I have been extraordinarily fortunate.”

He pauses for a second, before smiling, “I could, of course, have been more fortunate. That’s the really weird thing about being an actor, you can look at your career and go, ‘I’ve been a failure and yet I’ve been a success’; you could always have done a lot better, but you could always have done a lot worse.”

The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Friday 29 May 2015, 3pm, 7.30pm, £22.40-£53.20, 0844-395 4000,