Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison Quits Twitter Amid “Toxicity”

Sometimes, it’s okay to be ashamed of fandom – or at least, some of it. Today is one of those days, as Peter Davison has quit Twitter after quotes from him have been taken out of context and used against him. This led to vile comments, the likes of which really make you question whether the true messages of Doctor Who have been getting through to some fans.

This began with a tweet. Specifically, one which called for understanding: “It might be more helpful to be encouraging, and not simply scornful, of fans who are uncertain about change.” This followed the casting announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. Soon, people were looking into past interviews to discover what cast really think about a female Doctor.

Some decided to verbally attack Peter for having differing views. Yesterday, he sent out three tweets, announcing that he’d be leaving the platform:

“For the record I didn’t say I had doubts about Jodie. I said “she’s a terrific actress and will do a wonderful job and we need to open it…up”. I also urged uncertain fans to be supportive about change. It was a caveat about role models in an otherwise positive answer… All this toxicity about a sci-fi show has been sobering, so I’m calling it a day. used to be fun. Now it’s not. Must Dash. xx”

If you think it’s right that a man who has always been an incredible ambassador for the show, and for fans, has been shunned off the social media platform because he has different opinions from you – then you’re the problem here.

I stand by what I said previously:

““If you can’t accept this change,” some have argued, “then you’ve missed the point of Doctor Who.” No. If you’re revelling in the hurt this change has resulted in, and calling people bigots for not sharing your viewpoint, then it’s you, my friend, who have missed the point of Doctor Who.”

Even more shockingly, this comes just after comments were made as part of the Doctor Who SDCC panel, in which host, Chris Hardwick said:

“If you call yourself a fan of Doctor Who, you innately couldn’t be upset by [her casting], because Time Lords can regenerate into anything. You’re not a real fan of the show if you don’t accept this – you’re an a$$hole.”

I’m genuinely surprised and disappointed by this repulsive comment.

You might watch Doctor Who every day; you might have a Big Finish subscription; you might know episodes by heart; you might have read the vast majority of books and comics; you might’ve supported the show in the so-called “Wilderness Years”; you might own original art; you might create your own fan art; you might’ve been to numerous Doctor Who exhibitions numerous times; you might’ve watched the SDCC panel; you might’ve collected memorabilia; you might’ve dedicated a considerable chunk of your life to the show… but because you’re uncertain about change, Chris doesn’t think you’re a fan. Is that the open-minded attitude that Doctor Who teaches?

Losing Peter from Twitter is a very sad example of the backlash that Steven Moffat refused to believe in at that same SDCC panel. This blog sums Davison up beautifully:

“He always gives 200% to fans who, frankly, give him little in return. This was the bloke who, seeing the great line of people who were going to miss out on the 20th anniversary celebrations at Longleat, took it upon himself to walk along the line chatting to people, posing for photographs and signing autographs on top of his already hectic schedule over the weekend. Remember the man who thought that the classic series was a little under represented in the 50th anniversary and so he wrote and directed what was easily the best part of the 50th anniversary broadcasts?”

He has always been a force for good. He’s genuine, kind, and funny. He is the Doctor, through and through.

It’s just a shame that some corners of fandom have lost themselves so greatly.