Is There Life Outside The Box?
An Actor Despairs
By Peter Davison
For most fans of Doctor Who when they think of the show in the 80’s Peter Davison comes to mind. He was the first Doctor of that decade and before he took on the role of The Doctor he was already a household name from being on All Creatures Great and Small. So the ever busy actor found the time to write his autobiography to tell the tales of his early life and acting career. The book is out now and it is titled “Is There Life Outside The Box? An Actor Despairs” which as it turns out was title that Peter Davison thought was funny and the first publisher did not get the joke and wanted it changed. Obviously he refused and the second publisher let him keep it and let him write the book the way he wanted too. This is all discussed in detail in “Is There Life Outside The Box? An Actor Despairs” along with many other stories of his career along with his time on Doctor Who.
If you’re a fan of Peter Davison and his career on Doctor Who you might be somewhat disappointed with his autobiography. After all it will be mostly Doctor Who fans that will buy this book but Peter Davison doesn’t spend the entire book talking about Doctor Who. In fact there are only a couple of chapters on Doctor Who and the funniest one is the chapter on conventions. I’m sure you can imagine what he has to say about conventions and in particular one Tom Baker ego trip that most of us know about. But the book is more than Peter Davison’s Doctor Who career as he has done so much more than Doctor Who that it shows that Doctor Who was in fact just a small part of it until the Big Finish audios arrived and even then it is still just a small fraction of what he has done. If you want to hear stories of his Doctor Who career track down past issues of Doctor Who Magazine or see him at a convention as I’m sure you’ll be entertained there.
I really found it interesting reading about his parents and what they went through during World War Two and how they got to England and what they endured. You could tell that Peter Davison was fascinated by doing the research on his parents that it comes through as you read it. You learn of the hardships they went through and it really picks up when you read about what Peter Davison puts them through once he comes along. A funny example is when he tells the story of a very young Peter Davison sneaking into the family store at night and stealing chocolate.
Peter Davison’s autobiography “Is There Life Outside The Box? An Actor Despairs” is a really entertaining read and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his life in acting and how he go into it. I learned a lot about what it takes to get into show business and from what I read it takes an awful lot of luck. Peter Davison life outside of Doctor Who to me seemed pretty busy once his acting career got going and it was pretty interesting and so was his personal life that he shared with us also. This book is worth getting if you are a fan of the 5th Doctor or Doctor Who in general as it opens up a different light to the man that used to and still does play the greatest hero on TV.