Three decades is just a short trip in the Tardis for the Doctor, but Peter Davison is just like everybody else, and has to time travel the slow way - one day at a time. However, 35 years after he signed on for the lead role in Doctor Who, he's still proudly involved with a world of Daleks, Zygons and Weeping Angels.
Davison is coming to New Zealand to host the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at Auckland's Vector Arena - with a full orchestra conducted by Ben Foster performing music from the TV programme, including the first public performance of music from the most recent series, and some familiar monsters are dropping by.
Speaking to the Herald from Sydney, Davison said he had no idea he'd still be involved in the Doctor Who universe when he stepped down from the role in the early 1980s.
"I thought I would leave discreetly by the back door and that would be it. But it soon became obvious it was going to go on for a while."
Davison still plays The Doctor in regular audio adventures, teaming up with the same companions who ran with him down endless neon corridors in the 80s, and has reprised the role for television a couple of times, usually for charity.
Davison says the Symphonic Spectacular is, at heart, a simple concert featuring the music of Murray Gold - the show's composer since its return in 2005 - but it just also happens to have monsters roaming around, and villains taking over the show for a while.
"There is all this amazing music, but it's also a real dynamo of energy, where you're really interacting with the audience."
The show made its New Zealand debut in Wellington last year and is coming to Auckland for the first time after a short tour around Australia. Davison says it attracts a diverse audience and the programme enjoys a much broader fan base as it has got older.
"The crowd is all ages and all the degrees of Doctor Who fandom, from hardcore fans to casual people who have been dragged along by their children."
The constant evolution of Doctor Who over its 52-year history means the show is continually reinventing itself, with seven more versions of the main character - and seven actors playing him - since Davison's days. It's had its ups and downs: the TV series was in a coma for most of the 90s, but Davison says he wasn't surprised when it became a critical and commercial success on its return, due largely to the sheer quality of the new show.
He was it was "enormously gratifying" to see that Doctor Who, in the hands of head writer Russell T. Davies, still had a grip on popular culture, even if he was slightly envious that it had come back as such a prestigious programme.
Along with the show's ability to go anywhere in time and space, and tell any kind of story, the enthusiasm of the creators is part of a self-perpetuating cycle that keeps it ticking along, year after year, like a good watch, he says.
"Doctor Who seems to attract the creative mind, and they've grown up with it and become devoted followers, and then they get involved in the production of the programme, and it all carries on."
Davison still watches the show - Peter Capaldi is now in the lead role - with his sons, and admits he has to occasionally ask them what's going on, as simple stories are sometimes "incredibly complex".
But he is obviously proud of his contribution to the television institution, especially when he started a trend towards "younger" doctors that has seen the energetic talents of David Tennant and Matt Smith used in the role.
"I think my era looks a bit less out of place, but there was also more vulnerability and sensitivity in the role long before I came along.
"That really started with Patrick Troughton's second Doctor - who is my Doctor - and that's something that's been developed more in recent years."
What: Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular
Where: Vector Arena
When: Tomorrow, 1pm