The new Doc in the old Doc’s clothes

The first official set pic from Series Eight has been released, showing Capaldi and Coleman in costume but out of character, apparently discussing a scene they’re about to do, and it’s clearly from the series premier as Capaldi is wearing the Eleventh Doctor’s costume.  (And unlike some past Doctors, he appears to fit his predecessor’s clothes pretty well.)  But it’s always a bit jarring seeing a new face in the familiar outfit.  That is, of course, sort of the point.  😉  So let’s take a look at past Doctors before they found their own costumes….


From the Doctor Who Photonovels at the BBC, this is a telesnap preserved from the Second Doctor’s first story, “The Power of the Daleks”, all episodes of which are missing. Only the audio and the telesnaps survive. Here, Polly and Ben are trying to understand what has happened to their good friend the Doctor and who this strange new man is. Troughton actually has his own costume on already, but is wearing Hartnell’s cape over it to provide some inexpensive continuity. It’s also established that he’s wearing the First Doctor’s ring, which falls off his smaller hand.


Jon Pertwee clearly could not have worn Troughton’s costume, being a much larger man, but here he’s wearing Troughton’s coat as he falls unconscious from the door of the TARDIS. He doesn’t keep it long; he is quickly rushed into hospital where of course the hospital people change him into PJs, and after he recovers he steals some dashing new clothes.


As with his predecessor, Tom Baker’s Doctor lost consciousness soon after arriving and was rushed into hospital and changed into hospital clothes. But he was able to snag Pertwee’s coat and boots as he attempted to escape to the TARDIS.  He changes into his characteristic costume a few minutes later.


Davison kept his predecessor’s costume for most of his first episode, even though it was clearly too large for him. (Rail-thin in his youth, Davison is practically drowning in the huge scarf.) This episode had probably the most extensive use of the predecessor’s costume as a plot element; he’s too confused to navigate the TARDIS corridors correctly, so he’s leaving a trail. He’s already ditched the red coat and is now unravelling the scarf after tying the end of the yarn to a door handle.


The coat is filthy from the mud volcanoes of Androzani Minor, and this is the last we see of it; Baker’s Doctor doesn’t waste much time before ditching it for the most flamboyant costume the Doctor ever wore (save perhaps for the clown suit Tom Baker briefly wore in “Robot”). Baker’s larger frame necessitated new trousers that would fit him, but it’s the same actual coat that Davison had worn. The larger trousers came in handy years later when “Time Crash” was recorded for Children In Need; middle age had widened Davison a bit, as it tends to do to all of us, and now they fit him. 😉


And of course Sylvester McCoy is a smaller man than Colin Baker; the suit is much too big on him. (I can sympathize; at 5’2″, I’m unfortunately accustomed to pants that are too long.) He wore it for nearly an entire episode before switching to the costume he’d wear up until the series was cancelled in 1989.

For the 1996 telemovie, McCoy got a new (and rather more dignified) costume, but Paul McGann didn’t get to wear it; the regeneration happened in a morgue, with the Doctor wearing nothing but a sheet and his predecessor’s clothes already disposed of.  When the series resumed in 2005, we met a Doctor already regenerated and in a totally new costume: Christopher Eccleston.  Last November, we learned that there had been an intermediate Doctor, John Hurt, whose costume was sort of an amalgam of McGann’s and Eccleston’s, but again, we didn’t really ever see him explicitly wearing his predecessor’s costume, so I will have to skip both Hurt and Eccleston in this list.


David Tennant, however, we first see wearing Eccleston’s costume — black t-shirt and black leather jacket. Looks rather badass on him, though he’s obviously even skinnier than Eccleston. (We’ve had some quite slender Doctors lately.) Like Pertwee and Tom Baker, he ends up in pajamas shortly thereafter.


Matt Smith ended up keeping his predecessor’s costume (most of it, anyway; the jacket went right away probably because it looks a bit snug on him) for almost an entire episode, and as with Davison, it became a bit of a plot device — his costume gets rather beat up, and young Amelia Pond consequently sees him as “the Raggedy Doctor”. LIke Pertwee and McGann, he ends up stealing his final costume from a hospital locker room. Naughty, naughty. 😉


And lastly, Capaldi, in costume but evidently not in character, discussing a scene with his costar Jenna Coleman. This is the first publicity still released from filming Series Eight of Doctor Who; we know almost nothing about what’s going on, but he’s clearly still got 11’s suit for a bit, and unlike many predecessors, it actually seems to fit pretty well. Very strange to see that face with the familiar suit, but I expect we’ll get used to it. Of course, the bow tie is missing, but we saw what happened to that already.


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One response to “The new Doc in the old Doc’s clothes

  1. Pingback: New Tom Baker interviews released by the BBC today

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