BUZZ WORDS: Thoughts On The 13th Doctor’s Costume

BUZZ WORDS: Thoughts On The 13th Doctor’s Costume

0 comments 📅09 November 2017, 16:10

The first image of an incarnation of the Doctor says a lot. Remember the epic ‘glam rock science uncle’ look Peter Capaldi had in those first stills?

Of course, 12 also proceeded to change outfits pretty much constantly but the principle of the thing remains the same. A Gallifreyan’s clothes, especially a newly regenerated one, tell us a lot about them. And the first official still of the 13th Doctor, released today is no exception.

Picture shows: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)

Let’s start with the boots, which are distinctly chunky and a pretty solid callback to the last Doctor to rock a pair; the Ninth. We haven’t heard the 13th Doctor speak yet, so we don’t know if Jodie Whittaker‘s keeping her Northern accent. We hope so, because it sounds great, and evoking the most Northern Doctor so far seems to hint at that.

Next up, the coat. If there’s one thing every Doctor has been defined by, it’s their coat. From 6’s technicolor detonation to the variety of hoodies and frock coats that 12 wore, the coat is the Doctor’s armor. It’s what makes them look bigger than they are, giving them the visual authority to get away with anything the psychic paper can’t handle.

13’s coat is fascinating. And, crucially, has POCKETS. This was the big concern a lot of female fans expressed to us over the last few months; how would the Doctor’s gender, and the wardrobe expectations that go with it, impact on the character’s fondness for carrying, well, ALL of the things?

The answer is not at all. The coat’s got pockets and it’s a really pared back, almost angular design. It’s going to look great in motion and it’s really difficult not to view the neutral colors of the costume’s outer layer as a metaphor. This is the Doctor shedding old skin, the neutral outer tones replaced by the inner colors of the outfit.

And there is a lot going on in that inner layer. The most interesting thing for us is how much blue there is. The Doctor’s socks seem to have some sort of design on them but the blue there, and the blue of the trousers is a very clear connection to that of the TARDIS. It’s really difficult not to view this as sartorial reassurance for any viewers uncertain about the change. This is still the Doctor. This is still the TARDIS’ favorite Gallifreyan.

The other big shout out to previous incarnations speaks to that. Those suspenders are a definite salute to both the 11th and 2nd Doctors, who rocked similar pairs. It’s difficult not to view that as a subtle hint to the character’s personality this time too. There’s certainly something puckish about the 13th Doctor’s outfit, although it’ll be a while before we know if that’s reflected in her personality. Both those incarnations’ combination of obtuse cheek and ancient care worn alien viewpoints would certainly be an interesting place for 13 to start though.

But there’s always a tendency to assume every new Doctor will be like every previous one and, certainly in the modern era, that’s not been the case. The final component of the outfit drives that point home; a black t-shirt with a horizontal, understated rainbow design.

There’s a lot encoded into that choice, starting with the inclusiveness that the 13th Doctor has embodied from the moment she was announced. The rainbow also subtly hints at the 4th Doctor’s scarf, and the horizontal alignment for it makes it an arresting, central piece of the overall design. The message, again, seems clear; the Doctor will see you now. And you will see her.

Almost invisible on the photo is the final component of the outfit. Two earrings on the left ear, one in the lobe, one through the upper section. Like the shirt, and the suspenders, there’s a slight hint of punk to them as well as other influences. The comparisons to costumes from Hair and Mork and Mindy have already been made. However, we think that’s more about the 13th Doctor herself than being beholden to the past. This is a Doctor with an open mind, a lot to do and no time to handhold people through this regeneration. There’s work to be done and worlds to save, after all. And based on this costume, the 13th Doctor is more than ready for the challenge.

Is it next year yet?

The 12th and 1st Doctor will return at Christmas for Twice Upon A Time. Series 11 of Doctor Who, starring Jodie Whitaker as the 13th Doctor, will air in 2018.


No Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.