Do Clothes Make the Time Lord?

doctortiesAfter casting an actor in the role of the Doctor, arguably the most important decision about a new Time Lord is his costume, because it becomes as identifiable as his personality.

Let’s face it, Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor started off on the wrong foot thanks to executive producer John Nathan-Turner’s disastrous decision to go with a hideous-by-design outfit and probably never recovered. Baker had to struggle almost as mightily against his wardrobe as he did with his era’s weak writing and uninspired direction in order to establish his Doctor’s darker persona.

So now we have Peter Capaldi’s incoming 12th Doctor. An established actor with a strong personality, Capaldi’s choice of costume will no doubt reflect his personal vision for his characterization of the Time Lord.

We’re not likely to see the next Doctor’s own costume until sometime toward the end of his debut story in 2014, but still… has the 12th Doctor’s costume been chosen yet? Executive producer Steven Moffat reveals:

“There is a longstanding tradition that that must be done at the heart-stopping last minute. We’re working on it, and it’s [the Doctor’s] usual thing and it will be fine. I loved it when people used to think, ‘Oh, look, Steven Moffat has put Karen Gillan in a miniskirt.’ Yeah, what Karen Gillan does is say, ‘Hey, Steven, what am I going to wear?’

“Obviously, I’m letting Peter and Howard [Burden, costume designer] get on with it and, yes, if they turn up in a multicolored harlequin outfit I’m going to say ‘No!’ But, you know, Peter has got strong instincts on clothes. It’s a funny thing, the Doctor outfit — it’s completely wrong until it’s right, and that usually means it’s slightly wrong. Matt’s [finally] worked when he put that daft bow tie on — which I was totally against. Having made that single contribution to that last outfit, I thought I’d shut up more.”

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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