Hello, Whovians, I’m Andrew, and with the imminent debut of a brand new Doctor, it’s the perfect opportunity to hop in the TARDIS and look back at how the Time Lord has changed over the years. Hold on there, please, madam, I need you to do as I say… Why are you calling me “madam?” Because you’re a woman…? Am I?! Does it suit me? Every time the Gallifreyan regenerates, we get a fresh star, interesting companions, and, most importantly, an all-new wardrobe. So grab your sonic screwdriver, straighten your bowtie, and lace up your Chucks, because this week on Yellow Spandex, we’re diving into The Evolution of the Doctor Let’s start with the swinging ‘60s, in what we’ll call The Frilly Suit Era The First Doctor, as portrayed by William Hartnell, was actually kind of a jerk. You think so? He was rude, impatient, and had an air of superiority to him, which his elegant Edwardian suit matched to a t. He eventually softened up a bit, but when Hartnell’s health began to fail, the producers were forced to come up with one of the most
brilliant plot devices ever to justify their casting change: Regeneration. We learned that Time Lords have the ability to reform their physical body in response to injury, trauma, or old age, so when the First Doctor collapsed after saving the world from Cybermen, he was reborn with a more youthful appearance and whimsical personality. Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor was more lighthearted and fun than the original incarnation, We’ll see about that! Here we go again! I wonder where it will be this time? Yes. I wonder… and with his shaggy Beatles hair, rumpled suit and big baggy plaid trousers, he looked more like Charlie Chaplin than a cantankerous grandpa. Troughton quickly grew fed up with the workload of a weekly series, so he was replaced by John Pertwee as the aristocratic Third Doctor, It’s all quite simple. I am he, and he is me. And we are all together, coo coo ca-choo? It’s a song by the Beatles. Oh? How does it go? Please be quiet! who was equal parts frustrated by his exile to Earth, and enchanted with the authority his new job as the head of UNIT afforded him, Allright, allright, I suppose you want to see my pass? I haven’t got one, and I’m not going to tell you my name, either. You just tell Brigadier Leftbridge Stewart that I want to see him. Don’t just stand there arguing with me, man! Get on with it! along with the sweet ride and new uniform: a dandy velvet suit with ruffled cuffs and a puffy shirt that would make Jerry Seinfeld jealous. Now, I dunno if the huge lapels and giant hair clued you in or not, but we’re in the ‘70s now, baby. and as the new era of Doctor Who left the black-and-white era behind, the next generations of Doctor fashion would be defined by Colors and Question Marks There have been so many different Doctors throughout the years, it’s kinda hard to pin down one look that represents the series. But for a lot of fans, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor is the icon to which all others are compared, and whenever you see ‘Doctor Who’ parodied on shows like ‘The Simpsons’ or ‘Futurama,’ odds are it’s the Fourth Doctor making a cameo. His wide-brimmed hat and extremely lengthy scarf were based on French nightclub posters, which suited Baker’s bohemian take on the character. Doctor, you’re acting like a child! Well of course I am! There’s no point on growing up if you can’t be childish sometimes. His aloof performance made the Gallifreyan truly feel alien for the first time. and his colorful scarf became the Doctor’s calling card. The actor served for seven years, and to this day he still holds the record for longest portrayal of the Doctor. The producers knew they would have a hard time filling his boots when the time came to regenerate, so they made the Fifth Doctor as different as possible. Well, as different as you can make one white guy turning into another white guy. Peter Davison was young, he was sensitive and vulnerable, Please, you’re making me dizzy! and, with his blonde hair and chiselled jaw, he was what passed for a Handsome Man in Britain at the time. Don’t @ me. Doctor Five was a big fan of cricket, and his costume was pretty much the same “whites” that cricketers wear on the pitch. The uber preppy look was topped off with a panama hat, and a coat to which the Doctor affixed a stalk
of celery that helps save him from poison gas. Then what do you do? I eat the celery! The reign of the Fifth Doctor is also where branding concerns began to enter the picture. You gotta build that brand! Since it’s hard to trademark and merchandise a character who doesn’t
really have a name, or the same face for more than seven years. Like the Fourth Doctor before him, he incorporated question marks on his shirt collar, and occasionally rocked a pair of suspenders adorned with his brand new logo. Colin Baker’s Sixth doctor continued with the motif, although the branding was hard to notice beneath his garish rainbow coat, blazing polka-dot cravats, and a cute little cat button! The Sixth Doctor’s bizarre fashion sense was justified by the producers as, basically, “He’s an alien. Why would he have good taste?” The Seventh Doctor’s duds were slightly more subdued, although there’s nothing subtle about Sylvester McCoy’s sweater covered in zig-zagging question marks, or his jaunty umbrella with a very on-brand handle. Literally a question mark. Any chance they got! Fire their branding department. Now, before we enter the modern era, we should shout out two cracks in time. There’s the Eighth Doctor, who came about as the result of a 1996 made-for-TV movie, that was intended to introduce the extremely British show to audiences in the U.S. Oh my god! God no! Paul McGann’s retro-styled, romantic Doctor was literally dressed like a cowboy, since after his regeneration he grabbed a Wild Bill Hickok costume that just happened to be at the hospital. He was canned after the movie failed to hit it big in America, but the Eighth Doctor lived on through comics, books and radio shows for years. McGann finally returned to the screen in 2013, where he regenerated into John Hurt’s War Doctor, a retconned renegade Warrior decked in grizzled leather. He pretty much just looked like an old football. Oi! Shouldn’t that be black and white with things all over it? He looked like an old American football. After the failed movie, the franchise lay dormant for 9 years, until it was finally revitalized in 2005. The new series took ‘Doctor Who’ to new heights of worldwide fame, but the Doctor’s colorful costumes were seemingly left in the past, replaced by Modern Drab Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor has the dubious
honor of having the shortest tenure of any Time Lord, one season, and the plainest costume. The buzz cut, black leather jacket and v-neck combo was
perfectly suited for the Doctor’s angsty personality, although he softened up towards the end thanks to the connection he shared with his companion Rose. The Tenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant, I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I’m from the planet Gallifrey. I’m 903 years
old, and I’m the man who’s gonna save you lives and the 6 billion people below. was the height of mid-2000’s geek chic, with a haphazardly buttoned pinstripe suit, a brown overcoat he claims was given to him by Janis Joplin, I like that coat. Janis Joplin gave me that coat. and some tortoise-shell “brainy specs” that made him look rather clever. Oh, lovely! Most notably, the Tenth Doctor was rarely seen without his trademark Chuck Taylors, even though his alternate selves were unimpressed with his choice of footwear. Isn’t it cool? I’m the Doctor and I’m all cool… Oops! I’m wearing sand shoes! Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor debuted with a preppy tweed jacket and trousers, and after a while, he upgraded his outfit with a cashmere frock coat and more formal look, that kinda resembled a cross between the Second
Doctor and Willy Wonka. It was a good look! Strike that. Reverse it. This way please! One constant throughout Smith’s tenure was his fixation on a variety of hats, from fezzes to Stetsons to stovepipes. But the Eleventh Doctor’s signature accessory has to be his beloved bowties. Including the bowtie. Yeah, it’s cool. Bowties are cool. Are you from another planet? Yes. They’re the keystone of his entire wardrobe, and the last thing he does before he regenerates is to remove it, and it’s real sad. No, no! Please don’t change! Allowing Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor to start fresh with his own identity. The older Doctor took a stripped-down, back-to-basics approach to his wardrobe, with dark colors, muted tones, and a hoodie to contrast with his more flamboyant predecessors, He even had this one really cool shirt that was knitted and cotton and black with holes in it that looked like stars, he was really trendy! Trendy old guy. Although he kept some theatrical flair with the red lining of his Crombie coat, and those badass Sonic Shades, that really divided the audience. Don’t look at my browser history! Yeah. I said don’t. The Twelfth Doctor was mortally wounded in battle with the Cybermen, and when he finally allowed himself to regenerate after having a hearts to hearts with the very First doctor, the resulting Doctor was unlike anything we’d seen in the 55-year history of the franchise: The Thirteenth Doctor The idea changing the Doctor’s gender originated in the ’80s, when the producers first floated the idea of replacing the iconic Fourth Doctor with a woman. Judging from the absolutely tone-deaf, jokey short they release the next decade, The show wasn’t ready for that responsibility yet, but after the Doctor’s nemesis the Master was regenerated into Missy in 2014, the stage was set to debut an all-new incarnation, in a decision I can only characterize as “brilliant.” Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor might be taking the Time Lord in a completely new direction, but her colorful wardrobe is harkening back to the beloved ‘80s era, with baggy blue culottes, a light-colored coat, and suspenders over a rainbow-striped shirt. It’s a comforting, familiar throwback to help ease fans into the Doctor’s bold new direction. Only time will tell how long Whittaker lasts before the next regeneration, but with this huge leap forward in representation, I’ve never been more excited for the future of ‘Doctor Who.’