Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who costume has finally been revealed! Here are five things we spotted.
First, you will notice that Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor is wearing a subtle double pendant – seemingly the first Doctor in the history of the programme to wear a chain around his neck. Or is he?
Certainly, it’s rare to see the Doctor wearing such obvious jewellery, but it’s very in-keeping with his character. Indeed, the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee used to wear the TARDIS key on a chain around his neck, as did the Eighth Doctor. Now, it could be argued that this was for practical purposes rather than its pleasing aesthetic, but at the time of writing we don’t know what the nature of Ncuti Gatwa’s pendant is. It may have some link to the series’ overarching story, or even to the TARDIS itself. On the other hand, it might have belonged to a character the Doctor previously encountered.
At the same time, it’s fair to say that the Doctor has long had a penchant for jewellery. And whilst William Hartnell’s monocle might be stretching the definition somewhat, we have the Fourth and Sixth Doctors’ badge collections, plus the Seventh and Eleventh Doctor’s pocket watches, and the Thirteenth and Fugitive Doctor‘s earrings.
And then there is Ncuti Gatwa’s ring collection…
2) Even more jewellery (rings this time)
Although they aren’t visible in the publicity photo, a subsequent video released by the BBC highlighted Ncuti Gatwa’s impressive ring collection. These are reminiscent of the ones worn by the Third Doctor’s companion Jo Grant, although whether there’s any connection remains to be seen. (There probably isn’t, but it’s fun to speculate!)
And again, this is a fashion choice which is in-keeping with the Doctor’s character. You may remember that the First Doctor himself wore a striking ring which, on occasion (namely ‘The War Machines’) he used to hypnotise people. And then there was the Twelfth Doctor’s intriguing double-banded ring, which fell from his hand when he regenerated into Jodie Whittaker. In addition, the Third Doctor could also be seen with rings on his fingers from time to time.
3) Sturdy boots
Next we have Ncuti Gatwa’s footwear which, in true Time Lord style, looks suitably robust. The brown boots appear to be Brogues with a thick sole – perfect for tearing down (same-looking) corridors whilst being pursued by Daleks.
They’re very similar in style to the boots worn by the Twelfth Doctor. These had the appearance of Doc Martens, but were in fact a Loake and British Boot Company hybrid. However, both the Twelfth Doctor and Ncuti Gatwa’s boots have thick soles which are strikingly similar to the ones found on classic Doc Martens.
Jodie Whittaker’s footwear was similar as well, emulating the Doc Marten style and Brogue patterning, but cut in suede.
And this is one fashion choice that the Doctor has waivered on over the years. His earlier incarnations opted for more elegant footwear (namely shiny shoes) whereas the Fourth Doctor went all-out with knee-high leather boots. The Fifth and Tenth Doctors, meanwhile, selected trainers – which made sense given the Fifth Doctor’s love of cricket (even if his celery made slightly less sense…)
The one through-thread, though, is the love for Brogues; the Fourth Doctor had a pair, although the Seventh Doctor’s two-toners are perhaps the most memorable.
4) The checkered trousers
The Doctor has long had a love for checks, and Ncuit Gatwa’s Doctor is no exception. Indeed, this is the main theme of his costume, with the striking pattern incorporating both his jacket and trousers.
The very First Doctor led the way in this department with his elegant checkered trousers. These actually regenerated along with his body in ‘The Power of the Daleks,’ and the checks that the Second Doctor donned are actually much closer to the ones that Ncuti Gatwa’s incarnation now wears.
And as with the Brogues, the check effect has long been the Doctor’s go-to. The Seventh Doctor selected them from the TARDIS wardrobe in ‘Time and the Rani,’ and even though the Tenth Doctor famously opted for a pin-stripe suit, his Fourteenth incarnation has chosen a subtly-checkered pair of trousers.
We say “chosen” – the Fourteenth Doctor actually regenerated into his checkered trousers, just like the Second Doctor. And so the big question is, will Ncuti Gatwa also regenerate into his pair of checkered trousers, and if he does, what will this mean? Is there something about Artron energy that has a predilection for checks?! The furious debate begins here.
It is also worth noting that the Eleventh Doctor also had a love for checkers, in his case of the Harris Tweed variety.
5) The long coat
Long coats are pretty much the Doctor’s thing, and Ncuti Doctor’s jacket has a subtle mixture of styles that is vaguely reminiscent of the Sixth Doctor’s costume.
Interestingly, the very First Doctor went for a much shorter, more traditional Edwardian jacket. The Second Doctor’s coat was similar, although it was many sizes too big for him, and therefore hung much more like a trench coat.
Undoubtedly, the Third and Fourth Doctors paved the way with their longer jackets, and most of the Doctors since them have followed suit (pun very much intended.) Thus, Ncuti Gatwa’s costume is in good company with the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fugitive Doctors opting for the longer jacket. The Seventh Doctor didn’t have one (unless you count his duffle coat in ‘The Curse of Fenric’) and of course both the War Doctor and the Ninth Doctor had the smaller bomber jackets. The only other exception is the Tweed jacket that the Eleventh Doctor wore in Series Five.
Certainly, having the Doctor wear a longer coat gives the appearance of being more heroic, flapping in the breeze during a mad-dash down a corridor. And this must surely be the Doctor’s intention as, in practical terms, it makes little sense to don a long trench coat, as they are famously difficult to run in.
But as the Ncuti Gatwa era progresses, we will almost certainly see some variations of this look. All of the Doctors since 2005 have altered their outfits slightly, even opting for brand new costumes in the case of Matt Smith (such as in the latter half of Series Six and Seven.) It will be interesting to see how the Fifteenth Doctor’s look evolves as the series progresses.
In the meantime, what do you like most about Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who costume? Let us know in the comments below.