Back in 2003, costume designer June Hudson came up with an alternative Doctor Who outfit for the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker, bringing a more “autumnal” feel to his incarnation.
2003 marked Doctor Who‘s 40th anniversary, and it is fondly remembered by many – not least because 2003 saw the announcement of a brand new TV series under the guidance of writer Russell T Davies, plus of course an actual TV series (of sorts!) in the form of ‘The Scream of the Shalka‘ starring the alternate Ninth Doctor Richard E. Grant.
But few people remember that 2003 also saw the debut of a brand new Doctor Who outfit from designer June Hudson. Hudson was no stranger to the Whoniverse as she had worked on many stories from the classic run of the show, including other beloved BBC programmes such as Blake’s 7. Indeed, Hudson had been the person who’d redesigned the Doctor Who outfit for Season Eighteen, which incorporated the Fourth Doctor’s now-famous red and burgundy scarf.
This Doctor Who outfit was never intended for TV, however. The 2003 version had been specially designed for an exclusive photoshoot with the Radio Times, and it was a costume that Hudson actually produced and tailored for Tom Baker.
Speaking to the Radio Times in 2003 about the new Doctor Who outfit, Hudson said: “I wanted to use the same rich colours of the original costume I designed for Tom. It’s a question of evolution. Tom’s stature on Doctor Who has matured and come to fruition and I’ve introduced an autumnal feel to reflect that.”
Legendary designer June Hudson in 2003 on creating this costume: “I wanted to use the same rich colours of the original. It’s a question of evolution. The new costume is another step forward.” pic.twitter.com/eL0bcBFdPw— TARDIS Regenerated (@tardisregen) May 31, 2022
Sadly, Tom Baker has not yet had the opportunity to use his new Doctor Who outfit on screen, although he did appear wearing something similar in 1999’s Doctor Who Night on BBC Two.
And speaking of the redesigned Doctor Who outfit from 1980, Hudson added: “His outfit had got scruffy and I felt he needed a costume as striking as he is. I used a very rich deep plum and used a very long scarf because I didn’t want to sacrifice any part of the Doctor’s image. In the same way the new costume is another step forward.”
And the Fourth Doctor wasn’t the only one whose Doctor Who outfit got a redesign. The Radio Times brought back all the surviving Doctors to produce four exclusive covers, and whilst the Sixth and Seventh Doctors wore their original costumes, the Fifth Doctor donned a new look, losing his classic cricket whites to adopt something more stylish.
Interestingly, with a brand new series having just been announced, speculation was rife as to who the next incarnation of the Time Lord would be. Tom Baker had thoughts of his own, saying to the Radio Times that he was curious to see whether the next Doctor would be gay, black or a woman, before suggesting the comedian Eddie Izzard as a possible contender.
Tom Baker added: “I won’t ever be the Doctor again, but if they did bring back the TARDIS they could have me in a glass case, just moving my eyes and watching what’s going on. When the new Doctor is thinking things out, he could turn to it and say, ‘What would you do, I wonder?'”
Tom Baker’s words are eerily prophetic, as his idea resembles what happened with the Shalka Doctor and the Master in ‘The Scream of the Shalka.’ Plus of course, Tom Baker did return as the Doctor (or the Curator, if we’re being picky) some 10 years later in the 50th anniversary story ‘The Day of the Doctor.’
And seeing the 2003 redesign for the first time, some fans have suggested that this “new” Doctor Who outfit could be used for the Curator if he makes a return to our TV screens. And this is not beyond the realms of possibility with David Tennant and Catherine Tate already signed up for the 60th anniversary celebrations. Is it possible that Tom Baker’s alternative future incarnation could make an appearance as well…?
In the meantime, tell us what you think about June Hudson’s 40th anniversary Doctor Who outfit. Do you think it works for the Fourth Doctor? And does this mean that Lovarzi now has to produce another kind of scarf?! Let us know in the comments below.
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