Forgotten Doctor Who outfits?! There must be a crack in his wardrobe! In Classic Who, the memory can cheat; it’s tempting to think that the incumbent Doctor always donned the same clothes in every story. Well this is a true to a degree, particularly if you’re Peter Davison…
But there were some momentary variations – mayfly garbs that appeared for the odd story, then disappeared into the time vortex. The fez may be a mainstay of Doctor Who cosplay, but how often do you see the First Doctor’s swimsuit at Comic-Con?! (Don’t worry, we’re not covering that one in this list…)
If you’re looking for some quirky costume ideas, then look no further. These are the top three forgotten Doctor Who outfits, pulled from the darkest depths of the TARDIS wardrobe…
3) The Seventh Doctor’s ‘Time and the Rani’ look
When the Seventh Doctor first selected his new clothes, he went through a number of choices – even donning brown furs for one fleeting moment! Ultimately, he settled on the iconic look – the question mark tank top with the plaid trousers and braces. But eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted a red tartan scarf, which only appeared in this story, quickly replaced with the more familiar Paisley scarf from ‘Paradise Towers’ onwards. The vivid red number was never to be seen again, banished to the bottom of the TARDIS laundry basket.
Another thing to note about the ‘Time and the Rani’ look is the way the Seventh Doctor wore his jumper. In this story, he had it tucked into his trousers – something he would never do again on-screen. Interestingly, this variation is more in-keeping with the original sketches by costume designer Ken Trew, who didn’t intend for the Doctor to wear his sweater loose. But why was it changed? We may never know…
Have you ever donned the ‘Time and the Rani’ look for cosplay? If so we’d love to see your pics! Get in touch.
2) The Sixth Doctor’s waistcoat
Sometimes Doctor Who outfits need to change, particularly when you’re in Seville, fighting Sontarans in temperatures of 40 degrees plus! In the 1985 story ‘The Two Doctors,’ Colin Baker’s Time Lord was stripped of his usual waistcoat and jacket, instead opting for a colourful ‘Hawaiian shirt’ inspired vest. And again, like the Seventh Doctor’s scarf, this particular item was never seen beyond this story. In fact, the BBC axed Doctor Who during the transmission of ‘The Two Doctors.’ Coincidence…?
Maybe. Unless Michael Grade objected to African wax fabric, because according to sewing guru Mark Francis (who we recently interviewed) this is possibly the material that was used to make it. And alas, it’s almost impossible to match up now – so you may need to get creative if you’re thinking of stitching your own.
1) The Second Doctor’s stovepipe hat
The stovepipe hat is arguably the most forgotten of all the Doctor Who outfits. It’s like it was never given a chance. Despite appearing in two stories – ‘The Power of the Daleks’ and ‘The Highlanders’ – its significance is often overlooked in the Whoniverse, partly because the BBC burned virtually all trace of it from existence. Literally. All known copies of these stories were sent to the incinerator…
However, we can see it in action by virtue of telesnap reconstructions and animations – and of course, publicity stills from the late 1960s. And like the Seventh Doctor’s red scarf, it’s uncertain why it was decided to lose the stovepipe after such a short run. Perhaps it was too impractical. How easy is it to keep a stovepipe on your head when you’re fleeing from a squadron of Yeti?! Or perhaps it was too whimsical. William Hartnell used to cite the Pied Piper of Hamelin as one of the inspirations for the role, but perhaps this particular item lacked subtlety…?
What do you think? Did the stovepipe hat deserve another crack of the whip…?
So there we are. Those are the top 3 forgotten Doctor Who outfits, as decided by me. Have I missed any strong contenders from the list? Does Paul McGann’s blue leather jacket deserve a mention? Or what about the Doctor’s brief costume change in the closing moments of ‘A Town Called Mercy’? Why was that never seen again?!
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and if you have any pictures of yourselves wearing ‘obscure’ Doctor Who outfits, we’d love to see them! Be sure to drop us an email.
Seventh Doctor silk Paisley scarf – order now from the Lovarzi shop!
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