Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Doctor Hears a Who (It Was Surprisingly Fashion Conscious)

Doctor Who is pretty fantastic.

One thing that I always enjoyed about the show was the way in which the Doctor fits the mould of the quintessential British eccentric, in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, admittedly and undeniably brilliant but at the same time odd and with something 'off' about him. 

This is nowhere more apparent in his wardrobe which changes with every regeneration, and serves to highlight the personality of the current regeneration but with always a concession to the 'offness' of the character. 

Let's start at the very beginning, since as Julie Andrews taught those creepy Von Trapp kids in song, that's a very good place to start, with the First Doctor. Played as a cranky old grandfather figure who had a tendency to bluff through his lines, he wore an exquisite Edwardian suit, evident here:

Looking rather dashing despite his wrinkles, the First Doctor's distinguished attire draws upon a more elegant time when men were gentlemen and knew the proper way to dress up without being flamboyant.

This is truly a gentleman's garment, ready for a night of polite socializing which nicely contrasted with the First Doctor's cranky nature.

The Second Doctor, however, went for what has been described as a 'cosmic tramp' look, replete with an ill-fitting bow tie, a flute, an untidy jacket, and Chaplinesque baggy pants.


Like the Tramp recast as alien Time Lord, the Second Doctor used his buffoonish appearance to trick his enemies into underestimating him, although how could they when he pulled off those pants? Surely, this was a man who knew what he was doing.

He has a book. Run away!

The Third Doctor was a man of action and derring-do, who would wait for nothing. Fittingly, he was dress like a dandy, all frilly shirts, velvet smoking jackets and capes. A man of taste and flamboyant elegance.


Who could have been mistaken for Dracula...

Whilst some might turn their heads at the sight of royal purple and burgundy in such close proximity to each other, look at the girl behind him.
This Doctor knew how to charm the ladies.
Most of the charming was done by his clothes.

The Fourth Doctor went for a more bohemian look, retaining the velvet jacket of his predecessor but with loose fitting pants, brown waistcoat and caveat, and of course his ridiculously long scarf, worn with wild abandon befitting such an excessive accessory.

This is the picture of a serious man.

The scarf was functional as well as fetching, illustrated above is its use as a pointer.

The Fifth Doctor decided to scrap the more shambolic appearance of the Fourth and went for more refined attire. Specifically an Edwardian cricketeer's outfit. Whilst on paper this sounds as though it shouldn't work, in practice, this established the Fifth Doctor as a man of leisurely pursuits and subtly expressed his silently heroic nature.

Here the Fifth Doctor showcases his simple yet elegant look, complete with the hint of eccentricity in the interesting addition of a piece of celery to his lapel. The Fifth Doctor's outfit is slimming and refined in its simplicity, perfect for saving the world or playing an over of cricket.

An universe-saving Time Lord would of course play the gentlemen's game in his leisure time.

Against the subtle attire of the Fifth, the Sixth Doctor went all out in a garish costume that is an exercise in excess and extravagance, a truly hideous yet compelling mismatch of bright primary colours.

This outrageous outfit, seemingly thrown together in an attempt to create a nauseating explosion of colour in cloth form, contrasted the sharpness and bite of the Sixth Doctor's personality.

However, the sheer exuberance and don't-give-a-fuckitude manner in which he wore the garment almost pulls it off, which is no mean feat. 

Again, follow the excess of his former regeneration, the Seventh Doctor went for a more subdued and understated look, with his straw hat, scarves, question mark waistcoat, and beige jacket, although there is a slight touch of his predecessor's excess in his question mark handle bar umbrella.

Now that is how to strike a pose. Full of pizzazz befitting a expert showman.

However, as this Doctor became more manipulative and darker, so too did his dress follow suit.

This man has already convince you to betray your friends and family, you just don't know it yet.

The Eight Doctor was a romantic and the first Doctor to kiss a companion onscreen, and was appropriately dressed in Wild Bill Hickok-styled garb, with his smooth frock jacket, draped in a silk caveat and waistcoat, topped off with a pocket watch.

He's single, ladies.

Still single.

In stark contrast to the more flamboyant garb of his previous regenerations, the Ninth Doctor had a more commonplace, functional wardrobe consisting of a leather jacket, V-neck jumper. Fine for an awful lot of running, but little else.

He means business.

But he can be playful.

Thus, we come to the energetic Tenth Doctor, kitted up in geek chic, with his ever-fashionable tan ankle-length overcoat, a brown or blue pinstripe suit in white or red Converse sneakers, respectively. 

Here he is sporting his blue suit, looking ready to save the world. But we mustn't forget his foremost accessory, his black thick rimmed glasses, completing the geeky factor.

Yeah... the glasses... Are sonic screwdrivers supposed to be used like that?

And then we come to the Eleventh Doctor. 

A note here about the Doctor: in all his regenerations, there was something professory about him. Something in his occasional vague or distracted manner as he was thinking about things unknown to us with his superior intellect and knowledge suggested a stereotypical old-school British professor type. 

However, whilst this professor-ness was only implied by his actions and mannerisms in most of his regenerations, Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, perhaps to counter the youthfulness of his regeneration, personifies this in his dress as well.

"Why yes, young lady, I am wearing suspenders, how did you know? And I will grade those papers before the semester break."

Despite his admirable predilection for unusual hat wear, notably a fez, this does not change the fact he still looks like he should be in an university lecture hall.

Though he does wear a bow tie exceedingly well. 

Bow ties are cool.

This is an area in which the new Twelfth Doctor is sorely lacking. In fact, he doesn't have a tie of any sort, bow or not.

"You there!"

Less professor and more sleek, sophisticated adventurer, this Doctor knows how captivate your attention... seriously, what a dramatic gesture. 

I'm all ears, Doctor. Of course, I'll hop into this blue box with you... hey look. It's bigger on the inside! 

Just like the Weasley's blue flying Ford Anglia.