'Doctor Who' Shows a First Look at Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor Costume

Thursday, 09 November 2017 - 7:02PM
Doctor Who
Thursday, 09 November 2017 - 7:02PM
'Doctor Who' Shows a First Look at Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor Costume
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One of the more important things about any incarnation of The Doctor in the British sci-fi series Doctor Who is the costume that the character wears. The Doctor has always been a snappy dresser, and a lot of her identity throughout the various incarnations has come from her choice of clothes.

The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) is maverick and odd, hence his ridiculously long scarf, while the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) is a little more rough around the edges, and thus prefers to wear a simple leather jacket.

Taking a cursory glance at the fantastic new outfit warn by the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), it's similarly possible to get a tremendous sense of who the character is, and what we can expect from her.

There's a terrific sense of continuity here. The Thirteenth Doctor's retro seventies color scheme invokes memories of bygone days in the Tardis. Her long grey coat feels - at least from a color perspective - similar to the look of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison), whose bright outfit and sandy hair bears more than a little resemblance to this new incarnation of the character.

Meanwhile, Thirteen's suspenders are reminiscent of those worn (albeit briefly) by the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), and their mustard color, as well as the colored stripes of her shirt, also call to mind Seven's colorful sweater vest. In general, it feels like Thirteen's appearance is meant to invoke a subconscious connection to Doctors from the show's classic era, long before the 2005 revival of the show.

That said, Thirteen's clothes are also something of a departure. Her ankle-high blue pants aren't something that any previous Doctor would seem comfortable in, and her collarless shirt also feels very different to the more traditional smart-casual button-up shirts that the Doctor often favors (Christopher Eccleston providing an exception).

This all suggests that the message of Jodie Whittaker's outfit is that this Doctor is both old and new; a callback to previous incarnations of the character, while simultaneously pushing off into an exciting new direction.

It's not just The Doctor herself who's showing a bit of retro chic. The Tardis, just as comfortable with change as The Doctor, seems to have also reverted back to an older design.

When Doctor Who returned to televisions under the guidance of showrunner Russel T. Davies, the Tardis always appeared weather-worn and tired, perhaps reflecting its role in the brutal Time War. The wood was imperfect and slightly shabby, while the door creaked ever so much as it opened. Then, Steven Moffatt took over the reigns for the show, and the Tardis was instantly revitalized, appearing brand new and shiny, with a fresh St John's Ambulance sticker upon the front of the box.

Now, as Chris Chibnall steps up as showrunner (having previously worked with Whittaker in his show Broadchurch, and who also wrote several episodes of Torchwood), the Tardis has transformed again, losing its St John's sticker, and appearing just a little less shiny. What's more, the colors on its instruction sign have reverted back to white text on a black background; something that hasn't been seen on the iconic time machine since 1996.

Both The Doctor and the Tardis are giving off the same key message: Chibnall's iteration of the show will look and feel a lot like the Good Old Days of the show, albeit with a bright, exciting, modern feel.

It's going to be a lot of fun to discover exactly where that means the show will go next. With a series that morphs, twists, and regenerates as often as Doctor Who, you never know what big changes might be waiting just around the corner.

Jodie Whittaker's new Doctor is expected to debut in the annual Doctor Who Christmas special at the end of the year.
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