Doctor Who’s New Costume Relies Heavily on Costumes of the Past

jodie_whittaker

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There is some controversy around the fact that the next Doctor Who will be a woman.  This is the same argument that we hear all the time when there are versions of classic TV shows and movies, where the cast or main characters are replaced with women.  I guess I don’t necessarily see it as sacrilegious because it’s different. It’s something new and not like the older version.  But there are many traditionalists that wouldn’t agree with me.  I’m not saying this because I’m a woman and so is she.  I would make this same argument if the new Doctor Who was a man of color.  Or different ethnicity.  Whatever the case, with this change, comes a new costume.

BBC has recently released the first picture of Whittaker in her official costume as the Doctor.  What’s interesting is that it’s not like the costumes of her predecessors.  In Doctor Who, the rules of regeneration dictate that only the Time Lord’s body can change, but not the costume.  This supports my previous paragraph related to the gender of Doctor Who.  But I’ve digressed a bit.  So what’s different about the costume?

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She’s got an overcoat, blue pants, suspenders and a rainbow stripe on her shirt.  Does this add fuel to the fire?  I mean, in terms of the controversy.  The costume is different.  Some fans took to Twitter and voiced their disapproval of the new costume.  But its kind of awesome, and perfect for the character.  Each Doctor has had their own spin on the costume, so why not with this iteration also?  Did we think that it was going to be the exact same costume as her predecessors?

Some are saying that this costume makes Whittaker look silly.  But, if you look back through the history of Doctor Who (all 53 years), The Doctor has never really looked “normal”.  In fact, more often than not, their costumes have been “silly” looking. I feel like the fact that she’s a woman is giving people ammunition to go at this harder.  But the costume itself honors some of the past Doctor’s, making it an homage.  What’s wrong with that exactly?

There are a lot of colors present in Whittaker’s costume – again, incorporating the looks of the previous Doctor’s into this costume.  After the dark tones of the more modern Doctors, it looks like we’re going back to a lighter, more colorful look, one that just might speak to the new direction of the series as a whole. Backed by the beautiful colors of a sun rising over green pastures, the 13th Doctor’s light greys, browns, yellows, and teals shine through. And this is exactly what Whittaker’s Doctor looks to bring to the series: brightness.

Some are extremely upset by the suspenders.  But again, what’s the big deal?  This is a callback to Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor.  The long coat was a signature piece of David Tennant’s version of the character, and Whittaker’s Doctor honors that with elegance.    Finally, the stripes on her shirt are also an echo of Doctors past, with the pattern and colors used calling back to Tom Baker’s iconic striped scarf. With so many nods to her previous incarnations, Whittaker’s Doctor is certainly one that remembers where she came from.