Five interpretations of the new Doctor Who costume
- 28 January 2014
Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who outfit has been unveiled. What messages does it convey about the Time Lord's 12th incarnation, asks Jon Kelly.
1. No messing about. The bow-tie-and-tweed-wearing Matt Smith looked like he'd just won a trolley dash in a fashionable east London thrift store. With his "geek chic" Converse trainers and skinny ties, David Tennant could have played bass with The Strokes. By contrast, Capaldi's scarf-less, accessory-free Doctor is no dandy - one for the purists, perhaps. It's "cool, subtle, not giving too much away", says Who fan and novelist Jenny Colgan. "Simple, stark, and back to basics," is how the actor himself puts it - and this is a man who once wrote to the Radio Times aged 15 to proclaim his Who fandom, so he should know.
2. One step beyond. The Crombie overcoat and Dr Martens-style boots suggest the Gallifreyan has come straight from the front row of a 1979 ska gig. "It does have that whole Madness thing to it," says fashion expert and former Queer Eye For The Straight Guy presenter Julian Bennett. Surely, too, the coat is an attempt to upstage Sherlock's much-admired Belstaff number.
3. All grown up. Capaldi is a full 29 years older than Smith was when he assumed the role, and his costume's monochrome hues and classic tailoring are more typical sartorial choices of the more mature gentleman. In recent years, the dark suit and buttoned-up white shirt combo has been espoused by two individuals in their autumnal years, namely David Lynch and Charles Saatchi.
4. Behind the sofa. James White of Empire magazine suggests the look betrays the influence of Jon Pertwee's more action-orientated, vaguely gothic third Doctor, "with all the Hammer Horror overtones that suggests". The series took a darker turn under Pertwee's reign - those of a nervous disposition might be advised to start covering their eyes with their fingers now.
5. Cutting a dash. The flash of red from the lining of his coat hints that this Doctor still has an extravagant streak. According to Stuart Heritage of the Guardian, the look is suggestive of "a slightly flamboyant best man cutting shapes at a wedding reception". Bennett is less impressed: "It looks like a man having a midlife crisis and trying to relive his youth." Surely he could just jump in the Tardis?