Few television programmes make the same production demands as Doctor Who. With such diverse settings as distant points in Earth’s history and alien civilisations in the far future, the series has always stretched the ingenuity – and resources – of its talented costume designers.
During production on the 2018 series of Doctor Who costume designer Ray Holman took Doctor Who Magazine on a tour of his costume department.
“These are our costume trucks,” Ray explains as we come to a car park full of trailers. “They’re normally used if we’re out filming, but the trucks are here today. These trucks have to have the right costumes on them.”
The costumes on this truck are mainly for actors with speaking parts and are arranged character by character. “This is the Doctor’s section, and her clothes are numbered according to the scripts. Here are all the Doctor’s coats, her trousers, her multiples of t-shirts. And this is the Doctor’s storage space. She has boxes of boots, socks, thermals, earrings, all her bras. Peter had the same.” Minus the bras. “Yes,” Ray says, laughing. “Peter had his belts, boots, pants and t-shirts. And…” Ray lifts a hanger off the next rail. “…This was Jodie’s Peter Capaldi outfit. I had two different sizes. But in actual fact the size Peter wore was all right on Jodie. It was only a bit baggy.”
Next to the Doctor’s clothes… “Here we have Bradley/Graham’s wardrobe and what you’ll notice is, all the main cast have multiples of absolutely everything because of stunts, stunt doubles and green screens. So Bradley has three of each jacket and three versions of every outfit. The same goes for Tosin/Ryan and Mandip/Yaz. I have to spend three times!”
Jodie whittaker and ray holman explain the inspiration behind the thirteenth doctor
The latest Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition features numerous rare and previously unpublished illustrations showing how the look of an episode evolves from sketch to screen, plus exclusive interviews with the following designers:
- Lee Bender (owner of the Bus Stop boutique, which supplied outfits for Sarah Jane Smith)
- Howard Burden (designer of the Twelfth Doctor’s costume)
- Ray Holman (designer of the Eleventh and Thirteenth Doctor’s costumes, and Doctor Who’s current costume designer)
- June Hudson (designer of the Fourth Doctor’s final outfit and numerous costumes for Romana)
- Barbara Lane (The Claws of Axos, The Dæmons, The Curse of Peladon and more)
- Amy Roberts (Image of the Fendahl, Full Circle, The Keeper of Traken and more)
- Alexandra Tynan (The Tenth Planet, The Highlanders, The Evil of the Daleks and more)
- Lucinda Wright (costume designer during Christopher Eccleston’s series as the Ninth Doctor)
Plus, the stars who wore the designers’ creations look back at their characters’ clothes:
- Sophie Aldred (Ace)
- Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler)
- Katy Manning (Jo Grant)
- Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint)
- Anneke Wills (Polly)
Read the full interview with Ray Holman in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine: Special Edition #52 – Costume Design, out now.