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“I would like a hat like that!” - A Brief Guide to Hats in Doctor Who

By Paul Lang

The Doctor might be well known for scarves, but the Time Lord has also had some amazing hats over the millennia. To celebrate National Hat Day, marvel at the greatest headgear in the galaxy…

First and fleecy

When we first met the Doctor, he was residing in a draughty old junkyard, so it’s only natural that he would have selected some suitably snug headgear. He favoured a fleecy number, usually an Astrakhan or karakul, each with a distinctive triangular shape topped off by two jaunty pointy bits. He liked to mix things up sometimes, though – he once popped on one with flamboyant plumage for a trip to 18th century France. Ooh la la!

The mad hatter

The Second Doctor was a BIG hat fan. In fact, just about the first thing he did after regenerating was pick out a the tallest, most ridiculous one he could find and wear it for the rest of the day. The stovepipe model he chose didn’t stick for very long, but this Doctor was very much a hat fancier, and took great delight in trying on new ones for size. He looked particularly perfect in a bobble hat, we must say!

Hat-free Three

After a brief flirtation with a fedora, the Third Doctor must have decided that hats just weren’t for him, as he was very rarely seen wearing one. Well, who can blame him – why hide that magnificent coiffure away under some old titfer tat? His hair was like a hat in its own right anyway.

Four in a fedora

The Fourth Doctor was mainly to be found in a battered old brown or green felt fedora – until he swapped it for a smarter burgundy one towards the end of his regeneration (we like to think that Romana snapped one day and marched him to the shops for a makeover). There were a couple of notable special ones though. He wore a Tam o’ Shanter – a Scottish tartan bonnet with a bobble on top – for Loch Ness Monster hunting, and a Sherlock Holmes-style deerstalker for a spot of elementary sleuthing in Victorian London.


The Fifth and Seventh Doctors both preferred a pale Panama with a colourful red wraparound hatband. The Fifth picked a spotty pattern, and often rolled it up to stick in his pocket, while the Seventh opted for a Paisley one, and was fond of doffing his hat to greet new friends (or foes).

Two hats are better than one

Castrovalva (1982)

The Master once built a whole fictional community called Castrovalva, and designed it so that everyone there had hats. He also lived there in disguise, calling himself the Portreeve, and made sure he had the best hat of all. In fact, it’s essentially two hats, one on top of the other. That is real commitment to the cause.

Manussan milinary

Snakedance (1983)

The planet Manussa, which was visited by the Fifth Doctor, clearly had a thriving hat industry – most of its inhabitants proudly sported some kind of ridiculous headwear. Local lad Lon, who had a lovely big head for hats, wore the most opulent of all – a spiky gold affair with a giant gem embedded in it. But even that was trumped by the Six Faces of Delusion – a mid-Sumaran Era headdress that confused many a wearer by only actually having five faces (the sixth, of course, belonging to the deluded wearer).

The inquisiting hat

The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)

The Time Lords have always been suckers for over-embellished adornments. Collars, coronets, skull caps, helmets – you name it, they’ll stick it on their noggins. But no Time Lord ever did hats quite like the Inquisitor, who presided over the trial of the Sixth Doctor in a stunning, bejewelled headpiece. It was the envy of her peers – Chancellor Thalia was rumoured to have resigned in fury the first time she saw it, knowing she would never be able to get it on over her voluminous curls.

Hats not the way

Not all Doctors were hat lovers. The Sixth preferred to show off his mass of blonde curls unadorned, so went without. The Eighth Doctor toyed with wearing the skimmer that went with the Wile Bill Hickok costume that became his regular attire, but wisely decided against it, while the Warrior and the Ninth Doctor were both much to serious to be bothered with anything as silly as a hat. The Tenth Doctor didn’t have a lot of time for them either, apart from one jaunty straw hat – despite his usual love of showing off.

Donna’s hat box

Partners In Crime (2008)

Donna Noble was, unlike most TARDIS travellers, all packed and ready when she finally headed off to the stars with the Doctor. He was baffled to see her unloading a hatbox from the boot of her car. Alas, we never got to see what was inside it, or visit the Planet of the Hats that she was oh so ready for.

Ahoy, Amy!

The Curse of the Black Spot (2011)

Avast Ye! When the Doctor, Amy and Rory crossed swords with a bunch of ne’er-do-well pirates, she decided to play them at their own game by sporting her very own pirate hat, which shivered our timbers and no mistaking!


The Second Doctor might have been a big hat fan, but the Eleventh took his love of them to another level entirely. Over the years, he sported several stetsons, a snazzy top hat, a deerstalker and a bowler, but his one true lid love was the fez. He was physically incapable of passing one without putting it on, much to the disgust of Amy Pond and River Song. But his fezzes weren’t purely decorative – he used one to keep track of some particularly tricky time-twisting involving Amy and the Pandora, and another to test a time fissure before he jumped through it himself. Another fez he ordered, via Kerblam, was eventually delivered (very late) to the Thirteenth Doctor.

Top hat

Thin Ice (2017)

The only time the Twelfth Doctor was spotted in public with something on his head was when he and Bill Pots took at trip to the Frost Fair. He looked stern but dapper in his top hat, and should definitely have dabbled in millinery matters more often. Bill also looked the part in a feathery fascinator.

Yaz in uniform

The Woman Who Fell To Earth (2018)

Yaz was wearing a hat the very first time we met her, and it told us a lot about who she was and what she stood for. Well, the police badge was a bit of a giveaway! She doesn’t appear to have a lot of love for hats outside the workplace, though, which is a shame.

The Hat of Fear

The Witchfinders (2018)

When Team TARDIS visited Lancashire in the 17th century, their heads were all turned by the impressive witchfinder’s hat. Its wide brim and high crown made it a scary and sinister sight – except when Graeme put it on. Then it was just hilarious. King James, who turned up to join in with the chapeau craziness, had a similarly extra hat, and while it wasn’t quite as ridiculously tall, he still rocked it with considerable style.

Battle beanie

The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos (2018)

Ryan managed to get through most of his recent adventures with the Doctor in a hat-free state, but he did pull on a cheeky mustard beanie to protect his napper against the elements on Ranskoor Av Kolos.

Hat’s all, folks!

The universe is a big place, so we don’t have room to itemise every amazing hat the Doctor has encountered, but there are a few we just couldn’t miss out…

  • Dodo’s Swinging 60s Baker Boy cap was an iconic look.
  • Liz Shaw’s floppy marvel was just the thing for facing the Ambassadors of Death.
  • Everyone loves a sailor, and chirpy Cockney Ben looked the part in this cap.
  • The Doctor warned Barbara not to interfere in Aztec affairs, but luckily he didn’t say anything about wearing this amazing headdress.
  • Donna’s grandad, Wilf, was always adorable, but never more so than in these comedy antlers.
  • The hot looks at Tranquil Repose included Kara’s turban and Peri’s beret.
  • A cheerful bobble hat set off Nardole’s cheeky chops a treat.
  • And last but by no means least, the Archimandrite – a religious leader on Tara – had perhaps the most outrageous headgear seen on a man of the cloth in the known universe.

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