The Tenth Doctor’s Converse trainers are an iconic part of his outfit, ranking up there with other Doctor Who accessories like the Fourth Doctor’s multi-colored scarf and the Eleventh’s bow tie. It’s weird to think, then, that David Tennant almost wasn’t allowed to wear them when he first started out crafting the fashion sense of his Time Lord back in 2005.
The fan favorite actor told the audience at New York’s Paley Fest that the familiar cream-colored shoes were actually his own pair and he had to “really fight” for the Who production team to let him wear them in character.
“I had these really old, battered, cream-coloured Converse shoes that I brought in and I said, ‘I want to wear these.’ And people didn’t like that idea. I had to really fight for them.”
The costume department had their hearts set on Tennant wearing a pair of boots which the actor described as “beautiful.” He went on to joke that the crew were “ganging up on him” as they came up with a load of reasons for why wearing his Converse would be a bad idea – including that they’d hurt his feet after a while of running and that they were either too hot or too cold in the unreliable British weather.
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Nonetheless, Tennant stuck with his guns and “absolutely insisted” that he keep his own trainers.
“That was the only thing I absolutely insisted on, battered old shoes because that always just felt like that was the right thing to do. I’m glad I did.”
The actor went on to say that he also had a hand in combining the shoes with his distinctive pinstriped suit, as he’d seen celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wearing a similar outfit on TV.
“I remember seeing Jamie Oliver on a chat show. He wore a suit with his trainers, and I thought, there’s something about that kind of says the right thing. It’s kind of like, ‘I’m sort of an official, but I’m really not’.”
Of course, Tennant wasn’t the last Doctor to have strong feelings about their character’s outfit. Jodie Whittaker recently revealed that she had a big hand in devising the Thirteenth Doctor’s threads as she based the look off a photo she found on Google. The bottom line is: BBC costume department, listen to your Doctor.