As the Doctor changes so much with each regeneration, the costume worn by the different versions of the Time Lord says a lot about their personality, so there’s often much excitement and interest in what they’ll be wearing every time the next Doctor Who lead’s announced.
For Jodie Whittaker, we got our first glimpse at her outfit back in November. As you surely know by now, the costume that the Thirteenth Doctor will wear consists of a very pale blue coat, bright blue culottes held up with yellow braces (or suspenders) and, most recognizably, a dark T-shirt with a horizontal rainbow-like strip across it. There’s a lot of color in the look and also a nice androgynous feel to it, without it being too feminine or too masculine.
It turns out this was deliberate as well, as it was Whittaker herself who came up with overall concept of the outfit. The actress told EW that she had a good working relationship with costume designer Ray Colman and assisted him with what she was going to wear. Interestingly, the impetus for the androgynous, colorful threads comes from an image Whittaker found on Google, which captured exactly what she was going for.
“I have a relationship with Ray anyway, because he designed Broadchurch. I kind of presented a mood board. I had an acorn and he turned it into the most beautiful tree. I could kind of say what I meant, and then he would present a look, and it elevated everything I’d suggested, and erased the bits that he knew without telling me didn’t work. But, essentially, I found a photo, and it’s just a Google image, and I have no idea what decade it is, but it’s a woman in crop trousers that are slightly big, with a T-shirt, and [suspenders], and with boots, walking and thinking. I just love the androgyny of it, without it being masculine, and I think that’s a really important line to find and quite a difficult one as well.”
Whittaker then went on to explain that another aspect of the costume she took into account is if it would restrict her performance at all. As the actress has previously teased, the Thirteenth Doctor is a huge bundle of energy and she didn’t want something to “dictate the movement.” As such, her costume was specially tailored for this purpose.
“The Doctor that I have kind of created, and been given, is full of energy, and fizzes, and moves. That costume had to move with me, rather than dictate the movement. Costume often dictates, which is helpful a lot of the times, because, you know, the repression of a corset, things like that, are very helpful. But because this is the opposite of that, it needed to flow, and it needed to feel that things were there for a reason. So [the coat has] pockets, but there’s no buttons, because I don’t close it — so why have buttons? So, it was things like that. And I really wanted wanted color in there, but I certainly didn’t want to go too I suppose cartoonish in that sense. And there’s homages to things in there.”
We’ll just have to take Whittaker’s word for it on that one, as we’ve yet to really see the Doctor in her new outfit in action. This weekend brought the first teaser for Doctor Who season 11, though, and the full trailer is just a few days away now, as it’ll premiere at the BBC America panel at Comic-Con this Thursday.