Picking a Doctor Who costume is fraught with difficulty, with the Time Lord’s outfit usually worn every episode (with variations) with a need for style, impact and versatility – so it’s no surprise that when it came to dressing Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, there were a few different options tried.
For years we’ve heard rumours about the vaguely piratical look the Doctor could have sported in these years and now we have more visual proof, with ex-showrunner Steven Moffat posting a series of images of Smith (with costume designer Ray Holman) assembling his signature look.
“11 years ago the 11th Doctor gets his gear on,” Moffat wrote on Instagram.
“These photos, courtesy of [costume designer] Ray Holman, are pretty much real time as Matt goes from dejected to ecstatic.”
Through the photos, Smith gradually builds what would become his initial look as the Eleventh Doctor (though it changed slightly as the years went on), complete with patterned shirt, braces, bow tie and tweed jacket – and as Moffat says, it’s clear that Smith prefers this costume to the slightly trendier look he was sporting in the first image.
“I tried so many costumes on and at first he was quite pirate-y—he was in stripes and like a long coat and he looked a bit like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean,” Smith said previously of the costuming experience.
“Once we got the whole costume on, it felt like something was missing and I was like, ‘Can I try a bow tie on?’ and Steven Moffat was like ‘No, you can’t wear a bow tie’ but I tried it on and suddenly it sort of lifted the whole outfit.”
And other parts of the costume came from Smith’s own wardrobe…
“For the first meeting, I went in a tweed blazer, which is why he wears a tweed blazer,” he revealed. “I thought, ‘Well, he’s old, so I’ve got to make him feel kind of professorial.’
“I had a tweed blazer which I loved and which, obviously, I can never wear again,” Smith added. “I was really annoyed at the time because I thought I looked really cool in it.”
Still probably worth it, we reckon.
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide