I created my Doctor’s costume with Ray Holman, the costume designer who worked on Broadchurch. I had an initial meeting with him and brought lots of images and bits and pieces that I’d seen. For example, I found an old black-and-white image on Google that spoke to me. It’s of a woman walking with purpose in crop trousers, boots, braces and a T-shirt, and she just looks so comfortable and non-gender specific – that was my style point.
And I needed it to have colour because I respond to colour. I really love the use of colour on Coldplay album covers, which I also showed to Ray. Which is where the rainbow came in – nothing evokes a sense of hope in me more than hundreds of rainbows!
What I really love about this costume is that every single thing about it is a choice that Ray and I made – I’ve never had that. Normally, your costume is dictated by the period a show is set in. I couldn’t rock up in Converse in Cranford, for instance! Sometimes I look at other female characters and their costumes just don’t look that comfy. But with this we could create every detail from scratch and give things a meaning or purpose. One day,
I might be able to tell you what it all means, but for now everything is a secret between me and Ray, so I’m not allowed to say.
Collaborating with him to create it really was wonderful. I’m woefully uneducated in costume, so I took my guidance from the professionals and what Ray did that was brilliant was take my vague ideas and shape them into a whole vision. Then within that he cleverly introduced things that I’d never even thought of that were absolutely within the world I wanted to create.
What’s amazing now is seeing other people wearing the costume. Having been to ComicCon [a sci- convention in San Diego], I’ve seen boys, girls, men, women, everyone wearing it – and it looks so ace!
I feel we’ve managed to create something really special and timeless.
Doctor Who airs on Sunday evenings on BBC1
This article was originally published in the 6-12 October issue of Radio Times magazine