A Few Thoughts on Capaldi’s Outfit

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Guest contributors James Wynne and Liam Duke offer their opinions.

James’ Thoughts


Pic by Ryan Farrell

Amongst numerous other staples of change in Doctor Who is always the incumbent incarnation’s newly selected attire. Along with TARDIS redesigns (primarily, the interior), remodelled sonic screwdrivers, and of course, the all important regenerations themselves, the latest iteration of the Time Lord’s chosen garb is an invariable source of excitement and fervent speculation.

Yesterday, an official press release finally revealed the Twelfth Doctor’s new duds to a salivating mass of fans. The general reaction seems to have been positive, though there are those who feel that the outfit lacks a certain pizzazz. For some it’s the seeming absence of any distinctive attribute that defines it as an ensemble which is truly Doctor-ish.

A number of fans have drawn comparisons to the Eleventh Doctor’s clothing, and the salient accessory that he repeatedly referred to as being “cool”. I am, of course, talking about the famous bow tie. Many have expressed the feeling that Capaldi’s outfit lacks a similarly singular feature to distinguish it. But it’s worth remembering that it was only because our attention was so often drawn to Eleven’s bow tie, since it was a frequent source of ridicule from others and affection from the man himself, that it became so imprinted in our perceptions as the item we associate most with him.

Previous Doctors have been adorned with items of clothing and even, once, vegetation, that are so outlandish as to be the overtly defining piece of their respective outfits, but it is not always the case. Often, it’s the entire ensemble that makes the man. Was it the Tenth Doctor’s trench coat that was the most distinguishing feature of his attire? Or was it the almost vacuum packed pinstripe suits? Or even the white/black/red Converse? Or was it the combination of all of the above and how attuned it was to the swashbuckling character of Tennant’s Doctor?

Capaldi’s outfit might not be as instantly striking to look at as some, but if Moffat’s recent comments about the Twelfth Doctor are to be believed, then it’s no surprise, and seems to have been designed as a visual summation of everything this latest incarnation will be; no nonsense; sterner than his predecessor; less whimsical.

With no accessory about the neck, and his buttons done all the way up to the top, Capaldi looks all the more imposing. He has no time for frills, scarves, or bow ties; he is an image of stark authority. The dark blue coat and cardigan create the image of an elder, austere gentleman; meanwhile the trousers and the boots retain elements of the rebellious, somewhat youthful disposition that is inherent to the Doctor’s character.

Whilst I certainly don’t begrudge others their right to dislike Capaldi’s outfit, I would urge any who feel this way to wait and see how the Twelfth Doctor wears it once we’ve been properly and lengthily acquainted with him, rather than going on how Capaldi wears it at present. The Doctor’s incarnation-specific traits usually informs the style of clothing he adheres to, so that his appearance becomes synonymous of his character over time, and I believe it will be no different in this instance.

Liam’s Thoughts

It’s felt like an eternity, but FINALLY Peter Capaldi’s costume has been revealed! We have our first look at the 12th Doctor in his costume. So, what are my first opinions? I think it is absolutely brilliant.

capaldi-series-8-costume-hiThere are some who disagree, and I will address some concerns now. Some people are disappointed by the lack of accessories or standout feature. We have the Fourth Doctor’s scarf, Fifth’s celery and Eleven’s bow tie, but what does Twelve’s outfit have to offer? Well, that’s the beauty of having a plain, yet elegant outfit. There is so much potential for Capaldi to add things to this costume throughout his run; a watch here or a cravat there. If this original outfit is seen as a starting point, our imaginations can run wild. Maybe he’ll add items to it as trinkets from his adventures? Who knows? Who…knows?

The thing I love the most is the dark blue Crombie coat, which gives an epic feel to the costume and holds it all together to create a slick look. I like how one button is done up, but I imagine this will change many times. Think of Capaldi running down a flaming corridor and rapidly unbuttoning the coat and watches as it cuts through the air as he runs? I can picture that on the front of the Series 8 boxset. The white shirt is a nice element as well, though I do agree that perhaps the top button could be left undone if there won’t be any extra neckwear. Maybe he could button it up when things get serious or he starts swearing at everyone around him…sorry, wrong show. The red lining also would look great when running down corridors, and just screams ‘Jon Pertwee’.

The cardigan is also a nice addition to the costume, though it could perhaps have been a slightly different colour to the main coat. Maybe that will be Twelve’s defining costume feature, and the colour and pattern will be always changing?

The trousers could have done with being a bit more separate to Eleven’s, but nonetheless I’m happy with them as they work well with the overall look of the costume. Also, I love how the Doctor is wearing Docs! Overall, the whole look is slick, smart and has room to grow and be added to. Twelve’s outfits screams potential, and that is never a bad thing.

Here’s what Capaldi said about his costume:

“He’s woven the future from the cloth of the past. Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 percent Rebel Time Lord.”

Capaldi knows best! It’s obvious he knows what he wanted his costume to show and represent, and it certainly does just that!

And we’ll end with a comment from Steven Moffat, who said:

“Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you!”

Bring it on, Capaldi. I can’t wait to see you and your costume in action. Roll on Series 8!