Ncuti Gatwa’s vintage Doctor Who look honours show’s 60-year history

In a dapper suit and colourful jumper, the latest Doctor looks like he could have stepped straight off a Gucci runway.

Introducing the 15th doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa, the first images from the BBC have been released.

Gatwa, who takes control of the Tardis in 2023, pairs his brown chequered suit with a bright orange jumper and tan coloured brogues, all colours with vintage appeal that give a nod to the show’s 60-year history.

With flowy outerwear key to the Doctor’s look, Gatwa’s costume honours the Time Lord’s roots.

The Doctor’s costumes are a huge part of the show. William Hartnell’s original incarnation of the Doctor in 1963 was known for his frock-type coat.

Peter Davison’s 1981-84 doctor wore a cream overcoat, Sylvester McCoy wore a safari jacket from 1987–89 while Peter Capaldi opted for a navy Crombie coat with red lining from 2014-17.

Speaking to the Radio Times in 2017, Ray Holman, the show’s costume designer at the time, gave an insight into the styling process. “It’s a massively collaborative process between the actor, costume designer and showrunner,” he said. “But, ultimately, we’re all trying to do the right thing for the actor and script.

“My secret to designing a new Doctor is dressing the actor appropriately – doing the right thing for that person. It’s all about making them feel good.”

While Christopher Eccleston’s ninth Doctor in 2005 referenced the noughties in an oversized black leather jacket and baggy jeans, Gatwa’s costume has more of a timeless appeal.

By dressing Gatwa in a classic piece – a chequered suit – the costume design team cleverly avoids any obvious modern-day references. Gatwa’s premiere does not air until December 2023 so it’s important that there are no signifiers that could date easily.

Checks have also been worn by the second doctor (Patrick Troughton) and the 12th (Capaldi). David Tennant wore checked trousers as the 14th.

The only contemporary hint to Gatwa’s suit are the slightly cropped trousers and gentle oversized fit to the coat.

Meanwhile, the tangerine jumper has a 70s feel when it’s reportedly from H&M.

Vibrant colourways are not new in the show’s history. Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor had his signature striped scarf, whilst the sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, wore every colour of the rainbow in a patchwork coat and patterned waistcoats.

Bright knitwear was also all over the autumn/winter 2022 menswear runways including Etro and Versace. Elsewhere, Harry Styles regularly wears colourful knitwear with tailoring from Gucci.

In a video on Instagram to promote the show, Gatwa also shows his fingers bearing nail tattoos featuring the Gallifreyan alphabet – a first for the character.

Gatwa has previously mentioned he would have a say in what his version of the Doctor wore. Off screen, the Sex Education star is known for his bold approach to fashion. A regular on the front row, he has been pictured in bright prints, oversized suiting and even pink silky pyjama sets from Prada.

Doctor Who is huge in cosplay and also a go-to theme at Halloween.

Gatwa’s costume has been praised by fans on Twitter, with many mentioning how it’s easy and affordable to replicate via secondhand and vintage stores.

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