This week I’ve been taking a little look at an area of The Doctor’s costume that sometimes gets overlooked: The Costume Transition Scene!
I’m taking about that moment in the first episode of a new Doctor where the old skin is finally shaken off and a re-designed costume helps define the start of a new era in Doctor Who history.
When William Hartnell became Patrick Troughton, it wasn’t just his face that changed – his costume miraculously regenerated at the same time (see right).
Later, when Jon Pertwee took over, his new clothes were more realistically introduced by having The Doctor lift them from the changing room of the hospital where he is taken at the start of Spearhead From Space.
But it was Tom Baker’s transition scene that was the first to make some play on the anticipation of what The Doctor would be wearing.
Looking through the list of regenerations, I have realised there seems to be two dominant scenarios for these scenes:
The Hospital Changing Room scenario
The Third Doctor steals the clothes of a hospital consultant before stealing his car as well; after the Eighth Doctor emerges from the morgue, he takes the clothes of a surgeon, who is going to a fancy dress party; the latest regeneration sees the Eleventh Doctor lifting a the parts of his costume from the hospital locker room as he strides through.
The TARDIS Dressing-up Room scenario
Although we don’t see the dressing-up room, the Fourth Doctor keep popping out of the TARDIS dressed in unsuitable costumes; the Fifth Doctor finds his new clothes in the TARDIS, almost as if he was supposed to; the Sixth Doctor is the first to be seen in the dressing-up room to choose his new clothes; followed by the Seventh Doctor who goes through a similar selection; finally the Tenth Doctor makes his choice from a re-imagined dressing-up room, courtesy of The Mill’s special effects gurus!
The solitary Jon Pertwee item went for pretty much on the money, selling for £3,240 having an estimate of £3,000 to £4,000.
I went along to the viewing to see for myself what it was all about and check it over.
The two other Peter Davison related items also sold, again right on their estimates.
First was the Script from Ressuraction Of The Daleks, which contained a extensive amount of camera postion notes (see left) as well as general comments and notations.
This sold for £240, having an estimate of £200 to £300.
The other item, a near complete Sea Devil costume from Warriors Of The Deep, was a mixed bag.
The helmet and tunic are still in pretty good nick, but the rubber mask was very perished and looked like it was about to fall apart. This is typical of items such as this, since they are only really made for appearance on that week’s episode and not expected to last any longer.
This sold for £2,280, almost double its estimate of £800 to £1,200.
So far I have made the front panels of the waistcoat (see right); now I need to concentrate on the back and then bringing everything together.
The back is made from a linen fabric lined with cotton. For the purposes of my test garment I am using washed calico for the outside, lined with a cheap cotton to give me a feel for the contrast between the two in the finished thing.
The centre of the back is remarkably similar to that of a Tennant Coat, and it’s construction is near identical.
The two halves of the back are sewn together (see left) and the seam allowance pressed flat (see below, left); it is then folded in halve along the seam, and two vertical lines of stitch, one above and below the vent, are sewn to form the visible back centre seam; this is then pressed flat, create the capacity vent (see below, right).
I will now make a calico test garment to a high standard of finish, so I can troubleshoot any issue I might have in making the real thing.
The waistcoat is literally, a garment of two halves with the multi-pocketed tapestry fronts; and the tailored & pleated back.
Today I am going to tackle the fronts, with their six pockets.
The tapestry fabric is quite a loose-weave and the hand-stitched flowers are raised and quite bulky. I’ve decided to stabilise the edges I am overlocking them, so I allowed a bit extra on the seam allowance when cutting.
I now need to set the pockets - something I am not looking forward to.
So before steaming in and messing things up, I quickly did a little test welt to see how difficult the fabric can be to handle (see left). To my surprise it want too bad, partly due I think to my experience in setting welts, so I was able to concentrate on the fabric rather than the sewing as that is now second nature.
Here are just the lots relating to the Fifth Doctor era
Lot 102 Resurrection Of The Daleks, 1984
A script, contained within a folder labelled 'Warehouse, Space Ship (Dalek) Composite', with detailed notes in an unknown hand, and stage directions, the scenes of the script separated by BBC Internal Mail envelopes
Estimate: £200 - 300 Sold for £240
Lot 103 Doctor Who - Warriors of the Deep, 1984
A sea devil costume, of foam latex, fibreglass and vinyl, including, a tunic with applied scale effect and chest piece and shoulder piece, a pair of matching trousers (as suit), together with head cowl of latex, fibreglass helmet and foam latex feet
Lot 611 'Dr. Who': The Master's 'tissue compression eliminator' (miniaturising gun), the prop in black-painted brass with electric wiring, as used by Anthony Ainley throughout the 1980s in his portrayal of The Doctor's nemesis, 23cm (9in) long.
Sold for £1,440
Lot 620 'Dr. Who': a head-dress from the 'Snakedance' episode,
1983, painted fibreglass, in the form of five different faces, on stand, 74cm (29in ) high
Sold for £1,320
Lot 622 'Dr. Who': a Tardis roundel,
fibreglass, with traces of black and grey paint, indicating use in the Tardis of both The Doctor and The Master, believed to be the last surviving example from the original Tardis, 55cm (21½in) diameter
He had previously bought a pair of Five Trousers from me (see right), and having seen the Five Coat I did for Bob Mitsch, he persuaded me to make him one as well.
It was a perfectly timed commission, since I had just sorted out the Five Hatband at last, and Bob had just taken delivery of the Season 21 Jumpers (see left), the perfect accompaniment to the Season 21 Trousers Chris had already bought!
If you’ve been following my Six Costume blog you will have seen the Replica Cravats I have been working with some considerable success. I made them using fabric printed using Spoonflower, and have been offering them for sale for a little while now.
The screen used polka-dot cravats had been cut on the bias (diagonally across the fabric), so to make mine as screen accurate as possible, I planned out and cut mine in the same way.
This can be somewhat wasteful on material as it leaves a triangle of unusable space top and bottom.
Rather than just loose this area I sneaked in a couple of test Five Hatbands, which just fit nicely in the space available.
Luckily my plan is to cut the hatbands on the bias as well, which means I can use the natural stretch the fabric has across the diagonal to allow the hatband to flex slightly as it goes around the hat, thus stopping it from standing vertically away from the hat at the top, despite being tight at the base.
I ran prototype Hatbands on an early run of Cravats, but it took a little while to get the scale of the design correct.
Peter Davison wears the hatband with two loops of the ribbon around the hat, stacked on above the other. The ends are disguised in a single loop of ribbon running around the band at the side of the hat (see above).
To start with, the most obvious thing to do was to sew two long lengths of the ribbon to go around the hat and find some way of securing them together. This proves to be quite fiddlely and not as easy as it sounds (see below).
If I plan to sell them, I need to make the finished product as easy to mount on the hat as possible. As I won’t personally supervise this, I want to avoid having frustraited clients struggling to get them to sit right on their hats.
Somehow I got the scale of the hatband a bit on the big side, but the principle was right. It then dawned on me that I could make BOTH bands of ribbon out of the same piece of fabric, sewn with a single line of stitch, with no danger of them slipping out of position with each other.
How I have done this is my little secret, but enough to say that now I had got the scale revised and correct, my new pattern will make it work.
So, after a few test, a number of prototypes, and some further practice, I have at last got a finished and very serviceable hatband (see below).
If you want to order a Five Hatband,
they are priced at GB£25. (Hat not included!)
Global shipping is included in the price.
Well today was the next day of what is gonna be one of the busiest weeks I have known of late.
I had a family wedding on Saturday and a big Father’s Day get together for my GrandFather, who happened to turn 90 on Sunday, so a double celebration for him with both his daughters and the extended family in attendance.
But today marked the first of the Who-happenings I am doing this week – watch out in the blogs for the rest as I write them up . . .
The Bomhams Entertainment Memorabilia auction was today, and I went along to view and see how the seventeen Doctor Who items faired.
First up, Lot 126, was an original Dalek. Thought to have been actually built for the Amicus feature film, Doctor Who And The Daleks, in 1964, it was sold to the BBC and extensively reworked and modified.
It is officially recognized as the oldest surviving original Dalek, though the back has been removed so it is possible to step inside and see what it is like to be a Dalek operator. It quickly went beyond the £2,00 to £3,00 estimate, selling in the end for £4,800.
The next lot, 127, was a lovely little item, and the only one I would have seriously liked to have owned, though I hadn’t registered for bidding. It was the original hand-painted artwork to a 1960s Dalek annual, which I have a copy of at home!
This had a very affordable estimate of £500 to £700, but once the commission bids were taken into account, it was soon above this and in the room soared to an amazing £3,600!
The tone seemed to be set for these items!
Next was another full-sized Dalek, this time one from Patrick Troughton’s era, and one that had been specially adapted to go through narrow doorways!
This was evident when you looked at it face on. You can see the skirt is no wider than the shoulders, but it is the correct height and nose-to-tail length.
It was also in a very bad state of decay.
This sold for £4,800, over its £2,000 to £3,000 estimate.
Then we had what the auctioneer claimed was her favorite item from this part of the sale: a Cyberman helmet from Tomb Of The Cybermen.
Once again, the £3,000 to £4,000 estimate was way too low, selling in the end (to the person standing next to me as it happened) for £7,800!
It was now appearing to be the norm for items to sell for way over their estimates, with the next lot, a prop Krynoid prop from The Seeds Of Doom selling for £1,080 instead of £350 to £400 as Bonhams had predicted.
The lot was padding in my mind, with the target novel, VHS tape and a book, all with links to the story it came from.
Things seemed to calm down with the next lot, a Dalek guard costume worn in 1984 by Rula Lenska in Resurrection Of The Daleks.
This sold for bang on the top end of the £800 to £1,200 estimate.
The next lot, a Cyberman jump-suit, failed to find a buyer. I was wondering if the glut of similar costumes in the last Doctor Who auction in February had a bit to do with it.
Things were back on track though with the next item, a Zog costume from the Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure stage play, so was also the first of the non screen-used items.
The estimate had been £200 to £300, but it sold for £660, despite on inspection it looking very cross-eyed!!!
There then followed not one, but two K-9’s in rapid succession. The first was the better of the two, and rightly sold for £1,200, considerably more than its £300 to £400 estimate.
The second was a much brighter looking model and in places looked unfinished! This sold for £504, and had an appropriately lower estimate of £250 to £350.
Both of these were ‘Built for exhibition purposes’ as would be basically the rest of the Doctor Who items in this sale.
The next lot was a replica Exillion mask. The estimate of £60 to £80 was soon forgotten as it went for £264.
The Husk costume, a replica of the one used in Ghost Light, had been cast directly form the screen used costume, but this didn’t put off buyers, when it sold for £540, yet again over its estimate, which was £250 to £350.
The next item, a miniature TARDIS, had been withdrawn from sale.
The next item was the ‘Longleat TARDIS Console’. The catalogue had not included any pictures of the console, so it was good to get a chance to photograph it in its entirety.
One of the panels was missing, so I just took pictures of the surviving five.
It sold for £900, double the top end of its £350 to £450 estimate.
Next was a destroyed Dalek shell. Again this was another ‘Created for exhibition purposes’ item
This had an estimate of £400 to £600 and sold for a little over that at £720.
The penultimate lot was the third full-sized Dalek, but as these later items are, one ‘Created for exhibition purposes’.
This went for bang in the middle of its £800 to £900 estimate, selling for £900.
It was a bit of a mix, as it looked like a 1970s version ala Genesis or Resurrection Of The Daleks. But it had a plunger like that seen in Remembrance Of The Daleks. Very odd.
The final, and star item, was a full-sized, screen-used TARDIS from the 2005 series.
Bidding was slow on this for some reason – I guess no-one wanted to show their hand too soon! It almost looked like it would go for its opening bid of £8,000, the very bottom of the estimate. But bidding soon picked up and it went for £10,800, right in the middle of the £8,000 to £12,000 estimate.
Rumour had it that it had been original purchased form the production by Matt Lucas as a present for his then boyfriend Kevin McGee, prior to their break-up and Kevin’s subsequent suicide.
Throughout the early part of the auction, there was a professional cameraman hoovering at the back, with a semi-familiar reporter in tow. Just as the Doctor Who item were finished they packed up and rushed off.
As I was leaving, I saw them again outside, interviewing one of the Bonhams staff, and I found it was due to be a report on the ITV lunchtime news that very day (in just over an hour’s time).
Here is the report, but it focuses on the sale a some Spitting Image puppets of former Prime Ministers, rather than the Doctor Who items.
Finally there was news of the next memorabilia sale, taking place in August in Goodwood near Chichester in Sussex. There will be a viewing at their Bond Street showroom prior to the sale.
A number of Doctor who items will be included. I wonder what they will be . . .