Design for Doctor Who: Vision and Revision in Science Fiction Television 9781350116870, 9781472984159, 9781350116894, 9781350116825

The long-running popular TV series Doctor Who is, Piers Britton argues, a ‘uniquely design intensive text’: its time-and

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Design for Doctor Who: Vision and Revision in Science Fiction Television
 9781350116870, 9781472984159, 9781350116894, 9781350116825

Table of contents :
Cover page
Halftitle page
Title page
Copyright page
Dedication
Contents
Figures
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Contexts and Conceptual Framework
What have you got for me this time? – Doctor Who and the delights of looking
Doctor Who on television, and the study of media
Design studies, and the structure of this book
Coda: Doctor Who at the BBC – from London to Cardiff
PART ONE A Critical History of Design for Doctor Who
Chapter 1 The London Period – 1963 to 1989
Back and forth – 1963–6
Dark shadows – 1967–70
Down to Earth – 1968–72
Psychedelia – 1970–4
Chiaroscuro – 1975–7
The hazards of space travel – 1977–9
New romanticism – 1979–81
Looking back – 1982–4
Stasis within tumult – 1984–7
A belated regeneration – 1988–9
Chapter 2 The TV movie and the Cardiff period – 1996, and 2005 to 2020
Interlude: Vancouver 1996 – the TV movie
Grunge and graphicity – 2005–2009
Retrovisions – 2010–2013
Gothic revival – 2013–17
Recalibrations – 2018–20
Postlude to Part One
Introduction to Part One: Why a history of Doctor Who design?
PART TWO What’s at Stake in Design for Doctor Who
Chapter 3 The work of design in the Doctor Who narrative
Measures for the intrinsic value of Doctor Who design
Theorizing the genres of Doctor Who, and design as index
Chapter 4 Responding to design for Doctor Who – evaluations and transformations
Fan discourse and the evaluation of Doctor Who design
Cosplay as an evaluative act
Intratextual critiques and mutations
Image into narrative
The ‘design novum’
Introduction to Part Two
PART THREE Thirteen Key Designs: A Personal View
Chapter 5 Formative and enduring images
I: The Brachacki/Newbery TARDIS interior
II: The Daleks
III: The Mark 2 (‘Telosian’) Cybermen
IV: The time-tunnel titles
V: The Time Lords’ ceremonial regalia
Chapter 6 Design of the times
Images of the moment
VI: The Fourth Doctor’s costume
VII: The Seventh Doctor’s costume
VIII: Rose Tyler’s wardrobe
IX: The Silents
Landmarks and watersheds
X: The Hudolin TARDIS interior
XI: War Doctors
XII: The 2014 title sequence
XIII: The Thirteenth Doctor’s costume
Conclusion
Notes
Select bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Subjects

Citation preview

Design for Doctor Who

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Design for Doctor Who Vision and Revision in Science Fiction Television

Piers D. Britton

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BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA 29 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, Ireland BLOOMSBURY, BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published in Great Britain 2021 Copyright © Piers D. Britton, 2021 Piers D. Britton has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work. For legal purposes the Acknowledgements on p. xi constitute an extension of this copyright page. Cover design: Charlotte Daniels Cover image Costume design for the Red Lady © June Hudson All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: HB: PB: ePDF: eBook:

978-1-3501-1687-0 978-1-4729-8415-9 978-1-3501-1682-5 978-1-3501-1683-2

Series: Who Watching Typeset by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk To find out more about our authors and books visit www.bloomsbury.com and sign up for our newsletters.

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For June With love and so many thanks

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Contents

List of figures x Acknowledgements xi

Introduction Contexts and Conceptual Framework 1 What have you got for me this time? – Doctor Who and the delights of looking 1 Doctor Who on television, and the study of media 3 Design studies, and the structure of this book 10 Coda: Doctor Who at the BBC – from London to Cardiff

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Part One A Critical History of Design for Doctor Who 15 Introduction to Part One: Why a history of Doctor Who design? 15

1 The London period –1963 to 1989

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Back and forth – 1963–6 21 Dark shadows – 1967–70 29 Down to Earth – 1968–72 31 Psychedelia – 1970–4 36 Chiaroscuro – 1975–7 42 The hazards of space travel – 1977–9 45 New romanticism – 1979–81 50

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Contents

Looking back – 1982–4 56 Stasis within tumult – 1984–7 60 A belated regeneration – 1988–9 65

2 The TV movie and the Cardiff period – 1996, and 2005 to 2020 71 Interlude: Vancouver 1996 – the TV movie 71 Grunge and graphicity – 2005–2009 75 Retrovisions – 2010–13 82 Gothic revival – 2013–17 89 Recalibrations – 2018–20 93 Postlude 97

Part Two What’s at Stake in Design for Doctor Who 101 Introduction to Part Two 101

3 The work of design in the Doctor Who narrative 103 Measures for the intrinsic value of Doctor Who design 103 Theorizing the genres of Doctor Who, and design as index 113

4 Responding to design for Doctor Who – evaluations and transformations 119 Fan discourse and the evaluation of Doctor Who design 119 Cosplay as an evaluative act 127 Intratexual critiques and mutations 131 Image into narrative 133 The ‘design novum’ 140

Contents

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Part Three Thirteen Key Designs: a Personal View 145 Introduction to Part Three 145

5 Formative and enduring images

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I The Brachacki/Newbery TARDIS interior 147 II The Daleks 154 III The Mark 2 (‘Telosian’) Cybermen 161 IV The time-tunnel titles 167 V The Time Lords’ ceremonial regalia 171

6 Design of the times

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Images of the moment 175 VI The Fourth Doctor’s costume 175 VII The Seventh Doctor’s costume 181 VIII Rose Tyler’s wardrobe 186 IX The Silents 191 Landmarks and watersheds 197 X The Hudolin TARDIS interior 197 XI War Doctors 202 XII The 2014 title sequence 208 XIII The Thirteenth Doctor’s costume 210

Conclusion

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Notes 223 Select bibliography 247 Index of names 251 Index of subjects 255

Figures

1.1 Moments and logos from the Doctor Who title sequences, 1963–2014 1.2 The Pertwee look 1.3 Pertwee-era print psychedelia and its legacy 3.1 Historical-cinematical-theatrical: playfulness in period design for Doctor Who 4.1 Jungles of the Whoniverse 4.2 The Patients in ‘World Enough and Time’ (2017) 4.3 Echoes of the past 5.1 The Brachacki TARDIS 5.2 Continuity and elaboration in design for the Daleks and their world 5.3 The ongoing influence of the Mark 2 Cyberman 5.4 The ‘time tunnel’ title sequence 5.5 Not-so-‘seldom worn’ robes: Time Lord regalia in the original and new series 6.1 The Fourth Doctor and his costume legacy 6.2 The Seventh Doctor’s look and its antecedents 6.3 The Rose Tyler look, 2005 6.4 The Silents, with inter-textual references 6.5 The 1996 TARDIS interior 6.6 Doctors of War 6.7 The Thirteenth Doctor’s look, with ‘style point’

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26 32 40 108 122 138 143 150 156 164 169 172 178 184 190 194 198 206 212

Acknowledgements

This book would certainly not have come into existence without Philippa Brewster, my visionary former editor at I.B. Tauris, who originally commissioned it. Philippa urged me repeatedly to consider writing such a book, patiently weathering the period in the wake of Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary when I felt I had become stale on the topic. I hope I have justified her faith in me. Rebecca Barden, the editor who took on the book when Tauris was acquired by Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, has been a model of forbearance throughout the long period when working on the manuscript has taken second place (at best) to other demands on my time. I’m grateful to Veidehi Hans, the editorial assistant responsible for the volume, for her receptiveness and efficiency in moving the book forward through the final stages of revision, to Frances Arnold, editorial director, for offering crucial eleventh-hour counsel and reassurance, and to Judy Tither for making the copyediting process a truly collaborative pleasure. For information, help or conversations which have stimulated my thinking about one or more aspects of the material in this book, I should like to thank James Acheson, Simon Barker, John Bloomfield, Howard Burden, Tyson Ferland, Sarah Gilligan, Marcus Hearn, Matt Hills, Kal Heck, Molly Irelan, Haley Keim, Shaun Lyon, Hayley Nebauer, Maggie Partington-Smith, Michaela Petrovich, Ian Potter, David Richardson, Amy Roberts, Dee Robson, Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson, Christine Ruscoe, and the late Clifford Hatts and Barry Newbery. For advice on the organization of the final version of the book I owe a great debt to Paul Booth, who was unflaggingly generous in making time to read and offer feedback and advice. I am also grateful for suggestions about running order and related issues from one of the anonymous reviewers of the draft originally submitted to Bloomsbury. Special thanks are due to my remarkable student research assistant, Katie Wilson, who acted as xi

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Acknowledgements

sounding board, fact checker and test reader with characteristic trenchancy, exactitude and imagination. Any overlooked errors which remain are due entirely to me, not Katie. The arrival of Robin Heathcot in summer 2019 as my department coordinator at the University of Redlands made possible the final push to get the book finished. I appreciate all Robin’s hard work in deflecting or minimizing unnecessary distractions. Throughout the vicissitudes of the writing process, Anne Cavender has, as ever, been a source of calm good sense, cheerfulness or remorseless clarity as the situation demanded; I am deeply grateful. Last and in many ways most, I must thank June Hudson, whose contributions to my work on design cannot easily be quantified. In the wake of my first interviewing her more than a quarter of a century ago, June quickly became first one of my closest friends and then a longterm collaborator in my teaching on design for television. Like me, she remains a fan of Doctor Who, and its costume imagery is a recurrent topic in our conversations. June has been an enthusiastic reader of various sections of this book as I’ve completed them, and her reflections have always been both encouraging and provocative. I am delighted that Bloomsbury Academic has chosen one of June’s drawings for the cover; this is now the third time her work graces a book of which I am either sole author or co-author. It is to June that this volume is affectionately dedicated.

Introduction: Contexts and Conceptual Framework

What have you got for me this time? – Doctor Who and the delights of looking One of Doctor Who’s most regularly recurring scenarios celebrates the delight and wonder of beholding something extraordinary for the first time. Over the decades since Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton first stumbled into a gleaming, futuristic chamber impossibly housed within what appeared to be a metropolitan police box, we have repeatedly witnessed characters express wonderment upon entering the Doctor’s TARDIS. Yet it is not just the seeming mismatch of spaces which evinces this response: from the first, the control room of the Doctor’s ship was a unique and spectacular environment. And the level of spectacle has increased, or at least the nature of the spectacle has radically altered, with each of the periodic redesigns of the main TARDIS interior since the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann (BBC/Fox, 1996). The debut of these redesigns has invariably accompanied the arrival of a new travelling companion for the Doctor. Long-term viewers can no longer share quite the same wonder as Rose, Amy or Clara – or for that matter the childlike joy of the Eleventh and Thirteenth Doctors, seeing the results of the 1

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TARDIS’s latest self-repairs after their respective regenerations. Yet in these scenes the new visual delights offered to audiences are inevitably refracted in the awe experienced by the characters. In short, in such moments Doctor Who reflexively underscores its visual pleasures – and indeed underscores the designedness of these pleasures. The TARDIS is also the preeminent example of Doctor Who’s ongoing espousal of visual contrasts and juxtapositions which highlight, and rely for their effectiveness, on striking design. On television and beyond, Doctor Who’s only truly consistent trait is that it always mixes the quotidian with the imaginary or, in the case of adventures in Earth’s past, the reimagined. Over the course of thirty-eight seasons spread over fifty-seven years (plus a few stray specials and a one-off TV movie), Doctor Who has accumulated hundreds of instances in which the appearance of an outfit, a creature, an object or an environment is rendered all the more arresting – for good or ill – by being contrasted with something utterly unlike it. For example, in an otherwise cohesive representation of mid-seventeenth-century England in ‘The Visitation’ (1982), the Doctor, his companions and the monsters du jour, the Terileptils, still stand out from what surrounds them. Likewise, the frisson of London being invaded in various different episodes by Daleks, Yeti, Cybermen or Slitheen derives in large part from the fact that these creatures offer a startlingly graphic contrast to the patina of familiar and often unremarkable environments. While Doctor Who is, of course, far from unique among science fiction and speculative fiction series on television in its reliance on exciting and imaginative design imagery, few so consistently highlight their own designedness through this kind of apposition. These pleasures are not unmitigated. A well-worn and not unjustified cliché about Doctor Who on television during its original run (1963–89) is that its imaginative ambition frequently exceeded the capacity of its makers to represent believable worlds, creatures and scenarios. For some viewers, the Yeti pounding through the streets of Bloomsbury and Covent Garden in ‘The Web of Fear’ (1968) and the Slitheen cavorting around No. 10 Downing Street in ‘World War Three’ (2005) will be memorable less for the frisson they create than for being hilariously cheesy examples of the man-in-a-suit monster. Beyond individual designs, there is also the larger problem of Doctor Who’s hit-and-miss production values. Whereas each of the various Star Trek television

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series has held up relatively well over time, it is often painfully obvious that the original run of Doctor Who was bedevilled by a shortage of budget and time and by the limitations of the medium. Star Trek’s consistent polish derives in large measure from the fact that it was from the outset shot on film. The original series of Doctor Who, by contrast, was cheapened visually by the relative primitiveness of video recording and video effects almost until the end of its run. While weak production values cannot necessarily be blamed on designers or even the fabricators who realized their work, the fact remains that Doctor Who laboured long under a reputation for visual clunkiness. Yet, paradoxically, Doctor Who’s defects serve to highlight the ongoing significance of design in the franchise: when design is seen to succeed, it is because it has helped produce iconic tableaux; where it is seen to fail, is because it has helped produce an indelible source of amusement or mortification, depending on your point of view. Doctor Who is nothing, then, if not an interesting case study in science-fiction/fantasy imagery in long-form television fiction. Yet to pursue such a case study over the length of a whole book, especially given that there is no precedent for a monograph devoted entirely to design within a single screen text, does warrant some further justification. The purpose of this introduction is metaphorically to identify the spot this book occupies on the library shelf, giving a sense of what some of its neighbouring volumes might be, who might be interested in taking it down to read, and what they might be expected to gain from it.

Doctor Who on television, and the study of media This book could in principle be viewed from two different perspectives: as a contribution to the study of design for the screen, in which Doctor Who is a case study, or as a very specific contribution to the burgeoning field of Doctor Who studies,1 focused on one component of the seriesbrand. Ultimately, the distinction is not that meaningful for the reader: either way Doctor Who is ineluctably the main subject of the book. It is also, frankly, meant to be the book’s main draw, and prior knowledge of Doctor Who, at least on television, is assumed throughout. Even so,

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it is important to recognize the two different ways of viewing the book because they reflect the fact that it is indebted to work in two different scholarly arenas with different presuppositions and discursive concerns. The study of screen design prioritizes the visual as a component of film and television storytelling while the study of Doctor Who, in spite of its inherently narrow remit, may concern itself with discourses of textuality, brand, production and reception. If the basic object of design studies may seem clear, the object of Doctor Who studies has actually become considerably less so over the last three decades, to the point where an unqualified description of Doctor Who as a television text is no longer meaningful.2 In the early 1990s, when Simon Barker and I planned a chapter on Doctor Who for what became Reading Between Designs, our book on stylized design in mainstream genre TV in Britain, the question of defining Doctor Who’s media status barely arose. Like our other two main case studies, The Avengers and The Prisoner, Doctor Who was primarily understood as a defunct television series. When Reading Between Designs eventually came out in 2003 (a few months before the announcement of the new, Russell T Davies-led Doctor Who), the situation was already very different. Although no new Doctor Who had appeared on television in seven years, it had long since successfully migrated into literary form, with regularly released, BBC-licensed novels following the new adventures of the current Doctor and a secondary series charting the ‘unseen’ adventures of past Doctors.3 As of 1999, Doctor Who audio plays were released monthly by another BBC licensee, Big Finish, featuring past Doctors (initially Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy) and before long the de facto incumbent (Paul McGann). Doctor Who also continued as a comic-strip narrative in Doctor Who Magazine. Connections were established between these various forms, with figures such as Frobisher, a shape-shifting companion to the Sixth Doctor, appearing in both the comic strip and Big Finish audios, and Iris Wildthyme, a self-proclaimed old flame of the Doctor’s who ostensibly hails from his home world, Gallifrey, similarly popping up in short stories, novels and the audio dramas. In short, Doctor Who had unequivocally become a transmedia text and, while its return to television in 2005 has arguably restored its primary manifestation, it has remained so ever since.4 A culmination of sorts in this shift in identity came in 2020, with the announcement of Time Lord Victorious, an unprecedentedly

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complex, multi-platform story primarily featuring the ever-popular Tenth Doctor, which was overtly billed as being ‘told across audio, novels, comics, vinyl, digital, immersive theatre, escape rooms and games’.5 Doctor Who’s increasingly transmedial character has been explored in a range of scholarship over the last dozen or so years, through studies such as Neil Perryman’s seminal discussion of media convergence in post-millennial Doctor Who, essays by Matt Hills both on ‘televisuality’ in Big Finish audio productions and on Doctor Who’s transbranding with LEGO Dimensions, and my own book TARDISbound, which examines an array of the continuities and divergences between Doctor Who’s different media articulations.6 Even so, much of the critical and theoretical literature on Doctor Who and its fandom still focuses chiefly on the television series – or at least treats the television series as hub of the Who brand and the main object of many fans’ preoccupations.7 While I certainly do not ignore or discount the role of design in the Doctor Who brand beyond the screen, or the scholarship pertaining to this,8 it is important to be clear that this book numbers among those studies primarily concerned with Doctor Who on television. The reasons for this are threefold. First, even were a comprehensive account of Doctor Who design across the brand practicable in a book this length, to give undue prominence to the non-TV manifestations of design would be de facto to distort the historical record, treating Doctor Who’s current, transmedial status as somehow normative. Second, other kinds of design for the brand – tie-in book and CD covers, comic-strip illustration, and so on – are on balance more derivative of the television series than the other way around, and any new inventions they incorporate are much less influential. Finally, there is a broader issue to consider here: it would be unfortunate to suggest by default that design for screen fiction is somehow a deficient or unduly restricted subject, its inadequacy needing to be covered with reference to a wider discursive field. Such biases have long bedevilled, and long stunted, the serious study of design for the screen, especially television; one of the purposes of this book is to help redress these biases. If the foregoing paragraph articulates my goals for this book, it immediately raises another problem of definition. Is it any longer possible to identify television as a single, stable, unified medium? Scholarship in the field has tended to refute such a view, highlighting the shifting economies of television by dividing the medium’s history into distinct

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phases of development. The most familiar model posits three such phases – TVI (broadcast television), TVII (broadcast and cable) and TVIII (multiplatform television) During TVI, the era in which the original Doctor Who series was originally conceived, and whose ethos both Doctor Who’s edifying purpose and its episodic structure strongly reflected, television was purely and simply a broadcast medium. Programme offerings were restricted in both Britain and the US to the output of two or three main networks which could command long-term audience loyalty. However, Doctor Who’s suspension in 1989 came roughly three quarters of the way through the two-decade lifespan of TVII, which saw the rise of cable television, the concomitant proliferation of channels and the kind of aggressive network branding associated with increased competition. A large part of the reason that Doctor Who had started to seem untenably dated in the mid- to late-1980s was that it failed to match the lush, immersively engaging ‘televisuality’ which was a distinguishing feature of TVII, especially in American-made television.9 Closing the gap with competition from the US was a sine qua non for Doctor Who’s success on its return in 2005.10 By this point, the TVIII era was in full swing. This phase saw television become increasingly available across a range of digital distribution platforms. It also witnessed greater audience fragmentation, partly encouraged by ‘narrowcasting’, and the beginnings of video on demand (VOD). All these changes eroded the power of network television to engage viewers in real time. The trend intensified in the second decade of the new millennium, which arguably witnessed the arrival of yet another phase, TVIV. Maireke Jenner has provisionally defined this as a period in which ‘viewing patterns, branding strategies, industrial structures, the way different media forms interact with each other or the various ways content is made available shift completely away from the television set’.11 The revived, twenty-first century Doctor Who adapted almost from the outset to the new media ecology of TVIII, manifesting in an array of interconnected media and experiences.12 Yet Doctor Who still effectively harked back its TVI origins, and even today it is apparently understood by the BBC as preserving something valuable from television’s early years. Russell T Davies has often said that he wanted the new series to be ‘must-see TV’ akin to The X Factor (ITV, 2004–), enjoyed by family audiences during live broadcast rather than at some other time via

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TiVo.13 Rather against the odds, perhaps, Davies’s vision bore fruit, and fifteen years on, BBC executives are still stressing Doctor Who’s importance as part of the weekly broadcast schedule. When quizzed about the falling viewing figures for the 2020 season, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, Piers Wenger, responded that Doctor Who is ‘an incredibly important show for younger audiences, still watched by families in a world where there are fewer and fewer shows that have the power to do that’.14 In short, Doctor Who is still seen by its makers as a bastion of traditional, family-television broadcasting, for all its status as a mediacrossing text. Yet in the context of this book there are broader and simpler justifications for recognizing not just Doctor Who but the television medium tout court as in certain respects unaffected by the media convergence of the last twenty years. Most of the changes in the status of television relate primarily to issues of circulation and access, not to the way in which long-form TV fiction is produced. It is true that arguments have been advanced for more sophisticated storytelling practices in the eras of TVIII and TVIV.15 This can be attributed in part to the production cycles for series commissioned by Netflix, Amazon Studios, Hulu, and other streaming services, where whole seasons are completed before being ‘dropped’. Self-consciously stylish and complex storytelling also in part reflects the increased aspiration towards Quality TV, another trend ascribed to the era of digital, unscheduled television.16 Yet none of these changes has much bearing on design, at least at a practical level. The production schedule may be slightly different, and the opportunities for cohesive world-building therefore slightly greater for shows heavily dependent on this, such as The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Studios, 2015–19) with its imagery of Nazi- and Japaneseoccupied America, and the first season of Altered Carbon (Netflix, 2018–20), which is set in a future mega-city centred on today’s San Francisco. Beyond this, television which caters specifically to binge watching is still too new for any broader aesthetic effects on design to have crystallized.17 One other factor potentially complicates any definition of the role of design in post-millennial Doctor Who. HDTV and the super-sized domestic screens associated with ‘home theatre’ have profoundly affected expectations of the television image since the early 2000s. For science fiction and fantasy, one crucial consequence is that such

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elements as prosthetics and digital visual effects which more or less passed muster as part of a low-definition television image are no longer acceptable. Beyond this, in all television fiction, the finer visual details now matter in a way that they did not when the image on the screen was, for want of a better term, more impressionistic. In this sense, television has become more self-consciously ‘cinematic’,18 as is also reflected in part by the move from the 4:3 ratio to a 16:9 norm.19 The problems for Doctor Who both before and after the move to widescreen and subsequently to high-definition video are addressed more than once in the main chapters of this book. For present purposes, suffice it to say that while the high-definition image provides both challenges and opportunities for the designer, any widespread effect on the storytelling role of design in long-form, open-ended television narratives again has yet to manifest. At this point I have in effect already moved beyond discussion of Doctor Who as a media text to broader consideration of design’s role in screen fiction, without saying very much about the place of this book in relation to existing Doctor Who scholarship. From one point of view there isn’t a great deal to say. The most sustained discussion of any aspect of design in Doctor Who remains the relevant chapter in Simon Barker’s and my Reading Between Designs, even though, as already noted, this deals only with the original, 1963–89 run. Since Doctor Who’s barnstorming 2005 revival, which led quickly to a massive surge in scholarly interest in the series, the orientation of single-author, book-length studies of Doctor Who has generally not required or accommodated much direct focus on design qua design. This is true whether the volume in question surveys Doctor Who’s whole history in television and other media, as with Kim Newman’s BFI TV Classics volume on Doctor Who and James Chapman’s Inside the TARDIS , or whether it purely focuses on the post-millennial manifestations of the worlds of Doctor Who, as with Matt Hills’s analysis of antecedents and outcomes of the show’s revival, Triumph of a Time Lord, and Lorna Jowett’s investigation of Doctor Who’s problematic relationship with gender, Dancing with the Doctor.20 This is not to say that the field of Doctor Who studies is wholly barren of attention to visual style or unwelcoming to design-related issues. In Triumph of a Time Lord, for example, Hills sensitively considers certain

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visual design choices under Russell T Davies’s aegis, such as the repeated variations in Dalek design, in relation to branding imperatives.21 Catherine Johnson, doyenne of scholarship on television branding, has also offered a meticulous analysis of the design of logos and title sequences in the new series, in her essay ‘Doctor Who as Programme Brand’.22 Other articles or papers investigating a specific aspect of Doctor Who’s iconography may explicitly touch on issues of design, as in the case of Lincoln Geraghty’s study of the morphology of the Cybermen.23 Others address closely related issues such as the production spaces of the programme, as in an essay on the TARDIS by Jonathan Bignell, which, in the author’s words, ‘link[s] together some ideas about how the TARDIS functions aesthetically, with ideas about how it enables and constrains the production of Doctor Who’.24 Edited volumes of essays tend to draw together a multiplicity of approaches and concerns, and it is in these that attention to the visual is most marked. Two such collections published around the time that Doctor Who turned fifty in 2013, New Dimensions in Doctor Who and The Eleventh Hour, provided a context for work which specifically addresses design and its paratexts.25 These volumes also incorporated other essays which closely align or resonate with the study of visual design. One example is Jonathan Bignell’s exploration of how changing production methods and technologies have affected the ‘look’ of Doctor Who; another is Simone Knox’s discussion of the way that the Eleventh Doctor’s Harris Tweed jacket ‘reclaims and reconfigures heritage as cool’. This forms part of her essay on Doctor Who’s place as a quintessentially ‘British’ text – albeit one which is constructed with a keen awareness of American television and its audiences.26 Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the dress of the series’ stars is the one area where design-related work has been undertaken beyond the confines of Doctor Who studies: the sartorial style of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor is again the subject of an essay for the 2013 edited volume Fashion Cultures Revisited by Claire Jenkins.27 Yet notwithstanding these various examples of vibrant scholarship, critical engagement with the visual aspects of Doctor Who remains underdeveloped in comparison with work informed by such approaches as fan studies, reception studies, gender and sexuality studies, and textual analysis.

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Design studies, and the structure of this book If Doctor Who studies as a subfield of television and media studies has done relatively little with the subject of visual design, then this really only reflects a larger pattern in the academy. Scholarly analysis of any form of design for the screen – as opposed to books written by practitioners reflecting on their own art, such as the production designer Leon Barsacq and the costume designer Edith Head28 – is still a relatively new phenomenon. Jane Gaines and Charlotte Herzog’s 1990 collection Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body offered the first critical mass of scholarship on film costume (though not quite all the chapters were devoted to this subject),29 and it was not until 1995 that Charles and Mirella Affron’s book Sets in Motion: Art Direction and Film Narrative offered a sustained, wide-ranging, critical account of production design for film.30 Subsequent book-length studies of screen design, which have started to appear with gradually increasing frequency since the millennium, fall into three broad categories: those based on the testimony of working designers and their colleagues;31 those which offer historical overviews of the given art form, or some aspect of it,32 and those that are critical-interpretive and thematic in nature.33 In some cases, the approaches overlap. For example, Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination, by Tim Bergfelder, Sue Harris and Sarah Street, is at once a history of different national traditions of set design in the 1930s and an appraisal of its subject, drawing on the work of the Affrons among others.34 Among the not-very-numerous books on design for film to date, some retrospectively stand out as especially important for the field – but not necessarily for my endeavours here. For example, Stella Bruzzi’s landmark book Undressing Cinema, the first single-author volume addressing the role of dress in film, significantly intensified some of the work begun by the contributors to Gaines and Herzog’s Fabrications. Bruzzi explored issues from the sartorial construction of masculinities and hyper-femininity to the fetishizing nature of dress in period film, and the various modalities, humorous and otherwise, of cross-dressing.35 However, Bruzzi’s work is largely undergirded by psychoanalytic approaches to the interpretation of dress and display. Valuable as her

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insights are, this approach is not one that is well suited to the present book. Psychoanalytically informed methods, though long embedded in film studies, have overall played a much smaller role in television studies, especially during the last two decades. Incorporating such methods into the study of design for Doctor Who would entail adding a layer of complexity best avoided in a volume which is introductory in nature and has as its subject a sprawling media text. The landmark books in the field which have proven most significant or fruitful for my own thinking are the Affrons’ Sets in Motion, C.S. Tashiro’s Pretty Pictures: Production Design and the History Film,36 and Helen Warner’s Fashion on Television, which is primarily concerned with costume design and fashion as intersecting (and often competing) discourses in television fiction.37 That being said, the Affrons’ Sets in Motion, with its taxonomic model for organizing design imagery, is really less a touchstone than a whetstone for my own work. Like Tashiro, and more recently Geraint D’Arcy in his book Critical Approaches to TV and Film Set Design,38 I highlight weaknesses and unexamined assumptions in the Affrons’ ultimately rigid approach (see Chapter 3, below). Like Tashiro and Warner, I prefer to work with multiple models to account for the ways in which design is made to produce meaning in relation to a screen text. The present book also aligns with Tashiro’s Pretty Pictures in another important respect, which sets both apart from almost every other major study of design for the screen. Apart from Pretty Pictures and Reading Between Designs, only two book-length texts deal with more than one area of design: Jane Barnwell’s Production Design for Screen: Visual Storytelling in Film and Television, which discusses the intimately interconnected work of set designer and set decorator,39 and Costume, Makeup and Hair, edited by Adrienne L. McLean, which offers an historical overview of the three design crafts most concerned with the transformation or transfiguration of the actor’s body.40 The present book continues and extends the synthesizing approach in Pretty Pictures and Reading Between Designs in that it covers costumes, sets, props and graphic design. (Visual effects are also addressed, albeit not in a methodical way.) Inevitably, given the vast scope of Doctor Who, this comprehensive approach somewhat limits the amount of detail that can be given to any one of the design disciplines, or to the design work done by specific practitioners within given authorial regimes. However,

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Design for Doctor Who

as already noted in this introduction, it is the interaction of the various tributary elements of visual design in the show, especially between what I would call somatic design (i.e. the whole nexus of practices that have historically combined to create the outward appearance of Doctor Who’s non-human characters41) and the formation of locations and artefacts, which defines the look of the show episode upon episode. In terms of its structure and conceptual underpinnings, this book is a hybrid of two of the established approaches to design for the screen noted above, namely the historical and the critical-theoretical. While critical commentary is woven through the whole volume, theoretical issues are largely set aside for the duration of Part One, which is an historical survey of design for Doctor Who. In a book dealing with a single media text, such a survey is essential to laying the groundwork for any analytical argument. It establishes a baseline for evaluating how trends have developed over the lifetime(s) of Doctor Who on television and beyond. Because of the introductory nature, and corresponding (relative) brevity, of this initial survey, I do not punctuate it with extended case studies in the same manner as other authors of wholly historical volumes on design, such as Laurie Ede in his magisterial British Film Design: A History.42 Rather, the book begins broad and narrows its focus in Parts Two and Three, with the entirety of Part Three being given over to discussion of a handful of key designs in Doctor Who. Whatever prior knowledge readers bring to the book, my hope is that by this stage they are sufficiently attuned to the historical and conceptual issues in play for my evaluation of these key designs to make sense. Part Two of the book sets up this discussion of key designs in Part Three by reflecting on design imagery as a source of value and meaning in Doctor Who. As this is the first book on design for television to focus on a single series, I made the decision not to overburden Part Two with dense reference to prior scholarship but rather to deploy theory only as needed to make a specific point. The primary purpose of Chapter 3 is to look first at the possibilities of, and obstacles to, establishing a baseline for design’s expressive or communicative role in Doctor Who. Consequently, I draw for the most part on semiotic and genre theory in an attempt to model how design ‘works’ in the Doctor Who television narrative.43 However, given the specific problems which arise from the constantly shifting nature of the programme’s storytelling ground rules, this investigation yields almost no definitive conclusions. In Chapter 4,

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therefore, I turn from notions of intrinsic value in design for Doctor Who to consider how engaged viewers – including the new series’ showrunners, who are also longstanding fans – confer meaning on design. This chapter draws on fan studies, especially texts dealing with fans’ evaluative approaches to Doctor Who. It also draws on scholarship concerning cosplay, a fan practice which, as I argue, has an inherently evaluative dimension. The three sections of this book are self-contained enough that they could each be read without reference to the others, depending on the reader’s investments as Doctor Who fan or student of design. However, in its final form the book is organized so as to progress from an institutionally based design history in Part One to the application of a range of critical and evaluative techniques for understanding design in Part Two, and finally to discussion – informed by all the foregoing – of specific Doctor Who design imagery which has emerged as influential, iconic or emblematic. It is my hope that the transitions between these three parts are less abrupt and jarring than TARDIS flight, or at least that the experience of reading feels akin to a series of journeys with River Song rather than the Doctor at the controls.

Coda: Doctor Who at the BBC – from London to Cardiff It remains to address one housekeeping issue. As already noted in this introduction, Doctor Who is a transmedia text of huge complexity. Over the course of its long life, Doctor Who has become enveloped in a series of fan, journalistic and scholarly conventions for organizing its unruly content. Fans talk mostly in terms of ‘eras’ defined around Doctor Who’s stars and producers/showrunners – the ‘Pertwee era’, the ‘Davies era’ and so on. Journalists and media commentators outside fan circles are generally more attuned to the obvious, and massive, divide between the original television series which ran from 1963 to 1989 and the new, which began in 2005 and is still running; a standard formulation distinguishes between ‘Classic Who’ and ‘NuWho’. Scholars have variously questioned both these approaches, some even asking whether Doctor Who on television wouldn’t be better understood

14

Design for Doctor Who

as the often disparate products of a series of different authorial regimes.44 In this book, unless I wanted to make a specific point, I have generally tried to avoid the terms ‘era’, ‘classic’ and ‘new/Nu’ because they are now so loaded. However, though I see good reason to honour the fact that Doctor Who’s production personnel in the twenty-first century have all thought of themselves as making the same programme as their predecessors in the twentieth, I equally see the need to acknowledge the temporal and aesthetic divide between the original and revived series, for all kinds of reasons addressed in the following chapters. I have therefore opted to speak of the London period and the Cardiff period, which avoids implicit hierarchies or unintended invocation of old arguments and assumptions.

PART ONE

A Critical History of Design for Doctor Who

Introduction to Part One: Why a history of Doctor Who design? Since Doctor Who’s twentieth year of production, the series’ history on television has been the subject of a number of book-length critical and scholarly overviews.1 Yet none of these dwelt at much length on visual design for the Doctor Who series and brand, if they touched on it at all.2 Part One of this book represents a preliminary step towards rectifying this. That being said, a design history of Doctor Who ought to be justified in terms of doing more than simply filling an alleged gap. What, specifically, is to be gained from a comprehensive survey? There are several ways in which the history of design for Doctor Who makes a good subject for a broad overview. First, Doctor Who has always been a design-intensive television text. In other words, in almost every episode Doctor Who relies heavily on both visual and sound design to create an immediate and powerfully evocative effect. This design-intensiveness is partly a function of Doctor Who’s main generic affiliations. In any science-fiction or fantasy, as also in period drama, design bears a heavy burden in establishing a plausible diegetic world 15

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Design for Doctor Who

which is distinct, and often remote, from ours. In Doctor Who this is doubly true, for designers have been responsible for evoking upwards of 200 different societies in Earth’s past, present and future and in various extra-terrestrial environments. In short, the time-travel premise of Doctor Who has created challenges for designers which exceed anything involved in realizing, say, the relatively homogeneous galaxy traversed by the USS Enterprise in Star Trek (CBS, 1966–9) and its sequels. Furthermore, unlike Star Trek and many other genre franchises from Flash Gordon (Universal, 1936–40; DuMont Television, 1954–5; Mike Hodges, 1980; Sci-Fi, 2007–2008) to Battlestar Galactica (NBC, 1978–80; NBC, 2004–2007), Doctor Who has also ostensibly gone without either a reboot or a major shift in focus, with Geoffrey Sax’s 1996 television movie (Fox/BBC, 1996), produced in Vancouver, and the revival, produced in Cardiff since 2005 (BBC, 2005– ), being explicitly billed as continuations of the original series. Consequently, the design challenges driven by the series’ premise in the 2010s were broadly similar to those of the mid 1970s, and for that matter the early 1960s. The varied aesthetic responses to these challenges are interesting to track. By virtue of its longevity and internal narrative range, Doctor Who also makes for a striking case study of the way in which screen SF and fantasy respond to developments in the world behind the camera. Having appeared on screen (albeit not continuously) in every decade since the 1960s, Doctor Who inevitably reflects changing patterns in media production and consumption. Over the period of its lifespan, attitudes to science fiction and fantasy have massively altered, with both genres moving from the marginal and slightly suspect to the mainstream and commonplace. This has had both positive and negative consequences for Doctor Who, broadening its audience appeal and increasing its legitimacy but at the same time raising the bar for production standards and establishing new benchmarks for the quality of the screened image. Changing priorities at the BBC have buffeted Doctor Who over the years, as the corporation went from a period of growth in the 1960s to one of diminishing resources and decentralized production in the 1980s and thereafter. While shifting institutional conditions of production have not necessarily registered as alterations in the visual character of the show, design – and more specifically the physical and digital construction of the worlds and creatures of

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Doctor Who – to an extent reflects the changing aspirations and identity of the BBC. If Doctor Who presents opportunities for taking a long view of design in a science-fiction programme, it also inevitably presents challenges to the historian of design for the screen. I noted above that Doctor Who has ostensibly never been rebooted, but its claims to continuity are, paradoxically, founded on the fact that an unusual amount of internal change has been one of the series’ main features since its fourth year on air. The frequent alteration of lead player (on average every three years while the series has been in continuous production, both before and after the hiatus), has normalized one kind of change and thereby de facto distracted attention from others. Even if the narrative has in principle been unbroken, Doctor Who’s seeming continuity is belied by the repeated shifts in the principal creative personnel – producers and later showrunners, story editors, and so on – which so often coincided, more or less, with a changeover in lead. In some cases, this succession process has led to seismic alterations in the nature and tone of the series, which in turn have often affected the demands made upon designers and fabricators. Still more fundamental was the technological breach between the original version of Doctor Who produced in London up to 1989, largely in the electronic studio; the television movie shot on film in Vancouver in 1996, and the revived series made by BBC Wales, shot wholly on video (which was filmized before broadcast during the series’ first four years back on air) and later high-definition video. Beyond advances in recording and editing technology which allowed for a clearer and more finely-tuned screen image, the nature and amount of digital postproduction work that episodes of Doctor Who routinely undergo has massively altered the audio-visual experience. So, while set- and costume-design practices may not have changed that much in fiftyseven years, enhanced production values in the new series have generally added lustre to designers’ work. Conversely, the harsh illumination typical of television during the original run often showed even the most sophisticated and well-realized design imagery quite literally in a bad light, which is even more glaring in retrospect. This speaks to a challenge of assessing Doctor Who design as an historical whole. A ‘clean’ read of design for screen entertainment is never available, for it is inherent to film and television that design is always

18

Design for Doctor Who

woven into a larger visual context, and almost never a privileged object of scrutiny in its own right. Framing, depth of field, lighting and editing shape audiences’ perceptions of design imagery in all screen texts. Yet beyond this, different genres, and shifting expectations for the effectiveness of those genres, also affect the ways in which this imagery is experienced. A single example will serve to illustrate this last point. ‘Pyramids of Mars’ (1975) is a consistent fan favourite among ‘classic’ Doctor Who serials, almost invariably polling high in surveys.3 A central conceit in ‘Pyramids’ is that one of the gods of Ancient Egypt, actually a powerful alien from the planet Phaester Osiris, is attended by Servicers – killer robots which superficially look like Egyptian mummies. Barbara Kidd’s costumes for the Servicers, with their boldly angular facial structure, powerful, shelf-like chests, and beautifully crafted bandage shells, represent a very daring, stylized design statement – one which Simon Barker and I years ago praised as among Doctor Who’s strongest (as I still feel them to be).4 More recently, some commentators have found the mummies ‘silly’ or even ‘nonsensical’.5 For at least one of these critics, the fault for this seems to lie primarily with their clumsy, overstated movements, and especially their ‘slow gait’, rather than with perceived deficiencies in Kidd’s costumes.6 This view may reflect a general feeling among the mummy-robots’ detractors. If so, the critique speaks clearly to the fact that design for television can never be separated from its deployment and on-screen presentation. Where mise-en-scène ages badly, the chances are that design will age badly too. The question of perceived changes over time in the quality of design, and for that matter perceptions of Doctor Who’s inherent unevenness, will come to the fore again in Part Two of this book. For the present purpose of laying groundwork for an historical overview, it is enough to acknowledge that Doctor Who is simultaneously unified, as story and brand, and fragmented, as production and as object of critical scrutiny. With this in mind, what I offer in Part One is primarily a study of the ways in which both continuities and changes in creative vision, and shifts in institutional pressures and imperatives, have affected the design and realization of sets, costumes, props and graphics for Doctor Who. Where appropriate, I make reference to changes in production methods, and a recurrent concern throughout Part One is the relationship of Doctor Who design to imagery in other media texts, especially science fiction and other ‘genre’ television and cinema.

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There is little or no attempt here to engage with the history of fashion, or the history of commercial design more broadly, as a referent for Doctor Who design imagery. There are undoubtedly points of connection between Doctor Who and vanguard industrial and fashion design. One notable example is provided by costume designers’ patronage of Mayfair tailors and haberdashers such as Huntsman of Savile Row and Mister Fish for Jon Pertwee’s costumes as the Third Doctor. During the same period, designers also shopped for the Third Doctor’s companions at two fashionable boutiques which marketed mostly to the young, single ‘working girl’: Biba furnished kookily with-it ensembles for Jo Grant (Katy Manning), while Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) wore clothes from Biba’s sometime neighbour, Bus Stop.7 Beyond this, it is true that contemporary fads inflect grooming and costume in almost any kind of screen fiction, and Doctor Who’s futuristic scenarios certainly have no shortage of hairstyles and outfits which in retrospect may seem painfully dated to their historical moment. A prime example is offered by ‘The Ark in Space’ (1975), set in 6098 CE, in which the crew of the space station Nerva have shaggy hair and flared uniform trousers that from an early twenty-first-century perspective could only belong to the mid-1970s. Even allowing for such refractions of contemporary taste, design for speculative and futuristic screen fiction does not map in any consistent and useful way onto trends of the moment. I have therefore made the decision to set fashion aside in Part One of this book, rather than add a potentially unhelpful complication to an already-complex narrative. If fashion in the narrow sense, meaning couture and modish consumer goods, lies outside the scope of this historical overview, then fashion in the wider sense, meaning the discourse of style and stylistic change, is woven throughout this survey. And just as high-street fashion veers from flamboyance to minimalism, from brash effects of colour and pattern to self-conscious dourness, and from the extravagant to the utilitarian, so Doctor Who has varied in the ways and degree in which it has embraced design qua design. By this I mean that at certain moments costumes, sets and props which call attention to their designedness have been favoured by circumstance. At other times, anything which might seem like overtly signalled attention to style or spectacle has been decisively eschewed. While Doctor Who design has seldom been in any real sense reticent or understated, it has not always

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Design for Doctor Who

been as assertive and audacious as it was across the board during Jon Pertwee’s fourth season in the role (1972–3), or during Tom Baker’s and Matt Smith’s last full seasons (1980–1 and 2012–13, respectively). Movement across the spectrum has sometimes been gradual, sometimes abrupt. For example, over the course of David Tennant’s last two years in the role (2008–2009) and Matt Smith’s first two (2010–11), there was little by little a shift towards bolder effects, and a relaxation in the severity and relative understatement which had overall characterized the revival’s first three years on air. By contrast, the expressionistic designs which graced much of Peter Capaldi’s tenure as the Doctor gave place very suddenly to a suppression of stylized effects and greater emphasis on real-world environments in Jodie Whittaker’s first season. Changing attitudes to designedness are also partly a function of the way in which design has figured in the construction of Doctor Who’s larger media presence and commercial identity. In its fifth and sixth decades, Doctor Who as a BBC property has relied heavily on the strength of its brand equity and brand recognition. When the show was first revived in 2005, the demands of branding evidently encouraged consonance with genre norms. Later, once the series had gained wide support in the UK and penetrated international markets, a flamboyant distinctiveness, which set the Doctor Who brand apart from the competition, was more tenable. In the early 1960s, when the series was first broadcast, these concerns were not so strongly in play. As I discuss in Chapter 1, design was not atomized to individual programme-brands but strongly centralized within the institution of the BBC, serving to establish a strong, forward-looking identity for the corporation as a whole.

Chapter 1 The London Period – 1963 to 1989

Back and forth – 1963–6 Doctor Who was developed at a moment when the BBC was a world leader in design for television. Less than three years before Doctor Who first broadcast, the BBC’s formidable Head of Design, Richard Levin, had published a ground-breaking book on the subject.1 Levin’s Television by Design not only celebrated the excellence of the growing army of staff working in the BBC departments he led – though he focused primarily on what would now be called art direction, and secondarily graphic design, with short shrift given to costume and shorter shrift to make-up – but also included design imagery from television companies across the world. The incorporation of material from abroad reflected both Levin’s internationalism and his efforts to assure the BBC’s centrality in the discourse of design for the small screen. During his tenure as Head of Design, he hosted international design conferences and asserted his and the corporation’s progressiveness through trade-journal publications in mainland Europe.2 A glance at Television by Design reveals a very different BBC from the image which has been cultivated abroad and to an extent also domestically over the last fifty years – the Masterpiece Theatre myth of a BBC whose output is built around period pieces and especially ‘bonnet dramas’, which is to say narratives typically adapted from nineteenth-century novels. Although historical productions are certainly 21

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Design for Doctor Who

not absent from Television by Design, and Levin sternly asserts the need for realism in most television fiction,3 the visual content of his book tells a different story: it overwhelmingly presents a BBC steeped in modernism. Some of the most striking imagery in the book is not from drama at all but from current-affairs programming and light entertainment, both of which feature almost as prominently as fiction. This should be no surprise, since Levin had been one of the supervising designers for the Festival of Britain in 1951,4 and when he became Head of Design for Television in 1953 he quickly established a reputation for hiring people whose background was in industrial and commercial design rather than in theatre. Barry Newbery, Doctor Who’s longest-serving scenic designer, was a case in point: his initial training was in commercial art and electrical engineering, but before joining the BBC he gained experience designing shop-window displays and a further qualification in fine art.5 Doctor Who’s inception also came at a moment of exceptional creativity for the BBC across the board, as BBC Television approached the zenith of its cultural influence in the United Kingdom. Between 1962 and 1964, a diverse array of long-running or influential programmes debuted: in 1962 the contemporary dramas Z-Cars (1962–78) and Compact (1962–5), and the satirical revue That Was the Week That Was (1962–3), in 1963 Doctor Who, and in 1964 the music-chart show Top of the Pops (1964–2006), the sit-com The Likely Lads (1964–6) and the challenging drama anthology series, The Wednesday Play (1964– 70). Like Doctor Who, The Wednesday Play was instigated by the BBC’s Head of Drama during the period, Sydney Newman. A Canadian broadcaster who had previously provided the independent, commercial television company ABC with a shot in the arm through the introduction of popular, hip series such as The Avengers (1961–9), Newman had also revamped ABC’s Armchair Theatre (1956–74) to make it attuned to contemporary social issues, as The Wednesday Play was later to be.6 If in a sense Doctor Who embodied this flush of progressiveness and innovation, the series also exemplified BBC’s original mandate as a public-service broadcaster, enshrined in the Reithian mission statement that programming should ‘educate, inform and entertain’.7 Billed as an adventure in space and time, Doctor Who had a striking premise and a cast of regular characters which allowed for interesting situations marked variously by action (albeit constrained by the limits of live recording in

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confined studio space), humour, romance and didacticism. Historical and ethical education were very much to the fore, shaping even the identities of the series’ heroes: the main identification characters for audiences were two schoolteachers, Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterton (William Russell), the former an historian and the latter a scientist, while the Doctor (William Hartnell) was himself the embodiment of lifelong learning and intellectual curiosity: a lapel-clasping, professorial figure with a sometimes-dangerous thirst for knowledge. For its first three years on air, Doctor Who generally (though decreasingly) interspersed science-fiction adventures – almost invariably set in the future and generally on another world – with visits to Earth’s past. With only a few exceptions, the historically based adventures aired between 1963 and the end of 1966 were centred either on a famous figure or on a pivotal event, and frequently both: Marco Polo’s meeting with Kublai Khan; Nero’s role in the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64; the machinations of Catherine de’ Medici leading up to the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and so on. The science-fiction adventures were not strongly aligned with the kind of uncompromising, frequently dystopic or apocalyptic, literary SF of British post-war authors such as Brian Aldiss, Arthur C. Clarke, Fred Hoyle and John Christopher. Rather, Doctor Who’s adventures on far-flung future worlds were mostly parables, either of xenophobia and intolerance or of the threats posed by hyper-individualism or totalitarianism. The ‘science’ component in Doctor Who’s science fiction was pretty minimal. Throughout the period when Doctor Who moved between these two alternating narrative modes, the series also had two distinct design styles. The historical adventures were conceived with an eye to verisimilitude, even when stock scenery and furnishings were relatively scant, as in the case of ‘The Aztecs’ (1964). Moreover, both sets and costumes tended to be texturally rich, evoking a tactile world which was plausibly contingent on viewers’ lived experience. Barry Newbery, who designed the majority of historical adventures for the first three seasons, was especially adept at making historic interiors feel immediate and lived-in, and minimizing the flattening effect of the bright lighting in the electronic studio. ‘Marco Polo’ (1964) and ‘The Aztecs’, in particular, were replete with visual detail which intimately evokes the day-to-day life of its protagonists. This was true even when the large number of sets necessitated some simplification, as in ‘The Crusade’ (1965).

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Conversely, the imagery of the futuristic adventures in many ways played up to the bright illumination of the studio: sets and props were for the most part stripped of the surface intricacies of the earthly world evoked so richly in the historical episodes. The alien was mostly defined by the uncluttered surfaces and pure geometries of modernist design, traceable ultimately to the formal innovations of the Bauhaus in the 1920s. There are both practical and aesthetic explanations for this. Ex novo construction was pretty much a given for Doctor Who’s futuristic SF productions because the BBC’s by-then extensive stock scenery, apart from the odd cave interior, did not immediately lend itself to the genre. The simplified forms used by Ray Cusick in ‘The Daleks’ (1963– 4) and ‘The Sensorites’ (1964); Spencer Chapman in ‘The Space Museum’ (1965) and Richard Hunt in ‘Galaxy 4’ (1965), can therefore be justified partly in helping to keep down the number of ‘man hours’ (the basic unit of cost in the BBC scene-building workshop until the 1970s) necessary for their fabrication.8 Doctor Who’s SF imagery was broadly consonant with the styling of 1950s films from Hollywood such as Destination Moon (Irving Pichel, 1950), The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise, 1951), Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956) and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Fred F. Sears, 1956). All of these abounded in the streamlined designs for advanced transport and technology, with sheer metallic and gleaming white surfaces providing an aesthetic baseline. This kind of ultra-sleek imagery frequently nodded to the circular, ‘hub-cap’ or ‘pie-tin’ spacecraft, drawn from ufological photographs of supposed alien incursions into our skies. In films such as The Day the Earth Stood Still and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and many others, such craft were used by alien visitors and invaders, while in some films, including Forbidden Planet, they were used also by future astronauts from Earth. Drawing on and exaggerating aircraft and car design in the 1950s, these fictive flying saucers were the defining elements in the highly stylized post-war mode of futurism that would later be lampooned in films such as Mars Attacks! (Tim Burton, 1996). Yet it’s worth bearing in mind that while films such as The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet are now enshrined as classics, SF was far from a mainstream genre in either the US or UK in the early 1960s. There’s no reason to suppose that SF movies – many of them B-features – had any cachet with designers in British television or were

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even necessarily known to them. It’s telling that Ray Cusick referred back to the 1936 Alexander Korda production of Things to Come (dir. William Cameron Menzies), not post-war American SF, as a source of inspiration for his work on Doctor Who.9 Equally telling is the evidence from both Cusick’s recollections and his drawings that a classic of postwar industrial design, namely the screw-top salt shaker, played a formative role in his conception of what were to become the Doctor’s most enduring adversaries, the Daleks.10 Cusick’s final design for the travel machines which housed the Dalek mutants retained not only the distinct, rounded top section of the screw-top crystal shaker but also the repeated geometric motif on the lower part – although in the case of the Daleks this took the form of globes rather than square or diamondshaped extrusions. The most immediate precedent in screen fiction for Doctor Who’s peculiarly chaste SF idiom was surely the BAFTA-winning design imagery of Clifford Hatts for the BBC’s Quatermass and the Pit (1958– 9).11 The third and most visually sophisticated of the Quatermass serials written by Nigel Kneale and directed by Rudolph Cartier, Quatermass and the Pit was unusual for 1950s SF in being a prestige production. The Martian spacecraft which was at the heart of the narrative actually has a great deal in common with the Dalek design: it was a faceted cylinder, with convex discs arrayed along these facets in rows, and a smoother, rounded dome section at one end. I am not suggesting that Hatts’ design was necessarily any kind of source for Cusick’s: rather, both bespeak the extent to which Levin’s design department was permeated with the design sensibilities of Constructivism, Neoplasticism, and the International Style in architecture. Above all, BBC design showed the influence of leading lights of the Bauhaus such as László Moholy-Nagy,12 and industrial-design alumni of the same institution such as Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Marianne Brandt. One other key element of Doctor Who’s design identity both honoured modernist notions of simplicity and made innovative use of technology, very much in the spirit of Dada and Constructivist formal experiment with the camera. This was the title sequence constructed by the graphic designer Bernard Lodge and BBC engineering staff, based around a technique devised by the engineer Norman Taylor, which is generally called ‘howl-around’.13 Taylor’s innovation entailed turning a video camera on to the monitor which showed the camera’s

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Design for Doctor Who

Figure 1.1 Moments and logos from Doctor Who title sequences, 1963–2014

Top to bottom, arranged in pairs: Row 1: left – Bernard Lodge, 1963; right – Bernard Lodge, 1970; Row 2: left – Bernard Lodge, 1973; right – Sid Sutton, 1980; Row 3: left – Oliver Elmes, 1987; right – North West Imaging, 1996; Row 4: left – The Mill, 2005; right – Billy Hanshaw and BBC Wales VFX, 2014 (logo by Red Bee Media, 2010). All images © BBC Worldwide.

own output, and then feeding in black and white captions to produce spectacular, mobile, abstract forms. Lodge complemented these flowing patterns with a simple, clean, sans-serif logo, with the two words of Doctor Who’s title stacked, the elongated lettering of ‘Who’ being scaled up so that it was as wide as ‘Doctor’ and given considerably more heft. This stacked arrangement was to be retained for every version of the logo during the London period (though its symmetry was eventually breached with the titles for Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor in the late 1980s), and Lodge used ‘howl-around’ again for the series’ next two title sequences (see Figure 1.1). However, the original, with its combination of weird, gestural abstraction and crisp, simple lettering for both the logo and for story titling and end credits, was surely the series’

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purest expression of modernism, and a perfectly conceived complement to Doctor Who’s other great avant-garde innovation, Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson’s wholly electronic, otherworldly arrangement of Ron Grainer’s theme tune.14 The element in Doctor Who’s visual make-up which was arguably least central to its formal distinctiveness, except in relation to the Doctor himself, was costume. This is no reflection on the virtuosic work of Daphne Dare, pretty much the sole designer for the series’ first three years. Dare’s workload was intensely demanding. In the case of the future- or alien-set science fiction adventures, which from the 1964–5 series on started to outnumber the excursions into Earth’s history, she invariably had to build costumes from scratch. Nor did period dramas necessarily offer respite: ‘The Aztecs’, for example, could not be supplied from stock.15 Dare maintained an astonishing level of originality in the speculative and futuristic serials. She never repeated herself, in spite of the heavy demands and the relative restrictions on budget, and deftly managed to avoid obvious dependence on either contemporary trends or historical inspiration. As many of her successors on the show were to do, Dare clearly recognized the importance of strong silhouette for SF design and maximized the impact of limited surface pattern. Even where she used the same, money-saving, devices more than once, Dare pushed them in diverse directions. For example, sleeveless, open-sided vests were obviously cost-effective: since they did not need to be tailored, they could cheaply be made in multiples. Dare used such garments in both ‘The Daleks’ and ‘The Space Museum’, for the sympathetic, formerly agrarian Thals and the aggressive, technocratic Moroks respectively. The Thals’ tube-quilted body warmers, belted and laced in front and following the natural contours of the upper body, were worn with nothing beneath, presumably to suggest a society adapted to a warm, fertile climate. By contrast, the Moroks’ outfits were built up in layers: a stiff, wide tabard worn over a shirt, and a round-collared, squared-off, still-wider gorget over this. The resulting Morok uniform, without being obviously martial, evoked a hypermasculine belligerence and arrogance. Although the work of both Dare and set designers such as Barry Newbery on Doctor Who’s period-drama serials was no less sensitive and inventive in its use of a limited budget, it was the series’ science fiction imagery – above all the Daleks – which made the greatest impact on audiences. The Daleks proved to be the series’ first ‘toyetic’ design, their

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distinctive agglomeration of geometric elements copied more or less crudely in a raft of merchandise. Perhaps because of this, the Daleks also impressed at least one contemporary commentator, who ranked them with Ken Adam’s sets for the Bond films as examples of progressive design which were ‘giv[ing] people a bang’.16 Historical recreations selfevidently lacked this forward-looking inventiveness and novelty: even the series’ less-felicitous SF designs, such as the Zarbi and Menoptera in ‘The Web Planet’ (1965), at least had the advantage of being unlike anything else then to be seen on television. Nor did the historical serials themselves seem to capture audience imagination to the same extent. For example, in 1965 the consolidated viewing figures for ‘The Crusade’ were down three million from its immediate predecessor ‘The Web Planet’; a year later there was again a three-million drop from ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ to ‘The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve’ – only by this time overall viewing figures for the 1965–6 season were significantly depressed, making the relative decrease between serials seem more serious. Unsurprisingly, an incoming producer, Innes Lloyd, decided to phase out the stories set wholly or partly in Earth’s past – unless they featured the Daleks or some other monstrous menace which would help to guarantee popularity. Innes Lloyd’s first commission as producer broke the pattern of alternating between futuristic and historical stories, interpolating a serial set in present-day London. ‘The War Machines’ (1966) was to have a far-reaching impact on the format of Doctor Who, and thus on design in the series. A few months later, the two-way rotation between austere modernist design and tactile period design effectively ended with Patrick Troughton’s first two serials in the role of the Doctor, ‘The Power of the Daleks’ (1966) and ‘The Highlanders’ (1966–7). The quality of Geoffrey Kirkland’s sets in the now-lost ‘Highlanders’ is hard to judge from the snaps taken during broadcast, but enough photographic images of Derek Dodd’s designs for ‘The Power of the Daleks’ survive to attest clearly both great inventiveness and a vision of the future still rooted strongly in post-war modernist design. With the demise of the historical serials, Doctor Who had lost a key element of its original, Reithian make-up. Although futuristic SF was not as summarily and dramatically axed as the historical scripts, the uncompromising modernist imagery of the Levin era, which had ultimately done so much more to define Doctor Who as a media phenomenon, was also shortly to be sacrificed to changing imperatives.

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Dark shadows – 1967–70 Given the clarity of Innes Lloyd’s vision for Doctor Who, and his decisiveness in implementing it, there might seem no need to look further afield to explain any changes in design idiom during his tenure as producer. Nevertheless, it is perhaps more than an interesting coincidence that 1967, when Lloyd’s alterations to the Who format fully took effect, was the year which saw Sydney Newman give up his position as the BBC’s Head of Drama and Richard Levin lose a significant amount of his authority. If so, the connection was probably at an underlying rather than an immediate level: shifts in the character of Doctor Who and in the roles of the department heads who indirectly shaped it are arguably both symptomatic of larger changes which were afoot in the BBC, and in British television broadcasting more generally. In the early 1960s, the BBC’s department heads had enjoyed relative equality and autonomy with one another. Thus, directors and later producers could not usually influence the choice of designers for a particular programme, much as they might have liked to do so: this was the purview of the Design Supervisor and, ultimately, the Head of Design. Beyond this broad parity, Richard Levin’s effective power had been considerable, since he had been in charge of the scene-building workshops as well as the design departments. In 1967 he was shunted into a new role, Head of Design Group, and according to Clifford Hatts, at that stage scenic construction was removed from Levin’s control.17 This was the first in a series of alterations to management and budgeting within the BBC which eroded the effective spending power, and by extension the creative autonomy, of the design departments. It was arguably also the moment when the very strong aesthetic identity of BBC design began to dissipate, and indeed the moment when modernism started to lose dominance more broadly as the progressive style for industrial design in late-1960s Britain. If the change in Levin’s role indirectly and gradually affected what could be designed and built for a show like Doctor Who, Sydney Newman’s departure from the BBC more directly changed oversight of the series.18 Newman had continued to preside over Doctor Who, albeit remotely, until the casting of Patrick Troughton in 1966. While Newman’s views on the modernization of Doctor Who under Innes Lloyd are not recorded, in the early stages of Lloyd’s tenure the changes presumably

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in some sense had Newman’s blessing. One of the last television shows Newman developed before leaving the BBC in 1967 was Adam Adamant Lives! (1966–7), which dropped an Edwardian gentlemanadventurer into the midst of the Swinging Sixties, pairing him with Georgina Jones, a hip, independent young woman who worked in a discothèque.19 In light of this, Doctor Who’s move to a more ‘with-it’ tone was broadly consonant with his vision for an edgy, forward-looking BBC. What is less likely is that Newman would have approved of the abrupt shift which Lloyd’s Doctor Who made in 1967 towards dependence on what Newman termed ‘BEMs’ – bug-eyed monsters.20 There was a corresponding shift away from issue-based narratives dealing with problems of race, class and perspective, towards shocks, scares and spookiness. Cybermen, Yeti and others increasingly seemed to be bogeymen who emerged from the shadows or lurked in the wild wastes of the world, and Doctor Who’s kinship with exploitation horror films and ‘creature features’ of the second post-war decade became more pronounced. The rise of the BEM precipitated change in the kinds of environment and dress which designers had to devise for Doctor Who. Ambitious, world-building narratives were increasingly a rarity. ‘The War Machines’ set the precedent for more adventures on contemporary or nearcontemporary Earth: these accounted for almost a third of the serials of Patrick Troughton’s tenure as the Doctor. Where alien and future worlds were a feature of the narrative, they were, with a few honourable exceptions, spaces characterized as much by gloom as by striking scenography. The darkness even suffused one of the contemporaryworld serials, ‘The Web of Fear’ (1968), which was set almost entirely in the deserted tunnels of the London Underground and a subterranean bunker adjacent to one of the tube stations. To an extent, the focus and nature of costume also changed. The most oft-recurring challenge for Daphne Dare during her long incumbency as Doctor Who’s costume designer had been the production of vivid and varied futuristic costumes. Her successors Sandra Reid and Martin Baugh were more often concerned with the problems of building plausible ‘man-in-a-suit’ monsters, which, because they were worn, were part of the costume department’s remit. Reid created two successive kinds of Cybermen and later a race of Fish People, while Baugh devised two distinct versions of the Yeti, yet more

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Cybermen, Ice Warriors and Quark robots. The success of almost all these adversaries helped to establish Lloyd’s Doctor Who as more than ever the monster show: even the somewhat risible Quarks, which never returned to the series, did migrate to the Doctor Who strip in TV Comic.21 The shadows in black-and-white Doctor Who stretched longest and inkiest in ‘The Mind Robber’ (1968), which took place outside normal space-time in a world of fiction, and in the final episode of ‘The War Games’ (1969), in which the Doctor returned to his home-world. In ‘The Mind Robber’, the Doctor and his friends were lost in a forest of trees shaped like movable type, which seen from above turned out to be organised to spell out rhymes and proverbs. In elevation these trees appeared simply as black uprights unrelieved by branches or leaves. While not quite so severe, the courtroom on the as-yet unnamed planet of the Doctor’s people, the Time Lords, in which he is indicted for interfering in the affairs of other worlds in the final episode of ‘The War Games’, is a space defined primarily by its seeming boundlessness. Yet in neither of these cases does it seem that the shadows represent a purely aesthetic choice; rather, they reflect impinging fiscal realities. In the case of the Time Lords’ courtroom, made for an episode recorded at the very end of the yearly cycle, it’s especially unlikely that remaining funds would have allowed for complex new sets. A new aesthetic started to manifest in Doctor Who in what might be called the two tent-pole serials of the 1968–9 season, ‘The Invasion’ (1968), which featured the Cybermen, and ‘The Seeds of Death’ (1969), the second serial in which the Ice Warriors were the Doctor’s antagonists. Although one was contemporary and the other futuristic, both stories were characterized by a ‘utilitarian modern’ costume-design idiom. This was to be the dominant mode as Doctor Who made the transition to colour recording, which coincided with the change of lead actor from Patrick Troughton to Jon Pertwee.

Down to Earth – 1968–72 When Pertwee made his screen debut in January 1970, in Doctor Who’s first colour season, the television arena into which the Third Doctor emerged was very different from his predecessor’s only a little over three

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years before. Failing audience figures had led to Doctor Who’s almost being cancelled after Troughton’s final year.22 In part this was because a new breed of television fiction had risen to prominence, necessitating a change in tone and visual style for Doctor Who if it was to remain relevant. Since the early 1960s, ITC had been producing forty-fiveminute action and adventure series. These were shot wholly on film rather than in the electronic studio, and from 1967 they were made in colour. ITC’s product was broadcast in the UK through the commercial network ITV, and its format was meant to be saleable in the same international marketplace as American police and legal procedurals and adventure, fantasy and espionage series. ITC staples such as Danger Figure 1.2 The Pertwee look

Figure 1.2a The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) in a promotional still for ‘The Three Doctors’ (1972–3). © BBC Worldwide.

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Man and The Saint (ITV, 1962–9), and later in the decade Man in a Suitcase (ITV, 1967–8) and Department S (ITV, 1969–70), represented a slicker, glossier world of adventure than anything that the BBC was at that time producing: Adam Adamant Lives! was in comparison relatively static and stately in pace, it was monochrome, and it lacked the glamorous environments and characters which the ITC series convincingly paraded. Yet by the early 1970s these live-action ITC series, together with Gerry Anderson’s ‘Supermarionation’ hits such as Captain Scarlet (ITV, 1967–8) and Thunderbirds (ITV,1965–6), had come to be perceived as broadly cognate with Doctor Who in a way which made the latter unusual for BBC dramas. Tellingly, in 1971 Doctor Who appeared side by side with ITC properties such as Captain Scarlet and The Persuaders!

Figure 1.2b The Third Doctor on the cover of TV Action, September 1972 (art by Gerry Haylock). © Polystyle Publications.

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(ITV, 1971–2), and the following year American crime and espionage narratives including Cannon (CBS, 1971–6), Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 1968–80) and Mission: Impossible (CBS, 1966–73), in comic strips which ran in the weekly magazine Countdown and its successor TV Action (Figure 1.2b).23 Pertwee’s Doctor was far closer to characters from these shows than Troughton’s or Hartnell’s wanderers in the fourth dimension, for his Doctor was for three seasons largely earthbound. Exiled to Britain in the later twentieth century by his own people, the Doctor had become the scientific adviser to an elite military group which specialized in foiling alien invasions and the occasional home-grown monstrous threat, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT). A dandified gentleman amateur very much in the vein of Jason King of Department S or Lord Brett Sinclair of The Persuaders!, Pertwee’s Doctor shared with them – and indeed with Captain Scarlet and other Supermarionation characters – a sharp, vivid, near-graphic image: a mass of wavy blond-white hair framing an aquiline nose and jutting chin, jewel-coloured velvet jacket, dazzling white jabot, and sweeping Inverness cloak (Figure 1.2a). If the various ITC adventure series represented a new televisionfiction ecosystem within which Doctor Who had to adapt in order to flourish, changes in the real-world context of science-fact also had an impact on the series. In 1969, the Space Age had dramatically entered a new phase with the media event of the first moon landing. The 1970 season overall acknowledged this with a more documentary visual tone, but the allusions were most specific with the third serial, ‘The Ambassadors of Death’. The story revolved around a Mars mission, and the designers were clearly aiming for an unprecedentedly authentic-seeming representation of manned space flight. For example, the spacesuits prominently used throughout were clearly meant to echo the A7L EMUs used on the Apollo missions. By contrast, earlier Doctor Who productions requiring spacesuits, right up to ‘The Wheel in Space’ in 1968, had simply used high-altitude Windak pressure suits built for RAF pilots – which, incidentally, were still cameoing as spacesuits of a kind as late as 1980, in The Empire Strikes Back (dir. Irvin Kershner). Set design, just as powerfully as costume, helped to establish the documentary, utilitarian-modern ethos of Pertwee’s first series. While each of the four serials featured a striking design for the nerve centre of

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a cutting-edge scientific facility and ‘The Silurians’ (1970) included the cave-bound subterranean base belonging to the titular creatures, the majority of the sets were no-frills and down-to-earth: offices, hospitals, warehouses and the occasional private dwelling. Only ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ sported really startling environments courtesy of the designer David Myerscough-Jones, in the form not only of the Doctor’s lab, with stained-glass wheel window and sprigged wallpaper (presumably meant to be understood as a room in his house rather than at UNIT HQ) but also the Space Centre, the hub of the British Space Programme, with its striking subdivision of space and oversized screens. One obvious justification for the decision to confine the Doctor’s adventures to (near-) contemporary Britain was that it removed the problem of affordably simulating environments on alien worlds and in outer space – or at least significantly reduced them in number. With the shift to a higher-definition television image in 1968, it was harder to get away with sets representing the outdoors, such as the jungles which had still looked remarkably effective in ‘The Daleks’, ‘The Chase’ (1965) and ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ (1965–6), in the electronic studio. The sharper image was much more unforgiving, and the advent of colour made the problem more acute. Another factor may have been the fact that the BBC had during the late 1960s undergone reviews by the management consulting firm, McKinsey. While the focus was on the BBC’s idiosyncratic management structures,24 the McKinsey presence may have had some impact on attitudes to expenditure on set construction. The incumbent head of scenic design at this time, Clifford Hatts, later recalled the McKinsey operatives’ incredulity over certain design decisions, and their recommendations for streamlining.25 The special needs of Doctor Who may well have made it a target. That being said, any embargo on alien worlds in Doctor Who did not last long: Pertwee’s second and third seasons brought a gradually relaxing attitude to the Doctor’s confinement on Earth. As previously with Innes Lloyd, it had been a new producer who prompted the shift in tone towards the contemporary adventure-series format and towards a more clinical aesthetic. Derrick Sherwin had been story editor and assistant producer before he became Doctor Who’s official producer in 1969, and it was his vision which was to shape the premise of Doctor Who, if not ultimately its tone, for the first half of the 1970s. Sherwin had invented UNIT, and with co-producer Peter Bryant

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and script editor Terrance Dicks had commissioned the four entirely earthbound serials for Jon Pertwee’s first season. Sherwin produced the first of these, ‘Spearhead from Space’ (1970), before ceding the producer’s desk to Barry Letts. Even after Sherwin’s direct influence was past, the somewhat dour, Quatermass-inflected character of the early UNIT stories did persist the following year into episodes such as ‘The Mind of Evil’ (1971), a high-concept SF narrative of mental parasitism set mostly in a prison, and ‘The Claws of Axos’ (1971), set mostly in a nuclear research station and concerning another parasite, an organism from space that drained energy from the worlds on which it landed through a substance called Axonite. However, in the case of ‘Claws’ a divergent trend was evident in design for the titular monster, the living spaceship Axos. Ken Sharp’s weird, organic forms for the interior of the ship; the mottled golden costumes, golden wigs and prosthetics for Axos’s humanoid avatars (designed respectively by Barbara Lane and Rhian Davies), combine with disorienting video editing and light effects to establish a mood which can best be described as psychedelic. Such effects were to become more commonplace in set- and costume design as Doctor Who approached its tenth anniversary.

Psychedelia – 1970–4 Periodizing design always creates unreal boundaries, and sometimes the idea that styles succeed each other in Doctor Who is self-evidently unsustainable. Traces of the psychedelic were in fact evident long before ‘The Claws of Axos’. Doctor Who’s original title sequence has been called an exercise in psychedelia in spite of the fact that it was monochrome, and the new howl-around sequence which Bernard Lodge devised for Pertwee in 1969 was unequivocally so (see Figure 1.1). Although more consistently symmetrical than its predecessors, with ‘flaming’ and dancing concentric lozenges giving way to a centrifugally moving, kaleidoscopic, spiral, it was intensely colourful, and even the new logo tended slightly towards the fluid forms associated with psychedelia, for Lodge created a variant on the Futura typeface which in places broke from geometric regularity, notably in the bevelled edges of some of the consonants and, most prominently, in the curvilinear cross-stroke of the ‘H’ in WHO (see Figure 1.1).

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In the narrative itself, oneiric images, and more specifically images which suggested some kind of hallucinatory state, were first introduced in Doctor Who in ‘The Mind Robber’ in 1968. The location for the first episode was a white void, and most of the sets in the subsequent instalments made no attempt to disguise their picture-book artifice. Even before that, Martin Baugh’s memorable costume designs for the 1967–8 season included virtuosic extensions of 1960s ‘space-age’ modernism which seemed to echo the kinds of surreal, curvilinear, richly coloured designs used on album covers for contemporary bands such as The Beatles and Cream, albeit in monochrome.26 The most striking example occurred in costume design for the human characters in ‘The Ice Warriors’ (1967), where form-fitting, high-collared white coveralls were enlivened by swirling, asymmetrical patterns which looked almost as though they might have been created by ‘Color Field’ painters such as Morris Louis. As already noted, the overall tendency under Baugh’s successors, namely Bobi Bartlett and Nicholas Bullen in the 1968–9 seasons and Christine Rawlins in the 1970 season, was away from this kind of spaceage baroque (though the space-age medievalism and chunky ornament in Bullen’s costumes for ‘The Space Pirates’ (1969) represents an important exception). This trend was to continue in the first three years of the new decade, when Doctor Who was almost entirely set in a nearfuture Britain which was largely (and increasingly) indistinguishable from the present.27 Woven through this contemporary drabness, though, a new sensibility was emerging, evident most clearly when the Doctor was allowed brief respites from his exile on Earth and sent by the Time Lords to other worlds. In ‘The Curse of Peladon’ (1972) costumes and hair for the inhabitants of the eponymous planet were bold in their use of colour and pattern: white-blonde hair and beards and robes in metallic purple brocade defined the Peladonian ruling and priestly classes. Later in the same year ‘The Mutants’ introduced comparably splashy designs for the denizens of the planet Solos. The serial offers a juxtaposition of what might be called orientalising camp and Viking camp in the costumes of the two main factions of Solonians. Both in turn were juxtaposed with sharply graphic black-and-silver uniforms for the Solonians’ colonial overlords, and equally graphic cream and gold outfits (including clothof-gold headdresses which seemed to be a futuristic take on the British judge’s traditional full bottomed wig) for the members of the judiciary

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sent to deal with the unrest between colonists and colonizers. All of this costume imagery was only a step away from the flights of sartorial fancy seen in the contemporary world of glam rock. In the 1972–3 season this quasi-psychedelic approach to colour and pattern reached its height in the first and third serials to be recorded, ‘Carnival of Monsters’ (1973) and ‘The Three Doctors’ (1972–3), suffusing not only costume and make-up but also set design. For both serials the costume designer (as for ‘The Mutants’) was James Acheson and the set designer Roger Liminton. Their combined imagination produced brasher, more aesthetically uninhibited imagery than anything seen in Doctor Who before or since. For example, as realized by Acheson and Liminton in ‘The Three Doctors’, the world of the Time Lords was a riot of gaudy hues and bold graphic statements. The Time Lords themselves wore arresting white-on-black outfits, with their President and Chancellor distinguished by the addition of violet brocade robes. Their temporal control room featured sweeping, rounded orange consoles, a white-on-black polka dotted floor, and translucent walls decorated with lava-lamp-like globular patterns in blues and purples which, presumably by intent, echoed the robes of the Time-Lord leaders. The alternation between, and occasional fusion of, utilitarian modern and psychedelia-inflected designs in the late Troughton and Pertwee eras can usefully be thought of in terms of the legacy of two diametrically opposed science-fiction films from the end of the 1960s. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Roger Vadim’s Barbarella, both released in 1968, exerted appeal for mainstream rather than merely niche audiences. Yet while 2001 represented SF at its most earnestly speculative, its makers clearly aiming for a quotidian ‘realism’ (albeit not without imagery which invoked the psychedelic), Barbarella was the epitome of the sensually oneiric world of psychedelia in both writing and design.28 Lush textures, vivid colour and a comic-strip graphic sensibility increasingly dominated the imagery of Doctor Who in the last two years of Jon Pertwee’s incumbency. For example, in ‘Planet of the Daleks’ (1973) the invisible natives of the planet Spiridon were dressed in allencompassing purple furs which the Doctor and his friends also at one point adopted as disguises. (Interestingly, Jon Pertwee’s main outfit for the serial toned closely with these furs.) The following story, ‘The Green Death’ (1973), took its title from the fluorescent lime-green toxic waste seeping from a chemical plant which produced giant, mutated maggots.

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‘The Green Death’ also found the Doctor finally, albeit briefly, reaching a long-intended destination, Metebelis III. The ‘famous blue planet of the Actaeon group’, as the Doctor had previously described it, was realized on screen with the quite literal use of intense blue filters on cameras and lights. All of these things spoke to a Barbarella-esque delight in the gaudy and the lurid. At the focal point was the increasingly camp figure of Pertwee’s Doctor. Just as Barbarella went through a dizzying array of outrageous outfits in Roger Vadim’s film for no readily apparent reason, Pertwee might change his clothing during the course of a single serial just because he could – something unthinkable for his predecessors, and only repeated by any of his London-era successors in response to the specific demands of narrative or the climate of a filming location. By the end of his reign, Pertwee also became central to the graphic identity of the series in a way that neither of his predecessors had been. The ‘slit-scan’ title sequence created for his final season (1973–4), once more devised by Bernard Lodge, incorporated a full length image of the Doctor, standing magisterially, arms folded, in red velvet jacket and dark Inverness cloak, against a swirling vortex of colour – again, the epitome of psychedelia (see Figure 1.1). It’s worth again stressing the proximity of Pertwee imagery to comicstrip graphics: his Doctor would have looked quite at home in the JeanClaude Forest Barbarella strips which Vadim had adapted, as would his Mephistophelian on-screen nemesis, the pointy-bearded and charcoalclad Master (Roger Delgado). It is surely no coincidence that Pertwee’s incumbency witnessed the dissemination of psychedelic/comic-strip imagery well beyond the confines of the series and its immediate paratexts, in the licenced products which formed part of the burgeoning Doctor Who brand. Amongst these, perhaps the most significant were the front covers of the novelizations of Doctor Who serials regularly published by Target Books from mid-1973 onwards. Chris Achilleos was the first artist to work on the range, producing twenty-eight of the first thirty-two cover illustrations for the books which were issued over the first four years of publication.29 He was initially asked to base his approach on Frank Bellamy’s illustrations for the Radio Times listings, and more specifically the Radio Times cover which Bellamy created for the ninth-season premiere, the first episode of ‘Day of the Daleks’ (1972) (Figure 1.3a).30 As well as helping to establish consistency across the range of Doctor Who publications, Achilleos’s first nine, Bellamy-

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Figure 1.3 Pertwee-era print psychedelia and its legacy.

Figure 1.3a Frank Bellamy’s cover for Radio Times (1–7 January 1972). © BBC Magazines.

esque cover images echoed and amplified the near-hallucinogenic qualities of Doctor Who on screen during the latter part of Pertwee’s era. Each featured a stippled bust-length (or head only) monochrome portrait of the Doctor, together with smaller representations of his adversaries and companions, emerging from swirling, primary-coloured clouds and strewn with shooting stars, burning orbs and sizzling bolts of energy (Figure 1.3b).

A Critical History of Design for Doctor Who

Figure 1.3b Chris Achilleos’s cover illustration for the Target edition of Doctor Who and the Zarbi (Bill Strutton, 1973). © W.H. Allen/Target/BBC Books.

Figure 1.3c Anthony Dry’s cover illustration for ‘Doctor Who – City of Death’ (Douglas Adams and James Goss, 2018). © BBC Books.

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Both Lodge’s titles and Achilleos’s book covers from the Pertwee era were to cast a long shadow over the Doctor Who brand. As detailed in Chapter 5, the ‘slit-scan’ title sequence heavily influenced graphic and visual-effects design for the show in the Cardiff period, and Lodge’s first Pertwee logo was to be used for all ‘classic-series’ Doctor Who merchandise from 1996 until 2018. Likewise, Achilleos’s illustrative style was revived by the artist Anthony Dry in memorabilia accompanying DVD releases during David Tennant’s and Matt Smith’s incumbencies and later for a series of new novelizations under the Target imprint (Figure 1.3c). In short, the psychedelic aspect of Pertwee’s tenure had more enduring impact on the Doctor Who brand in purely visual terms than the earthbound, ‘science-fiction James Bond’ adventures for which the period is typically remembered.

Chiaroscuro – 1975–7 If the series had been somewhat bifurcated in its design profile in the period from 1969 to 1974, Doctor Who achieved a moment of supreme visual coherence shortly after Tom Baker took on the role in 1975. An incoming producer once again rang the changes: Philip Hinchcliffe, like Innes Lloyd almost a decade before, sought to make the series more adult. This again entailed darker stories, once more embracing horror. To bolster the show’s credibility, Hinchcliffe also significantly raised the bar in terms of production values. The increased consistency in the look of Doctor Who was in large measure the result of a shift in orientation towards a specific genre. According to Hinchcliffe it was his script editor, Robert Holmes, who was the driving force behind a series of witty reworkings of British and American horror-movie classics, especially gothic horror of the kind indelibly associated by the mid 1970s with Hammer productions.31 This led naturally to increased dependence on period locales of one sort or another. Thus, the 1975–6 season included among its settings a Scottish inn and castle; two gothic mansions in the home counties, and what was to all intents and purposes an ‘Old Dark House’ from a Universal horror movie, albeit on a storm-racked alien world rather than on Earth. Similarly, the opening serial of the 1976–7 season took viewers to an Italian Renaissance city and the ancient catacombs beneath it, while the

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demi-monde of London’s Limehouse in the late Victorian era was the setting for the series finale. All this played to the strengths of the BBC, which by the mid-1970s was internationally recognized as the home of lavish period drama.32 Even when, as in the case of the Italian palazzo and subterranean tunnels designed by Barry Newbery for ‘The Masque of Mandragora’ (1976), the sets for a given production were effectively created from scratch, the builders, prop masters and scenic artists were clearly in their element with this kind of historically oriented imagery. There is a polish and a heft to these sets which, with a few notable exceptions, had been less in evidence in the realization of futuristic or alien designs in the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially those that tended more to the functionalist rather than the stylized and psychedelic. However, it would be quite wrong to suggest that the period of Hinchcliffe’s stewardship represented a retreat from visual inventiveness. Courtesy of set designers such as Roger Murray-Leach, Barry Newbery and Christine Ruscoe, the period from 1975 to 1977 also offered some of the most striking alien and future environments seen on Doctor Who since Ray Cusick’s day. Right at the beginning of Hinchcliffe’s tenure, Murray-Leach created interiors for the Nerva space station, seen in both ‘The Ark in Space’ and ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’ (1975), which were bold in conception and, as realized, richly photogenic (if regrettably over-lit). Later in 1975, in ‘Planet of Evil’, Murray-Leach was to set a new gold standard for BBC design with the alien jungles of the planet Zeta Minor, which were densely filled with fantastical plant forms. The primary jungle set (Figure 4.1a) benefited considerably from being built and shot on film in the BBC’s Ealing studios,33 but it was by no means the serial’s sole claim to design distinctiveness. For the spacecraft and scientific research settlement where a good deal of the action occurs, Murray-Leach created sets which were spare and functionalist but also full of visual interest. What he above all demonstrated here was the capacity to create imagined environments which were both satisfying in overall conception and meticulously conceived down to the level of relatively minor details. For the spacecraft interior Murray-Leach developed a series of visually striking dual- or multi-level sets, while in the intentionally cramped settlement buildings he played up small touches such as the specially shaped racks for tools and weapons. Even the elegant, curvilinear gun props were unusually distinctive and plausible-seeming for Doctor Who, which since the late 1960s had all

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too often depended on ‘ray-gun’ clichés of B-movie and comic-strip SF (as, for example, in ‘Day of the Daleks’). This kind of comprehensive vision was what lifted production values to a new level under Hinchcliffe. Murray-Leach’s strengths as a Doctor Who designer can best be summed up not just in terms of the textural richness of his work but also its responsiveness to chiaroscuro lighting. This was very much to the fore in the jungles of Zeta Minor, and even more so in the Victorian cellars and sewers which featured prominently in Murray-Leach’s last contribution to the series, ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ (1977). Perhaps his most expressive, and certainly his most influential, design work was in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ (1976). Set on the Doctor’s home-world, Gallifrey, and showing much more of the Time Lords’ capitol than either ‘The War Games’ or ‘The Three Doctors’ had done, this serial depended on the designer’s ability to create a richly evocative world through sets which were still subject to very restricted budgets and construction time. As with ‘Planet of Evil’, part of the strength of Murray-Leach’s designs for ‘The Deadly Assassin’ was attention to detail. Control panels, archways and buttresses were crafted to simulate patinaed and verdigrised metal or glass, which served immediately to conjure up the antiquity of Time-Lord culture without any of the hints of Greco-Roman architectural styles so often used in SF to connote venerable civilizations. Yet Murray-Leach also achieved an unprecedented sense of grandeur in ‘The Deadly Assassin’, simply by playing up the role of darkness in his sets. The Time Lord capitol is characterized by walkways or platforms surrounded on all sides by an intense gloom, and many of the individual chambers are shown (or implied) to be raised on pedestals or cantilevered from the walls of much larger, shadowy architectural structures. While Murray-Leach worked more consistently on Doctor Who under Hinchcliffe than any other scenic designer, he was by no means the only one involved in giving form to the gothic chiaroscuro sensibility of Tom Baker’s early years as the Doctor. Christine Ruscoe produced some of the most striking examples of this, not only in the gorgeously flamboyant, gothic-revival interiors of the Victorian mansion which is the central setting for ‘Pyramids of Mars’ but also in the darkly glittering crystalline realm of the planet Kastria in ‘The Hand of Fear’ (1976). Similarly, Barry Newbery’s sets for a subterranean, ruined Roman temple in ‘The Masque of Mandragora’, the castle of the mad surgeon-inventor Solon in ‘The Brain of Morbius’ (1976), and the cave shrine of Solon’s nemeses,

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the Sisterhood of Karn in the same serial, all make use of complex silhouettes, highly tactile massing, and unusual textures or reflective surfaces which lend themselves to chiaroscuro effects. Costume imagery by James Acheson, Barbara Kidd, Elizabeth Waller and John Bloomfield complemented settings designed by Murray-Leach et al. in strength of silhouette, intensity of hue and wealth of surface detail. The resulting sumptuousness resonated not only with contemporary BBC prestige period dramas such as Elizabeth R (1971) and War and Peace (1972–3) but also the knowingly decadent splendours of Hammer’s gothic-horror films in the 1960s. While its visual ethos was primarily defined by the work of costume and scenic designers, the aesthetic coherence of Hinchcliffe’s tenure would have been impossible without the crucial contribution of studio lighting. Dramatic, low-key lighting was a distinctive feature of Hinchcliffe’s Doctor Who, and after his departure was never again routinely evident during the London period, even when improvements in video technology made it increasingly tenable in the late 1980s. Indeed, such lighting was unusual within the BBC’s output generally in the midseventies: even prestige drama tended to be flat-lit and over-bright. It is not clear whether Hinchcliffe sought to hand-pick lighting directors in the way that by his own admission he picked designers,34 or whether talented artists in the field of studio lighting such as Peter Catlett, Duncan Brown and Brian Clemett simply rose sensitively to the demands of the new gothic idiom. Either way, the unfailingly harmonious cooperation of creative personnel underscores the fact that Hinchcliffe brought exceptional discipline to the screen image of Doctor Who.35

The hazards of space travel – 1977–9 Hinchcliffe’s successor, Graham Williams, started out in the job wanting to establish more narrative unity within each Doctor Who season.36 He accomplished this after a fashion in his second year on the job with the Doctor’s quest to locate the six parts of the Key to Time. However, aesthetic unity in Doctor Who evaporated almost immediately upon Philip Hinchcliffe’s removal from the producer’s chair. Even during the

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Key-to-Time season, the series veered wildly in tone from serial to serial in a way that it had arguably not done since its second year on air. The difference was that in Hartnell’s reign the alternation between past and future settings, and between the frightening and the comic, had been given some underlying structure by the Reithian imperative to both educate and entertain. By 1977, Doctor Who had no such ideological core. The ethos of the series under Williams was at first negatively defined, which is to say in terms of what Doctor Who could no longer be. After increasingly shrill attacks by the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, the BBC’s Head of Serials directed Williams to pull back from the Grand-Guignol excesses of Hinchcliffe’s era. Perhaps more significantly for the work of designers, there was a directive to curb the overspending which Hinchcliffe had approved in the latter part of the 1976–7 season during the making of ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’.37 This was compounded in the course of the fifteenth season by galloping inflation, which led to the abrupt curtailing of set construction for the fifth serial, ‘Underworld’ (1978), part way through production. The as-yet unbuilt cavern sets which featured prominently in three of the episodes had to be realized with heavy use of models, into which performers were composited using the visual-effects process Chroma Key.38 One of Williams’ stated creative decisions as incoming producer was to have the majority of serials ‘take place off Earth in something other than contemporary surroundings’, with ‘one Earth story that we could all relate to each season’.39 Only six of the twelve stories which made up the preceding two seasons had extensively used alien environments, and of these only five had wholly eschewed contemporary or historical Earth settings. By sharp contrast, of the twelve serials made in Williams’ first two years as producer, nine were set entirely on other worlds or in outer space. Williams’ new policy did not reveal its pitfalls right away. For the first serial to be recorded under his aegis, ‘The Invisible Enemy’ (1977), series stalwart Barry Newbery devised handsome, novel sets for a medical space station and other alien environments, while one of the BBC’s most flamboyant costume designers, Ray Hughes, created equally distinctive uniforms and spacesuits for the incidental characters. Last but not least, ‘The Invisible Enemy’ yielded a design coup for Doctor Who in the form of the robot dog K9, conceived by visual-effects artist Tony Harding. For British audiences, K9’s arrival predated the

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cinematic debut of the comparably cute R2-D2 in Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) by two months.40 In spite of the shortcomings of the mechanisms which controlled the motorized K9 prop, the character became a series regular and has gone on to enjoy enduring popularity. It is noteworthy that K9 was one of the few design elements of the classic series not significantly updated when he returned in the Cardiff period. Most of the subsequent forays into futuristic design during Williams’ incumbency were less successful. Strained budgets often showed painfully, above all towards the end of each season when funds were depleted. While this could sometimes be eased with resourceful problem-solving by an unusually talented artist such as the set designer Richard McManan-Smith, a secondary difficulty was the scattershot allocation of both set and costume designers; for whatever reason, this became the norm under Williams as never before. Whereas Hinchcliffe had relied on a small group of inventive and highly competent practitioners, between them responsible for designing the lion’s share of productions during his incumbency, in Williams’ first two years only one scenic and one costume designer apiece worked on more than one Doctor Who serial. The vast majority were entirely new to the series, and even some of the returning designers were clearly unsuited to, or uninterested in, the challenge. Take, for example, Christine Rawlins and Tony Snoaden, who respectively designed costumes and sets for ‘The Sunmakers’ in 1977. Both had had prior experience on Doctor Who. Rawlins had done very effective work throughout Jon Pertwee’s first season, which was dominated by contemporary, if often edgily forwardlooking, dress. By the same token, a couple of years later Snoaden had designed perfectly adequate sets for much of ‘The Sea Devils’ (1972), creating solid if uninspired interiors to match the location shooting at a naval base, a sea fort and an old manor house on the south coast of England. Yet given the task of designing a future colony on Pluto and the clothing of its inhabitants in ‘The Sun Makers’, both designers were evidently out of their depth working within the limitations of the Who budget. Between them, they produced some of the dreariest – and in the case of the sets, most shoddily realized – designs of the whole London period. If creative and personnel decisions were under Graham Williams’ control to a greater or lesser extent, one external factor which he could

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not have anticipated was the release of Star Wars in the UK part way through his first season as producer. At a stroke, George Lucas’ film set a new standard for startlingly inventive and realistic-seeming SF imagery, bringing the genre firmly into the mainstream for both film and television produced in Hollywood. With the best will in the world, Doctor Who was not equipped to compete with either the Star Wars franchise or the slew of American big-budget SF film and television which followed, from movies such as The Black Hole (Gary Nelson, 1979) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Robert Wise, 1979) to TV series such as Battlestar Galactica (NBC, 1978) and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (NBC, 1979–81). In short, there had never been a worse moment for Doctor Who to depend upon a high volume of futuristic design imagery. Inasmuch as Star Wars and its successors and imitators may have had a negative influence on the way in which audiences judged design in Doctor Who, another important context for understanding the programme’s aesthetic foundering in the later 1970s is, surely, its standing within the BBC – and for that matter, the very nature of the BBC as an organization. June Hudson recalls being met with genuine surprise in 1978 when she asked her head of department if she could be assigned to Doctor Who – apparently because there was a prevailing view that it was essentially children’s programming and correspondingly lacking in cachet.41 Inevitably, the studio system within which design managers very laudably sought to give their staff a range of opportunities was also one in which these opportunities were not necessarily valued. Yet beyond any institutional prejudices against Doctor Who, or more broadly science fiction as a genre, there was a larger issue with the way the BBC operated. With costs rising but the number of television licences nationwide no longer significantly on the increase, the BBC was facing real challenges in developing new programming. This was sometimes compounded by capricious funding. According to the recollections of more than one designer, allocation of funds could be fickle: dramas with celebrated stars might receive a much more generous costume budget, for example, than a production where the demands on the designer were clearly more extensive.42 In short, there were situations in which budget followed prestige, not need. It is unfortunate, but perhaps not surprising, that the most fondly remembered serials made under Williams, and the ones which stand up best today in terms of production values and atmosphere, were largely

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earthbound and therefore unrepresentative of his ambitions for Doctor Who. ‘Horror of Fang Rock’ (1977) and ‘Image of the Fendahl’ (1977), respectively the first and fourth serials broadcast during Williams’ inaugural season as producer, were essentially the final hurrah of Hinchcliffe Gothic, commissioned by Robert Holmes before he gave up the role of script editor. Both were as eerie and tenebrous as the best of the Hinchcliffe Gothic productions. ‘Image’ is memorable in part for its beautifully crafted night filming, with clever camerawork and atmospherically diffused lighting combining powerfully to create a mood of horror in attacks on the Doctor and others by an unseen force in a supposedly haunted wood. For the story’s main setting, Fetch Priory, Anna Ridley designed rich-toned but subtly oppressive wood-panelled rooms in a Tudor style for the ground floor, and for the undercroft she devised a gothic stone crypt which was straight out of a Hammer film. Some of the moody illumination by the lighting director, Jim Purdie, even went a step beyond Hinchcliffe chiaroscuro: in certain scenes it seems as though Purdie lit only from a practical source within the set itself, such as a desk lamp. Williams’ second season as producer yielded one last after-echo of the ‘Hinchcliffe era’ in ‘The Stones of Blood’ (1978), which has again proved enduringly popular. This serial featured not only another spooky stately home but also a Neolithic circle of standing stones. As the Hammer-esque title suggests, within the narrative this stone circle is (among other things) the site of pseudo-druidic blood sacrifices. Yet if ‘Stones’ was ostensibly an outlier by virtue of its traditional, earthly setting, in purely visual terms it was not as far removed from some of the season’s other fare as it might seem on paper. It is true that there was still too much clunky, coarse or simply dull futuristic SF design in serials such as ‘The Pirate Planet’ (1978) and ‘The Power of Kroll’ (1978–9). Interspersed with these, however, were productions which offered a largely new way of evoking alien societies – by referring more or less obliquely to historical styles in the design of costumes and sets. In short, Williams’ Doctor Who was finally learning from Star Wars, which had established a plausible, and strangely familiar-seeming, faraway galaxy by mining cultural-historical referents as diverse as the Third Reich, Samurai costume, Saxon dress, 1930s SF comics, and the Western movie genre. Increased espousal of what Tom Baker referred to as an ‘operatic’ visual style started to create a new aesthetic unity in

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Williams’ third and last season as producer, which came fully to fruition in John Nathan-Turner’s first.43

New romanticism – 1979–81 It’s arguable that design for the classic series was at its strongest when the number of designers involved in any given season was limited. While an obvious counterargument is that different visions can enliven a programme which, after all, has no inescapable or immutable aesthetic baseline, the risks of having too many hands involved are thoroughly attested by the first couple of years of Graham Williams’ tenure as producer. Because costume inevitably dominated the near-square 4:3 screen which was the norm until the millennium, costume designers who worked solidly or repeatedly on the series over two or more seasons in the late 1960s and 1970s left a stronger mark on Doctor Who than almost any of the show’s scenic designers. For example, James Acheson’s daringly graphic and sculptural designs for the Time Lords’ costumes in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ are unforgettable once seen, and the same designer’s kooky costume for Tom Baker, though unthinkably off-the-wall for a Doctor in the Cardiff period (at least until the debut of Jodie Whittaker’s look), is perhaps the single most potent image in Doctor Who’s history. The power of costume to establish a distinctive aesthetic for Doctor Who was never clearer than in the period from 1979 to 1981. In this phase, the show developed a visual identity which could come close to holding its own in a post-Star Wars world, by virtue of its comparable mixture of breezy hutzpah and evocative density. Gone in all but one of the serials of the 1979–80 season was lazy recourse to SF clichés of jumpsuits, tabards or tunics with shiny, metallic trim, all of which had cropped up repeatedly during Williams’ first two years as producer. The shift to a romantic, quasi-historicist vein of costume design was initiated by two designers who had already lent panache to the sixteenth season. In ‘The Ribos Operation’ (1978), June Hudson had helped to start the Key-to-Time saga on a high note, turning the denizens of a snowclad, feudal world of Ribos into imposing figures who might have stepped from Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky (1938) or Ivan the Terrible (1944). Later in the recording block, in ‘The Androids of Tara’ (1978), Doreen

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James picked up on scriptwriter David Fisher’s flagrant pastiche of The Prisoner of Zenda (John Cromwell, and W.S. Van Dyke, 1937; Richard Thorpe, 1952) with dashing costumes which nodded to Hollywood’s visions of nineteenth-century Ruritania. Doreen James was to return in the 1979–80 season for the serial which for many has retrospectively come to define the best of Tom Baker’s long tenure as the Doctor, ‘City of Death’ (1979). She brought a combination of whimsy, parody and glamour to a story which jogged between contemporary Paris, early sixteenth-century Florence and prehistoric Earth. Especially memorable were the costume of the chief villain, Count Scarlioni (Julian Glover), a cream three-piece suit worn over a raffish black shirt, and the modified school uniform worn by the Doctor’s companion Romana, which helped to cement Lalla Ward’s playful, irreverent approach to playing the second incarnation of the character. June Hudson was responsible for three of the other four broadcast serials in the 1979–80 season, becoming the series’ de facto principal costume designer. This role was to be made official for the 1980–1 season, where she designed four of the seven serials in alternation with Amy Roberts, the designer chosen by Hudson as her running mate.44 Hudson’s and Roberts’ consistent presence throughout the 1980–1 season, and the fact that Roberts’ visual style was so closely consonant with Hudson’s, brought back aesthetic cogency to Doctor Who. Anticipating the ‘sword-and-sorcery’ fantasy subgenre that was to explode in the early 1980s, and anticipating also the kind of allusive imagery which graced hybrid-SF movies of the same period, from Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) to Krull (Peter Yates, 1983) and Dune (David Lynch, 1984), Hudson’s and Roberts’ work typically drew inspiration from the past. Both designers skilfully fused disparate elements and influences into something strikingly new, in much the way that John Mollo had done with the costumes of the Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and the inhabitants of Tatooine in Star Wars. For example, Hudson’s sumptuous, sun-yellow robes for the Argolin in ‘The Leisure Hive’ (1980) faintly echoed ancient Greek chitons – appropriately enough, given the associations of the name Argolis – while the use of metallic fabrics and mandarin collars for the Argolin’s shirts served to evoke a regimented, technologically advanced society. Similarly, in envisaging the vampire-ruled society of the unnamed planet in ‘State of

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Decay’ (1980), Roberts suggested regression to feudality through broad reference to fifteenth- and sixteenth-century styles in the dress of the vampire lords and their servants, without specifically replicating any given historical detail. A quality which Hudson, Roberts and James all brought to Doctor Who was the swashbuckling grandeur that evidently led Tom Baker to describe their work as ‘operatic’: each designer’s imagery is characterized by strong blocks or columns of colour, assertive patterns or unusual fabrics, and gesturally bold silhouettes. In Graham Williams’ last season as producer, the seventeenth, such grandeur was still largely missing from set design. ‘City of Death’ again stood out for the sophistication of its sets: Richard McManan-Smith met the challenge of producing perhaps the most disparate array of environments of any four-part serial from the London period, ranging from cafés and a commercial art gallery in contemporary Paris via Leonardo’s cluttered studiolo in Florence in the year 1505 to the parched deserts of Earth as it was before the emergence of life. The most impressive of these sets were the Rococo drawing room of Count Scarlioni’s Parisian hôtel particulier, all decked out in cream and gold, and, in stark contrast, the cracked desert on prehistoric Earth which is the scene of the serial’s prologue and climax. Created in the electronic studio to match a model by visual-effects designer Ian Scoones – which by virtue of being shot on film at Bray Studios was given a lustre and depth that McManan Smith simply could not match – the full-size desert set exhibited a flair and epic sweep that was by this date unusual for Doctor Who. Notwithstanding the inevitable constraints of budget (and lack of Foley to disguise its hollow construction as the actors walked across it), this set was crisply enough conceived and richly enough textured to maintain an illusion of scale and scope for the relatively brief time it was seen on screen. Much of the other set design for the 1979–80 season was competent but unremarkable, but this was to change abruptly the following year. Although there was no budget bump for Doctor Who in 1980, the new producer John Nathan-Turner – who as production unit manager had managed funds to enable location filming in Paris for ‘City of Death’– proved more successful than Williams in ensuring that the money was in front of the camera. Nathan-Turner also seems to have been more intentional about the use of specific set designers, judging by the roster

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of returning personnel over the next few years. Consequently, whereas costume design had largely carried the 1979–80 season in terms of visual interest, during the 1980–1 season the invention and evocative richness of June Hudson’s and Amy Roberts’ costumes was matched by set design in almost every serial. Nathan-Turner also reversed the trend which over the previous three years had generally led to palpable deterioration in quality or range of sets towards season’s end. The two final serials, ‘The Keeper of Traken’ (1981) and ‘Logopolis’ (1981), boast set design which in different ways is quite as rich as that in the dazzling season-opener, ‘The Leisure Hive’. Indeed, Tony Burrough’s ArtNouveau-inflected sets for ‘The Keeper of Traken’ help to make it one of the London period’s most memorably sumptuous feasts for the eyes. Close consideration of the sets of the 1980–1 season reveals that they are not necessarily more extensive, or grander in scale, than those made in the immediately preceding years; rather they exhibit a striking new level of sophistication. Take, for example, Tom Yardley-Jones’s interiors for the Hive for which the season-opener is named, and Janet Budden’s for the Starliner spacecraft in ‘Full Circle’ (1980). Both designers made use of varied materials and surface treatments – lustrous or darkly reflective in Yardley-Jones’s Hive sets, patinaed and mottled in Budden’s Starliner – and both employed sharply graphic flourishes which register strongly even on a small screen. Each designer also sought to make interior spaces more varied, avoiding boxiness by the introduction of angled walls, coving and complex geometric forms in such prominent details as doorways, control consoles and wall panels. Here, as in a different way in Graeme Story’s and Malcolm Thornton’s more austere designs for the alien environments in, respectively, ‘Warriors’ Gate’ (1981) and ‘Logopolis’, the sets offer consistent visual stimulus without being as potentially obtrusive as, say, the humbug-striped interiors of the space-liner Empress in the previous season’s ‘Nightmare of Eden’ (1979). By virtue of a lavish, visually dense aesthetic shared across the board by costume, make-up, sets and graphic design, there was a coherence to the look of Doctor Who in John Nathan-Turner’s first year as producer which had been missing since ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’. Yet this was not really part of a larger unification of vision for the series. At the story level there was, superficially at least, no significant change in the spaceopera formula, except that Earthbound narratives were left behind even

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more completely than under Williams: apart from a brief prelude on Brighton Beach in ‘The Leisure Hive’, the contemporary world appeared in the 1980–1 season only in the introductory episode and denouement of ‘Logopolis’. In Nathan-Turner’s debut season, storytelling and dialogue changed very significantly in tone and tenor, albeit not in a way which obviously matched the design imagery, with its overtones of 1930s-Hollywood opulence, French Surrealism and German Expressionism. These shifts in narrative style reflect the influence of Christopher H. Bidmead, the new script editor. Bidmead sought to move the narratives closer to hard science fiction than ever before. Doctor Who’s notorious reliance on gobbledygook was minimized, and several of the serials drew on theories in physics or alluded to contemporary technological advances. These allusions to science lent an air of legitimacy to dialogue and in some cases suffused the entire plot. Key examples are ‘The Leisure Hive’, which envisages a whole technology built around the hypothetical tachyon particle, and Bidmead’s own ‘Logopolis’, which is entirely about computing and its potentially worldshaping impact. It’s also well documented that Bidmead, Nathan-Turner and executive producer Barry Letts agreed that the levity of the show under Graham Williams and his final script editor, Douglas Adams, should be reduced. Letts, Bidmead and Nathan-Turner all reined in Tom Baker’s larger-than-life performance for what proved to be his last season in the role, and the overall tone of the scripts became much more serious. In retrospect, the earnest and ideas-heavy Doctor Who of Christopher Bidmead seems curiously detached from the ‘operatic’ design imagery fostered by John Nathan-Turner. One could argue that Bidmead’s approach was more logically suited to the kind of cool, quasi-realist understatement in design which came to the fore in the 2018 season under Chris Chibnall, who again infused more nods to science-fact and re-established the centrality of scientific curiosity in Doctor Who. This is not to suggest that the imagery of Nathan-Turner’s chosen designers was in any absolute sense dissonant with Bidmead’s hard-SF tone. My point rather is that the producer’s visual makeover and script editor’s narrative innovation ran parallel rather being fused in the way that, say, Hinchcliffe’s and Holmes’s reimagining of the series had been. The force of Bidmead’s vision only became fully apparent when he had left and the felicitous if unexpected marriage of operatic design and serious SF gradually dissolved.

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Perhaps partly because John Nathan-Turner was new to the role of producer, and partly because of the restraining influence of strongvoiced collaborators such as Bidmead and the costume designer June Hudson, the 1980–1 series was marked overall by lushness (by Doctor Who’s standards) and operatic panache but not yet, I would argue, gratuitous spectacle or showiness. However, one signature element in Doctor Who’s renewed design profile arguably did hint at the ways in which Nathan-Turner was increasingly to favour not just repeated rebranding but also visual imagery which was above all eye-catching – even if it made for an unwarranted rupture with the past. This was the new title sequence commissioned from Sid Sutton (see Figure 1.1), which was accompanied by a lively new arrangement of the Doctor Who theme by Peter Howell of the Radiophonic Workshop. Sutton’s new titles – which he was twice to augment, first to suit Peter Davison’s youthful Doctor and then Colin Baker’s colourfully dressed incarnation – made a major break with all the work which Bernard Lodge had done for the series. Still giving the illusion of travel beyond our world, Sutton’s title sequence literalized this as movement through space rather than through an abstract, coloured tunnel which could be understood as evoking time travel. Sutton’s new title sequence was in its own way a tour de force, especially in the way that it built first Tom Baker’s face and then Sutton’s new logo out of coalescing clusters of stars. With their multitude of flaring and swooping heavenly bodies, the new titles were certainly more kinetic and more vibrantly colourful than the mostly grey and blue slit-scan sequence used for the preceding six seasons. Yet Sutton’s new imagery was also less distinctive than Lodge’s had been, both in relation to the title sequence of the BBC’s other SF series of the day, Blake’s 7 (BBC, 1978–81), and those of US competitors such as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. It’s hard also not to see the influence of the epic vistas of space in Star Wars and Star Trek (newly revived on the big screen in a grandiloquent Robert Wise movie) echoed in Sutton’s sequence.45 Sutton’s title sequence was to prove as influential on later Doctor Who as Lodge’s. Movement through space, albeit less unidirectional, was again the central conceit in Oliver Elmes’ title sequence for Sylvester McCoy’s tenure, and a mixture of space- and time-travel imagery, combining star-fields and some kind of vortex, has been a feature of all but two of the Doctor Who title sequences designed since 1996. Yet in

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spite of this legacy the Sutton titles have been criticized for their datedness, not least because of Sutton’s new ‘neon-tube’ logo, which retrospectively embodies a cliché of 1980s graphic design.46 Given the overtones of the early 1970s Art Deco revival in Lodge’s logo for the preceding title sequence, this criticism is tendentious. What may be usefully said is that John Nathan-Turner’s choice to approve Sutton’s assertive graphics does reflect an emerging predilection for flashy design. More particularly, it reflects an interest in design writ large as a marketable phenomenon; the producer was keen to capitalize on this in his quest to keep Doctor Who always in the public eye.

Looking back – 1982–4 For the most part, the high production values of John Nathan-Turner’s debut season continued for the next four years, which is to say throughout Peter Davison’s tenure as the Fifth Doctor and into Colin Baker’s. By Davison’s swansong in the role, ‘The Caves of Androzani’ (1984), set-building and set-dressing in particular had enjoyed an almost unbroken period of craft excellence, even for the most demandingly futuristic productions. The few serious lapses mostly reflected too-heavy dependence in the script on unusual outdoor environments which, for budgetary reasons, had to be built in the electronic studio. (Among the worst instances are the forest in ‘Kinda’ (1982) and the meteor-racked settlers’ camp in ‘Frontios’ (1984): neither environment is credible as being outdoors, and neither remotely matches the strength of the interior sets for the same serials.) Clearly a major part of what sustained this craft excellence throughout Davison’s tenure was the allocation of designers who had not only shown original vision but had also proven their attentiveness to detail. Thus, for example, Janet Budden, Tony Burrough and Malcolm Thornton were quickly brought back after their successes in the 1980–1 season, between them covering more than half the serials broadcast in 1982. Thornton and Burrough became fixtures for the next couple of years. The series also benefited both from exceptionally talented newcomers to the show, such as Jan Spoczynski, who designed the sets for ‘Snakedance’ (1983), and from the return of deeply experienced old hands such as Barry Newbery, whose final Doctor Who assignment was ‘The Awakening’ (1984).

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What John Nathan-Turner did not replicate after his first season as producer was the pattern of using only two costume designers as running mates. While allocation was not wholly scattershot for the 1982 and 1983 seasons – Colin Lavers designed costumes for three serials over the two-year period; Amy Roberts, Dinah Collin and Dee Robson two apiece – by 1984 continuity of talent was entirely gone. It’s difficult to dissociate this from costume’s retreat to dullness and cliché in Peter Davison’s last run of episodes, with coarsely conceived uniforms for planetary settlers in ‘Frontios’ and pseudo-Arab robes or off-the-rail khakis for desert dwellers on the volcanic world of Sarn in ‘Planet of Fire’ (1984). If trends in movie SF were the sole benchmark, it would be hard to account for the shift to pedestrian costuming in the 1984 season. The early 1980s had seen a period of unprecedentedly ‘operatic’ boldness in design for Hollywood fantasy and space opera. Movies ranging from Flash Gordon to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (Nicholas Meyer, 1982) and Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand, 1983) had all exhibited exactly the kind of sumptuous, highly wrought effects which designers such as Roberts, Robson and Lavers had been achieving in the first two years of Davison’s incumbency, as for that matter had Nicholas Rocker in the BBC’s other major science-fiction series, Blake’s 7. There again, innovative approaches to newly imagined characters were ceasing to be so high a priority. As Doctor Who neared its twentieth anniversary in November 1983, John Nathan-Turner mandated the reintroduction of more and more elements from the series’ past. Under Hinchcliffe and Williams, recurring characters had been a rarity in Doctor Who, with even the Daleks only making two appearances between 1975 and 1980. By contrast, between Tom Baker’s penultimate serial, ‘The Keeper of Traken’, and Davison’s exit, ‘The Caves of Androzani’, fifteen out of twenty-two stories featured one or more returning foes or old friends (or both). This rash of rematches during Davison’s tenure as the Doctor brought sudden urgency to a problem which had only arisen occasionally in the 1960s and 1970s, namely whether, and if so how, to update the appearance of monsters and other characters to suit changes in both taste and the audience’s threshold of credulity. Among recurring villains, only the Cybermen had previously undergone regular redesign – and when they made a surprise reappearance in ‘Earthshock’ towards the

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end of the 1982 season their costumes had indeed duly been updated yet again. These powerfully striking new Cybermen encapsulated the post-Star Wars aesthetic: their helmets and chest-units, much like C-3PO’s and Darth Vader’s, were full of a kind of sub-Art Deco contour variation which represented a sharp departure from the space-age sleekness and corresponding blank horror of their late-1960s ancestors. Piling on the surface intricacy and variety, not only in monster costumes but also in the dress of returning alien races such as the Time Lords, became commonplace in the 1983 and 1984 seasons. In most cases, this went hand in hand with greater evocative density in designs – metaphor, emblem and iconography were very much to the fore. Take for example Omega (Ian Collier), the mad Time Lord who returned after a decade’s absence from Doctor Who to kick off the anniversary festivities in ‘Arc of Infinity’, the first serial of the 1983 season. For his original appearance in ‘The Three Doctors’, Omega (Stephen Thorne) had worn a grand, crested helmet with a cruelly frowning visor, complemented by equally theatrical gauntlets and robes. These were ostensibly protection against the ravages of the universe of antimatter in which he was confined – though the narrative eventually revealed that his physical form had been entirely eroded and that he survived as a being of pure will. While Dee Robson honoured this precedent by again giving Omega an elaborate masked helmet, gloves and robe, and more specifically by making the helmet tower well above normal head height, her design was not only spectacular but also strongly redolent of specific imagery in the script. The beginning of ‘Arc of Infinity’ found Omega seeking readmittance to our universe through rebirth into a newly synthesized body; Robson’s richly textured, all-encompassing armour turned out to be in effect a chrysalis. Appropriately enough, therefore, she infused an insectoid quality into the design. The whole costume was mottled like moth wings, and the most striking feature of the veined, bio-mechanical-seeming mask were the multiple demiglobes which vaguely suggested clustered arthropod eyes. Some designs reified ideas in the script in a rather more blatant way. When they first appeared in the 1978–9 season, the Black and White Guardians (Valentine Dyall and Cyril Luckham), opposing forces respectively personifying chaos and order in the cosmos, had taken on any form (and outfit) which suited them at the time of their original appearances in the 1978–9 season. When they reappeared in

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1983 – again as one of the twentieth-anniversary kisses to the past – they suddenly had a uniform: robes matching in style and ornament, but predominantly black for Black Guardian and white for his opposite number. To hammer home the point, the Black Guardian’s headdress was surmounted by a crow’s head, his opponent’s headdress by a dove’s. Such devices as this, and the idea of dressing an elite warrior group of Sea Devils in a kind of Samurai armour for ‘Warriors of the Deep’ (1984), were perhaps excessively literal. However, these revamps represented a clear conceptual thread: adding texture and patina to design imagery, both literally and metaphorically, was a means of underscoring Doctor Who’s rich textual history at the vigintennial moment. Interspersed with all the nostalgia of Davison’s second and third year in the role of the Doctor, a tonal shift was evident in Doctor Who, which inevitably exerted an influence on design. During the 1983 season there were still some opportunities for the kind of romanticism and glamour which characterized John Nathan-Turner’s first years as producer, but the following year there was a move to a grittier, darker mode of storytelling, dealing head-on with issues like the ethics of cold war, biological warfare, and the corruption of politics by late-stage capitalism. This change of tack was not surprising, given the runaway success in 1982 of the bleak science-fiction thriller ‘Earthshock’. This serial’s writer, Eric Saward, had subsequently become Doctor Who’s script editor. Saward’s nihilistic vision settled in fully in the 1984 season, which, apart from a story set in a beguiling English village during a historical reenactment of an English Civil War battle, almost exclusively presented dark scenarios on future Earth or alien worlds. These environments were realized as brutalizing and often decrepit, with subsistence, wars of attrition, and failed or corrupt institutional structures defining the lives of their denizens. The bleakest of these narratives was Peter Davison’s swansong, ‘The Caves of Androzani’, a production which boasted fine, low-key, design imagery. The serial’s design was by no means bereft of bold and evocative details: among its more striking images were the black and white, Zulu-influenced mask worn by the scarred anti-hero, Sharaz Jek (Christopher Gable), and the East Asian stylings in the dress and grooming of the plutocrats who were the real villains of the piece. Yet ‘Caves’ was overall marked by a deceptive restraint in both set and

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costume design. Functionalism was the dominant aesthetic, but it never amounted to dullness. Sets were carefully conceived to photograph well in spite of the fact that most were also contrived to appear studiedly drab. Thus, the command centre of the Androzanian military force opposing Sharaz Jek was designed with coved upper walls, crowned by a skylight, allowing director Graeme Harper and his cameramen to keep the low-angle shots in this confined space consistently interesting. By the same token, while both the troops and their android opponents wore drab fatigues, the soldiers had their silver-grey sameness broken up by blocks of strong, contrasting colour as a ‘yoke’ across the shoulders, denoting rank. Because they were applied flat with no trim, these brightly hued yokes seemed unfussy and utilitarian, even as they created interest on screen. In design terms, ‘The Caves of Androzani’ was to represent the path not travelled by Doctor Who in the years that followed. The series quickly reverted back to the ‘operatic’ in costume, and set design correspondingly tended towards the baroque. In narrative terms, however, ‘Caves’ became not only the template but also something of a straitjacket for many aspects of the scripts supervised by Eric Saward until his abrupt departure from the show in 1986.

Stasis within tumult – 1984–7 Notwithstanding an uptick in darker, more violent, storytelling for both years of Colin Baker’s summarily terminated run as the Doctor, his arrival overall made limited difference to design for Doctor Who. It is true that there was an increase in brightness and chromatic intensity for some design elements, because BBC standards for balance of luminance necessitated adjustment around Baker’s brashly multicoloured costume.47 Although set design and decoration were certainly not impervious, this shift was most evident in costume and make-up, and especially in the use of saturated colours for the costumes of the Doctor’s companion, Peri (Nicola Bryant). Beyond this, however, little changed in terms of Doctor Who’s overall design ethos, even with the advent of Sylvester McCoy in 1987. From Baker’s second year onward, Doctor Who seasons were curtailed by almost half: in place of 1985’s thirteen episodes, each with

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a forty-five-minute run time, between 1986 and the programme’s suspension in 1989 there were fourteen episodes a season, each of twenty-five minutes’ duration. If this reduction of airtime was accompanied by a disproportionate reduction in budget, this had little discernible impact on the show. Production values were as high as they reasonably could be for a series made largely in the electronic studio, apparently for the same money as, or less than, a drama set in the present day. Special effects showed an overall improvement over the course of the decade. Sets also continued to be for the most part polished in realization during Baker’s two-season incumbency, with some designs exhibiting real flair. The major exceptions were the dingy, monotonous interiors for ‘Vengeance on Varos’ in 1985, and the flimsily realized and amateurishly conceived corridors and chambers of the underground city of the planet Ravalox in the first four episodes of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ the following year. By the same token, with only a few truly glaring lapses – most egregiously the caricatural outfits given to the dwellers of the titular high-rise block in ‘Paradise Towers’ (1987) – Doctor Who’s costume design became more interesting and showed greater consistency, especially in the 1986 and 1987 seasons. This is perhaps at least in part attributable to there being once again a limited number of costume designers working on each season, among them experienced Who veterans such as Ken Trew and Andrew Rose, both of whom had first contributed to the series in the 1970s. Yet if there was overall continuity or improvement in production values and stability in design personnel, this did not ultimately mean that Doctor Who‘s visual profile was doing much to help its growing image problem in the mid-to-late 1980s. It might be excessive to suggest that the markedly lower viewing figures for the series in 1986 and 1987 can be solely attributed to any perceived weakness at the visual level,48 but design was surely one of the aspects of the show which felt increasingly atavistic in the later 1980s. While Star Trek: The Next Generation (CBS, 1987–94) did not air in the UK for a couple of years after its US debut, its inclusive popularity with American audiences meant that it started at once to cast a long shadow over the sciencefiction genre on television in Britain. Like its predecessor, the new Star Trek was serious and sleek, but it was also – unprecedentedly for television SF – built around the soap-opera-esque interactions of a large, diverse and, above all, conventionally good-looking ensemble

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cast. With its air of unabashed corporatism, Star Trek: The Next Generation had none of the quirkiness which Doctor Who was continuing to peddle, and none of the dependence on the charisma of an eccentric, white British male dressed like a batty Victorian toff. In movie theatres, audiences were being offered a brand of science fiction which again made Doctor Who seem an aesthetic curiosity, for the series fitted in with neither of the two main trajectories offered by mainstream SF cinema. In Hollywood’s most successful SF offerings, the genre was either hybridized with mainstream comedy, as in the case of such films as Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985), Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984) and Critters (Stephen Herek, 1986), or with horror and action, as with The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986) and Predator (John McTiernan, 1987). Either way, these films were realized on a grandiose scale which Doctor Who was ill suited to try to match. Star Wars had put a dent in Doctor Who’s tenability by virtue of its sheer wealth of sophisticatedly realized spectacle. Yet action-SF shockers such as the epoch-making Aliens (James Cameron, 1986) and dystopic films such as The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984), Robocop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987) and The Running Man (Paul Michael Glaser, 1987), with their mostly contemporary, alternative-present, or near-future settings, did more damage. Design for these films was marked by its quasi-realistic, down-and-dirty immediacy. This was a far cry from Star Wars’ romantically swashbuckling imagery, with which, as noted above, Doctor Who had after a fashion been able to hold its own at the beginning of the decade. The release of generally successful Star Trek films every two or three years throughout the decade also undermined Doctor Who: these films showed a world in which, visually at least, individualism was subordinated to collective identity, and in which there was certainly no room for figures with the kind of vaudevillian eccentricity of dress that characterized Davison’s, Baker’s and McCoy’s Doctors. If Doctor Who had stagnated aesthetically by 1987, this must to some extent be laid at the door of John Nathan-Turner, or at least understood as a symptom of his unsteady response to Doctor Who’s increasingly embattled position at the BBC. The then Controller of BBC 1, Michael Grade, had sought to cancel the series after the 1985 season, only backtracking after a hue and cry from fans which seemed on course to unleash a storm of bad publicity.49 Grade has since decried mid-eighties Doctor Who for being ‘dated and a shadow of its former

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self’. The BBC’s then Head of Drama, Jonathan Powell, correspondingly acknowledged that the Corporation had ‘completely run out of creative inspiration as to how you built this show up again’.50 After being ‘rested’ by Grade for eighteen months between Colin Baker’s first and second season, Doctor Who clearly needed to make a strong comeback. Yet in many ways, ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ proved to be the same as the previous season only more so. In terms of design and its role in the Doctor Who brand, the handling of the programme’s central image, the Doctor himself, did nothing to suggest a serious rethink. The absurdity of Colin Baker’s multi-coloured, clownish costume, far from being toned down, plumbed even greater depths of gaudiness in the new season. The ensemble had been updated to incorporate a teddybear-buttoned, red and pink plaid waistcoat and polka-dotted, scarlet pussy-cat-bow tie, which replaced the previous season’s comparatively staid turquoise tie and the machine-knitted vest in deep, muted hues which complemented it. A later variant was even more staring, with diagonally striped silk waistcoat in greens, blues and pinks, and a predominantly canary yellow tie. Baker’s increasingly long, curly hair, now bleached to a near-platinum blonde, also added to the air of apparently inadvertent camp. Although excessive delight in shocking on-screen violence was still to the fore in the narrative – in spite of numerous complaints about the level of brutality in Baker’s first season – this hard edge seemed doubly out of place in a series which increasingly had a reassuring BBC gentility in such settings as the predominantly gilt-furnished courtroom seen throughout ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ (1986) and the Art Deco-inspired interiors of the ‘spaceliner’ Hyperion in the third segment, ‘Terror of the Vervoids’. Only in the second segment, ‘Mindwarp’, did Andrew HoweDavies’s spooky interiors for the cavern dwellings of the evil Mentors on the planet Thoros Beta provide a strong visual analogue to the darkness of the storytelling. Howe-Davies devised richly textured sets, often designed to be topically lit. These were punctuated and given visual cogency by his repeated use of circular, segmental or domical forms, for an operating theatre, a slave-processing plant and other technologyrich spaces built within the caverns. The sets for ‘Mindwarp’ were unique in 1980s Doctor Who up to this point for their combination of baroque styling and shadowiness, briefly recalling the gothic triumphs of Roger Murray-Leach, Christine Ruscoe, and Anna Ridley in the mid

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1970s. Ironically, ‘Mindwarp’ was the segment of ‘Trial of a Time Lord’ in which gruesomeness and horror were primarily psychological rather than taking the form of on-screen violence realized through GrandGuignol make-up effects. In the wake of Colin Baker’s sudden removal, and perhaps more importantly in the wake of Eric Saward’s resignation as script editor, the show’s violence was largely eliminated, but sensationalism of a different sort persisted in a form which had implications for visual design. John Nathan-Turner, who was nothing if not a master-publicist, consistently relied on gimmicks to keep the press’s attention on Doctor Who. One manifestation of this was his penchant for the stunt casting of performers who were known wholly or chiefly for comedy. Over the course of Nathan-Turner’s decade-long incumbency as producer, the list included Beryl Reid, Alexei Sayle, Joan Simms, Christopher Ryan, Richard Briers, Ken Dodd, Stubby Kaye, Peggy Mount and the double act Hale and Pace. Kaye and Dodd even appeared in the same serial, 1987’s ‘Delta and the Bannermen’. Coincidentally or not, these performers tended to be given over-the-top costumes and grooming. (Ryan was a major exception, buried under layers of latex for his essentially straight role as Kiv, the chief Mentor, in ‘Mindwarp’.) These often pantomimic costumes were almost guaranteed to feature prominently in newspaper promotion and reviews. Consequently, press coverage inevitably skewed the public image of the series. Even in the mostly light hearted, knockabout 1987 season, the first featuring Sylvester McCoy (who was, incidentally, also known chiefly for his comedy work before he took the role of the Doctor), Doctor Who did not fully embrace humour in the way that Red Dwarf (BBC 2, 1988–93, 1997–9; Dave, 2009, 2012– ), a true sciencefiction sit-com, was shortly to do. Yet publicity photos in the Radio Times and elsewhere made Doctor Who seem sillier than it actually was, showing as they did Ken Dodd or Richard Briers in spangly metallic uniforms with over-sized peak caps, mugging for the camera either alone or with Sylvester McCoy.51 Show-biz gimmickry had largely disappeared by the beginning of McCoy’s second season, which was also Doctor Who’s twenty-fifth. This was no doubt partly because the anniversary year allowed NathanTurner to buoy up the show’s PR profile by again dipping into Doctor Who’s past, with the Doctor being pitted once more against both the Daleks and the Cybermen. However, the 1988 season also marked full

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entry into a phase of experiment and transformation which was still coalescing when Doctor Who was put on ice at the end of 1989. This new approach had a major impact on the show’s visual identity.

A belated regeneration – 1988–9 After a brief pre-credits sequence, Sylvester McCoy’s tenure as the Doctor began in 1987 with an explosive new arrangement of the theme tune and a new set of opening titles (see Figure 1.1). Oliver Elmes’s title sequence wasn’t particularly epoch-making in its actual imagery: starting with a Big-Bang-like explosion in space, it was thereafter dominated by a rotating, purple spiral galaxy out of which the Doctor’s face eventually emerged. What was distinctive about the new titles was that they were almost entirely dependent on computer-generated imagery, courtesy of CAL Video, which was at the forefront of the industry in the UK.52 Even the logo was fully animated, with the blocky, chrome letters of ‘WHO’ tumbling into sequence as ‘Doctor’ wrote itself in yellow cursive script at a cheeky angle above, amidst a trail of digital stardust. With its frantic kineticism, Elmes’s sequence was a far cry from the measured grace of Bernard Lodge’s 1970s slit-scan titles, and almost inevitably seemed less polished than Sid Sutton’s star-scapes, which had been shot on film. Yet this new sequence embodied the adventurousness which was increasingly evident during McCoy’s incumbency. The makers of Doctor Who had never shied away from new technology, however raw, as Barry Letts’ perhaps-excessive embrace of Chroma Key in the early 1970s fully attests. Elmes’s sequence embodies an excitement around innovation, and specifically a willingness to embrace the digital, which if nothing else helped to project an image of the Doctor Who brand as progressive. In other areas, too, developments in recording and post-production techniques were starting to have an impact on the Doctor Who aesthetic. Until the mid 1980s, standard practice at the BBC had been to use film cameras for location work, and also for special sets which for one reason or another had to be built at the BBC’s film studio at Ealing. From 1986 onwards, courtesy of new lightweight OB cameras, each season of Doctor Who was shot entirely on video.53 This had the positive effect of reducing the jarring shift between location and studio which

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had affected all but a few serials hitherto.54 Conversely, the move to video resulted in a programme entirely lacking the richness and softness which had distinguished filmed inserts in earlier seasons. For designers, this wholesale use of video cameras somewhat increased the challenge of SF on a very modest budget. Unless filmized, video is much less forgiving of the artificiality of fabricated props and environments than 16-mm film. Strong sun tends to accentuate flaws and deficiencies still further, however much the camera crew attempts to mitigate it. Yet in spite of all this, during Sylvester McCoy’s second and third seasons, visual design gave the series a more distinctive, edgy look than it had had in some years. Both the 1988 and 1989 seasons boasted more period settings than had been the norm in the mid 1980s. The 1988 season opener, ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’, took place in and around the fictitious Coal Hill School in early-1960s Shoreditch, while ‘Ghost Light’ and ‘The Curse of Fenric’, the second and third serials the following year, were set respectively in a spooky 1880s mansion and in a Second World War naval base and its environs. According to the recollections of creative personnel of the period, the increase in historic and contemporary settings in 1989 reflected a clear policy in the Doctor Who production office. Given what they regarded as weak futuristic imagery in the early part of Sylvester McCoy’s run, the programme-makers were playing to the BBC’s universally acknowledged strength in period design.55 Yet both seasons also incorporated compelling fantasy or futuristic imagery. Some of this consisted of variants on established designs, such as the new, crisply simplified, white-and-gold ‘Imperial’ Dalek props and the appropriately brutal-looking Special Weapons Dalek in ‘Remembrance‘. Other images were entirely new and bold in conception, including the full-size Dalek shuttle in the same story. Consisting of a series of off-white, interlocking, double-trapezoid prism-like forms, this richly textured prop made a spectacular entrance into the Coal Hill School yard, courtesy of a crane, at the end of the third episode. Prosthetics were also consistently impressive in both conception and realization throughout the 1989 season. The most notable were the horned, demon-like Destroyer (Marek Anton) in the opening serial, ‘Battlefield’, whose mask contained unusually advanced animatronics, and the facially distorted, sea-dwelling vampires known as Haemovores in ‘The Curse of Fenric’, some of which had over time acquired mollusc-

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like characteristics and in one case gills, which were again animatronically realized. Design for the 1988 season, in particular, also embraced both wildly surreal imagery and designs which reflected a willingness to flaunt the accepted rules of realism for television drama, in ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ (1988–9) and ‘The Happiness Patrol’ respectively. Almost uniquely for Doctor Who at any date, the sets for the city streets of the colony world Terra Alpha in ‘The Happiness Patrol’ were not merely simplified and stylized but actively anti-naturalistic. There was a pervasive sense of theatricality, of structures serving a primarily emblematic or emotionally evocative purpose rather than purporting to simulate real places and spaces. This serial pushed Doctor Who closer than ever before or since to the painterly Expressionism of Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) – and given the almost Brechtian satire underlying ‘The Happiness Patrol’, this certainly had a strong dramatic logic. By the time ‘The Happiness Patrol’ was in the studio, this kind of intentional divergence from the series’ norms had been made easier by changes in production practice for Doctor Who. ‘Patrol’ was a threepart serial. Having been used in the show only once before, in 1964 (for ‘Planet of Giants’), the three-parter was regularly adopted in each of Sylvester McCoy’s seasons for two out the four broadcast stories. In every case, the two three-part serials were made back to back and budgeted as though they were a single production. While they shared the same creative personnel, in each case one of the three-parters was realized entirely on location while the other was made wholly in the studio.56 Among other practical advantages, in an era of ‘total costing’– whereby producers had to account for overall expenditure and were no longer allowed to cover overspending in any one area by internally reallocating funds57 – assigning one designer to two productions helped to maximize creative control. Assuming the scripts were ready in good time, designers could be centrally involved in the process of determining how to distribute available funds across the two stories. The threeepisode format also de facto lowered the risks associated with making a more ‘off-the-wall’ production such as ‘The Happiness Patrol’, since viewers hoping for something different only had to wait a relatively short time to see if the next serial was more appealing. ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ was also broadly written. Most of its characters were larger than life and drawn either as archetypes or

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stereotypes, as befits a story set in a circus, with all its powerfully suggestive, exaggerated shapes and colours. The script was packed with irreal imagery: a giant killer-robot half buried in a sandy wasteland; a psychotic clown; an android bus conductor; the evocative and disquieting motif of a single, watchful eye, which recurred throughout settings and props, and finally the revelation that the Psychic Circus is a feeding ground for a trio of entities known as the Gods of Ragnarok. It would have been perverse if the costume designer, Ros Ebbutt and the set/prop designer, David Laskey, had not seized on a legitimate opportunity to produce imagery which ranged between the zany and the camp. While ‘Greatest Show’ is not as aggressive in its artifice as ‘The Happiness Patrol’, it represents almost as extreme a shift away from the SF-realist mode of the other two serials of the 1988 season, the slickly rendered, battleground-Earth stories ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ and ‘Silver Nemesis’. The experimental tone of the 1988 season was not fully carried over into the next, which was to prove the last of the series’ original run. It is true that dark whimsy is very much to the fore in ‘Battlefield’, which pits Arthurian knights from another dimension against a UNIT peacekeeping force. This is even truer of ‘Ghost Light’, the three-part serial broadcast next, which is set in a dark, claustrophobic, Victorian house of horrors. Yet overall, all four scripts for the 1989 season can broadly be categorized as gothic adventure or gothic horror. The first three, with their period settings or trappings, represent a retreat to a place of safety for both the BBC design departments and for Doctor Who itself, recalling as they do the height of the series’ popularity with audiences under Philip Hinchcliffe’s leadership. In spite of reintroducing the Master, the script furthest from any prior Doctor Who norm was the last to be broadcast, Rona Munro’s ‘Survival’. Shot back to back with ‘Ghost Light’ as an all-location production, ‘Survival’ took Doctor Who to a place it had virtually never been before: the humdrum world of a lessaffluent suburb of London. There are scenes aplenty on Perivale’s streets and in multi-storey residential blocks, and the action revolves in part around thoroughly unglamorous locations like a corner shop and a youth centre. In retrospect, as has often been remarked, ‘Survival’ seems prophetic of the tenor and tone of the revived Doctor Who under Russell T Davies. The overarching narrative for the 2005 season, like ‘Survival’, was built

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around a group of working-class protagonists struggling to adjust to the chaos and strangeness which habitually surrounds the Doctor. In 1989, the emphasis on the day-to-day made ‘Survival’ rather more of a curiosity, especially given its unintended role as a valedictory for Doctor Who. Even so, its conceptual and visual consonance with the rest of the season is for present purposes more important than any new departure it seemed to imply. Like ‘The Curse of Fenric’ and ‘Battlefield’ before it, ‘Survival’ deftly wove gothic horror into the mundane. With abrupt shifts from Perivale to the desolate, volcanic planet of the Cheetah people – a world in its death throes which is causing its inhabitants (and the Master, who is trapped there) to regress to an animalistic state – ‘Survival’ offered strong echoes of H.G. Wells and Conan Doyle, even as it placed new emphasis on contemporary social realism. Although animatronics in this serial, used for certain shots of the cat-like Kitlings, were not as strong as elsewhere in the season, and the ‘fun fur’ used for the Cheetah People’s bodies arguably spoiled their impact,58 the on-screen evocation of the Cheetah planet was another example of adventurous, powerfully conceived design imagery in the 1989 season. Although the unusually bright sun occasioned by a heatwave certainly helped to make the quarry chosen for location shooting look more like a real desert terrain, there can be no doubt that the work of video-effects designer Dave Chapman in digitally extending the Cheetah-planet landscape was crucial to the potency of the final image. In contrast to its aesthetic staleness in the middle years of the decade when it was first put on hiatus, Doctor Who was in the midst of a creative resurgence and major reinvention when it was indefinitely ‘rested’ in 1989. At the narrative level, this final season reflected a strong commitment to making the Doctor a more elusive, manipulative, and morally ambiguous character – a process which had been begun with a vengeance at the beginning of the 1988 season, when the Time Lord tricked the Daleks into destroying their own home planet. Visually, the darkly playful gothicism of the 1989 season allowed designers to establish a distinctive design profile for the series. However, even if BBC executives recognized this rejuvenation, it was clearly not enough to forestall the decision to place the programme on hiatus. Doctor Who’s fate was sealed by consistently low viewing figures, which in significant measure must be attributed to the season’s being scheduled directly against Britain’s most popular soap opera, Coronation Street (ITV, 1960– ).

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It is tempting to wonder, given the particular visual and narrative tonal shifts which Doctor Who was undergoing in 1989, whether the series could not have rebuilt its following among mainstream audiences if it had remained in production. Thanks to the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation, science-fiction television for the next half decade, on both sides of the Atlantic, frequently tended to mimic the slick collectivism of Gene Roddenberry’s vision. Yet there is another point of comparison for the relevance of the Doctor Who aesthetic as it was taking new shape in 1989, namely Tim Burton’s enormously successful Batman, which had premiered that summer. Burton’s status as a Hollywood enfant terrible, whose nerdily cool films freely mixed fantasy, black humour and overtones of horror, took on new significance after Batman. His continuing success as a director with Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Batman Returns (1992) marked the beginning of a phase of public enthusiasm for a dark, gothicizing mode of screen fantasy which would eventually become a mainstay of genre television. Doctor Who did not persist long enough to benefit from this trend – though it could be argued that the Burton effect, and related shifts in genre storytelling on television, did eventually help to create the conditions for Doctor Who’s triumphant return in the new millennium.

Chapter 2 The TV movie and the Cardiff period – 1996, and 2005 to 2020

Interlude: Vancouver 1996 – the TV movie Retrospectively tacked on to the ‘classic’ series for branding purposes, the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann was in many respects a trailblazer for the new series. Yet this BBC/Fox/Universal coproduction seemed uncertain about the identity it wanted to create for itself. Although it was marked by some wonderful inventiveness, in key areas the TV movie’s excessive homage to the original series lent both an air of undue caution and a camp quality which once again seems to have been at least partly unintended. Although the movie performed robustly at its initial broadcast on the BBC, its potential for spawning another film or a full series was wholly dependent on its success in the United States, where it did not fare as well. It seems reasonable to infer that its lack of appeal for US audiences was in large measure the result of the exposition-heavy script, with its overtelegraphed deference to the Doctor Who mythos. It may be that design choices also figured significantly in the movie’s failure to connect with audiences, though here it is a little more difficult to pinpoint where the problem lay. 71

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The Doctor Who TV movie boasted strong production values, with stylish photography, slick editing, fine model work and CGI which far exceeded even the most sophisticated effects of the London period. Yet in spite of advances in CGI and a palpably larger budget, the sparingly used but striking effects shots of space and time travel and cosmic vistas served as much to underscore lineage as to separate the TV movie from the original series. These effects were seen primarily in the pre-credits sequence, in the scenes where a planetarium-like cosmic scanner opens up above the TARDIS’s central control station, and in the opening credits themselves. Indeed, for the first time, Doctor Who’s title sequence was absolutely continuous with the footage which preceded and followed. Imagery of the TARDIS travelling, both in the credits sequence and otherwise, combined star fields like those in Sid Sutton’s title sequences with a flaring, brightly coloured vortex which recalled Bernard Lodge’s slit-scan titles. During the opening credits, this vortex emitted not only the names of cast and crew, whooshing towards the camera in the manner of Superman (Richard Donner, 1978), but also chunks of meteor which seemed to have spilled over directly from the McCoy ‘Big Bang’ sequence (see Figure 1.1). This intermingling of vortex and star field was to recur again, with varying permutations, in all but two of the title sequences for the BBC Wales revival, as was the device of animated credits advancing down the vortex towards the camera. Physical sets also represent a particular strength of the TV Movie, especially the interiors for the TARDIS. Sanctioned by the script to devote considerable time and space to the Doctor’s ship, designer Richard Hudolin made the main chamber of the TARDIS into a much larger, more mysterious place than had ever been feasible in the electronic studio, its dimensions uncertain. It was, furthermore, a chamber full of interesting contrasts. Marble walls and arcades on the entrance wall were juxtaposed with a Vienna-Secession-style mixture of ironwork and concrete buttresses on the contiguous wall, housing the library. On the other side, a mahogany colonnade ran around the central ‘gazebo’ of inwardly slanted iron pylons which formed an iron crown over the console, the pylons in turn contrasting with the sleek warmth of the cherry-wood console itself (see Figure 6.5). Overall, the industrial assertiveness of the iron and concrete, and the genteel decrepitude of the marble work, both existed in intriguing tension with a homely welter

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of period furnishings and curios which cluttered the chamber. The set was not only by far the most radical variation yet of the design of the TARDIS interior but also spoke strongly to the steampunk aesthetic which was coming into its own in the early 1990s. In other words, Hudolin’s was a timely as well as a progressive design. This new TARDIS set was also successful in framing series continuity within novelty. For the seasoned Doctor Who fan, Hudolin’s cherryveneered control console would surely recall a much earlier wood-clad console in the set for the so-called secondary TARDIS control room, another warmly shadowy, retro space, which had been used throughout the 1976–7 season. Also familiar was the Seal of Rassilon, which was used as a decorative element throughout the Hudolin TARDIS set (visible at right of Figure 6.5). Yet in spite of such clear tips of the hat to the past, Hudolin proved himself in no way hamstrung by the show’s heritage. His TARDIS interior was an unapologetically filmic set, dramatic in wide shots but carefully contrived to provide strong visual interest in every kind of individual camera set-up. In contrast to the typically clinical, or at least functionalist, approach to design for the TARDIS during the London period, Hudolin used the set and its dressing to underscore the show’s eccentric Britishness, as well as the Doctor’s alienness, in the concatenation of architectural styles and furnishings. By comparison, Jori Woodman’s costume design for the TV movie was far less effective in balancing deference to London-period Doctor Who with fresh ideas. McGann’s Doctor was especially ill-served by a costume burdened by the past. In the case of Sylvester McCoy, there was ample justification in sticking to precedent, since McCoy’s cameo was specifically meant to establish continuity between the original series and the TV movie (and whatever might follow it).1 Yet, ironically, Woodman chose to put McCoy in a fairly loose variant on his original costume, a professorial tweed jacket complemented by deep red, figured satin waistcoat and trousers in a muted plaid. Paul McGann’s costume was much more aggressively tied to a specific moment in the London period; in essence, his outfit made him look as though he was cosplaying Tom Baker’s Doctor, albeit sans hat and scarf. The earthtoned velvet frock coat, stand-collared shirt, negligently tied silk cravat, brocade waistcoat and grey-beige trousers all have very close cognates in Baker’s wardrobe from the period 1977 to 1979. Part of the problem

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with this slavish dependence on the past was that the costume made McGann’s Doctor seem absurdly effete in relation to the other main characters, who all wore variations of Hollywood ‘TV cool’. Most obviously, the Doctor’s costume diminished him in face of the dark, stark machismo of his on-screen antagonist, Eric Roberts’s Master, who for much of the runtime sported a long black leather duster, black gloves, and Ray Bans. The balance did briefly shift in the last reel of the TV movie. For his climactic face-off against the Doctor, the Master very ostentatiously changed into a plush version of traditional Time Lord robes, though Woodman’s variation on James Acheson’s design leaned towards Danilo Donati’s gorgeously over-the-top costumes for Ming the Merciless in the 1980 film, Flash Gordon (Mike Hodges, 1980). The costume seemed to inspire Eric Roberts to embrace full-blown camp, as he postured and strutted his way around the TARDIS’s crypt-like cloisters, trading barbs with his adversary. Indeed, by this point the movie seemed to have mutated, rather abruptly, from a glorified medical drama (following the trauma of the Doctor’s regeneration) into an extravagant pastiche of fantasy-gothic serials from the London period, such as ‘The Curse of Peladon’ and ‘State of Decay’. If the TV movie committed fully to camp in its climactic sequences, in doing so it ended up underscoring strongly, and perhaps fatally, the revived Doctor Who’s distance from American television SF of the 1990s. The X-Files (Fox, 1993–2002, 2016–18), with its contemporary setting and hyper-real air, had clearly established a new gold standard for genre television, and its austere tone was echoed even in space operas such as the Star Trek spinoff Deep Space Nine (Paramount, 1993–9) and Space: Above and Beyond (Fox, 1995–6). In all of these, sobriety and understatement were the baseline, with protagonists in near-monochrome suits or fatigues. Even in Babylon 5 (Syndicated, 1993–7; TNT, 1998), which featured some colourful dress and grooming for representatives of the narrative’s alien races, the principal human characters were dressed in sober, dark uniforms. So, while the informality of Paul McGann’s dialogue and his relaxed, approachable performance pointed in a wholly new direction for Doctor Who, the oldfashioned dress of the Eighth Doctor pointed resolutely backwards. In the last analysis, he may have been simply too theatrical a hero for the 1990s.

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Grunge and graphicity – 2005–2009 In naming Russell T Davies as the creative force behind BBC Wales’ revived Doctor Who series in late 2003, the Corporation signalled a programme-making ethos which was much more consonant with American norms, especially for prestige, or ‘quality’, drama. While Davies’s official screen credit on Doctor Who was executive producer, and he was referred to in most publicity materials as ‘head writer’, he and his successors have all informally been given the title showrunner – the American term for a writer/executive-producer with primary creative responsibility for a series. By the time the new Doctor Who came along, the word showrunner was familiar from its use in relation to major figures in US television of the 1990s and early 2000s, including Chris Carter (The X-Files), David Chase (The Sopranos, Warner Bros. Television, 1996–2007), Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, HBO, 2001–2005), and J.J. Abrams (Alias). In much the same way as Matthew Weiner, showrunner of Mad Men (AMC, 2007–2015), Davies justified this informal moniker in part by being famously hawk-like in his attention to detail in Doctor Who.2 Yet the ‘showrunner’ epithet, and the considerable media attention given to Davies in the first few years of the revival’s run, could serve to obscure other structural changes which affected the Doctor Who design’s function in both practical and aesthetic terms. Apart from the TV movie, the 2005 series was the first to credit a production designer, which is to say an art-department head who is in principle in charge of every aspect of the visual character of Doctor Who, from prop and monster design to the choice of locations. While freelance companies such as Millennium FX and the Mill might be charged with realizing specific designs through models, prosthetic, animatronic or digital means,3 they were ultimately beholden to Edward Thomas rather than working solely to the director or producer, as the different design departments had done in the London period. Costume retained relative autonomy, and the costume designer – Lucinda Wright for the 2005 series and Louise Page for the next four years – was akin to the production designer in being hired for a whole season at a time. In contrast to the London period, none of these designers or their teams was a permanent BBC staff member. Costume and wardrobe

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assistants, like art directors and other members of the art department, were contingent labour, and when the designer who acted as their manager left the show, they frequently moved on en masse as well. Doctor Who was also being made in a new way. While still shot on video, which was filmized in post-production – i.e. the image was deinterlaced and graded to produce a film look4 – the new series made vastly greater use of location filming, or at least non-studio environments. Moreover, some sets were built to last the duration of a shoot or even a whole season (as opposed to being built for ease of repeated striking and reconstruction in the electronic studio), and single-camera lighting set-ups became the norm. In other words, like prestige drama produced by the BBC since the late 1970s and increasingly from the 1990s onwards, each episode of Doctor Who was now being recorded in something much closer to the manner of a feature film, as many popular series made for ITV had been since the 1960s. Quite apart from the post-production treatment which yielded the film look, reliance on digital set extension was also much more extensive than it had been in the later London period. Indeed, while the duration of post-production effects shots tended to be short for reasons of cost, the seamless integration of CGI creatures, objects and environments, often in numerous shots per episode, was now commonplace. These changes in mode of production were important for the credibility of the revived series. Davies’s Doctor Who was under pressure to live down the original show’s reputation for wobbly sets and cardboard monsters, not simply because this reputation had proved so tenacious but because the landscape of television in the 2000s was so radically different from what it had been even a decade before. The new Doctor Who appeared at a moment of ascendancy for science-fiction and fantasy television, especially in the US market where most fiction series apart from daytime soap operas were still made on film. From Charmed (The WB, 1998–2006), Smallville (The WB, 2001–2006; The CW, 2006–2011) and Dark Angel (Fox, 2000–2002) to Stargate: Atlantis (SyFy, 2004–2009), Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi, 2004–2007) and Lost (ABC, 2004–2010), the first half-decade of the new millennium was rich in offerings which ranged from hard SF via superhero narratives to softhorror, from the cerebral to the spectacular, and from the eerily realistic to the surreal, generally with a flavour of quasi-dramatic intensity. In particular, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997–2001; UPN, 2001–

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2003) had proven a darling of both audiences and critics. Buffy’s success was based on the fact that it mixed insouciance and edgy humour with intense coming-of-age and family drama, whose avowed emotional realism was clothed in the language of gothic horror. It provided an important benchmark for critics’ responses to the new Doctor Who. Another important SF-television event in 2003 was the debut of Battlestar Galactica, overtly billed as a ‘reimagining’ of a much older property which, like Doctor Who, had become notorious for its campy visuals. While Buffy remains an oft-cited precedent for storytelling in Doctor Who, the set designs of Battlestar and Firefly (Fox, 2002–2003) were the real touchstones for the vaguely steampunk-y environments of the new Doctor Who, most notably the part-industrial, part-organic interior of the TARDIS. Designed under the supervision of production designer Edward Thomas, this new ship nodded structurally to the McGann TV movie TARDIS set, especially in placing the control console amidst a canopy of pylon-like supports, here seemingly grown from coral (Figure 6.3a), which converged at its crown. Gone was the sterility of the off-white set used for most of the London era. Gone too were the overtones of eccentric gentility expressed in the antique wooden furniture which had often been scattered around the TARDIS control room in the 1960s and mid 1970s, and which had risen to the level of near-Victorian clutter in the 1996 TV movie. Unlike any previous iteration, the new TARDIS control room had curved walls, clearly defining the occupiable space as a half-dome (and implying that the chamber was spherical). With its ramshackle, ceramic framed console, bizarrely embedded with found objects, its studiedly ugly built-in seating with tape-patched cushions, and its open-mesh flooring, the new control room seemed more self-consciously functionalist, lived-in and in some ways anti-aesthetic than any prior version. Different as Doctor Who was from Battlestar Galactica in terms of narrative tone and thrust, the new TARDIS, the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) with his dark, minimalist dress, and the new, more industrial-looking Daleks which debuted in the sixth episode, would all have sat quite comfortably within the dour, lived-in world of Battlestar. For first-time viewers, Doctor Who must have seemed to fit in seamlessly with its genre peers; for longterm fans, the new aesthetic might well have come as something of a culture-shock. The new visual character of key sets, costumes and

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props was part of a comprehensive reinvention of the series which eliminated, in many cases permanently, the overtones of middle-English cosiness in Doctor Who which had been so lovingly celebrated by the TV movie. The ‘dirtying down’ of the TARDIS seems cognate with the revival’s demystification, or at least a decentralization, of the figure of the Doctor. To a great extent the aesthetic of the revived Doctor Who in its first year seemed to flow naturally from his new companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), and from her unpretentious, urban-working-class home environment, which figured prominently throughout the 2005 series. Rose was not only the primary identification figure for audiences but also in many ways the primary protagonist, her actions and responses driving the stories and shaping the series’ tone. Alien as the Doctor’s ‘dimensionally transcendental’ craft remained, it was much less obviously a space of technocratic and aristocratic privilege, and so the division between Rose’s world and the Doctor’s was less sharp – a point neatly underscored when local kids from the housing estate sprayed the TARDIS’s police-box shell with graffiti in ‘World War Three’ (2005). The Doctor’s look was also visually consonant rather than dissonant with people in Rose’s social circles. In terms of his actions and demeanour, Eccleston’s highly strung Ninth Doctor was in no useful sense a man of the people; indeed, he remained detached from and often disdainful of Rose’s family and friends and other mere humans. Yet his look and affect mitigate this, distancing him from his (mostly) upper-crust-dandy predecessors. Eccleston’s Salford accent and buzz cut, and the hard-mod look devised to complement this by costume designer Lucinda Wright, with straight, heavy cotton trousers, leather jacket and heavy work boots, all helped to make him seem relatively at home on the terraces of Rose’s tower block. The relationship between the two protagonists was to change with the arrival of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in the 2005 Christmas Special. The series reoriented sharply back to focus on the Doctor, who in his new incarnation was much more a romantic hero. The melodrama of the narrative situations was correspondingly amplified. Tennant’s look was no more understated than the brash, cocky character defined by the scripts: his product-laden quiff, narrow rectangular specs, skinny-fit suit worn with Converse sneakers, and ankle-length paletot coat all gave him the air of an alternative rock star. Yet overall, in spite of this,

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relatively little changed in the series’ commitment to low-key design, except in the multi-monster extravaganzas and period pieces which featured early in each of the first three seasons. In most episodes there was a single, ‘big’, fantastical design, which might manifest in multiples, as with the Cybermen in ‘The Age of Steel’ (2006), or take unique form, as with the giant, horned Beast in ‘The Satan Pit’ (2006). In each case this ‘big’ design was set against imagery that was otherwise studiedly unostentatious, even conventional. After ‘The End of the World’ in the 2005 series, almost all costume for futuristic episodes until David Tennant’s two-part finale, ‘The End of Time’ (2009–2010), was either in a pared-back, neutral, contemporary style or, as in ‘New Earth’ (2006) and later ‘Gridlock’ (2007), derived from historic dress mostly from the mid-twentieth century. Similarly, many sets for space stations and other worlds took an architectural form which, like the TARDIS, seemed plausibly contingent on industrial norms for the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries. Indeed, a former papermill and a glass factory were both used extensively for such interiors during Eccleston’s and Tennant’s tenures. Building on the successful core of its first season, the Doctor Who revival stayed firmly anchored to the mundane world. In particular, the families of first Rose Tyler and subsequently Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) remained important recurring characters, with key situations or narrative arcs built around them. To an extent the series also continued to echo the hyperbolic dowdiness of Battlestar Galactica. Yet over the course of Tennant’s four years in the lead role there was some aesthetic drift towards more stylized designs. This can perhaps best be described as a ‘graphicization’ of the series’ visual imagery. Not only new creations, such as the Clockwork robots in ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ (2006), the Racnoss in ‘The Runaway Bride’ (2006) and the animated Scarecrows in ‘Human Nature’ and ‘The Family of Blood’ (2007), but also, crucially, returning monsters such as the Cybermen and Sontarans, became punchier and more linear in their design. Some – notably the Abzorbaloff, the Racnoss, and the Sontarans – were decked out in primary or intense colours, which further amplified the graphic sharpness of their images. With the swashbuckling Tenth Doctor at the helm, his long coat billowing out behind him like a superhero’s cape, Doctor Who also gradually moved away from the mostly small-scale, dramatically intense

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scripts of the 2005 season towards a more sweeping, melodramatic narrative style which both favoured and benefited from the ‘graphicized’ aesthetic. The high-octane and often unashamedly sentimental storytelling invariably ratcheted up in the season finales, which every year saw the Tenth Doctor parting sadly from one or more of his travelling companions. In writing these grand dénouements, Russell T Davies also took full advantage of the relative affordability of CGI, envisaging epic images which, as realized, increasingly looked as though they had been plucked direct from the pages of comic strips. The first major instance of this was in ‘The Parting of the Ways’, the 2005 series finale. Here images of massed Dalek saucers in space, with phalanxes of space-borne Dalek troops issuing from them, all seemed very deliberately to echo the kind of imagery seen in the Daleks’ regular 1960s strip in TV Century 21. The 2006 finale, ‘Doomsday’, capped the teeming spectacle of ‘The Parting of the Ways’ by pitting Daleks against Cybermen in and around what was then London’s most-imposing building, 1 Canada Square in Canary Wharf. This unprecedented confrontation again seemed redolent of comic-book imagery, for the steel Cybermen and the bronze Daleks were studies in contrast not only in hue but also in the linearity of their designs, the sweeping moderne contours of the Cybermen being offset by the tight, repeated geometries of the Daleks. Scenes of flying Daleks fanning out from the apex of César Pelli’s pyramid-crowned tower, and then sweeping down to exterminate their marching opponents, once again set strong lines and contrasting geometries against each other in a way which privileged graphic patterns over volume and mass. This trend towards graphicized spectacle was to reach its conclusion, and in certain respects its apogee, in David Tennant’s final on-screen episode, the 2010 New Year Special ‘The End of Time, Part 2’. Here the main antagonists turned out to be none other than the Time Lords. In key scenes set on Gallifrey, these crimson-robed, gold-collared figures were either set against vast, shadowy, stylized architectural spaces or, as in the majority of scenes focusing on the High Council, around an equally stylized conference table set into dark nothingness. In the council scenes, the restricted, intense palette, and the enhancement of localized detail through complete absence of any background, begged comparison with the brightly coloured figures and often abstracted or minimal backgrounds in panels of a comic strip.

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Given that Doctor Who’s head writer and executive producer, Russell T Davies, was famously attentive to the tone and visual character of the show, these changes were surely not fortuitous. The graphicization of New Who not only made sense in relation to the kind of zippy, highoctane storytelling which Davies increasingly used to showcase the effervescent energy of Tennant’s Doctor but also spoke to the ways in which Davies and his team had carved out a specific place for Doctor Who in the media universe. By the time Tennant gave up the role, both US and UK cinema and television were awash with science fiction, fantasy, the supernatural and horror, usually hybridized, Buffy style, with ongoing, ‘soap-opera’ narrative strands. Doctor Who remained slightly eccentric in its premise and ethos, notwithstanding the growing number of time-travel-related series during this period, from the BBC’s tonally very different Life on Mars (2006–2007) and Ashes to Ashes (2008– 2010), to ITV’s clear attempt to cash in on Who’s newfound success, Primeval (2007–2011), and US series such as Tru Calling (Fox, 2003– 2005; SyFy, 2008), Journeyman (NBC, 2007) and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox, 2008–2009). In terms of its oftenbombastic visual and aural style, Doctor Who under Davies seemed designed to sit comfortably amidst not only major film franchises like the Harry Potter series (Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates, 2001–2011) and nascent Marvel Cinematic Universe but also television series ranging from Heroes (NBC, 2006–2010) and Smallville to Pushing Daisies (ABC, 2007–2009) and Supernatural (The WB, 2005–2006; The CW, 2006–2020), all of which in varying degrees had a comic-book or picture-book sensibility. Above all, the Davies/Tennant Doctor Who was in visual terms more self-consciously hip than it had been since Jon Pertwee left the role. To complement Tennant’s post-Britpop geek chic, Louise Page, the costume designer throughout his incumbency, stocked companions’ wardrobes with modish and trendsetting items. Starting with Rose’s final appearance as a regular character in ‘Doomsday’, leather jackets – occasionally vintage or bespoke but most often from relatively affordable name brands – became a leitmotiv which has continued intermittently in Doctor Who ever since. This tradition taps into a costume shorthand for connoting strong women, used in sciencefiction and horror at least since Sigourney Weaver’s second turn as Ripley in Aliens, and since the 2000s increasingly also in police

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procedurals such as the various CSI series (CBS, 2000–2015; CBS, 2002–2012; CBS, 2004–2013; CBS, 2015–16). The female stars of Buffy, Battlestar Galactica and Alias (ABC, 2001–2006) represent immediate precedents in genre television, as the female heroes and anti-heroes of the Matrix trilogy (The Wachowskis, 1999, 2001, 2003), Kill Bill (Quentin Tarantino, 2003) and the first three entries in the X-Men series (Bryan Singer, 2000, 2003; Brett Ratner, 2006) do in film. Like the Doctor’s newly cool image, the slick, buzzworthy and sartorially consistent styling for companions also had a positive role to play in relation to Doctor Who’s brand identity, which from the inception of the revived series was handled by the Doctor Who production office. By virtue of tight control by a brand manager, visual design was for the first time in Doctor Who’s history fully co-extensive with the design of merchandise and its packaging, from items of dress and jewellery via action figures to original novels and other licensed tie-in productions such as the Big Finish audio dramas.5 With Tennant in the lead role, Doctor Who enjoyed unprecedented brand equity, which was helping to propel the series towards equally unprecedented international acclaim. Yet while periodic brand refreshment is arguably always desirable – and was, indeed, repeatedly carried out during Russell T Davies’s incumbency – Tennant’s status as a superstar and national treasure meant that there was real danger to the Who brand in his departure. As it turned out, Tennant and Davies left Doctor Who concurrently at the end of 2009, making major change to the winning formula unavoidable.

Retrovisions – 2010–2013 Well before full details of Doctor Who’s 2010 brand refresh had fully taken shape in the predictable avalanche of merchandising, early photographs from the first location shoot for the new season, featuring Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and the new TARDIS prop, clearly pointed to a change of window dressing, at the very least. For some portion of the audience these changes were likely to have intense redolence. The new TARDIS was unusually pristinelooking and painted a markedly more intense blue than any of the earlier props in either the Cardiff or London period. Beyond this, and perhaps more importantly, it sported some distinctive, decorative elements

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which long-term fans would immediately recognize as echoing the earliest version of the TARDIS exterior, used for most of William Hartnell’s tenure. The glazing bars of the windows were painted white, and the right-hand door sported a St John Ambulance badge. Partly by virtue of the fact that the police-box prop was much larger than Hartnell’s, it also evoked the TARDIS exterior in the AARU/Amicus bigscreen adaptations of ‘The Daleks’ (Dr. Who and the Daleks, dir. Gordon Flemyng, 1965) and its 1964 sequel ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ (Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD , dir. Gordon Flemyng, 1966), featuring Peter Cushing as the Doctor. This relationship was to be indirectly consolidated later in the season when the Daleks were also subject to a redesign which aligned them with the beefed-up, brightly coloured versions in the Cushing films. Once seen in proximity to the TARDIS prop, Matt Smith’s costume also seemed to beg comparison with Doctor Who’s mid-1960s aesthetic. His unruly mop of hair and bow tie, in particular, recalled Patrick Troughton, and in fact his whole costume could be interpreted as a riff (albeit a contemporary, skinny-fit one) on the Second Doctor’s look, with Smith’s gun-club tweed jacket and black jeans effectively inverting Troughton’s black coat and houndstooth trousers. Further examples of a retro aesthetic were revealed when the 2010 series opener was broadcast. First came a title sequence which seemed determined to look quaint and old-fashioned, with a lightning-buffeted TARDIS bouncing around a vortex apparently composed of overlapping rings of puffy, painterly cloud, and a logo in a chunky Constructivist typeface. Then, at the episode’s end, a new TARDIS control room, again designed by Edward Thomas’s art department, made its debut; this proved to be a wacky, multi-level space, with a control console which was even more Heath-Robinson than its predecessor. Although essentially rectangular, the room seemed irregular in form by virtue of swooping concave walls haphazardly pierced with circular and hexagonal indentations in different sizes. While warm coral was again the most prominent material in the space, in certain notable respects the design of the set called back to the 1960s, and specifically to the ship interiors for Hartnell’s Doctor and Cushing’s non-canonical incarnation. Like Peter Brachacki’s original TARDIS control room, this new one contained a louvered, illuminated canopy, although in the new interior this was set into the ceiling above, rather than to one side of, the

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console. Meanwhile, the crazy irregularity of the space, the festoons of wires which hung around and beneath the console, and the seeming jumble of strange devices that cumulatively made up the TARDIS’s navigational and scanning equipment, all made this version of the control room the closest yet to the zany, cobbled-together interior of the ship in the first of the two Cushing movies. Yet the extent to which any of this represented a significant change is open to question – or rather, the issue calls for a distinction between the knowledge and emotional investments of different sectors of the audience. While a retro tone might be vaguely discernible to the casual watcher, even without knowledge of Doctor Who’s past, it is unlikely that for many viewers the redesigned TARDIS and new look for the Doctor seemed like a significant step away from the visual character of the series under Russell T Davies, far less an obvious exercise in nostalgia for 1960s Doctor Who. Any thoughts along these lines depend on some depth of fan knowledge. For audience members lacking such awareness, similarities must have outweighed differences, in visual style as in many other respects. The Eleventh Doctor was in the last analysis as much an embodiment of metrosexual nerd chic as his predecessor; his TARDIS control room was just as much a cheeky, zany, steampunk-y affront to ‘hard’ science fiction, and so on. In short, the change which accompanied Smith’s arrival as star, and Steven Moffat’s as showrunner, fell well short of a full-blown rebrand. As Matt Smith’s incumbency as the Doctor progressed, the air of retrospection increased. Partly, no doubt, because of the impending fiftieth anniversary, the series began to engage more and more palpably with its own visual history – and indeed with history more generally. During Smith’s tenure the number of episodes set primarily or wholly in Earth’s past was significantly greater than during Tennant’s: period episodes represented about a third of Smith’s total, versus only a little over a fifth of Tennant’s. Even episodes set in alien and future settings often had a strong period feel. For example, the dress of the children and most other rank-and-file citizens aboard the thirty-second century Starship UK in ‘The Beast Below’ (2010) mostly suggests post-war Britain, and similarly the denizens of the unnamed future Earth colony in Smith’s first yuletide special, ‘A Christmas Carol’ (2010), wear quasi-Victorian dress of exactly the kind that the title seems to demand.

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Beyond this, both new and returning characters frequently seemed to have a retro quality. The most formidable new adversaries introduced by Steven Moffat during Smith’s tenure, the Silents, not only first appeared in an episode set in 1969 but also evoked science-fiction and conspiracy narratives of the 1960s in their dress and appearance (as detailed in Chapter 6). And as regards the flurry of returning monsters from the classic series which appeared from 2012 onwards, as Doctor Who entered its fiftieth-anniversary year, what was most striking was that the designs of these creatures were barely altered, in contrast to the assiduous, heavily underscored makeovers which had taken place during the Davies years. Thus, at first glance, it is hard to distinguish the Ice Warrior in ‘Cold War’ (2013) or the Zygons in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ (2013) from those originally seen in the London period in, respectively, ‘The Ice Warriors’ and ‘Terror of the Zygons’. By contrast, there is no room for confusing the new series’ Sontarans, first seen in David Tennant’s last full season as the Doctor, with their classic-series counterparts. As already noted, early in Smith’s tenure the Daleks were given a makeover with a strongly Sixties, Pop vibe. This unpopular change was quickly reversed, but in 2013 a less controversial, longer-lived revision was made to the armour of the Cybermen. Their upgrade in ‘Nightmare in Silver’ erased much of the sculpted, Art Deco angularity of their Daviesera predecessors and pushed the styling of their helmets, in particular, back towards the simplest, sleekest design of the 1960s, first seen in ‘The Moonbase’ (1967). The most direct and telling of all the connections to design imagery of the London period, however, was made in the 2012 season opener ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, where new-series Daleks were seen alongside props from the classic series, essentially unmodified. This ploy was to be even more boldly repeated three years later in another season opener, ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ (2015). Another strong echo of the show’s ‘classic’ era under Moffat, was the knife-edge play between humour and horror which had characterized some of Tom Baker’s best-remembered episodes. Closely related to this was a significant shift towards a knowingly camp sensibility, which manifested strongly in costume design as well as in scripts and performance. The word ‘camp’ has often been used by fan commentators as a derogatory term for aspects of London-period Doctor Who which they find excessively frivolous or fanciful. Camp has also been invoked in academic studies of Doctor Who, often with at

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least a tinge of negativity. Here, as in fan critique, the notion of camp is applied with special force to the later years of Tom Baker’s incumbency: the chapter dealing with Graham Williams’ tenure as producer in James Chapman’s Inside the TARDIS is actually entitled ‘High Camp’.6 While fan accusations of camp in Williams-led Doctor Who tend to revolve mostly around plotting, dialogue and above all performance, costume from this period has also been a target (perhaps most notably in the case of ‘The Horns of Nimon’). In every instance camp is to be understood as an avoidable lapse of taste, which is to say as witting rather than unwitting departure from the appropriate. While this is questionable in relation to incidental characters, whose costumes may not have been legible as camp to either their designers or late-1970s television audiences, there is little doubt that Tom Baker’s performance and dress in the lead role, as later Matt Smith’s, were imbued with a sensibility best described as knowing camp. In ‘Notes on Camp’, the most celebrated (if also problematic) essay on the subject, Susan Sontag opined: ‘Pure Camp is always naïve. Camp which knows itself to be Camp (“camping”) is usually less satisfying’.7 This seems to be the view to which Ivan Phillips inclines when, in his book Once Upon a Time Lord, he dazzlingly elucidates his thesis that ‘Doctor Who has a propensity towards campness written into its mythic DNA’.8 Closely echoing Sontag, Phillips suggests that ‘when the naïve mode becomes too knowing it loses much of its power’,9 and he goes on to dwell at greatest length on Doctor Who episodes which best fit Sontag’s description of camp as ‘a seriousness that fails’.10 I would argue, conversely, that some of the most intriguing examples of camp in Doctor Who are those which are most knowing. This is certainly not to deny the presence of naïve camp in the series: as already noted in both this and the previous chapter, designs for Doctor Who sometimes appear to have been conceived and built without any clear recognition that they might appear unduly theatrical, exaggerated or affected. Yet the central camp elements of the Smith/Moffat years and the Baker/Williams years operate in a quite different register. In relation to the Fourth and Eleventh Doctors, script, costume and performance all embrace extravagance, triviality and excess in a such a way as to be at once affirmative and parodic, warmly engaged and nonchalantly detached, joyously heartfelt and slyly tongue-in-cheek.11 In relation specifically to costume, Tom Baker’s camping during the Williams era took various forms, the most obvious of which were transient,

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meta-narrative jokes: for example, in ‘City of Death’, a story built around a plot to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, Baker wore a badge in the shape of a painter’s palette and tubes of oils. Yet Baker’s regular outfits, too, had a profoundly camp quality. Dominated visually by his various frock coats, wide-brimmed fedoras and ludicrously long scarves, the Fourth Doctor’s costumes also incorporated brocade or velvet waistcoats, the occasional white cravat, loudly plaid trousers and swashbuckling, cuffed, equestrian boots. In their various permutations, these elements mirrored both Baker’s exaggeratedly breezy authoritativeness and his madcap clowning. Thus, the Fourth Doctor’s persona amounted to a performance of aristocratic entitlement placed in quotation marks (to invoke one of Susan Sontag’s more memorable indicators of camp12): Baker at once articulated the manners and dress of the haut ton and subverted them with studied crassness and irony. The Smith/Moffat years saw not just an echo but an expansion of this kind of knowingly camp performativity and dress. Camping was most prominent in the case the Doctor’s intermittent travelling companion and eventual wife, River Song. Both Moffat’s dialogue and Alex Kingston’s arch performance expressed the spirit of camp masquerade, and successive costume designers picked up on this. Ray Holman and later Howard Burden took evident delight in River’s love of over-the-top disguises, which ranged from impersonating Queen Cleopatra in full regalia to creating the persona of Melody Malone, a trenchcoat- and fedora-clad 1940s private eye. And, as with the Fourth Doctor, River’s regular wardrobe was always larger than life, embodying the time and the spirit of the narrative du jour in a knowingly hyperbolic way. At one end of the spectrum were chic, action-ready outfits: a Levi’s denim jacket and bootcut jeans with cowboy boots and tooled leather gun holster for a trip to Utah in ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ (2011); a sheepskin gilet over a white, cowl-necked jacket and brown fitted breeches and boots for a ride across a wintry Salisbury plain during the Roman occupation in ‘The Pandorica Opens’ (2010), and so on. At the other end of the spectrum was River’s array of evening gowns. With their opulent fabrics, braiding, beading, and ‘statement’ accessories – most unforgettably, perhaps, the deep red platform stilettos by Christian Louboutin which she first wears and then ostentatiously carries in the opening scenes of ‘The Time of the Angels’ (2010) – these outfits stopped just short of drag-queen extravagance. Like the running joke of

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River’s relying on vividly coloured, hallucinogen-laced lipstick (and thus, necessarily, the act of kissing) to disorient her opponents, the evening gowns naturally lent themselves to noir-esque, femme-fatale hyperfemininity, which Kingston performed with relish. Matt Smith’s Doctor also became an increasingly camp figure over the course of his tenure. Insisting from the first that bow ties are cool, the Eleventh Doctor quickly developed a penchant for fezzes and other out-of-place or silly hats. All of these items played into Smith’s physical comedy, which – as in the scene in ‘The Lodger’ (2010) where the Doctor greeted members of a Pub League football team with continentalstyle double air kisses – could be used to undercut or lampoon expectations about appropriately heroic masculinity. Eventually, echoes of Troughton in Smith’s original ‘mad boffin’ costume also gave place to something more akin to those of the 1970s and 1980s Doctors, with purple frock coats complemented by an array of fancy waistcoats and purple and brown two-tone boots. Like his costumes, Smith’s businessbased clowning aligned him more closely with the overtly comic Doctors of the ‘classic series’ than with his two predecessors, whose physical presence had in different ways been assertively masculine and cool, and whose humour had overall been more verbal than physical. By the end of 2013, basking in the afterglow of the anniversary special, Doctor Who was riding high. Smith’s tenure had seen the show become a worldwide phenomenon, making its presence strongly felt in the important US market. Even as the anniversary euphoria died down, Doctor Who could still claim to be quirkily hip. Through its main protagonists the series maintained the connection with youth and highstreet fashions which had been firmly established in 2005 with Rose Tyler. Smith’s adoption of Harris Tweed and bow ties had apparently boosted sales of both,13 and the actors who played the Eleventh Doctor’s chief female companions, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman, became style icons for what they wore on and off screen (which in both cases showed commonalities).14 Moreover, the whimsical and faery imagery which had characterized much of Smith’s tenure aligned it both with the most immediate points of reference, such as the BBC’s stylish supernatural series Being Human (2008–2013) and Merlin (2008–2012), the latter one of the programmes specifically commissioned during the Tennant years to fill Doctor Who’s Saturday evening family drama slot in the months when it was off the air.15 The series was also in tune with

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wider pop-culture phenomena such as the big-screen Harry Potter cycle and its numerous imitators in film and television. Even so, after seven full seasons spread over nine years, the revived Doctor Who had already enjoyed an above-average lifespan for a fantasy series (by contemporary standards for episodic television in both Britain and America), and its continued success was far from a foregone conclusion.

Gothic revival – 2013–17 Peter Capaldi’s three full seasons of Doctor Who were to witness a marked falling-off in viewer interest. By one reckoning, the drop in average audience exceeded a million between Capaldi’s first and second seasons, with the loss of another half million overall between the second and the third.16 However, it does not seem that this decline ever placed the programme’s future in the kind of jeopardy which had threatened its continuation in 1969 and led to its long-term suspension in 1989. Perhaps because Doctor Who was not under external pressure, there was no significant adjustment of narrative tone or style when Capaldi debuted. Apart from a change in title sequence and themetune arrangement, neither of which was exceptional for a new Doctor’s arrival, there was no significant brand refresh. It is true that the showrunner, Steven Moffat, made format changes for each of Capaldi’s seasons, and even characterized the 2017 series, Capaldi’s last, as a ‘reboot’.17 Yet there was strong continuity in tenor throughout the Twelfth Doctor’s tenure – and in many ways throughout the whole of Moffat’s incumbency as showrunner. His delight in the macabre and the uncanny had been evident in all the episodes he wrote under Russell T Davies, and over the seven years that he was showrunner, Moffat steered the show increasingly towards a renewed gothic sensibility. Moffat Gothic was qualitatively different from Hinchcliffe Gothic, which, thanks to the influence of Robert Holmes, had drawn on the relatively narrow band of the gothic tradition filtered through classic horror films. Moffat’s approach evoked more of the spirit of gothic literature in the nineteenth century: the scripts he wrote or commissioned were romantic and poetic, and often imbued with a lyric poignancy, juxtaposing the grotesque and the monstrous with elements of beauty rather in the manner of the films of Guillermo del Toro. Narratives were

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driven much more heavily than in Hinchcliffe Gothic by the emotional trajectories of primary characters – often that of the Doctor’s companion or the Doctor himself, but sometimes the main protagonist of the scenario in which the TARDIS crew alighted. A prime example is Neil Cross’s ‘Hide’, the 2013 episode which centres on a ghost hunter, Professor Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott), and his psychically gifted assistant, Emma Grayling (Jessica Raine), investigating a haunted house. Here the ‘ghost’, though far from just a McGuffin, mainly serves as the stimulus for the two characters to resolve their respective sense of loneliness and alienation by coming together in a romantic union. Indeed, the ‘ghost’ is a proof of this union, for she turns out to be Alec and Emma’s descendent, Hila Tacorian (Kemi-Bo Jacobs), a pioneer time traveller from the future trapped in a collapsing world in a parallel dimension. The distancing device of setting the episode in the early 1970s, like the use of hyperbolically gothic locations – a VictorianGothic mansion, first seen during a stormy night, and a sinister, mistracked, dark wood – actually serves both to ramp up the atmosphere of mystery and suspense and to intensify the growing acknowledgement of tenderness between Alec and Emma, heightening the drama in a quintessentially gothic way. An atmospheric, ominous setting has always been one of the core elements of gothic fiction, in literature and subsequently in cinema.18 Michael Pickwoad, who served as Doctor Who’s production designer from the 2010 Christmas Special, ‘A Christmas Carol’, until Moffat’s and Capaldi’s tenure ended exactly seven years later with ‘Twice Upon a Time’, proved an exceptional asset in his ability to shape a wide range of such gothicizing environments. Like some of the most successful designers of the London period, Pickwoad’s approach to Doctor Who was marked by a willingness to make use of strong, gestural forms with bold geometries, such as the hexagonal arches which punctuated the TARDIS corridors in ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ (2011), and the supporting ring braces set every few yards along the circular tunnels of the underwater base in ‘Under the Lake’ (2015). These spatial demarcations, whether they were supports, the frames to doors and windows, or merely surface articulation, almost invariably either jutted out strongly from the walls or else took the form of deep recesses, resulting in a vivid interplay of light and shadow. The sculptural richness of Pickwoad’s aesthetic was ideally suited to gothic illumination.

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Yet it would be a mistake to imply that Pickwoad relied for his gothic effects exclusively on titanic architecture and extreme, baroque contrasts of light and shade. Full of Piranesian grandeur as his Doctor Who work was, the most chilling of all Pickwoad’s space-age gothic interiors were in fact reticent almost to the point of minimalism. Take the corridors and wards of the colony-ship hospital in which the Doctor’s companion Bill finds herself confined prior to being converted into a Cyberman in ‘World Enough and Time’ (2017). While Pickwoad again used his favourite device of breaking up a potentially bland space with repeating elements, in this case this articulation took the form of simple post-and-beam supports projecting from wall and ceiling at intervals along the corridors and wards. For these spaces, Pickwoad eschewed strong surface variation, relying instead on textural and chromatic contrast: the engaged brick piers and the steel beams which they support provide dark accents against the grubby plaster upper walls and the wide doors to the wards, which are painted a sickly yellow. This contrast, together with the sparse light admitted by the small, high windows, helps establish an intensely oppressive mood. This hospital set evokes the eeriness and unease of the urban-gothic tradition rather than the grand melodramatic gestures of the Hammer films, which had been inspired by the exotic or sublime imagery of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu. The work of successive costume designers spoke to the poetic and decadent aspects of gothic, splashing rich colour and texturally complex or lavish fabrics against the backdrop of Pickwoad’s eerie architectural spaces, and juxtaposing them freely with the grotesque. This trend reached its zenith with the 2017 series, where the costume designer, Hayley Nebauer, created images which were formally unusual – Nebauer is an avowed lover of asymmetry19 – and introduced notes of intense colour. Nebauer’s most startling achievements were the robes of the Monks, the ghastly, cadaverous-seeming antagonists in the trilogy of 2017 episodes which began with ‘Extremis’. For their garb, Nebauer selectively exaggerated both the asymmetry and the palette of Buddhist monks’ robes, with richly figured or curiously textured silks in oranges, yellows and deep reds. Intense, bright colour and strong pattern were also frequently used in the wardrobes of the Doctor’s companions during this period, starting with Howard Burden’s costumes for Clara Oswald. From Jenna

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Coleman’s debut in 2012 until the end of the 2014 series, Burden dressed Clara (and before that, Clara’s splinter personae, Oswin Oswald and Clara Oswin Oswald) in strong reds and vivid patterns, which encapsulated the energy of this assertive, driven character. Clara’s wardrobe was later deployed to tell an unfolding story over a series of episodes – a kind of gothic hero’s journey. One of the narrative conceits of the 2014 and 2015 series was that Clara was becoming more and more like the Doctor, absorbing both his ruthlessness and his recklessness. In the 2015 season, Jenna Coleman’s last, Ray Holman evoked this shift through increasing use of black-on-white and shades of grey and dark blue, echoing the palette of Capaldi’s wardrobe. Holman pushed the monochrome device yet further in his final costume for Clara, first used in ‘Face the Raven’ (2015), the episode which sees her bringing what amounts to a fatal curse upon herself in order to save a friend’s life. As she ventures into the Dickensian hidden street where the Raven of the title eventually metes out her fate, Clara is dressed in a pale grey hybrid jumper, with integral white shirt collar and cuffs and a wide band of white lace emerging from under the bottom hem, over black trousers and trainers. Here Clara’s outfit evokes another hallmark of gothic fiction, namely foreshadowing. In her pale grey and white she seems spectral even before the Raven dispatches her, and the laceedged outfit even subtly invites association with the sacrificial garb so often worn by the beleaguered heroines of gothic-horror cinema. Although its greying lead actor was remote from the youthful, pretty heroes of most genre TV in the later 2010s, Doctor Who was certainly far from isolated in its orientation towards gothic romance. Throughout Capaldi’s tenure, television seemed positively inundated with fantasy series. These ranged from medievalizing sword-and-sorcery, epitomized by HBO’s enormously successful Game of Thrones (2011–19), via period-appropriate gothic romances such as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (BBC, 2015), to contemporary-set series featuring gothic staples, such as The Vampire Diaries (CW, 2009–2017) and Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 2013–17). Some of the most interesting were those which fused or juxtaposed gothic elements in new configurations: among the closest to Doctor Who in terms of their arch, dark playfulness were American Gods (Starz, 2017–) and Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014– 16). Although Doctor Who was broadly consonant with this rash of magic-inflected narratives, the series remained distinctive, especially in

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episodes which featured what were to all intents and purposes supernatural creatures, such as ‘Listen’ (2014), ‘Face the Raven’ and ‘Heaven Sent’ (2015). Because of its temporal and generic meandering, Doctor Who was not exactly a consistent fantasy narrative – in spite of the ongoing lip-service to season-long story arcs – but nor was it an unfettered exploration of multiple expressions of the macabre in the same way as an anthology series like Black Mirror (Channel 4, 2011–14; Netflix, 2016–). Aesthetically, it remained a curiosity, and one which was arguably in some danger of stagnation. The elaborate tapestry of poetic gothicisms woven by Pickwoad, Burden, Holman et al. was by 2018 irrevocably bound up in critical perception with the increasingly polarizing figure of the incumbent showrunner, Steven Moffat. While his last series as showrunner in 2017 had been a critical success, its low viewing figures may have been one of the factors that encouraged his successor, Chris Chibnall, to give Doctor Who a comprehensive rebrand when he took over for the 2018 series, the most striking expression of which was his choice of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Recalibrations – 2018–20 The approach to Doctor Who’s narrative set-up changed relatively little with Whittaker’s debut season. Much like the Ninth with Rose Tyler’s family and the Tenth with Donna Noble’s, the Thirteenth Doctor quickly forged connections with a group of urban, working-class people (albeit this time not in London but Sheffield). Three of these – Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) and Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh) – became the new Doctor’s travelling companions. As with all previous Doctors in the revived series, her companions’ home and family lives formed a continuing anchor in her travels. And in terms of organization, the first part of Jodie Whittaker’s debut season mimicked the Davies formula of moving from contemporary to future setting, thence to the past, and then back to the contemporary world. Tonally, however, there was a major shift. The incisive bantering that had characterized earlier Doctors’ interactions with Rose, Donna, Amy and Clara was gone, and with it went the fizzing cocktail of excitement, horror and humour which had defined the majority of the scripts written

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by and under Davies and Moffat. The Thirteenth Doctor proved more wide-eyed and earnest than her predecessors, and the storytelling became correspondingly more serious. Whimsy and fantasy, though by no means gone, were much reduced in the speculative and futuristic stories, with more nods to hard science and much less use of advanced technology as a quasi-magical storytelling convenience. There was also a very marked shift towards moralizing, or at least towards edifying instruction, which recalled the very first, semi-educational series of Doctor Who in 1963–4. The three period episodes, ‘Rosa’ (2018), ‘Demons of the Punjab’ (2018) and ‘The Witchfinders’ (2018), all dramatized pivotal moments in racial or ethnic relations and religious conflicts, in each case with anachronistic or alien presences in the historical scenario somehow reflecting or metaphorically embodying the problem at hand. By the same token, contemporary- and future-set stories, such as ‘Arachnids in the UK’ (2018) and ‘Kerblam!’ (2018), tended to offer cautionary tales or allegories concerning late-stage capitalism and extremist politics, written with a tub-thumping directness not seen in Doctor Who since Jon Pertwee’s tenure.20 This trend continued in the 2020 season, with the same mix of parables, this time concerning Big Tech (‘Spyfall’) and the environment (‘Orphan 55’ and ‘Praxeus’), and exposition-heavy history lessons (‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’). All this change naturally suggested a less flamboyant approach to design, and for the most part both art direction and costume were indeed more subdued in Whittaker’s first season. The ‘DIY’ Dalek casing seen in the 2019 New Year’s Day Special, ‘Resolution’, which within the narrative is cobbled together by a lone Dalek scout deprived of its original travel machine, neatly embodied the new approach in being superficially realist, down-and-dirty, and eschewing the decorative and spectacular. Similarly, Ray Holman dressed the season’s ‘big bad’, the alien hunter-turned-demigod T’zim Sha, in black body armour which derived its interest almost exclusively from variation in contour and entirely avoided the ‘operatic’ effects which Holman himself had produced only three years before, in episodes for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor such as ‘Heaven Sent’ and ‘Hell Bent’ (2015). Likewise, apart from the dark and kooky TARDIS interior with its crystal columns and overlapping metallic screens of pierced hexagons, Arwel Jones’s sets for the 2018 season were frequently grand in scale but understated in detail. They

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tended to be sleek, cool and stark, as in the case of the offices of the titular company in ‘Kerblam!’ and the hospital ship in ‘The Tsuranga Conundrum’, where they were not bleakly austere, as in ‘The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos’ and ‘The Witchfinders’. Interestingly, in graphic design, Chibnall’s Doctor Who again seemed to be signalling (at least to informed aficionados) its return to something much nearer to the tone of the very earliest years of Doctor Who: the opening titles use inky, wheeling and twisting, Rorschach-like graphics which strongly recall the swirling abstract patterns in Bernard Lodge’s earliest title sequence. It is surely no coincidence that these new titles play over a treatment of the Doctor Who theme by Segun Akinola which is closer in spirit to the unnerving sounds of Delia Derbyshire’s original, epoch-making arrangement of Ron Grainer’s music than any produced in the intervening fifty-five years. Yet if there were calls back to the very first season of Doctor Who, there were also ways in which the 2018 series represented the most radical shift yet away from any preceding version of the show in its visual imagery and style. Costume, make-up and production design for the screen can never be divorced from the conditions of their representation, which are determined among other things by lighting, lens and shot choice, and later also by editing and manipulation of colour temperature. All of these things underwent marked change in Whittaker’s debut season. If Arwel Jones’s sets seemed in many cases to have a cool, neutral quality, this arguably had as much to do with the clinical, near-documentary photography and grading of the Chibnallhelmed series as with the designs themselves. However, it was not merely the visual tone which altered but also the scope of what was seen on screen. Much was made in the run-up to the 2018 season of Doctor Who’s adoption of new cameras and anamorphic lenses, and the more cinematic effect that these innovations were expected to produce.21 While the term cinematic is increasingly unhelpful for describing television fiction in the era of widescreen HD and surround sound, rhetorically it still suggests transcendence of the traditional limits of the TV medium. It is perhaps no coincidence that 2018 saw more extensive use of location filming – and specifically more filming abroad – than any prior series. The real world almost by definition guarantees an unmatched immediacy and an indisputable sense of reality; this is true even in shots which include digital adjustment or extension, as in

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the seamless addition of an appropriately grand array of mountains which transformed a Welsh valley into a rather more dramatic Norwegian one in ‘It Takes You Away’. Grand vistas and the dense patina of the natural world provided the touchstone for the impact of design imagery in the majority of episodes of the 2018 series, restricting the impact of design imagery and in some cases – such as the gnarled, woody makeup for Siobhan Finneran as the Morax Queen in ‘The Witchfinders’ – making inherently well-conceived and well-executed work seem relatively coarse simply because it pitted the designer’s and fabricator’s work against the irrefutable authenticity of nature. The prominence of real-world imagery in the 2018 season also helped to underscore another, more central visual opposition within the Chibnall rebrand. Ray Holman’s costume for the Thirteenth Doctor was the most colourful, not to say cartoonish, attire of any incarnation since the series’ revival. Throughout much of the 2018 season her outfit stood in stark contrast to incidental characters, and more importantly to the neutral, even dour, costuming of the Time Lord’s companions, Graham, Yaz and Ryan. At the end of her first season, the Thirteenth Doctor’s relationship with the overall series aesthetic remained unresolved. However, the process of adjustment around the star’s image began quickly with Whittaker’s second run in the role. The 2020 season featured the return of more graphically assertive monstrous antagonists, including the Judoon, the Skithra and a new race of Warrior Cybermen, and correspondingly greater emphasis on spectacular, graphically assertive set designs, from the angular arcades of Tranquillity Spa in ‘Orphan 55’ to the cut-out buttresses of the Fugitive Doctor’s TARDIS in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ and the x-shaped harnesses-cum-control-levers of the Cybermen’s scout ships in ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’. In short, after only one year of quasi-realism, Doctor Who design gravitated back strongly towards stylization, repeating in accelerated form the more gradual shift in the years after the 2005 revival, as Doctor Who settled into its newfound success.

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Postlude to Part One Any conclusion to this historical survey is necessarily provisional, since at the time of writing Doctor Who is scheduled to run on television for at least one more season, and there is every reason to suppose it will continue beyond that. However, a few final comments may usefully be made about patterns relating to Doctor Who design, or their absence – and also about the limits of a critical history of the topic. Looking back over the total span of Doctor Who’s life on television to date, it is worth first underscoring the fact that ups and downs in the series’ production history, and its changing critical fortunes, do not map in any consistent way onto the achievements, or failures, of art and costume departments. Design cannot really be implicated, for example, in the decline in popularity of Doctor Who in the 1968–9, 1980–1 or 2017 seasons: all were graced by costumes and sets which were adventurous, sophisticated, sometimes even opulent, given the available time and budget at designers’ disposal. Conversely, it is hard to believe that the consistent popularity of Doctor Who between 1977 and 1979 rested heavily on contributions from designers, given the patchy invention and often shoddy realization of the show’s visual imagery in this period. There again, it is equally hard not to imagine that certain highly visible design choices during the 1980s, most notably the increasingly silly costumes imposed on the series’ successive leading men, played some small role in hastening Doctor Who’s suspension in 1985 and its effective cancellation in 1989. Yet even where there seems to be clear correlation between weak designs and weakness overall in Doctor Who, as arguably during the mid-1980s, the issue is not straightforward. Images central to the brand and the series narrative, such as the costumes of the Sixth and Seventh Doctor, Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant), and Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford), may have been as problematic in their own way as the supposed excesses of violent storytelling in 1985 or slapstick frothiness in 1987. Similarly, the efforts of the BBC’s in-house visual-effects designers in the mid-1980s were, without question, often hopelessly crude in comparison with, say, the work done by the effects companies Universal Hartland and ILM for the American SF series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Battlestar Galactica a full half-decade earlier. However, beyond such high-profile failures or missteps, there were often still vivid

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designs to be seen in mid-1980s Doctor Who, as the impressive sets, special make-up, prosthetics and model work for serials such as ‘The Mark of the Rani’ (1985), ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ (1985), ‘Mindwarp’ and ‘Time and the Rani’ (1987) fully attest. This historical survey should underscore the fact that even the most able and lauded designers have very limited ability to transcend the context within which they work. They are ultimately at the mercy of not only the technicians but also the very technologies involved in putting their work on the screen. Close collaboration between designers and directors of photography or lighting directors may serve to bolster the effectiveness of design imagery, as may the sensibilities of a forceful director, but the technology of television itself de facto ultimately sets limits upon this effectiveness. New viewers of Doctor Who today can often see the serials of the 1970s and 1980s as disturbingly reminiscent of sitcoms, soap operas and, in the case of OB footage, even wedding videos, simply because of the comparative coarseness of video recording during the first two decades of colour television.22 Yet with this in mind, it is also worth stressing that a simple division of the design history of Doctor Who between the London and Cardiff periods is really not sustainable. In the context of production values, and to a great extent also production processes, there is undeniable disparity. However, in the narrower context of design motifs and idioms, the two iterations of Doctor Who are in many ways no more unlike one another than were the versions of the show on air in, say, 1966 and 1976, during the original run. Indeed, it could be argued that in certain respects, especially as regards imagery that is crucial to brand identity, Doctor Who of the Cardiff period has consolidated the show’s earlier design heritage much more than was ever true in the later London period. Over the course of the revived series, the design of costumes for Matt Smith’s and Peter Capaldi’s Doctors, and the choice to reintroduce first London-period Daleks and then the Mondasian Cybermen (in ‘World Enough and Time’), tended to affirm the past rather than offering novelty or even significant deviation from tradition – a matter to which I shall return in more than one section of Part Three. If there is one, clear, overarching pattern in the visual changes and recapitulations which have occurred over the history of Doctor Who, it is that the show’s design aesthetic is ultimately determined by larger authorial forces than the will of designers and their immediate

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collaborators. Most often, as we have seen, an aesthetic tone is set by producer or, later, showrunner. This tone-setting sometimes takes the form of direct intervention in staffing, as in the case of Philip Hinchcliffe’s demands for the services of particular design personnel. More often, it is a function of the kinds of scripts being written and commissioned for the series, which tend to define specific sorts of challenges, as with the move to Earthbound, alien-invasion adventures under Derrick Sherwin and Barry Letts, and the increasing gothicism of the series under Philip Hinchcliffe and later Steven Moffat. Yet the BBC itself must also be understood as an authorial force, impersonal though it is. During the 1960s and early 1970s, when the design departments had control of allocation of their staff, and when Richard Levin had the power to stamp both BBC programming and the BBC brand with a distinctive design ethos, the Corporation was a productive, enfranchising force for designers, bringing diversity to their portfolios and thus to the programmes on which they worked. In the later 1980s, the BBC’s paternalism was no less evident, though its influence was less benign. With costs rising, the demand for output increasing, and license-fee revenue having plateaued, the autonomy of the design departments and the corresponding creative authority of the designer were starting to be diminished as the era of competitive tendering for services – socalled ‘producer choice’ – loomed.23 Yet when all is said and done, design choices for Doctor Who are not ultimately explicable or meaningful solely with reference to large-scale historical forces, whether these are understood to be embodied in the institution of the BBC or in the succession of producers and showrunners who have exerted immediate authorial control over the series. An exploration of the larger contours of Doctor Who’s production history and stylistic evolution may provide a framework for understanding some of the impetus and some of the limits for visual worldbuilding, but historical analysis is of limited use for explaining the significance of specific design imagery. Indeed, yoking design causally to the influence of the producer or the wider institution of the BBC can belie other stylistic relationships within Doctor Who’s history. For example, working under very different conditions than predecessors who were full-time on the BBC payroll in the 1970s and 1980s, the costume designers Howard Burden and Hayley Nebauer both produced imagery for the new Doctor Who in the 2010s which was closely consonant in its

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chromatic richness and surface intricacy and variety with the work of John Bloomfield, Amy Roberts and June Hudson in the later 1970s, and correspondingly unlike much of the earlier costume design in the Cardiff period. As outlined above, this is partly attributable to the aesthetic vision of the incumbent showrunner, Steven Moffat, for both Burden and Nebauer wove their costume imagery around the simultaneously playful and gothic tone of writing for the show under his aegis. Yet the fact is that Moffat’s production office also hired and later rehired Ray Holman, a designer of a very different stripe, who even in his boldest designs evinces much less interest in the materiality of different fabrics and generally works with muted rather than intense colour. If we seek to explain the cross-generational congruence in costumes designed by June Hudson and Howard Burden, we cannot rely on a simple historical-analytical model based on the assumption that a flow of ideas from ‘above’ and ‘without’ repeatedly reshapes Doctor Who’s design profile in relatively predictable ways. In short, a general survey of design for Doctor Who, whether focused on production history or style history, is not likely to offer much insight into the distinctiveness of visual imagery developed for the show. Any historical survey has an inherently flattening effect on its subject matter, and Doctor Who’s design profile is nothing if not both varied and uneven. Over the course of the series’ lifespan, on and off screen, different elements in Doctor Who’s visual make-up have functioned in different ways in relation to the series’ identity and brand. Designers’ work has also evinced varied reactions from fans and occasionally commentators in the mainstream press or academia, sometimes as an object of critique in its own right but more often in relation to larger arguments about what makes episodes or ‘eras’ of Doctor Who good or bad. It is to these evaluative issues, and some of the ways of theoretically framing them, that I turn in Part Two.

PART TWO

What’s at Stake in Design for Doctor Who

Introduction to Part Two In Part One, I noted that Doctor Who is an unusually design-intensive screen text, depending as it does on visual imagery to establish the remote societies, strange creatures and singular environments through which the narrative zigzags. Yet, beyond the general claim that, for better or worse, Doctor Who’s credibility depends heavily on designers, what can be said about the distinctiveness and significance of design within the series? Is Doctor Who’s success or failure in visual worldbuilding straightforwardly measurable? What constitutes plausibility in this context? In short, is there a good yardstick for comprehensively evaluating the work done by Doctor Who design? There are two main ways of approaching these questions. On the one hand, the significance and success of design can be envisaged as a property of a given screen text and interpreted as a component of that text. In this model, it might be averred that what makes the design for monsters such as the Silents effective is the extent to which they uphold the plausibility of the dramatic situation, encouraging suspension of disbelief and thus also a frisson of fear or horror as opposed to ridicule 101

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or detachment. In essence, this means evaluating designs in terms of broad, even universalizing, standards such as realism. The other main approach to evaluative issues locates the value of design not in the Doctor Who text itself, but in viewers’ responses to it. Thus, for a reception-based approach, it is irrelevant to ask how a given design for the Cybermen – say the Cybus-Industries version which first appeared in the 2006 season – measures up against some relatively abstract, aesthetic yardstick for good design. Rather, what counts is how variants on the Cyberman design might be valued by watchers, especially those with strong investment in the series and detailed knowledge of the precedents. From this point of view, universal judgements are not possible, because engagement with the minutiae of any given episode is very unlikely to be consistent among audience members at any given moment, far less over the course of time. Staying with the example of the Cybermen, the absence from the Cybus-Industries model of a discernible ‘chest unit’ – the accordion-like fixtures which served as lifesupport and sometimes as a weapons bank on the Cybermen of the 1960s and 1970s – is unlikely to be of concern to the casual viewer. By extension, it may matter relatively little to the fan who was drawn to the series after the 2005 revival. Yet among older fans, the new design might well be subject to evaluation and debate based on its consonance or dissonance with established series norms. As analytical lenses for understanding evaluative problems in design for Doctor Who, both the text-based and the reception-based approaches raise interesting questions, even if they don’t necessarily provide definitive answers. In the following two chapters I address each in turn.

Chapter 3 The work of design in the Doctor Who narrative

Measures for the intrinsic value of Doctor Who design Doctor Who is to the nth degree episodic (story arcs in the new series notwithstanding) because the Doctor’s adventures can in principle take place anywhere in time or space. A common-sense approach to assessing the value of design as a function of the Doctor Who text might therefore logically start by breaking down the series into its four main kinds of narrative – episodes set in Earth’s past; those which project future moments of our world’s history; those set on alien planets or other extra-terrestrial environments (such as spaceships and space stations), and those set on Earth in or very near to the present day. In the case of each of these kinds of story, it might seem reasonable to assume that there is a set of conventions or norms against which individual episodes of Doctor Who can readily be measured. However, this approach turns out to be less satisfactory than it might at first appear, because in each case the baseline proves elusive. While this is partly because of changes in Doctor Who over an intermittent lifespan of almost sixty years, a comparison of episodes of the same narrative kind from a relatively narrow timeframe suggests that the instability runs deeper. The Doctor’s adventures in history serve as my primary case study here. Historical fiction is the category which in principle might seem the 103

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most coherent, because conventions for television and film period drama are now so ingrained and, for much of Doctor Who’s life, have been much-lauded mainstays of the BBC’s drama output. Yet Doctor Who also has its own internal rules which complicate this picture. A long tradition in the literature of Doctor Who has been the distinction between the pure historical and pseudohistorical.1 The former, which was eliminated barely four years into Doctor Who’s original run (barring one isolated return in 1982), was often structured around celebrated historical figures – Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, and so on – and sometimes also a specific event, such as the St Bartholomew Day’s massacre. As the moniker ‘pure historical’ suggests, no extraneous elements such as monsters were present in these serials. The pseudohistorical, by contrast, does include the otherworldly or anachronistic. Since the mid 1970s, the pseudohistorical has proven a flexible and increasingly popular formula: during the Cardiff period, at least two episodes set in the past, invariably featuring alien beings or at least a time-travelling opponent, have been a regular feature of every season. Yet in design terms, the distinction between ‘pure’ and ‘pseudo’ is not necessarily a useful one. Consider the two, contiguous, period pieces of the 1982 season, ‘The Visitation’ and ‘Black Orchid’. The former finds the alien Terileptils involved in the spread of plague, and ultimately helping to cause the Fire of London, in 1666, whereas the latter is essentially a straight, Agatha-Christie-esque country-house mystery, set in the 1920s. Neither serial is discernibly more or less attentive to the patina of period detail. The only real discrepancy is the overlaying of alien tech in a few scenes in ‘The Visitation’, and of course the presence of the Terileptils and their android servant. By the same token, differences in tone even among ‘pure’ historicals do not necessarily have any influence on design. The 1965 serial ‘The Romans’, in which the Emperor Nero played a central role, with the climax even finding him fiddling as Rome burns, sharply distinguished itself from Doctor Who’s prior adventures in history in that it was comedic, verging in places on the farcical. Yet none of this could be discerned purely from Ray Cusick’s densely designed sets for Roman interiors (and a few exteriors). The designer made clever use of stock elements and scenic painting to evoke the imposing architecture and lavish interior décor which flourished under the later Julio-Claudian emperors. In short, in

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visual terms this serial was no less straightforwardly serious in its treatment of a past society than Barry Newbery’s earlier designs for ‘The Aztecs’ or ‘The Reign of Terror’ (1964). All that being said, Doctor Who’s historical adventures exhibit a considerable range of different design aesthetics. While Doctor Who has never gone as far as motion pictures such as Anna Karenina (Joe Wright, 2012) or indeed television series such as The Tudors (Showtime, 2007–2010) in filtering period dress through recent or contemporary fashion,2 there are many shifts across the design spectrum from apparent realism to obvious stylization and even knowing cliché. In recent years, the two ends of this spectrum can be neatly defined with reference to ‘Rosa’, Jodie Whittaker’s first episode in a period setting, and ‘Robot of Sherwood’ (2014), Peter Capaldi’s second. It would be hard to imagine a more sober representation of the Southern United States in the post-war period than that in ‘Rosa’. With extensive location shooting in Cape Town, doubling as Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, the episode was in many ways the acme of the series’ new realism in the 2018 season. A profoundly muted, ominous world is presented here. The work of the art and costume departments, intensified by careful photography and grading, is central to establishing the tone of desiccated drear. Even the appearance of the technologically advanced villain, Krasko (Joshua Bowman) – a racist time traveller bent on preventing Rosa Parks’ impact on the struggle for civil rights – is visually controlled to ensure that he does not disrupt the documentary feel of the episode. Krasko’s slicked hair, white t-shirt, black motorcycle jacket and rolled-up jeans are calculated to make him look essentially like a 1950s bad boy, with faint overtones of the White Supremacism he embodies. Everything else about ‘Rosa’ bespeaks a studied restraint and economy of aesthetic means, the most visually assertive element being the transfiguring pale beige suit which Rosa Parks (Vinette Robinson) wears in key scenes, including her historic arrest – though in this sombre climactic scene the suit (which, based on Parks’ booking photographs, is historically accurate in fabric and cut if not in its pale hue) is partially muted by an overcoat. By sharp contrast, ‘Robot of Sherwood’ is a riot of spectacle. With costume in particular, the episode edges, or rather swaggers, towards parody and stereotype. It is not only the mostly light-hearted tone of the episode which justifies the playfulness of the costumes but also the fact

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that the script is explicitly concerned throughout with the problem of whether or not Robin Hood was a real historical figure. The Doctor’s scepticism on this point seems justified by the improbably picturesque, verdant environment of Sherwood Forest (explained in the story as the result of radiation leakage from a spaceship concealed in Nottingham castle) and the equally improbable comeliness, charm and almost unflagging merriment of Robin. The plot is rife with oft-reproduced scenarios from Robin Hood stories and films. For example, the Doctor no sooner arrives than he gets embroiled in a duel on a bridge with Robin; at the episode’s heart is an archery contest, and the climax is marked by another duel, this time between Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham, in the grand setting of Nottingham Castle. Tonally, the episode’s most important precedent is the celebrated Errol Flynn vehicle The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz, William Keighley, 1938). Howard Burden dresses Tom Riley’s Robin in a figure-flaunting outfit comparable to Flynn’s, with short doublet and closely tailored chausses (Figure 3.1a and b), all in variations of forest green. In his first scene, Riley – instantly evoking Flynn as he stands arms akimbo, laughing at the Doctor – even wears a skimpy version of the bycocket hat, the headgear which the 1938 film cemented in public imagination for two generations as proper to Robin Hood (Figure 3.1a). Riley’s Flynn-esque Robin is appropriately offset by a black-clad Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Miller), whose embossed leather doublet and sable-lined outer tunic, like his luxuriant dark hair and beard, align him with the darkly compelling main antagonist in the Flynn movie, Guy of Gisborne (Basil Rathbone). The supple, full-skirted bliaut of rich burnt orange velvet donned by Clara Oswald (Figure 3.1b), an unapologetically bold statement, might be justified in narrative terms as over-enthusiastic dressing up on the part of a time traveller keen to meet and impress her idol. Yet in this context narrative logic is arguably a secondary consideration: metanarratively, the Technicolor glamour of Clara’s outfit serves to consolidate the episode’s cheeky flirtation with cinematic tradition. Doctor Who permits – indeed, one could even argue that it encourages – the kinds of disparities to be seen in ‘Rosa’ and ‘Robot of Sherwood’. TARDIS travel amounts to a ‘reset button’. Moreover, few of the series’ period pieces have aired sequentially and the same period and location have for obvious reasons never appeared in two contiguous stories. Indeed, on the one occasion in Doctor Who’s history where

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there was a direct connection between successive historical episodes, there was also disparity in tone. ‘The Girl Who Died’ and ‘The Woman Who Lived’ (both 2015) are linked by the presence of Ashildr (Maisie Williams), a girl from a ninth-century Danish village who is killed by aliens in ‘The Girl Who Died’ but resurrected by the Doctor. At the end of the episode she is shown to be now immortal and unchanging; in ‘The Woman Who Lived’ the Doctor encounters her hundreds of years later, living in England during the Protectorate. ‘The Girl Who Died’ is a fastpaced and relatively action-oriented adventure; ‘The Woman Who Lived’ is more ruminative, much of the first third being given over to a two-hander between the Doctor and Ashildr (now calling herself Lady Me). Neither episode relies on earlier screen fiction and illustration in the same, specifically evocative, way as ‘Robot of Sherwood’, but in both these episodes, archaeological truthfulness in costume design is still ultimately less important than cinematic and theatrical precedent. For example, some of the Danish warriors in ‘The Girl’ wear the familiar horned helmets popularly associated with the Vikings (Figure 3.1c), even though there is no historical evidence for such highly impractical embellishments on their helmets. (The horn decorations actually derive from the first Bayreuth staging of Wagner’s Ring in 1857.) This cheesiness proves to be perfectly in keeping with the tone of much of ‘The Girl Who Died’. In spite of the moment of poignancy presaged by the title, the episode borders on the parodic tone of Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky (1977) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, 1975). ‘The Woman Who Lived’, while certainly not without broad humour, is more heavily laced with melancholy, and so it is perhaps unsurprising that there is less recourse to theatrical metahistory in design. Yet there is still sly use of long-established screen tropes such as the dashing, dandified, gentleman-highwayman wearing a leather half mask – and, indeed, a clear nod to The Wicked Lady (Leslile Arliss, 1945) in that Lady Me’s features are revealed when the leather mask is removed. Most aspects of her costume seem designed more with an eye to upholding the classic image of the debonair highwayman than to honouring the demands of period. Both Me’s tricorne hat and the deep open cuffs and full skirts on her coat are familiar conceits for the highwayman of screen entertainment and book illustration, evoking the styles of the 1730s much more than those of the 1650s (Figure 3.1d).

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Figures 3.1 Historical-cinematical-theatrical: playfulness in period design for Doctor Who

a

b Figures 3.1a and b Costumes designed by Howard Burden for Robin Hood (Tom Riley) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) in ‘Robot of Sherwood’ (2014). Both images promotional stills © BBC Worldwide.

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d Figure 3.1c and d Costumes designed by Ray Holman for armed Viking villagers in ‘The Girl Who Died’ (2015) and for Lady Me (Maisie Williams) and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) in ‘The Woman Who Lived’ (2015). Both images promotional stills © BBC Worldwide.

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Doctor Who’s tendency towards the theatrical, and evocation of the past in broad rather than fine strokes, can even manifest piecemeal in productions which have especially strong claims to historical authenticity, such as ‘The Masque of Mandragora’. This is one of the serials from Doctor Who’s original run which most assiduously pastiches period sources in its writing, and is underpinned by deep knowledge of the historical moment in which the story takes place, namely the last years of the fifteenth century. The writer, Louis Marks, had been a Renaissance scholar before he embarked on his television career,3 and so unsurprisingly the script for ‘Masque’ strongly echoes the cadences, syntax and colourful metaphors found in dramas and other writings of the period. The different kinds of villainy embodied by a cruel and ambitious nobleman, Count Federico (Jon Laurimore), and his fanatical astrologer, Hieronymus (Norman Jones), are strongly defined in their dialogue, which is vicious and coarse in Federico’s case and darkly grandiloquent in Hieronymus’s. Much of the costuming is straightforwardly attuned to Marks’s evocation of period style. The designer, James Acheson, later recalled seeking to acquire stock from an Italian costume hire company previously used in a major feature film,4 but whatever the eventual source, the dress and grooming of the characters, including Count Federico, is carefully rooted in the styles and construction techniques for which portraiture of the years around 1500 provides ample testimony. In terms of period verisimilitude, the odd man out in ‘The Masque of Mandragora’ is Hieronymus. As well as being centrally involved in Federico’s schemes to seize the throne of the duchy of San Martino, Hieronymus is also secretly the leader of an ancient, demonic cult. By virtue of this occult life, he becomes the vessel of an alien force seeking to hold back humanity’s development. Hieronymus’s attire for his cultic activities consists of a largely timeless, purple robe, the hood of which frames a gold mask in the form of a snarling, bearded face. His day-today court astrologer’s attire is arguably not so much timeless as untimely. The high-fastening olive robe with exaggeratedly full upper sleeves and tight forearms reflects aristocratic fashions of the 1450s, not the 1490s, and his unusual, dark coif with its jutting ear covers might belong to an even earlier date. The same applies to the standing wheel collar of the over-robe which serves as his badge of office in court scenes; if anything, this suggests the fashions of the first decade of the

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fifteenth century. All these anachronisms can be narratively justified: seemingly old-fashioned garb is, after all, apt for a man who is the embodiment of old superstitions and retardative forces. Arguably more important, though, is the dramatic impact of the costume. The grandeur of Hieronymus’s silhouette gives him the visual heft to match Count Federico, his social superior, and to serve as a dramatically potent antipode to Tom Baker’s Doctor. In short, then, some kind of ‘twist’ on history in some or all design arguably matches the larger-than-life tone which has typically predominated in Doctor Who, not least in the person of its lead performer at any given moment (Davison’s Fifth Doctor perhaps being the exception). It is worth noting in this context a remark by the costume designer John Bloomfield, who in ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’ produced some of the most peacockish extemporizations on period dress that the series has ever seen. Historical drama, in Bloomfield’s view, is always ‘history with a twist’, because ‘with any sort of story, a simple museum recreation is not appropriate’; rather, what the designer devises ‘has to be a vehicle to help the viewer into the world of the story’.5 Whereas period dress and grooming, architecture and furnishings are based on verifiable sources of information, however indirectly and loosely, design for alien and future worlds has no comparable anchor. Unsurprisingly, therefore, idiomatic variation in Doctor Who’s design for these imagined worlds is even greater. Perhaps more unexpected is the fact that design for contemporary-set Doctor Who episodes also lacks a distinct aesthetic threshold. Here again it’s quite possible to find sharp divergence among episodes made and broadcast in close proximity to one another. Take the 2014 season’s climactic two-part finale, ‘Dark Water’ and ‘Death in Heaven’, and another two-parter from the following year, ‘The Zygon Invasion’ and ‘The Zygon Inversion’, both of which feature UNIT. In each case the organization faces old menaces from the 1960s and 1970s: Missy (formerly the Master) and the Cybermen in ‘Death in Heaven’, and the eponymous shapeshifters in ‘The Zygon Invasion’ and ‘Inversion’. In ‘The Zygon Invasion’ sites not only in urban and suburban London but also a town in New Mexico and a village in the fictional Turmezistan are all presented with calculated, often grim banality. Except for periodic glimpses of the Zygons and their underground nest, and brief establishing shots of each of the locales

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outside Britain, all spectacle is suppressed. ‘Death in Heaven’, by contrast, is replete with grandiose visuals from first to last: an early scene has the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral opening segmentally to emit a squadron of flying Cybermen, and the climax witnesses another army of Cybermen emerging from the ground of a spookily picturesque graveyard, beneath brooding storm clouds. Purpose-built sets and other interior spaces are even more strongly divergent. Among several epic, bravura sets in ‘Dark Water’ the most imposing are the headquarters for the shady 3W Institute, which turns out to be the breeding ground for Missy’s new race of undead Cybermen. The mausoleum in which Doctor and Clara first arrive consists of tier upon tier of grand galleries rising (courtesy of digital set extension) above a neoclassical hall, each gallery housing rows of water tanks in which disguised Cybermen lurk. There is nothing like the 3W Institute in ‘The Zygon Invasion’ and ‘Inversion’. With the exception of the lavish, Air-Force-One-like plane on which the Doctor travels to and from Turmezistan, interiors tend to be dark, poky, cluttered and down-atheel. UNIT operates here primarily out of the crumbling basement of a safe house; its stately headquarters in the bowels of the Tower of London are largely eschewed until the end of the second episode. Even when we see the Black Archive – UNIT’s vast storeroom of dangerous alien artefacts in the cellars of the Tower, which first appeared in key scenes in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ – it is shot in a way which generally suppresses scale. In short, the two pairs of episodes are polar opposites: a grittily told, SF allegory of contemporary problems pertaining to radicalism and wars of terror in the case of ‘The Zygon Invasion’, and full-throated SF fantasy, with overtones of both gothic horror and the superhero epic, in ‘Dark Water’ and ‘Death in Heaven’. The contemporary world is mutated on screen accordingly. With all this variability, is it possible to place any conceptual framework around the study of design for Doctor Who which might enable a comprehensive appraisal of its effectiveness? Or is the attempt to establish some kind of aesthetic baseline doomed to collapse into relativism? So far, as noted at the beginning of this chapter, I have adopted a common-sense approach, but this can ultimately offer little more than an opportunity to tease out the strands from the cat’s cradle of Doctor Who’s visual aesthetic. In the following section, I turn to theoretical perspectives on design for the screen, and to academic

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theories of genre and narrative, which in one way or another help to clarify issues of value in Doctor Who design, if not to resolve them.

Theorizing the genres of Doctor Who, and design as index Since the publication fifty years ago of the first major, book-length, critical study of cinematic art direction, Leon Barsacq’s Le décor de film,6 scholars of design, and designers themselves when asked to comment on their work, have repeatedly reinforced certain assumptions. The most tenacious of these is the idea that the designer’s basic task is to uphold the illusion that the camera photographs real objects, disguising the constructedness of sets and avoiding the appearance of artifice.7 A close correlative to this ideal of realism achieved through ‘invisible’ design in screen fiction is the view that design imagery should not be bumptious enough to distract from plot and character.8 Scholars of design for film have tended to regard anything which smacks of spectacle with a measure of suspicion, at worst condemning it for its shallowness and escapism, at best chiding it for failing in its supportive function. Thus, the most developed taxonomy of design for the screen produced to date, Charles and Mirella Jona Affron’s Sets in Motion: Art Direction and Film Narrative, identifies ‘set as artifice’ as the second-tohighest level of ‘design intensity’ – and this ranking is not an accolade.9 The ‘artificial set’, in the Affrons’ critical framework, is design which consistently ‘calls attention to itself’, most often evident in screen fiction with a high fantasy quotient, such as the musical, the fairy-tale, the horror movie, the superhero film, and science fiction.10 Such design, according to the Affrons, is apt to be too intense, ‘challenging the force of plot and character’. For them – and, they claim, most practising designers – the ‘good set’ is one which is ‘modestly denotative’ of time, place, mood and culture.11 According to this view, which is broadly endorsed by most other scholars writing about production or costume design, nearly all the Doctor Who episodes discussed in this chapter are tainted one way or another. ‘Rosa’ would probably pass muster, as just possibly might ‘The Zygon Invasion’ and ‘The Zygon Inversion’, by virtue of their

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emphatic mundanity and very limited, low-key use of the titular aliens. Yet the Affron model simply can’t accommodate the kind of bifurcated design idiom of a serial like ‘The Masque of Mandragora’, where the overall realism of the palace sets and period costumes is offset, courtesy of Hieronymus’s purple cult robes and gold mask, with something closer to the brightly coloured, simplified costume imagery in Roger Corman’s film adaptation of The Masque of the Red Death (1964). Even Barry Newbery’s lavish set for the Duke of Marino’s studiolo in the same serial, which is avowedly derived lock, stock and barrel from Vittore Carpaccio’s period-appropriate but highly fanciful painting of St Augustine in his Study,12 might not be ‘modestly denotative’ enough in the Affrons’ view to avoid potentially distracting audiences. Design in toto for a serial such as ‘The Happiness Patrol’ would surely be a nonstarter for the Affrons, relentlessly flaunting its own staginess as it does. By the Affrons’ standards there are no such out-and-out solecisms as ‘The Happiness Patrol’ during the Cardiff era, but it is again important to note that a model which posits a shift from bad/artificial design in the old series to good/realistic design in the new is not workable. Moreover, there have been several episodes in revived Doctor Who which are in design terms much more internally inconsistent than ‘The Masque of Mandragora’. For example, ‘Twice Upon a Time’, Peter Capaldi’s Christmas 2017 swansong, runs the gamut from unabashed artifice to finely tuned historical realism. The episode culminates with a respectful recreation of the Ypres trenches and no-man’s-land during the 1914 Christmas Truce. Yet the action starts amidst improbably sculptural snowdrifts in an Antarctic landscape, and then veers further into the irreal. Of the other two main environments, one is the set for the interior of an unusual spaceship, which appears to be a vast, circular stone tower of superimposed arcades with a grand staircase running up steeply to a control chamber in the midst. The whole thing is dizzying and operatic enough to grace one of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films. More daringly, ‘Twice’ juxtaposes the realism of the Second World War scenes directly with highly stylized sets for the ruined world of Villengard, which depend for their impact primarily on suffusing fanciful, theatrical structures with intense, primary-coloured light. On inspection, the Affrons’ notion of the ‘modestly denotative’ proves less neutral and reasonable than it claims to be: as already implied in the foregoing, it speaks to an entrenched bias in favour of

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realism and understatement. So, if the Affrons’ taxonomic model is built on unacknowledged prejudice and implied hierarchy, then how might it be possible to establish a less tendentious framework for evaluating the work of design in Doctor Who? Rather than use absolute benchmarks or supposedly universal taxonomies, it seems to me best to think about the morphology of design imagery in Doctor Who texts in terms of genre, mood and atmosphere. These are all imprecise and, to an extent, fungible categories, but they accommodate the variety – not to say the sometimes wild inconsistency and internal contradictoriness – of design for Doctor Who. While genres are certainly not immune to hierarchization, implicit in the very idea of genre is multiplicity. As a basis for inquiry, genre theory allows for the idea that verisimilitude and appropriateness are relative terms.13 For example, the bedrocks of musical comedy, such as the convention of characters spontaneously moving from dialogue to song, would break the suspension of disbelief in a police procedural or intense family drama, but it is self-evidently nonsensical to argue that every song and dance routine correspondingly disrupts the credibility of a musical. If the benchmark is generic verisimilitude (as opposed to sociocultural verisimilitude),14 it is logically meaningless to condemn science fiction for showing alternative or projected worlds which draw the eye because they are unlike our world. Yet even a genre-based approach is problematic in the case of Doctor Who, since the series is not a homogeneous phenomenon.15 Quite apart from adjustments in tone which have occurred with successive authorial regimes, Doctor Who’s shifts across genre were effectively built into its storytelling foundations, allowing it from the very outset to undergo regular and radical idiomatic change.16 As we have seen, even episodes which belong broadly to the same genre may vary wildly at the level of mood and atmosphere, as in the cases of ‘Rosa’ and ‘Robot of Sherwood’. With this in mind, it is useful to reach beyond genre-based analysis to narrative theory, for this can help specify design’s role not within clusters of texts, but within given, individual texts. The semiotician Roland Barthes long ago made a distinction between the elements in a narrative which move it forward, and those which furnish mood and atmosphere. He defined the former as functions and the latter as indices.17 Design imagery clearly belongs among the indices, and so from a semiotic perspective perhaps the most basic

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question which can be posed about design for Doctor Who is how it indexes the mood and atmosphere of the narrative. In effect, throughout this chapter I have been arguing for the indicial effectiveness of design imagery at the level of the individual Doctor Who episode. The problem is that in many cases those arguments could be inverted. For example, the stylization of Hieronymus’s cult robes and mask in ‘The Masque of Mandragora’ can be read as a successful means of creating a special mood for the character, situating him affectively between the mundane world of court intrigue and the superhuman forces of the Mandragora Helix which possesses him. However, the costume choice might less charitably be viewed as a crude misstep which violates the overall historical authenticity of the episode. The radical shifts in design idiom in ‘Twice Upon a Time’ are even more obviously susceptible to criticism, for they arguably draw undue attention to changes of tone and atmosphere in the several different scenarios. Beyond these considerations, assessing a single episode as an isolated narrative ignores the fact that Doctor Who is open-ended, longform television fiction. The narrative against which design imagery’s indicial effectiveness is judged may in the first instance be the episode in question, but the claims of the ongoing series-narrative cannot be denied. This is especially true in the age of story arcs, where we are invited to connect episodes in a variety of ways which might arguably require some level of visual consistency to uphold them. Key images which recur or are updated, such as the Doctor’s costumes, the TARDIS, and the various iterations of the Cybermen, also inevitably invite comparison with precedents within the larger narrative. Such comparison arguably trumps questions of how effective such a design is within any given scenario. All this seems to suggest that we are at an impasse. Design in the macro-narrative context might reasonably be expected to index what can only be called ‘Doctor-Who-ness’ – a mood or atmosphere which makes the series in toto distinctive and always recognizably itself, in spite of changing imperatives in its production or larger cultural context. Yet Doctor Who seemingly resists the application of any unitary standard for assessing the effectiveness of design, beyond what visual imagery indexes within a given micro-narrative. Genre theory again offers a solution here. Genres are mobile and evolving, continually being both

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upheld and reshaped by audiences, critics and the machinery of entertainment marketing.18 In other words, fictional genres cannot be conceived as natural categories in the way that genus and species are within biological classification: genres depend for their existence not just on perceived likenesses but, perhaps more importantly, on there being some perceived critical or commercial value in continuing to insist on those likenesses. Consequently, generic verisimilitude is not an absolute measure of effectiveness, because genre is in itself subject to discursive shifts, both in terms of audience response and changes in modes of production and industry standards. Moreover, the ways in which a film is categorized is dependent on the evaluative lens used, and the concerns of the viewer. Is The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946) best understood as film noir, a term devised by French critics long after the movie’s release? Or should it be considered an example of the crime film, the detective film or the ‘meller’ (i.e. melodrama), as US audiences, trade papers and industry professionals would have been likely to categorize it at the time it was produced?19 Is Blade Runner a neo-noir in SF clothes or the other way round? Finding answers to these questions, and indeed deciding how far they really need to be answered, will depend on the nature of one’s investment and expertise. It may be added that tone, mood and atmosphere are also subject to variations in perception. Thus, the cycle of gothic horror movies produced by Hammer and its competitors in mainland Europe during the 1960s have in most cases lost much of their shocking or titillating character for twenty-first-century audiences who are inured to much more visceral imagery and overt sexuality in the horror genre. Sixty-two years on, the mood and pacing of a film such as Terence Fisher’s Dracula (1958) are more likely to be understood in terms of suspense than frisson, and the atmosphere of its sequel The Brides of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1960) is correspondingly more likely to register as elegantly macabre, or darkly camp, than horrific. And of course, it is equally true that the earliest viewers for a particular film or television programme may be divided about the nature of what they have experienced. The immediate and drastic polarization among Star Wars fans precipitated by The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017) speaks in part to audiences’ widely disparate experience of what they perceived as tonal choices. This is true especially in relation to the handling of the pivotal figure of Luke Skywalker and the curt brushing-off of enigmas

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left hanging in the previous film in the franchise, The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015), which had generated massive speculation from fans.20 For some, the revisionism of The Last Jedi was a welcome reversal of Star Wars clichés; for others, it was a betrayal of the Star Wars mythos. Either way, tone was at stake. Luke Skywalker’s misanthropy and nihilism in the film were either perceived as emotionally resonant or as implausible for the character as we knew him before; the abrupt dispatch mid-way through of the previous film’s ‘big bad’, Supreme Leader Snoke, was either understood a refreshing subversion of the climatic showdowns with Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith (George Lucas, 2005) or as a frustrating foreclosure of any character development for Snoke – and so on. None of this is to suggest that either genre or tone is a shibboleth. Genre may not offer a securely fixed point of departure for screen theorists, but as a discursive category it is nonetheless an important rallying point for taste, choice, opinion and future creativity. Ultimately, the fact that film noir was invented after the fact is not as significant as the fact that it has been embraced by cinephiles, students and, above all, film and programme makers. Self-evidently, there had to be a widely understood concept of noir in the 1970s for critics and filmmakers to designate new work as ‘neo-noir’.21 By the same token, responses to Doctor Who, such as fan criticism of camp design elements and journalistic persiflage about the original series’ rubber monsters and wobbly walls, matter not in terms of how ‘right’ they are but in terms of how they may have come to define expectations of the show. In short, such clichés may have influenced how Doctor Who has adapted and changed, especially since the revival. After all, the new series has been consistently shaped by professionalized fans, and it is hard to believe that Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall, or any of the other longstanding Who devotees working on the programme with them, were wholly immune to the existing tenets of fan criticism. With all this in mind, I turn in Chapter 4 to a consideration of evaluative patterns in the fan-critical discourse around design for Doctor Who. As I shall suggest, this can be as much as structuring absence as a body of defined criticism. Yet, as I shall go on to argue, some fans engage in evaluative acts of other kinds in relation to design for the show – as do the programme makers themselves.

Chapter 4 Responding to design for Doctor Who – evaluations and transformations

Fan discourse and the evaluation of Doctor Who design Design for Doctor Who has typically not garnered much critical scrutiny. This is partly because popular criticism is not focused upon the visual components of screen fiction in any systematic way. Plot, characterization and dialogue far more often form the basis for water-cooler discussions of media texts. This bias has historically held good in Doctor Who fan discourse, a critical arena in which writing has long been explicitly privileged over the visual.1 This is not to say that design is wholly neglected, either in fan commentary directed primarily at other fans, such as the reviews published at the on-line Doctor Who Ratings Guide and the discussion threads at the forum Gallifrey Base, or in the growing number of professionalized-fan reviews on media news and discussion sites ranging from Radio Times to The AV Club, which are at least notionally accessible to more general audiences. However, even where design finds favour, as it typically does in Doctor Who Ratings Guide reviews of new-series episodes, praise is likely to be offered in passing, and successful design simply described as ‘excellent’, ‘top notch’ or ‘flawless’, with none of the nuanced evaluation typically lavished on writing and characterization. 119

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, given well-worn clichés about the original Doctor Who series’ cheapness, and the brickbats once directed against its tawdriness by Michael Grade and others, fans tend to have even less to say about design for the original series than the new. A few serials from the London period have yielded consistent accolades for their design. For example, ‘The Robots of Death’ (1977) and ‘The Keeper of Traken’ are often applauded for the richness of the designers’ worldbuilding endeavours; interestingly, in the latter case fan-critics’ enthusiasm for design is rather more uniform than their enthusiasm for the script.2 Yet positive, careful attention to design imagery from the classic series is unusual. Often design is only indirectly acknowledged, as a function of production values, and more often than not this aspect is found deficient. However, it is important to note that fan discourse does not necessarily treat disappointing visual style as a serious weakness. As Alan McKee has argued in his work on fan evaluation of Doctor Who, strong production values can actually be the cause of an episode’s being dismissed as privileging ‘style over substance’ – a condemnation which continues to be invoked in relation to the 1980–1 season opener ‘The Leisure Hive’, for instance.3 McKee’s study is one of several that highlights the ways in which fan discourse has tended to elevate good writing as the prime characteristic which sets the classic series of Doctor Who apart from American SF television.4 In its most extreme manifestations, this view turns Doctor Who’s alleged visual crudeness into a mark of distinction: the discerning fan recognizes such matters as design as a superficial consideration and, as one fan commentator put it, ‘fantastically irrelevant’ to understanding Doctor Who’s virtue, which is enshrined purely in ‘solid storytelling’.5 The obverse of this coin is a certain amount of defensiveness or deflection within fan commentary apropos the most glaringly sub-par design imagery and production values in the London period – though again, the centrality of strong writing in Doctor Who is typically presented as a saving grace. A good case study here is ‘Kinda’. This 1982 serial is widely admired for the distinctive, intense and evocative script by Christopher Bailey, and for what many fan commentators regard as corresponding strength across the board in the performances of the cast.6 (In fan discourse, good acting is another often-touted virtue of classic Doctor Who.7) Conversely, there has been a damning consensus on the serial’s design imagery, especially the sets representing the

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idyllic, sub-tropical forest world of Deva Loka, and the giant-snake prop representing the evil Mara, seen briefly at the climax. ‘Kinda’ was far from unique in London-period Doctor Who in having its main exteriors realized wholly in the studio, though in two different ways the Deva Loka forest represented a departure from prior examples. First, all recording was done in the electronic studio, whereas previous forest and jungle environments had typically been built and shot in the BBC’s film facility at Ealing, especially where they were used for extended sequences, as in ‘Face of Evil’ (1977) and ‘The Creature from the Pit’ (1979) (Figure 4.1b). 16-mm film allowed for greater suppleness of lighting and, given the softening effect of its grain, was also more forgiving of artifice. Beyond these considerations, the exclusive use of the electronic studio for ‘Kinda’ meant that in most of the forest sets it was impossible to do much more than disguise the studio floor with leaves (Figure 4.1c). Extensive building-up of a naturally varied forest floor using rostra was impossible, since allowance had to be made for the free movement of the several, cumbersome, pedestal cameras.8 Set-up and strike time also militated against properly blending the vegetable elements into a seamless whole. Beyond the practical considerations, another difficulty was that Deva Loka was supposed to be a paradisal environment. As a design project, therefore, it arguably denied the set designer, Malcolm Thornton, the opportunity for the kinds of inventive flourishes which held the eye, in the best sense, in the utterly alien jungles created by Roger MurrayLeach and Austin Ruddy, respectively, for ‘Planet of Evil’ and ‘Face of Evil’. In both cases, and especially ‘Planet of Evil’ (Figure 4.1a), the bizarre and expressionistically composed plant forms helped to soften the transition from scenes shot on film in Ealing to those recorded on video at BBC Television Centre. Conversely, with its instantly recognizable palms and ornamental trees arrayed around the studio in what seemed in some cases to be barely disguised tubs, the ‘normal’, sub-tropical forest in ‘Kinda’ ironically appeared stagier than its more stylized predecessors. Remarks to the effect that the serial looked as though it had been shot in a garden centre, or that Deva Loka was the planet of the pot-plants (see Figure 4.1d), are to this day rife in reviews.9 Apart from the limitations of the forest sets, the element in ‘Kinda’ which has done most to seal its reputation for visual weakness, as noted, is what one commentator called the ‘laughably cute rubber

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Figure 4.1 Jungles of the Whoniverse

Figure 4.1a Jungle on the planet Zeta Minor in ‘Planet of Evil’ (1975), designed by Roger Murray-Leach, built at Ealing film studios. Training/ demonstration photograph, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 4.1b Jungle on Chloris in ‘The Creature from the Pit’ (1979), also built at Ealing and atmospherically lit, featuring Romana (Lalla Ward). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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c

d Figures 4.1c and d The forest on Deva Loka for ‘Kinda’, built in the electronic studio at TV Centre and flat lit for multiple cameras. Screen captures, © BBC Worldwide.

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snake’ which appears at the end of the serial as the serial’s big bad, the Mara.10 It seems reasonable to infer that this embarrassingly anticlimactic manifestation helped to ensure that Thornton’s forest would be more harshly judged than, say, the equally stagy jungle sets in the previous season’s ‘Meglos’ (1980). Yet the problem with ‘Kinda’ for fan critique is not simply that the forest and giant snake were disappointingly realized, but that their feebleness seemed so sharply at odds with the strength of Christopher Bailey’s teleplay and much of the rest of the production. In other words, the excellence of the script, the powerful performances by a cast which included heavy hitters Nerys Hughes, Mary Morris and Richard Todd, the taut and distinctive direction by Peter Grimwade, and the alternately wistful and eerie musical score by Peter Howell, all became the internal measure of the sets’ deficiencies. Bailey and others have in retrospect suggested that there was a mismatch between the ambitions of the script and the BBC’s capacity to realize what the writer envisaged, at least on Doctor Who’s budget.11 In terms of process, this arguably represents a failure less by either writer or designer than by the producer and script editor, whose job was to ensure the workability of any given teleplay. In terms of product, it’s easy to see the sets and props, and to an extent costumes and grooming, as potential obstacles to the serial’s effectiveness. By this reckoning, the high stock which ‘Kinda’ still has among many fans relies, as Bailey puts it, on their ability ‘to imagine past the rather tawdry production values to the story, and what the story was about’ (my emphasis).12 Fan discourse clearly recognizes this kind of imaginative effort as a positive value. Tellingly, the title of one review on the Doctor Who Ratings Guide is simply a terse instruction to the reader: ‘Ignore the sets and snake’. Speaking in the same DVD documentary as Christopher Bailey, the writer and longstanding fan Robert Shearman offered an interesting variant approach to the metaphor of the story’s being hidden or lost beneath the superficial limitations of the production values. Shearman’s claim rests less on design imagery itself than on what he regards as changing modes of engagement with Doctor Who between the London and Cardiff periods: I think there’s a big difference, perhaps, in the way that children look at Doctor Who now and how I looked at it back when I was a kid. I

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think that children look at it now and try and see the reality of it, and so if you see a big CGI monster, that’s what they believe you would see if you were actually in the adventure itself. When I was twelve, I didn’t think that the ‘Kinda’ snake was a big problem, because I knew it represented a scary snake. I knew it wasn’t a particularly good effect. I didn’t laugh at it because I knew dramatically what it was trying to do. That was a general thing: we often got poor CSO; we often got bad monsters, but unless the story itself wasn’t very good, we disregarded that. That wasn’t really the important thing.13 The implication here is that, in the London period at least, there was no absolute need for designers to produce imagery which looked as though it was realistically consonant with our world: a symbolic stand-in for a monster or environment was sufficient, provided the ‘story itself’ was good enough. This argument has the great merit of throwing into question the view that realism – or, rather, the hyperrealism of much post-Star Wars SF – is the inevitable yardstick for effective design in Doctor Who. That being said, the suggestion that bad sets and effects aren’t ‘the important thing’ still serves to distance storytelling from design imagery. It reaffirms that the potential for weak design is the obverse of the coin of excellent writing, which, as we have seen, typically distinguishes classic Doctor Who in fan discourse. Other high-profile fan-professionals have more directly suggested that questionable design and strong writing often went hand in hand during the London period. Apropos Roger Liminton’s spangly sets for the domain of the villain Omega in ‘The Three Doctors’ and their misalliance with the potent and memorable dialogue written for this Time Lord antagonist, Steven Moffat recently remarked that ‘Doctor Who isn’t Doctor Who unless it’s simultaneously got an idiot bit of tinsel and the best speech you ever heard’.14 If it is true that fan-critical evaluation of design in both the original and the revived Doctor Who can be limited, fairly rigid, and part of an aesthetic outlook within which visual imagery is comparatively insignificant, then it is important to acknowledge that other forms of evaluative response to design are routinely practiced by some fans. One of the modes of engagement addressed by Paul Booth and Craig Owen Jones in their book, Watching Doctor Who: Fan Reception and

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Evaluation, is what the authors term custodial evaluation, which is driven by ‘assessment of what a story contributes to a larger narrative whole, and its profundity’.15 While neither custodial evaluation nor the closely related concept of custodial narration is likely to be concerned with design qua design, both speak to an important way in which Doctor Who’s visual imagery can become valuable for fans. For example, a design may take on significance within the series lore which could never have been envisaged at its inception. This is true for the Celtic-knot-like motif now generally called the Seal of Rassilon, first associated with the world of Gallifrey in ‘The Deadly Assassin’. The Seal’s ongoing incorporation into imagery pertaining to the Time Lords has given rise to fan discussion, and its visual peculiarities have been woven ever more deeply into the lore of Doctor Who in licensed fiction written by fanprofessionals for the Virgin and BBC Books ranges. In particular, what has made the Seal of Rassilon a focus for custodial evaluation is its other, seemingly unrelated appearance in Doctor Who. In ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’, broadcast eighteen months prior to the ‘The Deadly Assassin’, the same motif featured prominently in the regalia and décor of another alien race, the Vogans. This is easily explained in practical, out-of-universe terms, by the fact that Roger Murray-Leach was the set designer on both serials. In the days before home video made repeated scrutiny and detailed comparison possible, there was really no good reason for Murray-Leach not to reuse so strong an image. But, almost inevitably, the impulse for custodial evaluation has led to fan debate about how the anomalous appearance of the seal in ‘Revenge’ can be rationalized in in-universe terms. The retcon in licensed prose stories – a novel by Marc Platt and more recently a short story by Richard Dinnick – explains that the seal was bestowed on the Vogans in acknowledgement of their support for the Time Lords, and more especially (in Dinnick’s story) their support for Rassilon.16 Inevitably, since the Time Lords are the Doctor’s own people and have loomed correspondingly large in Doctor Who lore, it is to them, not the Vogans, that primary claim to the seal is given in these custodial narratives. Indeed, had the seal design been shared by two completely incidental races, who were of minor importance to the diegesis, it seems doubtful that the custodial impulse to explain the concurrence would have been as strong.

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Cosplay as an evaluative act Beyond review, discussion and custodial narration, another way in which fans may assign value to design imagery for Doctor Who is through cosplay. As a masquerade activity, cosplay is primarily associated with conventions, ranging from those specifically for Who fans, such as the annual, Los-Angeles-based Gallifrey One, to much larger, multi-genre entertainment events such as the San Diego Comic Con.17 However, as Nicolle Lamerichs notes, cosplay performance can also be ‘circulated through online pictures, blogs and tutorials’.18 For example, a new ritual function can be enacted by sharing online an image of oneself cosplaying the Doctor or their current companion on the day of a season premiere. Cosplay might superficially appear to be purely celebratory rather than evaluative, in the sense that it is most easily understood as an expression of liking – of positive identification with fictional characters, or at the very least with the outfits they wear. Yet in all this there is an evaluative dimension: a fan’s decision regarding what to cosplay in what context entails imbuing the copied costume with value which is at once personal and participatory. Take, for example, a 2013 Christmas greeting on the public Facebook page of Jacklyn Black Cosplay, which shows the cosplayer in Clara Oswald’s main outfit from ‘The Time of the Doctor’.19 This greeting, which was posted in December 2013 before the episode was broadcast, may be understood to engage its recipients at one or more of several possible levels. First of all, as with much cosplay that aims to be screen-accurate, images of the cosplayer in the finished outfit attest both careful attention to publicity photographs and considerable effort in acquiring or manufacturing the elements of the costume. In short, proactive critical discernment as viewer, shopper and potentially also maker are all to the fore. Beyond this, the outfit plays with the notion of the ‘Christmassy’ in two different ways. First, the original outfit was designed by Howard Burden for the actor, Jenna Coleman, for the episode broadcast on Christmas Day. Secondly, as publicity and paparazzi photographs hinted, within the narrative of ‘The Time of the Doctor’ this was also the outfit worn by Clara for Christmas Day dinner with her family. Here shared expertise between the cosplayer and her primary audience is being strongly invoked, as it is in the fact that the snowclad woodland setting for the greeting photo approximates

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an environment shown in location stills and publicity materials for ‘The Time of the Doctor’. One final point may be added: the cosplayer’s decision not to wear a Clara-styled wig for this photoshoot (as she does in certain other Clara-cosplay images on her Facebook page) helps to establish a specific value for this costume in the holiday context. Wigs in cosplay are a distancing device, subsuming the wearer’s identity in the ritual performance and generally signalling a degree of witting artifice. Without a wig, the Clara Christmas outfit can operate in a twofold way in the greeting image: for other cosplayers and fans generally, it is clearly recognizable as a Doctor Who costume but, with its predominantly red, plaid mini-skirt and dark green, pointelle-bow ornamented cardigan, it could also be understood and enjoyed by anyone as a seasonally appropriate sartorial choice.20 If the very act of cosplaying may be regarded as a kind of embodied valuation, there are specific aspects of the practice in the context of Doctor Who fandom which represent striking, even surprising, evaluative choices. For example, certain costumes from the show which have long met with opprobrium from fans and ridicule from a wider public are embraced by cosplayers. The outfits of the 1980s Doctors, so often criticized for reading as costume rather than as clothes, are much cosplayed at Gallifrey One, not least by younger fans of both sexes. At the 2017 convention, for instance, the Sixth Doctor was a notably popular cosplay.21 This probably should not be read as a subversion or rebuttal of the standard, adverse appraisal of the Sixth Doctor’s outfit or even, more straightforwardly, as an attempt to rehabilitate a widely unloved image for fandom at large. Rather it seems to indicate that cosplay, as a carnivalesque activity, provides a discrete context within which a negatively valued costume can be recoded and transformed into something affirmative. In the festal setting of a convention, amidst what is typically a riot of vivid sartorial display, the clashing hues in the Baker costume (and, for that matter, the light, bright, tones of Davison’s and McCoy’s original outfits) hardly seem outré. More importantly, what Booth and Jones identify as convivial evaluation is more likely to be practised in this context than in almost any other. In other words, fans’ capacity to support one another’s Who-related enthusiasm, even if they disagree on some of the specific objects of this enthusiasm, is heightened by the sustaining, nurturing environment of a convention.22

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Not all cosplay is straightforwardly imitative, and the degree of fidelity to a specific source also speaks to the fact that different kinds of value can be conferred on a design within this fan subculture. At one end of the spectrum, the materiality of the source costume (which is to say the design as realized) is of paramount importance; at the other, free imaginative play around the design is the primary concern. Representing the material end of the spectrum par excellence is the work of Steven Ricks, a self-taught tailor who also provides made-to-measure garments for other fans and runs tailoring workshops at conventions.23 Ricks shows a consistent commitment to reproducing garments worn by the leads in Doctor Who as closely as possible. He is not only attentive to the finer points of cut – for example, his replicas of the Twelfth Doctor’s original dark blue coat reproduce the oft-missed detail of the very high gorge and flat angle of the lapel at the notch24 – but also meticulous in sourcing the original fabrics, sometimes from the same vendors which the costume designer had originally used, and even reproducing fabrics from scratch. When he wears his costumes at conventions, Ricks typically does so in a way which foregrounds garments rather than performance: he does not wear wigs and eschews most other accessories. Ricks’ multiple blogs on costumes for the different Doctors extend the archival character of his endeavours: as well as discussing in detail the fabrication of garments, he collates information and images from auction sales of Doctor Who costumes and other rare memorabilia.25 In some cases, as with the dandified Jon Pertwee, his blogs provide detailed guides to the multiple different costumes worn by the show’s lead actors.26 Ricks’ research-oriented approach, evoking as it does both the ardour and the precision of the museum expert, represents a very particular form of custodial evaluation; it might in fact better be called curatorial evaluation, conferring upon costumes for Doctor Who the standing of culturally significant artefacts. At the other end of the spectrum are the cosplayers who improvise around the imagery of Doctor Who – though it should be stressed that many do this in addition to, not instead of, faithfully replicating costume images; the two modalities are not mutually exclusive. Adapting a design into something more or less remote from the source, either in detail or in overall conception, is certainly not confined to Doctor Who fandom. For example, among Star Wars cosplayers one can readily encounter variations of both Princess Leia’s and Rey’s iconic outfits

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modified into ballgowns with full skirts, which obviously entails a significant refiguring of the original design in form if not in fabrics. Beyond this, even such unlikely material as the Death Star battle station can serve as the basis for an elaborate crinoline. Similarly, at Gallifrey One, suits, ballgowns, cocktail dresses or steampunk corsets and bustles based on the TARDIS or Daleks are commonplace. The other main kind of adaptation is a function of crossplay, which as the name implies entails cross-dressing.27 While again there is no shortage of instances of the radical remaking of an iconic image – for example, the adaptation of Iron Man’s armour or Captain America’s combat suits into ballgowns – crossplay does not inherently involve major adjustment: the Tenth and now the Thirteenth Doctor’s outfits are often cross-played in unmodified or minimally altered versions. However, where a character’s attire is being adopted across gender lines, it is quite common to see selective variation. A good example is a Fourth-Doctor cosplay image, again from Jacklyn Black Cosplay, which enjoyed quite wide circulation on the internet when the possibility of a female Doctor was first being seriously mooted.28 The reason for journalistic deployment of this image at this juncture is clear: as discussed further in Part Three, Baker’s sartorial look remains emblematic of Doctor Who as a whole. Yet the unequivocal feminization of the outfit in this particular case was presumably also part of what made it seem relevant to online commentators. While the cosplayer’s fedora hat, scarf and red corduroy jacket are all fairly close approximations of Baker’s, baggy tweed trousers and brown wingtip brogues are here replaced with a mid-thigh, A-line skirt in flecked charcoal wool and, stack-heeled, lace-up boots reaching almost to the knee. The divergence is neatly underlined by fact that the cosplayer has not only echoed Tom Baker’s pose from a famous 1975 photograph showing him with the Daleks in the carpark at BBC TV Centre, but also composited the Daleks from that original photograph into the background of her own image. Jacklyn Black Cosplay’s adaptation of the Fourth Doctor’s costume represents a modest departure from the original, and as such is a fairly typical crossplay compromise: it is clearly feminized but not hyperfeminine. It is certainly possible to find bolder variations on a design, either in the sense of looser approximation of original fabrics and patterns or else in the sense of changed or omitted garments. This

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is true especially where the source material seems to encourage variation, as with the wild array of varied patterns and colours in the Sixth Doctor’s costume. However, what matters for my purposes is less the degree of change in a crossplay costume than the fact that such alterations imbue the design with new significance and value. A costume’s status within the Doctor Who canon is at one level affirmed by crossplay, but at another the longstanding limitations of the canon, given the series’ fifty-four years of male-centredness, are inevitably probed by gender-swapping the first twelve Doctors. While Doctor Who is not necessarily a property in which male characters have better costume designs than women, it can hardly be denied that the Doctors have the most interesting storylines – another factor cited as often making female-to-male crossplay attractive.29

Intratextual critiques and mutations Extemporizing around a Doctor Who design as a means of imbuing the image with new value, and thereby tacitly commenting on precedent, is not confined to fan-amateur modes of expression. Within the series itself, repeated alterations to key designs can often seem to carry an evaluative charge. In the Cardiff era, the necessity of updating monsters such as the Daleks, Silurians and Sontarans for a contemporary audience has typically been the justification offered in Doctor Who’s paratexts for such change,30 but revision of existing monster designs seems also to have been encouraged, if not directly motivated, by the ‘toyetic’ potential of every new design.31 Brand logic aside, it is also hard to escape the sense that in the Cardiff period each new showrunner has felt obliged to give their own spin on Doctor Who’s most iconic designs: the Daleks, Cybermen and the TARDIS, all reinvented for the new series under Russell T Davies, have subsequently undergone major revision under both Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall. In each case, the changes can easily read like commentary on what went before, whether or not this was fully the intent. More unequivocal critique is to be found in the transformation of key Doctor Who designs for licensed tie-in media. In book-cover illustration,

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animation or CD packaging, the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors have all undergone costume changes, adjusting or moving entirely beyond their original, problematic images. The most dramatic reorientation was achieved with Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor for audio dramas produced by Big Finish. In 2012, a costume radically unlike McGann’s original, Victorian outfit debuted on the covers of the CDs in the first ‘Dark Eyes’ box set. Dressed in a leather pea coat with jeans, carrying a satchel, and sporting a much shorter hair style, the new-look Eighth Doctor, like the ‘Dark Eyes’ releases themselves, was more attuned to what Matt Hills has aptly described as the ‘up-tempo flexi-narratives’ of Cardiff-era Doctor Who.32 Tellingly, a poster for the initial release showed McGann in his new costume adapting the kind of dynamic action pose which had become commonplace in preceding years for publicity stills featuring David Tennant and Matt Smith. McGann’s Doctor had, in fact, enjoyed new currency on BBC Radio in 2006, in a specially produced run of audio adventures which were clearly meant to capitalize on the runaway success of the Eccleston and Tennant series. This first series of The Eighth Doctor Adventures, featuring rising star Sheridan Smith as the Doctor’s decidedly ‘NuWho’-style companion, Lucie Miller, were formatted like the new series in forty-five-minute episodes, with standalone stories bookended by a couple of two-parters. All the episodes were high-concept, fast-paced stories with zingy dialogue, echoing the style of Doctor Who under Russell T Davies. In many ways, then, McGann’s ‘Dark Eyes’ costume was simply the final consolidation of the Eighth Doctor’s remade status as an adjunct to the new series rather than the old. If redesigns within the television series and its tie-in texts can serve as implicit revaluations, then it must be added that scripts for Doctor Who during the Cardiff period have explicitly created meaning out of peculiarities and anomalies in design imagery. A good example is the moment early in ‘Twice Upon a Time’ when the First Doctor (David Bradley) encounters the Twelfth outside the latter’s version of the TARDIS. A shocked First Doctor comments that the ship’s exterior has inexplicably expanded and the proportions of its windows altered, echoing commentary offered by many fans since a taller, broader prop was first introduced in 2005. The Twelfth Doctor is quick to offer a facetious justification – ‘Well, it’s all those years of bigger-on-the-inside;

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you try sucking your tummy in that long’ – which serves to emphasize the slyly metafictional overtones of the First Doctor’s comments. There is no actual explanation of the change in the TARDIS’s appearance here, but this is still ultimately an instance of custodial narration, for it eliminates an internal inconsistency simply by addressing it. Tellingly, ‘Twice Upon a Time’ also features a close replica of the original TARDIS prop as it appeared in 1966, which at one stage is even placed side-byside with the Cardiff-era model.33 The episode tacitly suggests that changes to the outward shell of the TARDIS throughout Doctor Who’s history should retrospectively be understood as an in-universe phenomenon, not just the result of designers such as Barry Newbery and Tom Yardley-Jones making changes without undue concern about visual continuity.34 In all the examples of mutation of Doctor Who design in the foregoing pages, from crossplay’s recoding and implicit evaluation of its source material to the updating of sets, props and costumes within the series itself, design imagery can be understood as a vehicle for expressing a change of tone or mood. At the same time, these variations on a theme often help to consolidate the narrative significance, and in some cases the cultural value, of Doctor Who’s visual imagery: even as it is altered, a design image is fundamentally revalidated by continuance in a new form. By extension, a potent, oft reused or revised design may have cumulative redolence for writers developing and revisiting central aspects of the series narrative, especially if they are steeped in Doctor Who lore. It is to the issue of design’s productive influence upon the storytelling within the series – beyond the kind of playful repartee in ‘Twice Upon a Time’ – that I want finally to turn, as this represents perhaps the most distinctive aspect of design’s work in Doctor Who in the new millennium.

Image into narrative Throughout Part Two, I have resisted the idea that there might be some central, comprehensive basis for evaluating Doctor Who’s design imagery. I have no intention of reversing this in the final pages of this chapter. Yet, from the vantagepoint of the series’ sixteenth year back on the air and its forty-eighth since inception, it is possible to identify a

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central potentiality in Doctor Who design. This lies not in Doctor Who’s fabled variety but rather in the continuity of its most enduring design images, which have accrued and generated meaning with increasing force with almost every reiteration or variation since the 1996 TV movie. Reflexive response to design within the Doctor Who text itself has become a staple of the Cardiff period, serving as the basis not only for humour (as in the banter about the TARDIS in ‘Twice Upon a Time’) but also moments of dramatic intensity. A good example of the latter occurs in ‘Hell Bent’, when Clara Oswald comments on the Doctor’s having replaced what she calls his ‘Doctor-y’ crimson velvet coat with a more ominous, black woollen one. The adjective ‘Doctor-y’ is heavy with metanarrative redolence, since velvet coats have been a Doctor Who cliché at least since Tom Baker’s incumbency (as discussed in Chapter 6). Yet Clara’s comment is not merely a wink at the audience: it is given sombre weight within the story by the fact that the Doctor, who throughout ‘Hell Bent’ is at his most self-willed and pitiless, responds darkly that he ‘can’t be the Doctor all the time’. Many of the scripted allusions to Doctor Who’s design imagery are, like the exchange from ‘Hell Bent’, piquant but fleeting. However, in some cases ideas derived from iconic designs have been more systematically woven through a script or have informed a series of related narrative conceits over a number of episodes. These more extended riffs may have profound consequences for the affective power of even the most unpropitious seeming design. By way of illustration, I offer here an extended case study focusing on the Cybermen in postmillennial Doctor Who, and especially the Mondasian Cybermen and proto-Cybermen in ‘World Enough and Time’, the first instalment of the two-part 2017 season finale. Whereas the Cybermen have retained their most distinctive visual markers from their earliest appearance in ‘The Tenth Planet’ to their most recent in ‘The Timeless Children’, the narratives woven around them in the Cardiff period have been qualitatively different from those of the original run. In the London period, the Cybermen were primarily an expression of the dread of imposed uniformity: initially, at least, their potency as villains was closely bound up with Cold War fears of communism.35 Consequently, scripts treated their lost humanity as a given, not as a source of drama or pathos. In the revival, the abjection and horror of the Cybermen’s condition have been much

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more to the fore, and a recurrent motif has been the Cyber-conversion of established characters, including the Doctor’s friends and travelling companions. This change has been reflected less in the basic design of the Cybermen costumes than in the way that narrative situations have probed them. After the Cybermen’s debut in ‘The Tenth Planet’ (1966), in which their pull-over, cloth masks were flexible and allowed for some facial movement, all traces of human individuality were erased from the monsters’ appearance for almost the entirety of the London period.36 In the revival, the Cybermen’s masks have been just as uniform and unyielding, but writers have seemed to take increasing pleasure in breaching or disturbing their outward homogeneity. Sometimes this was achieved purely through cognitive dissonance. For example, ‘The Age of Steel’ (2006) features a sequence in which one Cyberman, briefly released from the mental conditioning that stripped it of identity and memory, recalls that it had been a young bride-to-be, converted the night before her wedding. This is a moment of pathos which had no precursor in the London period.37 At the other end of the expressive spectrum, ‘The Age of Steel’ also set a precedent in showing the Grand-Guignol horror of the cyber-conversion itself. Whereas partially converted Cybermen had appeared in the London era, there had never been a sequence showing the enhancement process actually in train. In ‘The Age of Steel’ conversion sequences took the form of victims’ point-of-view shots, showing first the whirring, automated saws, hypodermics and blades used for harvesting the human brain, and then the gradual descent towards the camera of the as-yet vacant metal Cyberman helmet, eerily lit from within like a jack-o’-lantern. Articulation of loss, expressions of the pain and existential angst felt during or after Cyber-conversion and grisly imagery which was often used to darkly comic ends were all to be recurrent elements in subsequent Cybermen episodes. In almost every case, aspects of the creatures’ long-established physicality were the basis for these dramatic or humorous effects. Thus, in Russell T Davies’s ‘Doomsday’, the familiar ‘teardrop’ cut-out at the outer, lower corner of the Cybermen’s eyehole becomes the conduit for a literal tear – or at least an oil leak which reads as a tear – on the helmet of a Cyberman which remembers its prior identity as Torchwood’s fiercely patriotic chief, Yvonne Hartman (Tracy-Ann Oberman). Much later, this motif was echoed and extended

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in ‘World Enough and Time’. At the climax, it is revealed that the Doctor’s companion Bill Potts has been converted into a ‘Tenth Planet’-style, Mondasian Cyberman. At the moment of revelation, the camera tracks in and through the circular mesh screen over the eyehole (which, as on the original Cybermen masks in ‘The Tenth Planet’ do not yet incorporate the ‘teardrop’) to show Bill’s wide, horrified eye and a tear running from it. The two-part 2014 season finale, ‘Dark Water’ and ‘Death in Heaven’, also ratcheted up the kind of body horror which the episodes’ writer, Steven Moffat, had first explored with the Cybermen in ‘The Pandorica Opens’. In ‘Pandorica’, when Amy Pond comes across as severed Cyberman head in a crypt, we finally see the helmet open to reveal what is within. The Cyber-head proves to be less inert than Amy had expected: the two halves of the front spring apart on hinges to expose a desiccated human head. The mechanisms of the helmet quickly expel this head before trying to absorb Amy’s by extruding tentacle-like cables. In ‘Dark Water’, we see much more than just a mummified cranium. The bodies of the dead in the 3W mausoleum present as rotting skeletons seated on stone thrones. When the water is drained it turns out that the fluid itself is a filter which conceals inorganic matter; the dead are exposed as fully-armoured Cybermen. The ‘dark water’ conceit allows for the build-up of suspense, as the Cybermen are slowly revealed, first to us and finally to the Doctor and Clara. Then, in the concluding episode, ‘Death in Heaven’, the notion of the hidden corpse and the accompanying imagery of abjection are given a more personal and tragic twist. Here, Clara Oswald encounters her newly deceased boyfriend, Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), now resurrected as a Cyberman, and the faceplate again opens to reveal his features, which are pulled and distorted by the cyber-implants. Danny retains self-awareness and identity, and so the reunion, in which Clara embraces him in his steel armour, is another moment which strongly signals its intended pathos. Perhaps the densest expression of a familiar design’s potential to inspire storytelling choices in Doctor Who occurs in Moffat’s ‘World Enough and Time’, a Cybermen genesis story. Here a new twist is given to the practice of using the Cybermen’s distinctive iconography in unexpected ways, since the script calls for a deconstructed version of the original costume design for ‘The Tenth Planet’. It is only at the end of the episode that we see a fully assembled

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Mondasian Cyberman, which turns out to be the converted Bill (Figure 4.2d). Prior to that, the episode’s implacable but pathetic antagonists are creatures known as the Patients. They are first seen forming a raiding party, claiming Bill’s comatose body after she is mortally injured and taking her to the spooky hospital where she and they are eventually converted into full-blown Cybermen. Dressed in simple, waffle-weave tunics which suggest surgical gowns, the Patients are eerie in two main ways. First, they wheel drip stands beside them at all times, even when on the offensive (Figure 4.2a). Secondly, their faces are covered with cloth masks, tied off on the tops of their heads almost like shrouds, which are entirely featureless apart from holes for a nasal cannula. It is their speech which first clearly hints that the Patients are Cybermen in the making: to communicate, they have to press controls on their IV poles, and the voices which emerge closely resemble the trilling, electronically inflected tones of the original, ‘Tenth Planet’ Cybermen. Moffat uses this device to especially harrowing effect in the scene in which Bill is drawn by the sound of a voice to a hospital ward full of post-operative Patients, slumped in chairs: one of them is repeatedly pressing a button on his voice synthesizer, uttering the word ‘Pain’ over and over again (Figure 4.2b). Towards the end of the episode, other recognizable features are added, gradually breaking up the utter blankness of the Patients’ costumes: protuberances through their gowns where the chest unit will eventually hang, the circular discs over the eyes, the mouth slit, and finally – just before Bill is converted – the striated skullcap which forms the base of the Cybermen’s helmets (Figure 4.2c), and the ‘handlebars’ and ‘flashlight’ which fit over the top. The disclosure of the Patients’ identity was surely not meant to be a surprise, especially for the seasoned fan. Nor was the delay in revealing the Cybermen’s most obvious visual markers in this case simply a means of creating suspense or teasing the audience. Both what Moffat chose to show and what he suppressed are crucial to the emotional tenor of the episode. In a characteristic move, the writer probed the original Cyberman design for possible narrative justification, and used this as the basis for macabre or shocking detail. Thus, for example, we learn from the dialogue that the ‘handlebar’ superstructure on the helmet is the means by which the converts’ incessant pain is tamped down. And although it is nowhere explicitly stated that the Patients’

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Figure 4.2 The Patients in ‘World Enough and Time’ (2017)

Figure 4.2a The full costume for the Patients, designed by Hayley Nebauer, complete with the ever-present drip-stand. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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b

c

d The Patient’s mask in its original, featureless form [b]; with cyber-additions in the scene where Bill (Pearl Mackie) undergoes forced conversion [c], and as part of the complete Cyberman uniform [d] of the fully converted Bill, confronting the Doctor (Peter Capaldi). Screen captures, © BBC Worldwide.

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cloth head covers are essentially one-piece bandages, they read as such in the context of all the episode’s pervasive imagery of trauma, sickness and surgery. The revelation of the lamp and ear-handles’ purpose forms the climax of the shocking scene, near the end of the episode, in which Bill is prepped for Cyber-conversion. By contrast, the bandage-masks are seen throughout, serving not only as the Patients’ defining feature but also in many ways as a defining image for ‘World Enough and Time’ in toto. The ghoulishness of the Patients’ appearance, and the sadness with which it is freighted, help to establish a tone so sombre and disturbing that when a Mondasian Cyberman is finally revealed, with all its clunky, retro, shortcomings, it is thoroughly imprinted with the terror of the trauma ward and the mortuary, even before we learn that Bill is hidden within the suit. This (together with the careful refinements in the recreated costumes’ textures, details and silhouette) helps to ensure that the old-fashioned Cybermen register primarily as ghastly and pathetic rather than as absurd. It would be hard to envisage a more sustained meditation on an iconic design conceit. ‘World Enough and Time’ epitomizes Doctor Who’s capacity not only to spin narrative logics around design imagery but also to infuse this imagery with newly affective, elegiac, power.

The ‘design novum’ The phenomenon which I have just described, whereby familiar iconography becomes the basis for new, unexpected storytelling and story beats, clearly relates to the fact that the new series has been consistently helmed by writer-producers who are also fans. Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall all bring special competencies to the text.38 As Matt Hills puts it, Doctor Who’s showrunner fans ‘delight in displaying their intratextual knowledge’. Hills goes on to argue that Moffat, in particular, has used his fan knowledge of Doctor Who not so much to create ‘the archetypal science fictional “novum” ’, i.e. ‘a novelty of world building linked to scientific/cognitive logic’, as to introduce into the series what Hills terms ‘a fan cultural novum’. Hills identifies this as a ‘defamiliarizing tactic’ which ‘permits fandom to see the series and its characters in a new light’, and which is

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calibrated to ‘fan culturally acquired logics of continuity and characterization’.39 The relevance of the idea of the ‘fan novum’ to the Mondasian Cybermen and the Patients in ‘World Enough and Time’ should be selfevident. It is also applicable to certain ‘self-reflexive moments’, to borrow another phrase from Hills, which may be less significant to the overall trajectory of plot in a given episode but are nonetheless (by intent) memorable, and (equally by intent) ‘extractable’ from the larger episode narrative.40 The First Doctor’s lament over the bloated TARDIS shell and its remodelled interior in ‘Twice Upon a Time’ and Clara’s exchange with the Doctor in ‘Hell Bent’ about his having abandoned his ‘Doctor-y’ velvet coat both fall into this category of self-reflexively ‘golden’ moments.41 By no means all these moments belong to Moffat’s tenure as showrunner. Consider, for example, design-related instances of the fan novum in Robert Shearman’s ‘Dalek’ (2005), one of the earliest episodes commissioned by Davies. These include the darkly humorous revelation that the long-derided ‘sink-plunger’ sucker on the Dalek’s gun arm could be put to lethal use; the unprecedentedly complete unveiling of a living Dalek mutant within its life-support mechanisms, and the disclosure that the globes on the lower section of the armoured shell can be released to form part of a self-destruct mechanism. While it is exclusively a property of Cardiff-period Doctor Who, the fan novum almost always connects back to the original series. It has a double gesture, reaffirming Doctor Who as a whole text but subtly reconfiguring it in the process. With this in mind, let me turn in conclusion to one more, watershed example of what we might call the design novum, from the 2020 season. I have shown in this chapter that the hoariest designs are those which often provide the most fertile basis for interesting new interactions between visual imagery and narrative in the new series. The most recent use of key elements from Doctor Who’s earliest and longest-used SF set, the original TARDIS interior designed by Peter Brachacki, harnessed the venerability of this design to help set up the epoch-making continuity shifts which Chris Chibnall later introduced in the season finale, ‘The Timeless Children’. The fifth episode of the 2020 season, ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’, is punctuated with several surprises and foreshadowings. The most important of these is the revelation at the climax of the episode that the

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apparently human Ruth Clayton, played by Jo Martin, is actually a previously unseen incarnation of the Doctor. Her version of the TARDIS turns out to have an assertively Brachackian control room, incorporating the Hartnell-era control console, louvred canopy and roundel-pierced walls which were originally built for Mark Gatiss’s 2013 television drama about Doctor Who’s origins, An Adventure in Space and Time. The control chamber set for the Fugitive Doctor’s TARDIS (Figure 5.1c) does not per se replicate the original, since it is fully symmetrical and the space is punctuated by flying buttresses which, while more angular, recall the supports in the first TARDIS interior designed for the Cardiff period (see Figure 6.3a). Even so, the redolence of Doctor Who’s earliest days on television is clearly important, and the association with the First Doctor, specifically, is heightened by the fact that the prop representing the ship’s exterior turns out to be the reconstruction of the Brachacki police box first used in ‘Twice Upon a Time’. Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall’s teasingly ambiguous script for ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ actively encouraged audience speculation as to where Jo Martin’s Doctor fit into Doctor Who chronology. Within the story, neither this newly revealed Doctor nor the current incumbent, Jodie Whittaker, can remember the other as a past incarnation. The disclosure that Martin’s Doctor is actually one of a long series who came before William Hartnell’s supposedly first incarnation, all erased from the Doctor’s memory, does not come until the season finale. What is important for present purposes is that the design of the Fugitive Doctor’s TARDIS, within and without, silently presages this surprise twist. The return to elements of Brachacki’s design does not serve here to evoke early screened Doctor Who in the same way it did in An Adventure in Space and Time and subsequently ‘Twice Upon a Time’. Yet the idea of origins is still clearly crucial to the purpose of both the set and the accompanying police-box prop: here it is a new diegetic origin which is being signalled through the design novum. The radical reinvention of Doctor Who’s internal history in ‘The Timeless Children’, which troubles its white, colonial, patriarchal foundations, effectively began for audiences in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’. One last, related point: the old-style Doctor’s TARDIS actually presents as part of a cluster of references to some of Doctor Who’s earliest design imagery in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’, the allusions serving both to affirm and to subvert the historical significance of the quoted imagery. Neatly complementing the fact that she is as prickly and

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Figure 4.3 Echoes of the past

a

b Figure 4.3a The ‘First’ Doctor (William Hartnell) and 4.3b his forgotten predecessor (Jo Martin) in rhyming dress – double-breasted or mock-doublebreasted cutaway coat, waistcoat and high-collared shirt. Designs by Maureen Heneghan (Hartnell) and Ray Holman (Martin). Promotional stills, © BBC Worldwide.

ruthless as William Hartnell’s incarnation, the costume for Jo Martin’s Doctor (Figure 4.3a) incorporates a sombre, crisp, shawl-collared morning coat, waistcoat and wire-framed spectacles, all of which align visually with Maureen Heneghan’s costume for Hartnell (Figure 4.3b). Similarly, the Fugitive Doctor’s richly coloured, ruffled silk shirt inevitably calls to mind Jon Pertwee, the other authoritative, ‘establishment’ Doctor from the show’s first full decade. The significance of finding such echoes in the costume and trappings of the first Doctor to be played by a person of colour, and a woman of colour at that, can hardly be overstated.

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PART THREE

Thirteen Key Designs: A Personal View

Introduction to Part Three The ascription of value, from the perspectives of both the academic study of design for television and fan discussion of Doctor Who, was the central focus of Part Two of this book, and Part Three is also concerned with evaluation, albeit in a different way. Here, rather than ranging across the Doctor Who texts, I focus on a small number of designs that seem to me especially significant within the history of Doctor Who. It need hardly be said that my having selected thirteen objects for scrutiny out of many hundreds of possibilities de facto represents a value judgement. The subtitle for Part Three is meant clearly to acknowledge the fact of personal choice, and thus inevitably personal bias. The designs I consider here are not all cognate in kind or impact. Some have had long life and thereby attained iconic status within the Doctor Who texts; others seem to me to embody a specific moment or a particularly marked trend in the life of the series, and others again represent nodal or turning points either in Doctor Who’s overall history as a media phenomenon (e.g. the costumes worn by Paul McGann and 145

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John Hurt for the fiftieth-anniversary episodes) or in the history of design practices within the production of Doctor Who (e.g. the title sequence used from 2014 to 2017, which, unprecedentedly for such a high-profile design, was based on a speculative, ‘fan-made’ video). Nor are all these designs equal in reputation or, conversely, notoriety. For all Billie Piper’s status as a fan favourite, Rose Tyler’s style of dress clearly does not loom as large in public imagination as the Fourth Doctor’s. By the same token, the Silents are hardly as familiar or culturally potent as the Daleks. What I’m offering here are case studies of some of the different ways in which designs can affect the development of Doctor Who or perceptions of the show. My decision to select a baker’s dozen, rather than a more conventionally round number, was partly happenstance: while the final list could certainly have been longer, I found it hard to envisage cutting any of the designs covered here. Ultimately, though, the decision to stick with thirteen was whimsically subject-specific. Thirteen has long loomed large as a number in Doctor Who lore. For many years it was established as the number of incarnations a Time Lord could have before finally succumbing to death. More recently, of course, it has become the assigned number of the current actor in the role of the Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, and it therefore seems appropriate that discussion of her costume forms the thirteenth and last of the following individual studies. The preceding twelve designs are organized largely in chronological order, but my three thematic categories – formative and enduring designs; designs representative of the moment, and watershed or landmark designs – ultimately trump chronology. There are therefore a few movements back and forth in the history of Doctor Who, which seems entirely appropriate for a series so fundamentally concerned with time travel.

Chapter 5 Formative and enduring images

I: The Brachacki/Newbery TARDIS interior The first astonishing sight in Doctor Who was the control room of the TARDIS, revealed in dramatic fashion part way through the first episode, ‘An Unearthly Child’ (1963). At this defining moment, schoolteachers Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton barged through the doors of what appeared to be an ordinary police call box (albeit a rather diminutive one, compared to the real things which were then still plentiful on the streets of London) to find themselves in what on screen appeared to be a large, white, ‘hi-tech’ chamber. The TARDIS control room was, in effect, Doctor Who’s first otherworldly setting, and was indeed thoroughly alien both in relation to genre precedent and in terms purely of its visual effect. Hard to take in as a whole but designed so that the main motifs make an indelible impression, the TARDIS announced itself as unlike any other craft in science fiction – a status which it retains getting on for sixty years later. The genius of the original TARDIS control-room set was twofold. First, Peter Brachacki overturned all the givens of design for space-travelling craft, making full use of the notion that the TARDIS existed simultaneously in two different dimensions and journeyed in time as well as space. Both in prior BBC productions such as The Quatermass Experiment (1953) and Target Luna (1960) and in American SF films such as Rocketship X-M (Kurt Neumann, 1950) and Conquest of Space (Byron Haskin, 1955), spacecraft interiors tended to evoke either nautical or aeronautical vessels from the real world. The TARDIS control room was emphatically 147

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neither cockpit nor bridge. It was logical that it should have no windows, but Brachacki extended this logic by denying the space a specific orientation. There was a point of entry from the outside world, but once inside there was no particular ‘forward’ or ‘aft’. The unvarying, staggered pattern of circles on several of the walls, and the fact that the angling of these walls suggested an irregular polygonal space organized around the central control station, all helped to create a general sense of abstraction from a particular location or spatial alignment. The second distinctive feature of the TARDIS set relates closely to this break with SF precedent. In comparison with broadly contemporary spaceship designs, Brachacki’s TARDIS control room is a specifically telegenic set – which is to say, it is friendly to the relatively low-definition, monochrome screen image of the 1960s and also to the talk-heavy television fiction which was to remain standard until the later 1980s. In many ways, the nearest cognates to the original TARDIS set in BBC programming were the austere, light-filled spaces which Natasha Kroll’s Studio Design Unit made for current affairs and talk shows in the years around 1960. In these often exquisitely simple sets, minimal décor and semi-abstract forms focused attention on the presenters and interlocutors. Just as Kroll’s sets often had a coffee table in the centre, with sofas and chairs ranged about it, so the TARDIS originally had a scattering of eccentric seats and objets d’art dotted around the sixsided control station (Figure 5.1a). Indeed, although this hexagonal steering unit has long been referred to as a ‘console’ within the show’s dialogue, the term ‘control table,’ briefly used by Bill Strutton in his novelization of his own script, ‘The Web Planet,’ is in many ways more apposite (Figure 5.1b).1 The blocking of scenes in the TARDIS set could always take full advantage of the fact that much of the action was inevitably focused upon this freestanding structure. The control console’s hexagonal design, with its rising and falling central column, provided both visual interest and an anchor for dialogue, creating the basis for shots in which three or more people could be grouped naturally with their facial expressions clearly visible on camera. In other respects, though, the TARDIS control room space was unfettered, allowing the performers to move and cluster without being impeded by fixed furnishings or workstations. In early episodes of Doctor Who, all instrumentation apart from the control console and the hanging scanner screen was confined behind a Perspex wall, where it

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was only occasionally consulted as necessary to the plot. Consequently, this instrument bank was for the most part a backdrop rather than a part of the acting space. (This area is visible behind the control console, at right, in Figure 5.1a.) The austere, Kroll-esque simplicity of the TARDIS set, with its highly stylized forms, separates it markedly from other SF spacecraft control decks which shared an essentially radial plan, such as the C-57D in Forbidden Planet and the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Both these sets are fuller of visual incident, with points of interest diffused around a strong central element – the navigation controls and ‘celestial globe’ in the C-57D, and the captain’s chair in the Enterprise. The distinction surely speaks in large measure to the fact that both were designed for productions shot on film, ostensibly with a single camera, rather than multiple, cumbersome video cameras. The crisply subdivided and richly articulated space in the Enterprise rewarded individual set-ups, in the same measure that the relatively ‘blank’ TARDIS set accommodated the seamless blocking and recording style typical of the electronic studio. It must be said that while the TARDIS interior was, initially at least, a stunning spectacle on black-and-white television, it fared rather less well in full colour. Doctor Who moved to colour production for the season broadcast in 1970, though the TARDIS control room only reappeared, looking rather the worse for wear, in the 1971 serial ‘The Claws of Axos’. Ageing aside, the set immediately showed its limitations in the new aesthetic context. The typically flat, bright illumination which remained standard for colour television did not flatter Brachacki’s design: what had appeared striking, linear simplicity in black and white suddenly seemed crude. This was especially true of the vinyl backdrops which had often been used either to complement or replace fully threedimensional wall sections during the 1960s (clearly evident at left in Figure 5.1a). These flats – according to Barry Newbery photographic enlargements of the pierced ceiling panels which formed partial inspiration for Brachacki’s original design – looked disastrously theatrical in higher-definition, full colour broadcasts. Presumably for this reason they were definitively retired before the first extensive use of the TARDIS interior in the 1972 season, in ‘The Time Monster’. There were other problems. The rear illumination for the main walls, which had been sporadic in the later 1960s, was entirely abandoned, so the room became suddenly drab, and characterized by an awkward

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Figure 5.1 The Brachacki TARDIS

Figure 5.1a The original TARDIS control room set, designed by Peter Brachacki – note photographic blow-up wall of roundels at left of set. Continuity photograph, © BBC Worldwide.

value-shift between the off-white walls and what were effectively dark grey cycloramas backing the circular indentations. Worse, the new control console prop which debuted in 1971 was painted the same sludgy shade of pale yellow-green as the original. This colour had been a necessity during the years of monochrome recording to enable the prop to appear brilliant white without flaring under the cameras. Now, perversely preserved, it just added to a general air of grim, hospital-like sterility. Various attempts were made during Doctor Who’s second decade on air to make the main TARDIS set more interesting for colour television. With one exception, all of these attempts entailed adding

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Figure 5.1b The original cast (left to right: William Russell, William Hartnell, Jacqueline Hill, Carole Ann Ford) at the ‘control table’ in ‘The Keys of Marinus’ (1964). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 5.1c The most recent variant on Brachacki’s design, as seen in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ and ‘The Timeless Children’ (2020), designed by Dafydd Shurmer. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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surface detail, first to the walls and then eventually also to the console. No major change was made to the chromatic profile of the set. Yet while the spirit of Brachacki’s original proved tenacious – above all its relationship with inter-war Hollywood’s ‘show-off set’ or ‘big white set’, which made virtuoso use of multiple shades of white – the intense stylization of the original design was gradually abandoned. As with other design imagery for Doctor Who, this was especially true in the post-Star Wars moment of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The most fleeting of the ‘improvements’ to the control room set was the first, in ‘The Time Monster’ (1972). For this serial, the designer Tim Gleeson added hemispherical cups into the circular indentations of the walls, presumably in an attempt to give the set a more funkily contemporary edge. For the very next screened serial, ‘The Three Doctors’, Roger Liminton removed these cups and restored the set to a rough approximation of Brachacki’s original, including the hanging scanner-monitor and a flat, gridded rear wall which echoed the instrument banks seen intermittently from ‘An Unearthly Child’ to ‘The War Games’. This renovated set continued in use until 1975, with various changes of configuration and another console update. In the 1976–7 season, the TARDIS was operated from a very different, wood-panelled control room, designed by Barry Newbery. This proved short-lived: in 1977 Newbery was asked to create a new version of the ‘white’ control chamber. In reimagining the original set, he imported a number of refinements from the wood-panelled control room. First, the spindled edging of the veneered, indented wall discs in the wooden set were retained for the ivory-coloured, translucent roundels in the new space, dulling the stark futurism of Brachacki’s design. Second, the walls – now a slightly deeper grey than the off-white originals – converged in grooved cylindrical drums which also helped lend a classicizing air to the room. (Newbery noted that the overtones of the Doric column were in fact incidental to the practical function of these drums, which was to allow the walls to be easily reconfigured at different angles, depending on how much space there was available for the TARDIS set on the studio floor.2) Last, but not least, the larger scanner screen was now set into one of the walls, and when not in use it was covered with vertically sliding shutters. This added further to the genteel air which made the set tame in comparison to the uncompromising mix of abstraction and functionalism in the original.

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By 1981, after slight enlargement and refinement of Newbery’s design, the form of the control room was essentially fixed. The only marked change occurred in 1983, in the twentieth-anniversary episode ‘The Five Doctors’, when the control console was replaced with a comprehensively updated prop. Appropriately enough, given that the mid-1980s saw the rise of home computing, each of the six segments of this new console was now dominated by multiple inset keyboards, with alternate segments also sporting inbuilt monitors. The new console was more ornate than its predecessors: it had a ridged ‘collar’ for the aperture housing the central column, a double dentil trim around the outer edge of the console and hexagon reliefs on the supporting pedestal. At this point the chic touches in Newbery’s version of the ‘white’ control room were starting to edge towards an Art Deco sensibility. While the artful surface detailing meant that the set in itself would not have appeared wholly out of place in a contemporary big-budget SF film such as 2010: The Year We Make Contact (Peter Hyams, 1984), the TARDIS control room increasingly looked on screen as though it belonged in a game show. This was not really because of the design per se but because of the way it responded to typically harsh studio illumination. In the DVD commentary for ‘Enlightenment’ (1983), Peter Davison lamented the fact that the low-level lighting for the TARDIS control room in the first episode, which is a purely incidental function of the plot, was not used all the time. It’s hard to disagree. The white control-room set did not survive the suspension of production in 1989; in fact, console aside, the last version of the set had already been retired before the final season was recorded. While generally retaining the key components of the original – the six-panelled control console, and rows of geometric indentations or extrusions on the walls – all the subsequent TARDIS control rooms have represented a rejection of the aesthetic of the Brachacki/Newbery set: they’ve been designed in relatively low-value colours and photographed with softly low-key, often low-contrast, lighting. Yet while the white set was not revived for continuing use, there have been several tributes to it during the Cardiff period. Copies of Brachacki’s original walls featured briefly in ‘The Day of the Doctor’, in the War Doctor’s TARDIS, eliciting a fannish nostalgia from the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. Two years later, a homage to the entire Brachacki set was used for key scenes in ‘Hell Bent’, in which the Twelfth Doctor once again steals a TARDIS from

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Gallifrey. The sequence in this TARDIS is poignant by virtue of the action which unfolds there (it is here in the control room of this newly pilfered ship that the Doctor bids farewell to his companion Clara) but for older fans, including apparently Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat,3 the mere appearance of the white set was a lump-in-the-throat moment. Yet the extent to which this design would be untenable as a long-term proposition today is attested by Rachel Talalay, who directed ‘Hell Bent’. Talalay openly admitted preferring the flexibility offered by Michael Pickwoad’s 2012 TARDIS set, and in her assessment the original TARDIS, though ‘suited for television in the 60s’ was ‘a nightmare to shoot on with today’s cameras’.4 Talalay also says she found it ‘actually rather a bland space’5 – something which she and Pickwoad clearly worked hard to redress when the Brachacki design was recreated yet again in ‘Twice Upon a Time’, for a guest appearance by the First Doctor. This version was notable for the addition of two walls which were more plastically rich and varied than Brachacki’s, with roundels set within hexagon reliefs.6 As briefly noted at the end of the last chapter, a further variant appeared in the 2020 episode ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ and again in the season finale, ‘The Timeless Children’ (Figure 5.1c). While retaining the Brachacki console, walls, and louvered cowl, the ‘Fugitive’ set went further still in varying the architectural membering, surface treatments, and illumination. Talalay’s frustrations with the Brachacki/Newbery set represent a slightly sad epitaph for such a key expression of design excellence at the BBC under the aegis of Richard Levin. Yet it is a useful reminder that even the most remarkable set designs are in no absolute sense timeless: they remain aesthetically viable only as long as they are able to serve changing approaches to production.

II: The Daleks Without doubt the most recognizable and talked-about design in Doctor Who’s history, Ray Cusick’s Daleks won plaudits from forward-looking design critics in the wake of their 1963 debut and by 1999 had become such a part of British national consciousness that a black and silver Dalek Supreme was featured on one of a series of stamps celebrating the Millennium.7 Central as Brachacki’s TARDIS has been to the identity of Doctor Who, it could be argued that Cusick was the key designer for

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the series. Without his nonpareil Dalek props – complemented by the chilling vocal effects devised and realized by voice artists Peter Hawkins and David Graham and sound designer Brian Hodgson – it’s doubtful that Doctor Who would have enjoyed its longevity. Yet insofar as the Daleks are inseparably associated with Cusick’s name (for cognoscenti, if not for the world at large), Cusick’s name is just as inseparably associated with the Daleks. While he did a variety of beautiful work in the first three seasons of Doctor Who, Cusick’s titanic standing among fans and chroniclers of Doctor Who is ultimately a function of the success of this one project. For whatever reason, Ray Cusick was not given so wide a variety of design assignments on Doctor Who as his stablemate, Barry Newbery, or for that matter confronted with the enormous range of challenges presented to Michael Pickwoad in his seven years on the new series (2010–17). Of the ten serials on which Cusick worked, four featured the Daleks, and all but one of the rest were science-fiction stories rather than historical dramas. Although rich in invention, Cusick’s SF modernism is relatively narrow in aesthetic scope. Not unlike the designs of his near contemporary, Ken Adam, in Eon Productions’ James Bond films, Cusick created unforgettable effects with a very limited vocabulary of formal elements. In Cusick’s case, these were the dome, the circular aperture, the cylinder, the hyperbolic curve, the asymmetrical segmented arch, faceted surfaces (especially complex polyhedrons), and intersecting flat planes or fins. Most of these are embodied in the Daleks themselves, and the rest are used either in the dazzling design for the Dalek city’s exterior and interiors in ‘The Daleks,’ or in the Dalek spaceships and headquarters for ‘The Chase’ and ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. The Dalek aesthetic, so crisp, so basic, so memorable in its fusion of geometric forms, was to prove irrepressible. Throughout the original run of the show the Daleks continued to be Doctor Who’s prime incarnation of the monstrous, in spite of a growing number of witticisms in the press about their resemblance to milk churns, dustbins, and pepper-pots,8 and in spite of the gradual physical deterioration of the Dalek props, which by the early 1980s had reached an embarrassing level of decrepitude. Whether wholly because of expediency and budget consciousness or partly out of recognition by the BBC that there was brand equity in the design, the basic Dalek silhouette survived throughout the original run of Doctor Who with only the most minor changes, such as amendments to

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the colour scheme, slight alterations to the shape of lower section and the lamps on the domed headpiece, and the introduction of a black and white bullseye motif in the centre of the eye during the 1970s and 1980s. More changes, mostly subtle, were made in the revived series, under the auspices of Edward Thomas’s art department. The most substantial, or at least the most conspicuous, were the deepening of the ‘bumper’ than runs around the base of the Dalek machine, the elongation of the dome lamps (presumably in part to match a detail from Cusick’s original measured drawings which was abandoned during production of ‘The Daleks’9), and the use of near-uniform bronze that replaced the grey/ black and white/gold colour schemes of the 1980s. Seen in close-up, the surface treatment also proves to be a great deal busier and more

Figure 5.2 Continuity and elaboration in design for the Daleks and their world

Figure 5.2a The asymmetrical-arched corridors from ‘The Daleks’ (1963), re-created in ‘The Witch’s Familiar’ (2015) by Michael Pickwoad, with a new-series style bronze Dalek, designed by Edward Thomas. Screen capture, © BBC Worldwide.

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Figure 5.2b The Dalek Emperor and his imperial guard, in ‘The Parting of the Ways’ (2005). Screen capture, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 5.2c The Dalek control room seen in ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ and ‘The Witch’s Familiar’, designed by Michael Pickwoad, populated by a mixture of original- and new-series Daleks. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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industrial-looking than the London-period Daleks, with rivets plentifully distributed over the upper section, a flange around each of the hemispheres on the skirt, and recessed panels or etched lines breaking up previously smooth surfaces (compare the 1960s-style Dalek with black dome in the centre of Figure 5.2c with the new-series Daleks to its right and in Figure 5.2a). Yet apart from the fact that the new Daleks were a little wider than their forebears, alterations were largely cosmetic: the overall structural similarity is much more marked than any discrepancy. It was not until 2010 that a serious attempt was made to reimagine the Daleks. The ‘New Dalek Paradigm’ props which debuted in ‘Victory of the Daleks’, again produced under Thomas’s supervision, turned out to be an object lesson in the virtue of not fixing what isn’t broken. Like other design elements in Series 5 of the Cardiff-period Doctor Who, the new Daleks called back to the 1960s – but less to Cusick’s props than to the brightly coloured ones created for the two feature films starring Peter Cushing, Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966). However, Thomas’s Daleks were not just taller and more vividly hued: they had noticeably different proportions and a different silhouette, the most ridiculed element of which was the increased bulk of the shoulder section that created a ‘hump’ on the back. In the event, these new Daleks made three further cameos in the series and then were definitively retired. The bronze Daleks became the default once again, with refurbished props or replicas of Daleks from the original run filtered into the ranks in 2012’s ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ and in still greater numbers in 2015’s ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ (Figure 5.2c). Exactly what led to the elimination of the New Paradigm remains unclear, but it seems reasonable to infer that they were deemed insufficiently Dalek-like, even for fans who only knew their Cardiffperiod predecessors. It’s interesting that in corrective fan art the New Paradigm machines are almost always adjusted to approximate the proportions and the profile silhouette of Cusick’s originals. The influence of the Dalek aesthetic has manifested in other ways over the years. In the Dalek strip which ran in the anthology comic TV Century 21 during the 1960s, and also in Doctor Who itself, objects and environments were often related overtly to some aspect of the Dalek design. For example, in 1966’s ‘The Power of the Daleks’, the designer Derek Dodd created a Dalek space-time capsule which was in one sense a sharp departure from Cusick’s set designs but in

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another sense perhaps the deftest yet extension of the Dalek’s form and silhouette, albeit in lateral rather than upright form. The array of concentric rings punctuating the essentially cylindrical hull resemble those on the Dalek’s upper mid-section. Similarly, the scattering of reflective discs and domes over the surface recall the hemispheres on the Dalek’s lower section, just as the torpedo-like tip of the craft evokes the Dalek’s head. Like Cusick before him, Dodd also keyed the angles chosen for the shuttle’s doorframe and arches within to the Dalek’s overall form. The best-known extension of the Dalek aesthetic is Doctor Who’s cleverest exercise in reverse engineering. ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ (1975) introduced the ruthlessly amoral genius who both bred the mutants which live within the mobile life-support machines and designed the machines themselves – Davros, chief scientist of the Kaleds. As the name of his new race is an anagram of Kaled, so, appropriately enough, the narrative has Davros create the Daleks’ outer form partly in his own image, or rather in the image of his life-support unit. As a multiple amputee, he is sustained by a kind of ultra-sophisticated wheelchair which diegetically prefigures (but from the regular viewer’s perspective recalls) the lower half of a Dalek. Narrative justification aside, the metaphor of becoming dehumanized and Dalek-like is a straightforward one, and it was neatly extended in one of Davros’s later appearances. In 1988, ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ gave us a Dalek Emperor who was not, as in 1967’s ‘The Evil of the Daleks,’ encased in a giant, static variant on the Dalek shell, but rather a fully mobile model. Like the Golden Emperor in the TV Century 21 comic strip, the ‘Remembrance’ version was distinguished by a gigantic, spherical head. At the climax of the serial, this head opened to reveal Davros, festooned in wires and cables, lurking within. While this kind of elaboration of ‘Dalekness’ in set and prop design was overall less evident in the 1970s and 1980s than in Doctor Who’s first decade, it returned with ever increasing force in the revived series. One of the most oft-used motifs in the Cardiff period is the deconstructed Dalek casing. Its first and most spectacular appearance was in ‘The Parting of the Ways’, which re-introduced a static Dalek Emperor. Positioned at the heart of his command ship, the Emperor had a colossal casing which seemed designed to be permanently open (Figure 5.2b). The globe-embossed and faceted skirt was reduced to three angled screens which resembled hexagonal shields, attached by

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hydraulic arms to the life-support tank in the centre. This in turn was crowned by an outsize Dalek head. Strikingly similar to this new Emperor, but mobile rather than fixed, were the flying Fighter Pods shown in scenes of the Last Great Time War in ‘The Day of the Doctor’. Again, three shield-like, hemisphere-encrusted plates surrounded a central hub, here manned by the three Daleks, and the rounded gun-tower at the top of the structure clearly echoed the Dalek’s crowning dome. In ‘Into the Dalek’ (2014), even the workstations and control panels on the bridge of the Daleks’ flying saucer looked increasingly like extrusions of the Daleks’ faceted, hemisphere-studded, lower section. Nearly all this Dalek paraphernalia has reaffirmed the Cardiff-period version of the Dalek aesthetic, invariably sharing the kind of surface intricacy, and thus also the hyperbolic evocation of contemporary military hardware, which was introduced into the Dalek props themselves in 2005. Yet one of the most recent, and certainly the most expansive, expression of ‘Dalekness’ in the revived series has thoroughly reversed this with the most austere and uncluttered Dalek-related props and sets produced since 1963. From one point of view, the stripped-back design imagery in the 2017 season opener, ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’, might seem to attest the cultural dominance which post-war (or ‘mid-century’) modernism has gained in the last decade or so. From another it seems to suggest that the best way to handle the Dalek aesthetic is not to keep updating it but to go back to the point of origin – which is to say to the designs of Ray Cusick. For the first time since 1967, ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ took the Doctor and his companions to a fully occupied (as opposed to ruined) Dalek city on their home planet of Skaro.10 A nod to a 1960s sensibility in the design, and to Cusick in particular, was unsurprising, though the retro styling did not yield a wholly happy effect. The digitally modelled city exterior was a little kitschy, with a too-knowing emphasis on domes, rings and globes. However, the interior spaces were a different matter, for they were essentially a kind of cool, extended meditation on Cusick’s original city interior from ‘The Daleks’ (1963–4). The production designer, Michael Pickwoad, most directly echoed Cusick’s design for the city’s corridors – a design which remains a touchstone for the disquietingly alien environment. Cusick’s corridors were punctuated every few feet by asymmetrical arches which were clearly designed around Daleks, in

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terms of height (which meant that they were awkwardly low for humans) as well as shape. In addition to closely replicating these multi-arched passageways (Figure 5.2a), Pickwoad also took them as the point of departure for a major innovation. Cusick’s claustrophobic city interiors were designed for optimal effect on a screen image with a 4:3 ratio, whereas Pickwoad was designing for a high-definition, widescreen image. In the episode’s one big set, the Dalek control room (Figure 5.2c), he took full advantage of this, without departing from the essence of the Cusick design. His solution was simple: to stretch the motif of the repeating asymmetrical arches so that the whole room becomes a vast, wedge-shaped space, its ceiling supported on a row of segmental ribs. The effect is arguably more powerful on screen than the finicky detailing on earlier Dalek-based design for the Cardiff period. Be that as it may, unlike the ‘white’ TARDIS control room, which proved so problematic when it was reconstructed later in the same season, the Cusick-inspired Dalek city in ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ attests the fact that highmodernist simplification can transcend its moment of origin to remain both vital and exciting.

III: The Mark 2 (‘Telosian’) Cybermen Both Peter Brachacki’s TARDIS set and Ray Cusick’s Dalek designs were the first expressions of an idea. Yet originality, or rather originary status, isn’t the sole basis for determining the scope of influence of a design. One of Doctor Who’s most enduring images was in fact the second expression of an idea, namely the redesign which the Cybermen’s helmet-masks underwent shortly after their debut in ‘The Tenth Planet’, in preparation for ‘The Moonbase’. While Ray Cusick made a small but enduring alteration to the Daleks for the 1965 serial ‘The Chase’ – the addition of vertical slats evenly spaced around their midriffs – their essentially unchanging nature is part of the key to their potency. The same has been largely true of the TARDIS control room, or at least key elements such as the control console and the circular cut-outs or discs on the walls (and in some cases other surfaces). The Cybermen, by contrast, never appeared in three successive productions looking the same until the 1980s. Almost every appearance offered a wholesale variation on the theme first so memorably stated in Sandra Reid’s design for ‘The Tenth Planet’ in

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1966. The simplified physiognomy (circular holes for the eyes, a slit for the mouth, nothing else discernibly human) and the mechanical augmentation of the head and chest (head-mounted lamp with supporting ‘handlebars’, and bulky, accordion-like life-support unit) featured in some or all subsequent designs. The ridging and banding of the original Cybermen’s jumpsuits were also echoed later, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Furthermore, pretty much all these elements except the chest unit persist in designs for the revived series. Yet the adjustment from the original ‘Tenth Planet’ design for the Cybermen of Mondas to the outfits worn by Cybermen from the planet Telos, first seen in ‘The Moonbase’ four months later, in fact represents a more seismic shift in effect than anything which was to follow. Recently, a subtly adjusted recreation of the Mark 1 Cybermen from ‘The Tenth Planet’ made a chilling impact in the recent episodes ‘World Enough and Time’ and ‘The Doctor Falls’ (2017), as discussed in Chapter 4. However, for all that Sandra Reid’s initial design drawing of the Cybermen for ‘The Tenth Planet’ suggests something decidedly uncanny, the original Mark 1 costumes must be accounted a failure of realization. The much-derided ‘balaclava’ or ‘sock’ faces (see Figure 4.2d) are in fact far from the weakest element in the costumes as built. More problematic are the oversized headlamp on its heavy scaffolding and the excessively bulky chest unit, which covers the performer’s chest and pelvis entirely. That these are preposterous as visions of wearable life-support or weaponry fifty-four years on is beside the point: the deficiency of the costumes lies in the fact that these elements make the Mark 1 Cybermen too ponderous to be a credible threat. (Indeed, behind-the-scenes stills reveal that the Cyberman performers found it hard to keep on their feet.11) This shortcoming was decisively corrected in ‘The Moonbase’. The new heads used in this serial and subsequently ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’ (1967) were in fact the sleekest and most compact seen at any stage in either London- or Cardiff-period Doctor Who until 2013’s ‘Nightmare in Silver’, and the new Cybermen’s chest units, though still bulky, did not impede the performers’ movement or unduly disrupt the proportions of their bodies (Figure 5.3a). Although the Mark 2 Cybermen still had wires sprouting from their chest units, and now also tubes running down the outside of their arms and legs, in other respects the new costume design was a simplification of its predecessor. One-piece silver vinyl jumpsuits with sleeves terminating

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in three-digit gloves replaced the translucent, internally striped, gloveless plastic outfits of the Mark 1 costumes, and the metal rings which ran around all the major joints of the original Cybermen were gone. Most telling, though, was the streamlining of the mask and helmet, which Reid accomplished in consort with the builders of the new fibreglass headpieces, John and Jack Lovell.12 In place of the cloth mask surmounted by a solid, ridged skullcap and lamp array, the new design integrated all these features into something which covered the whole head and neck, rather like a burgonet helmet except without the hinged visor. The new faces retained detailing from the original masks, namely a rectangular mouth slit edged in silver, and a disc of dark mesh over the eyes, also rimmed in silver. The great virtue of the original masks was that a human face was still skin-crawlingly evident behind the cloth. Conversely, the new Cybermen were chilling precisely because of their utter blankness. The only part of the Mark 2 mask which moved was the metallic plate filling the ‘letterbox’ mouth, which slid down each time a Cyberman spoke. Beyond its immobility, the real force of the design lay in its extreme stylization of the human face, which was reduced to an ovoid. Darkly echoing modernist sculptors’ and designers’ preoccupation with the smooth sphere or egg shape, from Marianne Brandt’s teapots and Brancusi’s chromium heads to Eero Aarnio’s ball chair, the aesthetic of the Mark 2 Cybermen masks might be called machine-age uncanny. Whereas the Daleks suggested the horror of a technologized world in which the human form had been wholly superseded, the Mark 2 Cybermen, even more than their Mark 1 predecessors, were Functionalist travesties of the human. It must be added that the macabre quality of these Cybermen was greatly increased by the weirdly distorted, monotone vocal effects produced by Peter Hawkins with the help of the so-called ‘electro-larynx’;13 these are surely the most unsettling of all the various Cybermen voices created over the years. As surviving scenes from ‘The Moonbase’ attest, these Cybermen were among Doctor Who’s most impressive massed menaces, because they retained relative individuality of movement – something which has been lost in the over-regimented marching and clanking of the Cardiffperiod Cybermen – while at the same time, by virtue of their masks, being entirely bereft of any indication of mood or temperament. Neither of the other two races of bipedal marauders which helped define late 1960s Doctor Who as the ‘monster era’, namely the Yeti and Ice Warriors, was

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so eerily devoid of human (or animal) markers of expression. Nor, it could be argued, were subsequent designs for the Cybermen. The ‘teardrop’ motif in the corner of the Cybermen’s eyes (Figures 5.3b, c, e and f), first introduced in ‘The Wheel in Space’ (where it was also complemented by a circular notch on the underside of the mouth slit), is now central to their visual identity – so much so that it can even be drolly incorporated into set decoration to hint at the Cybermen’s influence or hidden presence, as it was in ‘Dark Water’. Justifying the motif’s revival in the costumes for ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ (2006), Russell T Davies suggested that the teardrop evoked the Cybermen’s being somehow ‘sad underneath for what’s happened to them’.14 Several dramatic scenarios in Cardiff-period episodes have exploited this lovely idea, but the very fact that the teardrop motif can be read in terms of pathos highlights its potential to undercut the emotionlessness achieved with the Mark 2 design.

Figure 5.3 The ongoing influence of the Mark 2 Cyberman

Figures 5.3a The second version of the Cyberman, designed by Sandra Reid for ‘The Moonbase’ (1967), as seen (with slight modifications to the wiring around the chest unit) in ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’ (1967). © BBC Worldwide.

Figures 5.3b The ‘Cyber Warrior’ which debuted in ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’ (2020), designed by Ray Holman. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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d

Figures 5.c & 5.d Variant Cybermen designs, in each case with the helmet/ mask derived from the one moulded for ‘The Moonbase’, in ‘The Invasion’ (1969), designed by Bobi Bartlett, and ‘Earthshock’ (1982), designed by Richard Gregory and Dinah Collin. Promotional stills, © BBC Worldwide.

e

f

Figures 5.e & 5.f The Cybermen designs for ‘The Rise of the Cybermen’ (2006) and ‘Nightmare in Silver’ (2013), by Neill Gorton and Paul Catling, Millennium Effects. Promotional stills, © BBC Worldwide.

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While not as straightforward as the continuing influence of Ray Cusick’s Dalek design, the helmet-cum-mask of the Mark 2 Cybermen has had an enduring legacy. One palpable expression of this, quite literally, was that all Cybermen masks for the London period, right up to ‘Silver Nemesis’, had a slight asymmetric bulge to one side of the throat – an idiosyncrasy which arose from their all being derived, directly or indirectly, from the mould created for ‘The Moonbase’.15 In the Cardiff period the Mark 2 helmet has not been a literal starting point in this way, but it has ultimately proven to be the default to which designers seem to have increasingly returned for inspiration. The helmets designed for ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ (Figure 5.3e) had an overall structure closer to the ‘Moonbase’ precedent than almost any intervening design, since the ridged ‘earmuffs’ which had been a constant in the original series after ‘The Invasion’ (Figure 5.3c and d) were much reduced in breadth. The next regeneration, for Neil Gaiman’s ‘Nightmare in Silver’, moved closer still to the Mark 2. Gaiman indicated that he and the showrunner, Steven Moffat, wanted to restore the menace which the Cybermen had possessed in ‘The Moonbase’, and this is reflected in the costume design.16 While the ‘Nightmare’ mask had vestiges of the linear definition of its predecessor, again suggesting an exo-skeletal metal skull (Figure 5.3f ), overall it more strongly evoked the smooth, egg form of the ‘Moonbase’ heads. Finally, in 2020, came the revived series’ most direct evocation of the Reid-Lovell design in the helmets of the so-called Cyber Warriors, introduced in ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’ (Figure 5.3b). In discussing this latest upgrade, showrunner Chris Chibnall specifically alluded to the ‘The Invasion’ as precedent,17 and the design for the Warriors’ heads does indeed restore the ‘earmuffs’ – but with this detail also comes a mask which more closely replicates the rounded contours, and smooth, eerily bland, sleekness of the ‘Moonbase’ prototype than anything since the versions seen in 1975’s ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’. It is noteworthy that this reverse evolution of the Cyberman mask towards the Mark 2 precedent has not been accompanied by any comparable throwback in the design of the Cybermen’s bodies. Apart from the recreation of the Mark 1 Cybermen for ‘World Enough and Time’ and the piecemeal use of elements from these throwback costumes for the Lone Cyberman, Ashad (Patrick O’Kane), in ‘The Haunting of the Villa Diodati’ (2020), all Cardiff-era models have worn armour rather than the various kinds of pliable, silvered body suiting

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which was used throughout the original series. In the last two iterations, this hard, metallic carapace has not only become more figure-hugging but also more allusive to armour from past European societies and correspondingly less suggestive of a robotic, mechanical assemblage. Overtones of the Roman lorica were evident in the lower torso of ‘Nightmare’ design (Figure 5.3f), and the costumes of Cyber Warriors in ‘Ascension’ were avowedly meant to evoke medieval precedent through such elements as the spiked pauldrons, vambraces and cuisses (Figure 5.3b).18 In shifting to this romanticizing vision of armour, the design for the Cyber Warriors’ outfits eliminated most of the residual suggestions of hydraulics on the upper arms and legs still evident in the ‘Nightmare in Silver’ Cybermen. The double gesture of the ‘Ascension’ design, emphatically honouring the past while equally emphatically moving on from it, typifies the new series’ approach to its trusteeship of the Doctor Who brand – constant, varied, rebalancing of the demands of heritage with the need, both aesthetic and commercial, for innovation.19

IV: The time-tunnel titles The opening and closing title sequences created for Tom Baker’s introduction as the Doctor in December 1974 (Figure 5.4) were to prove the series’ most durable to date: they continued in use unmodified for six seasons, last appearing in January 1980. These 1974 titles are also Doctor Who’s most internally influential piece of graphic design, for they have had a long-term effect on the series which is unmatched in scope. As we’ve seen, the potency of the designs for the Daleks and the TARDIS control room lay in each case mostly in later designers’ respectfulness to the original conception in building new sets and props. Similarly, though the mask for the Mark 2 Cybermen was generative of later designs its influence would be hard to pinpoint for the casual viewer, and it did not fundamentally affect the series’ visual identity. By contrast, the 1974 title sequence not only indelibly shaped Doctor Who’s graphic profile in the Cardiff period but also left its mark on the imagery of the Doctor Who diegesis. In other words, the titles’ imagery crossed the divide between serving as an evocative ‘frame’ for each episode and serving as part of the narrative world of the show. While the earliest title sequences for Doctor Who had suggested movement in some bizarre alternate reality, variously evoking underwater,

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aerial or interstellar travel, the 1974 titles were the first clearly to imply movement through a time tunnel, or in the language of the show itself, a ‘time vortex’.20 The technique used for the sequence, and some of the same footage, had in fact debuted in 1973 for Jon Pertwee’s last season as the Doctor. The designer, Bernard Lodge, adopted the slit-scan technique which had quite recently been deployed to spectacular effect for the ‘stargate’ sequence in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.21 Slitscan animation, as the name suggests, involves placing an opaque mask containing some kind of hole or slit over a back-lit, abstract colour image, and then moving a camera towards it in regular increments, shooting a single frame at each stop. For every shot the coloured image behind the mask is moved slightly, ‘painting’ a light trail on the celluloid as it moves. Depending on the size and nature of the aperture in the mask, this trail can fill a larger or smaller area of the frame. Repeating this, after slightly repositioning the image behind the mask so as to alter the pattern, creates a cumulative effect of movement – in Doctor Who’s case through either a kaleidoscope or an expanded outline of iridescent colours. In the original, 1973 slit-scan opening titles, the most substantial of these outline forms had been rather comically shaped around the show’s star (see Figure 1.1). Before the show’s logo appeared, a fulllength picture of Jon Pertwee, standing stiffly in his Inverness cape, receded from the camera and then dissolved, leaving a white silhouette around which a weirdly anthropomorphic tunnel form was extruded. This was not the only aspect of the 1973 opening title sequence which felt awkward or like a work in progress; overall there were simply too many loosely connected elements appearing in rapid succession. The sole element of the animation to endure in the revised version for Baker was the predominantly blue, flaring lozenge form from the final moments of the opening sequence, which was also the part of the sequence most strongly evocative of a weird, insubstantial tunnel. This was keyed to the other element which persisted into the Baker titles: the new Doctor Who logo, a gorgeously brash fusion of high-modernist and Art Deco forms, embedded the show’s title in a diamond-shaped panel, rendered in blue, white and black to match its surroundings. The new logo’s stable geometry in many ways set the tone for the revised sequence, which was much more focused in its use of component parts and correspondingly more coherent in its visual transformations. Rather than having the Doctor’s form retreat into a

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Figure 5.4 The ‘time tunnel’ title sequence

Figure 5.4 The first title sequence for Tom Baker’s Doctor, by Bernard Lodge, used from December 1974 until January 1980. Screen captures, © BBC Worldwide.

random swirl of pattern, Lodge opened the 1974 sequence with two ‘walls’ of kaleidoscopic colour expanding to form a boxy tunnel, down which the TARDIS advanced towards the camera (see top row of frames in Figure 5.4). This was a decisive choice, for all at once the psychedelic abstractions of the Pertwee sequence were replaced with what was, to all intents and purposes, an image of the TARDIS in flight. This impression of a specific kind of confined travel is cemented by the following footage, in which a bust-length image of the Doctor also briefly emerges from a centrifugally moving tunnel. This is circular, to correspond with Baker’s curly head (Figure 5.4, middle row), just as in the final section of the sequence the tunnel form is once again diamondshaped to correspond with the logo (Figure 5.4, bottom row). It is no surprise that this title sequence became a touchstone of the television graphic designer’s art, for it is a model of compositional variety within unity and economy of form, in spite of the psychedelic vividness of its individual components.

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Among the elements in the 1974 opening titles, the circular tunnel was almost bound to leave the strongest impression, simply because audiences had plenty of time to get acquainted with it in the show’s closing credits, where it was looped to form the background throughout. Although other aspects of Lodge’s sequence were frequently also echoed in subsequent opening titles, it was the imagery of the circular tunnel which ultimately crossed over to become part of the series itself in the Cardiff period. During the London period, it had by no means been unknown for Doctor Who’s title graphics to be incorporated into the body of an episode. In fact, the precedent was established in ‘An Unearthly Child’, where the epoch-making scene of the TARDIS’s first on-screen take-off was intercut with footage of the unfurling ‘howl-around’ pattern from the beginning of the show’s original opening title sequence. Similarly, in ‘The Day of the Daleks’ material from the then-current titles was overlaid on photographs representing images drawn from the Doctor’s mind by an invasive Dalek interrogation technique, and in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ the diamond tunnel from the 1973/4 titles was used to signify the Doctor’s making a mental journey into the Time Lords’ super-computer, the Matrix. Yet none of these compared with the homages to Lodge’s time-tunnel in the 1996 TV movie and the new series.22 The TV movie’s opening titles nodded to Lodge’s design in its use of a flaring, tunnel-like form, while the opening credits of the revival from 2005 to 2010 conflated characteristics of both the circular and diamond-shaped tunnels of Lodge’s design (see Figure 1.1). In the opening moments, a fully three-dimensional police box wheeled and tumbled first through a vortex all in blues and silvers, directly evoking Lodge’s, and then, after briefly pausing in cosmic space, into another tunnel composed of reds and golds. (These two vortices represented, respectively, travel backwards and forwards in time.) The same digitally generated imagery was used to represent travel in the time vortex in the body of some episodes – as for example in ‘The Empty Child’ (2005) and ‘Utopia’ (2007) – just as the mixed vortex and starfield imagery from the TV movie’s titles had been used for shots of the TARDIS in flight in the body of the film. In short, the imagery of Lodge’s slit-scan sequence not only continued to influence graphic design for Doctor Who over thirty years after its inception but was also, from 1996 until 2010, fully integrated into the show’s diegetic universe.

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V: The Time Lords’ ceremonial regalia Although the Doctor’s own planet and people first appeared in ‘The War Games’ in 1969, it was to be more than another half-decade before a clearly defined style for Time Lord dress crystallized, following the 1976 serial ‘The Deadly Assassin’. A handful of Time Lords appeared over the intervening years and, with the exception of one going incognito as an English city gent in ‘Terror of the Autons’, all wore robes that vaguely evoked medieval attire, and more specifically ecclesiastical dress, frequently surmounted by a grand, spreading collar or gorget. Yet there was no consistency in their outfits and, frankly, no reason to establish a particular style for characters who seldom had more than fleeting roles in the narrative. ‘The Deadly Assassin’ was the first serial to be set almost entirely in the Time Lord citadel on Gallifrey, and so it was necessarily also the first serious exercise in evoking a credible Time-Lord society. Yet the most influential aspect of Time Lord dress in ‘The Deadly Assassin’, resurrected as recently as 2020, is arguably the element least central to costume designer James Acheson’s worldbuilding endeavours in that serial. What started as a response to a plot requirement has gone on to become the defining feature of the Time Lords, namely their ceremonial regalia – and above all the high standing collars which rise in a broken semicircle behind their heads (Figure 5.5.a). The frequent reappearance of the Time Lord costumes designed for ‘The Deadly Assassin’ is easy to explain. The next serial to take place wholly on Gallifrey, 1978’s ‘The Invasion of Time’, was specifically devised as a money-saving exercise: it was set on the Doctor’s home world precisely to enable the reuse (with slight augmentation) of existing costumes. ‘The Invasion of Time’ firmly established the Time Lord outfits from ‘The Deadly Assassin’ as the norm – skull caps, waisted, cassock-like tunics, gloves, and in some cases a voluminous outer robe with long, open, kimono-esque sleeves embellished by rows of knife pleats. The continuing availability of these costumes was likely still a consideration when the Time Lords returned en masse in Doctor Who’s twentieth and twenty-third seasons – though by the time of the twentieth-anniversary celebrations a desire to evoke and further consolidate the series’ visual legacy was surely also in play. If it is true that practical concerns gradually gave way to the perceived demands of internal continuity, there was no narrative justification for

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Figure 5.5 Not-so-‘seldom worn’ robes: Time Lord regalia in the original and new series

Figure 5.5a Cardinal Borusa (Angus MacKay) and extras modelling collar and robes designed by James Acheson (but realized under the supervision of Joan Ellacott) in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ (1976). Screen capture, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 5.5b Time Lord regalia updated for the new series by Ray Holman in ‘Hell Bent’ (2015), here worn by Rassilon (Donald Sumpter). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

the frequent reappearance of the Time Lords’ collars and robes. On the contrary, it is explicitly stated in a line of dialogue from ‘The Deadly Assassin’ that the Time Lords’ ceremonial garb is ‘seldom worn’. The script also underscored the very specific raison d’être for the excessive height of the collars: crucially for the whodunit narrative of ‘The Deadly Assassin’, the Doctor at one stage points out that the high collars prevented him from identifying the High Council member who assassinated the President during a state occasion. The most reductive way of looking at Acheson’s imposing design is that it is a bravura solution to a particular storytelling problem. While they are thoroughly appropriate for the ceremonial scenes in ‘The Deadly Assassin’, and again for the presidential inauguration in ‘The Invasion of Time’, the collars and robes looked increasingly out-ofplace and absurd in subsequent episodes. Yet in the 1980s the Time Lords’ ceremonial regalia was trotted out almost as a matter of course, with High Council members and other Time Lords decked out in collar

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Figure 5.5c A Time-War era variation on Time Lord robes and collars worn by the War Council, designed by Howard Burden for ‘The Day of the Doctor’ (2013), here worn by Androgar (Peter De Jersey). Screen capture, © BBC Worldwide.

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Figure 5.5d A more extreme variation for the Cyber Masters in ‘The Timeless Children’ (2020), designed by Ray Holman. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

and robes for pretty much any significant meeting or tribunal, whatever the venue. In ‘Arc of Infinity’ the scheming Councillor Hedin even donned his unwieldy collar to creep around the corridors of the Time Lord Capitol after hours to commit various covert and criminal acts. The modernization of Gallifreyan attire undertaken for the Time-Warrelated narratives of the Cardiff period has proven uneven: although the general trend has been towards greater SF-realism, the Time Lord ceremonial collars have somehow been largely exempt. The armour worn by Time Lord soldiers in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ respectfully honours Acheson’s design for the Chancellery Guard’s largely decorative uniforms from ‘The Deadly Assassin’ while turning them into something plausibly battle-worthy. By contrast, updates to the Time Lord collars and robe in ‘The End of Time’ and ‘Hell Bent’ have made them even more ostentatious and campy. In the new series, the mostly secondary hues and heavy braiding of the original fibreglass collars gave way to unmodulated matt gold, set against near-uniformly crimson robes (Figure 5.5b). In ‘Hell Bent’, the sight of the High Council wearing full regalia to

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greet the Doctor outside a barn in the deserts of Gallifrey is frankly risible, in spite of stunning cinematography and careful grading of the final image to mute the ‘bling’. It may be that the deployment of the collars and robes in this scene, which is specified by the script,23 was meant to echo the satire that bites so deep in ‘The Deadly Assassin’. Be that as it may, the reappearance of the collars and robes in ‘Hell Bent’ also served to underscore the questionable nature of the decision to revive the design in ‘The End of Time’ in 2009. It can be argued that the reuse of Londonperiod Time Lord costumes two years earlier, in ‘The Sound of Drums’ (2007), had been justified in both economic and iconographical terms: here they were shown only in a brief, blurry flashback to a time when the Master and the Doctor were young. Yet in episodes dealing with the diegetically more recent Time War and its aftermath, there was ample narrative excuse to move on from the ‘Deadly Assassin’ designs – as Howard Burden did, with the deftly varied attire for the Time Lords’ War Council in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ (Figure 5.5c). There is a different way of looking at the choice to retain the old Time Lord regalia from ‘The Deadly Assassin’ in the new series. This is perhaps best expressed in relation the Time Lords’ most recent appearance, in ‘The Timeless Children’ (2020), which also saw the introduction of cyberconverted Time Lords, the Cyber Masters. The episode offered glimpses of the Time Lords’ distant past, including what appeared to be their first president, in white robes and collar like those used for holders of this office in serials made during the London period from ‘The Deadly Assassin’ onwards. A bolder choice, if again questionable, was to give the Cyber Masters costumes which hybridize cyber-armour and Time Lord robes, with vestigial high collars now welded to the helmets of the new cyber-race (Figure 5.5d). Although in terms of storytelling logic this encumbrance is even more ludicrous for a race of warriors than the decorative surcoats which the Cyber Masters wear over their armour, such objections are arguably beside the point. Branding logic, rather than narrative or aesthetic considerations, is surely paramount in the repeated recourse to the motif of the Time Lord collars during the Cardiff period. Exceptionally bold and memorable visual imagery, of which all the designs discussed in this chapter are examples, can be used to unify the Doctor Who brand, bringing the show’s past into the present, affirming the wholeness of ‘Old’ and ‘New’.24

Chapter 6 Design of the times

Images of the moment VI: The Fourth Doctor’s costume All the designs examined in Chapter 5 were striking innovations or revisions which have endured, periodically returned, or at least been palpably echoed throughout Doctor Who’s fifty-five-year history. Each has also shaped crucial aesthetic choices during both the London and Cardiff periods, and several remain strongly emblematic of Doctor Who in public imagination. The famous sartorial image developed for the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, is qualitatively a little different. For one thing, it cannot claim to be an originary or even a defining image in the way that the costumes for William Hartnell and Christopher Eccleston were. At most, it’s a variation on the already-stated theme of quasi-Victorian eccentricity that had in varying degrees characterized all three of Baker’s predecessors. Nor has his costume in any literal sense persisted or been revived in the same way as, say, the design for the Daleks. Yet by virtue of Baker’s ongoing popularity, and his centrality to perceptions of what Doctor Who is or at least used to be like, his scarf, hat and frock coat have collectively become a synecdoche for the ‘classic series’ as a whole. The indelibility of his costume image was such that it became the benchmark against which later costumes for the Doctors were compared right up to the time of Christopher Eccleston’s taking on the role. In less obvious ways it has also exerted a long-term influence, and after initial negation in the Cardiff period it gradually emerged again as a key point of reference for the Doctorishness of the Doctors’ costumes. 175

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It is easy to account for the fact that the Tom Baker look has come to embody the height of the original series’ success, and by extension to embody London-period Doctor Who in its entirety. Baker’s was an unprecedented, and subsequently unmatched, seven-season stretch in the role of the Doctor, lasting from the winter of 1974 to the spring of 1981. His tenure also witnessed the explosion of Who merchandising and commercial tie-ins in the mid-to-late seventies, which helped keep his image vivid for the six months of each year during which Doctor Who was off the air. This was especially true of the hat and scarf, which dominated head-and-shoulder (and even head-only) photographs and graphic representations. Baker’s sartorial image was especially brand friendly because of its distinctiveness. It’s true that Jon Pertwee’s look was no less striking, but it consisted of elements which were mostly trendy in the early 1970s – bouffant hair, butterfly bow ties, frilly shirts, wide-lapelled velvet jackets, flared trousers, and so on – all appealingly complemented by a vintage Inverness cloak. While Baker’s ‘Poet’ hat from Herbert Johnson was hip when he took on the role, and most of his other garments were contemporary ‘trad’ (or, later, Victorian), the scarf was utterly idiosyncratic and remains so. According to an oft-told story it was a product of serendipity: when James Acheson asked a woman called Begonia Pope to knit a striped scarf for Baker, she apparently misunderstood her brief and used up all the balls of wool Acheson had provided. Unintentionally unique or not, the long scarf belongs solely in the world of Doctor Who, expressing the show’s particularity in something the same way as the Daleks and the TARDIS. The idea that a hat and scarf are somehow indispensable to the Doctor’s wardrobe was reinforced when Sylvester McCoy, the last star of the London period, also consistently wore hat and scarf together (Figure 6.2a) – even though there was really no resemblance between Baker’s fedora and McCoy’s Panama hat, or between Baker’s long, woolly scarves and McCoy’s short plaid or paisley ones. Baker’s shadow lingered on even after the show was put on hiatus. He was in the fore, duly hatted and scarfed, on the Radio Times cover celebrating the thirtieth-anniversary multi-Doctor/EastEnders (BBC 1, 1985–) crossover sketch, ‘Dimensions in Time’ (1993).1 When Paul McGann was cast as the Doctor for the attempted revival in 1996, the actor was apparently under some pressure to don a version of Baker’s scarf.2 This was eventually relegated to a cameo appearance, when the newly regenerated

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Doctor briefly pulls a tasselled scarf-end out of one of the hospital lockers which he is ransacking in search of an outfit. The sense that Baker’s was the quintessential Doctor costume hung on tenaciously past the millennium. Nine years after McGann’s turn, as the publicity machine geared up for the impending Cardiff revival, chat-show hosts were still primed to ask Christopher Eccleston, to his evident irritation, whether his Doctor would wear a hat and scarf.3 It’s tempting to read the extreme austerity of the Ninth Doctor’s look (Figure 6.3) – buzz cut; monochrome, long-sleeved tee-shirts; black trousers and boots; leather Submariner jacket – as a rejection not just of the ‘foppery’ of London-period Doctors at large but specifically of the colourful and zany Baker look. The fedora hat and long scarf are the most easily recognizable, brandable, and in retrospect perhaps laughable aspects of Baker’s costume. Yet in subtler ways his wardrobe for the role crystallized a typical idiom for the Doctor’s attire, honing ideas which had been in play since the series’ start. The choice to make the Doctor’s dress conspicuously old fashioned was made by Maureen Heneghan in the original costume design for William Hartnell.4 Only his karakul hat and striped muffler were contemporary in style: the opera cloak and clothtop button boots, the tapered trousers and needlepoint-stripe waistcoat, the pussycat-bow tie and wing-collared shirt, and the black doublebreasted town coat all evoke the late-Victorian or Edwardian eras (see Figure 4.3b). Similarly, Patrick Troughton’s morning coat, Pertwee’s Inverness cloak, and the smoking jackets which Pertwee wore for his first three years in the role, all hark back to the years around 1900. Baker’s Doctor did not immediately follow suit, but after a year of wearing essentially contemporary dress his wardrobe began to take on a markedly period flavour. ‘Pyramids of Mars’, set in 1911, introduced into the mix a long, bowed, Victorian cravat and stand-collar shirt, which Baker wore for the bulk of the next two seasons. (The cravat was in fact first seen in ‘Planet of Evil’, which was recorded after ‘Pyramids’ but aired beforehand.) ‘Pyramids of Mars’ also introduced the frock coat. This was thereafter a mainstay of Baker’s wardrobe for much of his long incumbency, ensuring that it became a Doctor Who fixture. Frock coats were retroactively ascribed to the Hartnell and Troughton Doctors in much of the expanding Doctor Who literature of the 1970s. This was especially true of the Target novelizations which shaped fans’ understanding of 1960s Who in the years before surviving episodes

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Figure 6.1 The Fourth Doctor and his costume legacy

Figure 6.1a The Baker look c. 1976, developed by James Acheson and Barbara Kidd, with garnet-coloured velvet frock coat designed by Kidd. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 6.1b Peter Capaldi in his ‘Doctor-y’ burgundy velvet frock coat, designed by Ray Holman (2015). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

from the black-and-white era were rerun and released on video and publications such as Doctor Who Weekly made more promotional and other on-set photographs from the show’s early years available. More importantly, the frock coat was subsequently used for Baker’s two immediate successors, Peter Davison and Colin Baker, later also for Paul McGann, and eventually for Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. Through his eccentric mishmash of garments, Tom Baker also increased the Doctor’s air of irreverence. A certain playfulness – or perhaps, in diegetic terms, an alien’s misunderstanding of sartorial mores – had been evident even in the First Doctor’s costume, where

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Figure 6.1c Baker in corduroytrimmed tweed frock coat, designed by Barbara Lane, in ‘The Invisible Enemy’ (1977). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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Figure 6.1d Matt Smith in corduroytrimmed cashmere frock coat, designed by Howard Burden, on location for ‘Hide’ (2013). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

sporty, gun-club check (and later tweedy houndstooth) trousers consorted oddly with a formal black coat and equally formal embroidered waistcoat. Baker played up these sorts of contradictions: his most oftworn ensemble consisted of a sumptuous, Oscar-Wildean, velvet frock coat, weirdly juxtaposed with a waistcoat in rumbustiously over-checked glen plaid, salt-and-pepper flecked tweed trousers and down-atheel lace-up shoes (Figure 6.1a). The eccentricity lay not just in the combination of garments within a given outfit but in how Baker wore them: he had an air of elegant slovenliness which has long, and quite aptly, been called ‘bohemian’. In short, Baker’s fully developed look was the richest expression to date of the Doctor’s peculiar mixture of entitled authority and anti-establishment cussedness (as noted in Chapter 2). This was especially evident in designs by Barbara Lane and later Colin Lavers, who gave Baker frock coats made from fabrics with informal or bucolic associations, absolutely at odds with the formality associated with this type of garment in the later Victorian era and thereafter. The

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first and more extreme of the two was cut from grey Donegal tweed, and embellished with horn buttons and brown, wide-wale corduroy cuffs and collar (Figure 6.1c). Unusual choices in terms of fabrics and colours for frock coats proved to be another of Tom Baker’s enduring legacies. Peter Davison’s coat was ahistorical in the fact that it was made of light beige material with red braiding (see Figure 6.2c); each panel of Colin Baker’s was in a different coloured or patterned fabric, and Matt Smith’s flecked, grey and purple, cashmere frock coat with purple corduroy collar (Figure 6.1d) seemed to call very directly upon Tom Baker’s Donegal tweed garment. There is one last way in which the Baker legacy arguably reasserted itself in the revived series, namely the gradual return in the 2010s to an organic, flexible approach to wardrobe rather than the maintenance of a near-uniform look for the Doctor. Until Matt Smith, Tom Baker was in fact unique in the extent to which his wardrobe evolved and shifted during his tenure, for while the long scarf and wide-brimmed hat were constants, there was otherwise marked alteration in his choice of garments and the overall character of the ensembles. (Jon Pertwee had gone through nine distinct changes of outfit, but the essential profile was unchanging: velvet jacket, ruffled shirt and black or charcoal trousers were present throughout; the Inverness cloak was also near ubiquitous.) Shirts, ties and cravats, trousers and footwear in different styles came and went in Baker’s wardrobe, and the degree of coordination within his outfits varied considerably. Most strikingly, his choice of jacket, and thus his silhouette, changed over seven seasons, ranging from the short but bulky, brick red, corduroy shooting jacket he wore during his inaugural year via the various frock coats to the sweeping, near-ankle-length, burgundy great coat that dominated his costume in his last season. Comparably bold changes have occurred in the wardrobes of Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, with the latter veering even more wildly than Tom Baker between elegance and scruffiness, and between symphony and dissonance in his outfits. There’s a rider to this last point, which perhaps speaks to happenstance rather than design but is too intriguing to ignore. Smith’s and Capaldi’s sartorial looks did not just evolve; they evolved in part towards Baker style. I have already noted the family resemblance between Baker’s countrified frock coats and the purple checked one worn by Smith in his last year. More recently, when Peter Capaldi’s

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Twelfth Doctor shifted from a wool to a velvet coat in a deep crimson red (Figure 6.1b), his companion, Clara Oswald, commented that she liked it because it was ‘Doctor-y’ (as discussed in Chapter 4).5 The closest precedent for this three-quarter length jacket is the garnetcoloured velvet frock coat which Tom Baker first wore in ‘Pyramids of Mars’. From a perspective outside the world of the narrative, Clara’s ‘Doctor-y’ is essentially interchangeable with ‘Baker-y’.

VII: The Seventh Doctor’s costume All the designs addressed so far in this and the preceding chapter have won acclaim, been much beloved or at least formed a part of the mystique of Doctor Who. Their valence, that is to say, ranges from neutral (at worst) to positive. Yet not all landmark designs are peaks of excellence or innovation. Long-running series also almost inevitably tend to become repetitive over time, and when they begin to reach backwards in their own history for ideas, they can find themselves caught between stagnation and unintentional self-caricature. All these weaknesses were rife in Doctor Who in the mid-1980s, the nadir occurring between Colin Baker’s first season as the Doctor, in 1985, and Sylvester McCoy’s first, in 1987. Even in the moment it was easy to see a creative malaise and a loss of direction reflected in Colin Baker’s impressively awful, mock Edwardian gent’s costume. Doctor Who was a property increasingly regarded as foolish and passé by the BBC and overseen by a producer and a script editor – John NathanTurner and Eric Saward, respectively – who were in creative terms evidently running on fumes. Saward’s main narrative ideas were by this time less bold than brutal, and Nathan-Turner’s strong visual sensibility, which had helped shake up the series for the better in 1980 when he took over, had by 1984 shifted from Old Hollywood glamour to circus glitz. Pat Godfrey’s costume for Colin Baker might seem the culmination of all that could go wrong with Doctor Who design. There’s no question that the costume was a wretched imposition on Colin Baker by John Nathan-Turner, and as Steven Moffat has succinctly noted, the garish outfit ‘defines a performance [which Baker] simply wasn’t giving’.6 However, there are two reasons not to dwell on this costume here. First, it’s a cliché of Who criticism to point to Colin Baker’s incumbency as a

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low-point, if not the low-point, of the series’ original run. By default, such a view shines a harsh light on the actor himself, and Baker warrants no reproach for bad decisions made around him (as his captivating Big Finish audio performances as the Doctor, unfettered by the costume and boosted by strong writing, indirectly attest). Second, and more importantly for present purposes, though Baker’s costume is certainly the most lurid ever conceived for a lead player in the series, it does not represent the worst of Doctor Who’s creative stagnation in the mideighties. That distinction belongs to the costume worn by Baker’s successor, Sylvester McCoy. There are two respects in which the Seventh Doctor’s costume, conceived and subsequently slightly adjusted by Ken Trew, was unquestionably a step up from Colin Baker’s. First, it partially reflected Sylvester McCoy’s own tastes. Ever colourful in his public persona, McCoy appeared at his inaugural photo-call wearing a Panama straw hat, patterned scarf, stripy pullover and fancy, cap-toe ivory Oxford shoes (Figure 6.2.d). These elements were either echoed or directly copied in Trew’s costume design. (The more conventional parts of McCoy’s outfit, mostly notably the then un-Doctorish leather blouson jacket, had no such influence.) The other way in which McCoy’s costume is also arguably an improvement on Baker’s is that it incorporates only one crass design decision – again, attributable to Nathan-Turner – namely a busily patterned golfing sweater (Figure 6.2a). With an eye to branding and tie-in merchandise, NathanTurner had instructed all designers throughout his time in office to incorporate question marks into the Doctors’ costumes.7 For Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker the motif had been confined to the shirt collar (and, in the case of the latter two, briefly seen braces). In McCoy’s costume the question marks had migrated to his sweater and multiplied into a phalanx, distributed across the whole surface. Apart from this garment, the outfit consisted largely of contrasts in value rather than hue, with the white and brown co-respondent shoes establishing the spectrum. The glen-check of his trousers, though bold, consisted of muted browns and cream, his jacket was a soft, pale grey and his Optimo hat was natural straw. The colour accents of McCoy’s paisley tie, scarf, and hat band would have been effective points of interest if they had not had to compete with the sweater.

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However, the biggest weakness of McCoy’s costume was not the persistent trace of tastelessness but the fact that the costume lacked the sole virtue of Colin Baker’s. Pat Godfrey’s design for Baker was nothing if not committed, whereas Ken Trew’s for McCoy appeared to be playing it safe. By accident or intent, the outfit read as a checklist of elements derived from the wardrobes of earlier Doctors. Quite apart from the avowed homage to Troughton in McCoy’s loudly plaid trousers (Figure 6.2b),8 the Optimo Panama hat almost inevitably recalled Davison’s (Figure 6.2c), while the half-belted, bellows-pocketed, shooting jacket was reminiscent, in cut at least, of both the one that Tom Baker had worn in his debut season and the Norfolk coat seen in ‘The Leisure Hive’. The V-necked golfing sweater arguably recalled not only the pullover worn by Davison but also, in its jazzy chromatic stridency, Colin Baker’s rainbow-clad Doctor. A similar reliance on precedent is evident in the ill-fitting and ugly costume worn by Paul McGann in the abortive 1996 reboot (see Figure 6.5), which is in essence a conflation of the signature looks of Hartnell and (more especially) Tom Baker. The heavy-handed Doctorishness of the two costumes can in fact be explained in similar ways. Inasmuch as the McGann television movie was trying to capture the essence of Doctor Who for a new audience, McCoy’s tenure started with a notso-soft reboot, evidently trying to appeal to viewers alienated by the unpleasant turn the show had taken in the previous two years. McCoy’s costume signals a retreat to the legacy of his first five predecessors at the same time that it pulls back from the worst excesses of Colin Baker’s outfit – and by association, from the alleged excesses of Baker’s portrayal of a callous and arrogant Doctor. The comic overtones of Patrick Troughton’s image in McCoy’s shapeless jacket and baggy, plaid trousers is especially telling, for Troughton’s stock, both as an ‘actor’s actor’ and as the Doctor avowedly most admired by successors such as Davison, Colin Baker and McCoy himself, was especially high in the mid 1980s.9 For all his clownish costume and initial propensity for comic business, McCoy was actually no more like Troughton in performance than he was like Colin Baker – but this is ultimately beside the point. For better or worse, the costume was doing work which was independent of McCoy’s performance, serving as the most immediately visible element in the show’s rebrand. The problem with this rebrand was that it pointed to something which

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Figure 6.2 The Seventh Doctor’s look and its antecedents

Figure 6.2a The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) with Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford), on location for ‘Delta and the Bannerman’ (1987); McCoy’s costume designed by Ken Trew. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

audiences apparently didn’t want. It encapsulated the idea that Doctor Who was silly, slapstick fare, bordering on light entertainment – a view which serials such as ‘Paradise Towers’ and ‘Delta and the Bannermen’, with their caricatural villains or run-around chases, seemed to affirm. From the beginning of McCoy’s second season, and partly at the actor’s behest, self-consciously serious, edgy storytelling, and the addition of a layer of mystery and darkness to the Doctor’s character, became more pronounced.10 Yet the costume was still front and centre, pulling Doctor Who back towards a revue aesthetic. The only concession to the show’s

Design of the Times

Figure 6.2b The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) in his original costume, designed by Sandra Reid (1966). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 6.2c The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) in his original costume, designed by Colin Lavers, on location for ‘The Visitation’ (1982). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 6.2d Sylvester McCoy with Bonnie Langford for his inaugural photo-call as the Doctor (1987). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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increasing darkness was excruciatingly literal: for his third season, McCoy’s light grey jacket was replaced by a dark brown one cut on the same pattern. Unfortunately, far from making him a more shadowy or mysterious figure, this new jacket had the effect of making the garishly coloured sweater and scarf ‘pop’ even more. Ultimately, McCoy’s costume is significant in a quite different way from all the other designs considered in this chapter. It is a landmark not in terms of novelty or distinctiveness, but rather in that it stands as the terminal point for a particular aesthetic in Doctor Who. Just as Ken Trew’s design seemed to ‘sample’ elements from the costumes of prior Doctors, so – as noted in Chapter 1 – the show at large had become ever more inward-looking in the mid 1980s. Sterling attempts to redress this by Andrew Cartmel, the incumbent script editor of the McCoy era, proved too little, too late. Ironically, McCoy only fulfilled his intended ambition of ditching the question-mark pullover when he returned for a short, pre-regeneration cameo in the 1996 McGann television movie.11 I suggested above that Christopher Eccleston’s costume (Figure 6.3) was a rejection of the bohemian foppery of the Fourth Doctor; more immediately and directly, it radically overturned the gimmicky, navelgazing, 1980s aesthetic most fully embodied in the Seventh Doctor’s look. While it would be excessive to suggest that McCoy’s costume per se did anything to hasten the end of the original series, it clearly represented a path which Russell T Davies and his colleagues were intent on not travelling.12

VIII: Rose Tyler’s wardrobe In its original run Doctor Who interacted uneasily with contemporary fashion, sometimes embracing it, more often nodding warily to it, and sometimes turning away entirely. In the Cardiff period the show has been much more unswervingly tied to contemporary trends, at least through the series’ main female characters (the Thirteenth Doctor aside). The die was cast in the first ninety seconds of the first episode, ‘Rose’ (2005), which showed the Doctor’s soon-to-be companion, Rose Tyler, at home, in a modest but vividly decorated bedroom, and then at work in the women’s clothing department of the fictional store Henrik’s – a choice of job which indirectly justified and underscored her own fashion-forward dress. Billie Piper’s outfits in this and all subsequent episodes of the first

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season were accessible but edgy, contemporary but classic enough in conception not to date too quickly, and simple but always flattering. Above all, they were powerfully consistent, which made them brand friendly. The Rose look established a sartorial standard for subsequent companions which, allowing for differences in age and class, in many ways still holds fifteen odd years on. Rose’s wardrobe was also the linchpin around which the styling of other characters revolved in the first season of the revival. The striking simplicity of her dress was echoed not only in the dress style of her mother and boyfriend but also in the Doctor’s, and subsequently that of her fellow TARDIS crewmember, Captain Jack Harkness. If the Ninth Doctor’s costume represented a sharp rejection of his immediate predecessors’ dress, Rose’s wardrobe was much less of a break with her counterpart from the end of the London period, Ace (Sophie Aldred). In many ways, it was Ace who represented the breach with precedent. She was only the second female companion of the 1980s to wear clothes which were consistently and clearly fashion-aware for the date of transmission, and the first in more than twenty years to adopt what could reasonably be called street styles.13 Partly because the Doctor’s fellow travellers in the later 1970s and early 1980s were mostly from planets other than Earth, and partly because of the increased fantasy quotient in the series, companions’ clothing had moved away from the day-to-day. Ensembles were often specially conceived and built for the performers, as opposed to being off-the-peg. Following a favourite distinction among fan commentators, it could be argued that companions’ outfits had increasingly tended in the later 1970s and 1980s to look more like costumes than clothes.14 In the perpetually out-of-phase generic context of Doctor Who, this binary doesn’t usefully define a pecking order – which is to say, ‘clothes’ are not necessarily superior to ‘costume’, as the fan critique tends to imply. After all, one of the ongoing pleasures of the programme lies in seeing characters such as the Doctor and Romana (Mary Tamm, Lalla Ward), and in the new series River Song, Missy (Michelle Gomez) and the most recent incarnation of the Master (Sacha Dhawan), dress up in eccentric and often theatrical ensembles. That being said, the outfits worn by Peri Brown and Mel Bush in the mid to late 1980s were arguably costume in the worst sense. They were often made from fabrics in eyepopping shades such as saffron yellow, electric blue and shocking pink,

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and frequently decorated with candy stripes, busy geometric patterns or huge polka-dots. In contour and silhouette they were either pared down to a blatantly exploitative minimum (in the case of Peri) or constructed as over-tailored confections covered with pleats, frills and furbelows (in the case of Mel). Such costumes helped reduce both Peri and Mel to two-dimensional ciphers. Ace brought costume back down to Earth, and to a street sensibility which teens and young adults watching the show could recognize. Ace’s clothes – an oversized bomber jacket typically worn with a tee shirt, a short, pleated black skirt or bicycle shorts, thick black or red tights, and Doc Martens – signalled a move away from the standard demographic of the Doctor’s companions, who since the series’ beginnings had almost all hailed from the professional, upper-middle class (or the extra-terrestrial equivalent). Ace was unapologetically, not to say aggressively, working-class. The major distinction between Ace and Rose in character terms is that Ace was a ‘social problem’ character, and Rose was not. Ace was disaffected and disturbed, alienated from her mother, with a propensity for violence and especially for blowing things up and burning things down. Her story in Doctor Who was one of learning to surmount socio-economic disadvantage and psychological damage. By contrast, before Rose met the Doctor, the worst she could complain of was lack of job satisfaction and the parochialism of her needy mother and boyfriend, both of whom were well-meaning and ultimately supportive of her life choices. Quickly proving herself intrepid, curious and competent, Rose was unequivocally a role model for young viewers in a way that Ace, though sympathetic and interesting, was not. Although Rose was clearly ‘Sarf London’ and blue-collar – Billie Piper affectionately referred to her character as ‘a bit of a chav’15 – in terms of dress, too, she was very different from Ace. Rose embodied an economically comfortable working class, and her sportswear-inflected wardrobe was conformist rather than being even pseudo-rebellious. In spite of the BBC embargo on product placement, by 2005 stable freeze-frame, the capacity to take screenshots, and abundant internet resources all made it relatively easy to identify brands even without a clearly evident logo. Rose wore some well-established mainstream labels – Diesel hoodies and windcheaters, a Lee denim jacket, Levi and Oasis jeans, Adidas trainers, and so on. She also wore ‘alternative’

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brands, though again these were mostly stocked by department stores. They included Uttam, Firetrap, Mambo, and above all Punkyfish – the company with whom Rose is now indelibly associated. There is plenty of evidence that a significant part of what made Rose an identification figure for younger female viewers, who were for the first time a key demographic in the audience, was the fact that she had a wardrobe full of eminently wearable and available brands. Brand associations aside, Rose’s outfits were crucial signifiers for the tone of ‘NuWho’ by virtue of their consistency, and the power of the image which they collectively built. The 2005 series’ costume designer, Lucinda Wright, maintained a constant silhouette for Rose in all but one episode: wide-leg, and subsequently more fitting but often flared, trousers, were surmounted by a fitted top, frequently with a hood, and a simple tee-shirt or camisole. Warm colours, often primary, abounded in Rose’s tops and jackets: the various Punkyfish and Diesel hoodies, for example, came in tones such as pink (Figure 6.3.a), maroon and cream (Figure 6.3.b), and (increasingly) dark red. In dramatic terms, these shades arguably underscored Rose’s growing drive and independence,16 but in purely visual terms they helped ensure that the towheaded Piper’s outfits were a strong complement to the dark-haired Eccleston’s predominantly black costume. Yet it would be a mistake to imply that these formal considerations, important as they are, somehow transcend the brand-identifiable and shoppable appeal of Rose’s outfits. The immediacy of her of-the-moment clothing was an essential element in the construction of Cardiff-period Who, and in this regard her influence persists. It’s impossible to disentangle the dual pleasures provided by Rose’s strength as a role model and the fact that she wears desirable and acquirable clothes. It is the street in Rose’s streetwear that is crucial, for her dress style was part of a pattern of visual and scripted storytelling under Russell T Davies’s aegis which fetched Doctor Who down to the level of the neighbourhood. Rose’s dress embodied a comfortingly mundane, recognizable world for contemporary viewers – the world of Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) with her mugs of tea, her late-night shopping sprees and her gossipy friends a speed-dial-call away – as well as being eminently practical for adventure on the other worlds to which the Doctor whisked her. It is telling that with Rose (and later with Donna) we finally see a sight entirely foreign to London-period Doctor Who: a companion

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Figure 6.3 The Rose Tyler look, 2005

Figure 6.3a Rose (Billie Piper) with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) on the TARDIS set during the shooting of ‘Father’s Day’ (2005). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 6.3b Piper and Eccleston on location for ‘The End of the World’ (2005). All costumes designed by Lucinda Wright. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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arriving on the TARDIS threshold with a rucksack (or in Donna’s case multiple suitcases) of clothes brought from home, rather than relying on the time-ship’s magical wardrobe. Inasmuch as they reflect the mundane reality in which Jackie is seen doing her laundry and fretting about a broken washing machine, Rose’s outfits also played a central part in defining Cardiff-period Doctor Who as a story of bold women (now including, at last, a female Doctor) who go travelling, in much the same way that Tom Baker’s iconic costume retrospectively defines Londonperiod Doctor Who as a final hurrah for the entitled gentleman adventurer.

IX: The Silents Several periods in Doctor Who’s history are remembered for their unusually dense array of frightening monsters. The first, and for longstanding fans the most legendary, of these phases was the year or so between the first episode of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ (20 May 1967) and the conclusion of ‘The Wheel in Space’ (1 June 1968). This was the moment when producer Innes Lloyd’s initiative to make the series scarier came to fruition. Six of the eight serials broadcast over this year featured monsters which have become central to Doctor Who’s mythos – Daleks, Cybermen (twice), Yeti (also twice) and Ice Warriors. Of the remaining two serials, ‘Fury from the Deep’ featured a monster which, though now less renowned, was arguably one of the most chilling in the series’ history: a parasitic seaweed with the ability to influence the minds and physiology of its human prey. A second ‘monster moment’ occurred about a decade later, from 1975 to 1977, during Philip Hinchcliffe’s spell as producer. As detailed in Chapter 1, Hinchcliffe’s tenure saw an uptick of storytelling inspired by classic and cinematic horror and science-fiction, ranging from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to The Quatermass Experiment. Tom Baker’s Doctor was pitted against alien shapeshifters, android doppelgangers, a vengeful Egyptian god and his mummy servants, a Frankenstein-esque surgeon and his monstrous creation, a severed but still lively (stone) hand, a murderous ventriloquist’s dummy, and two more parasites – another weed creature, the Krynoid, and a space-traversing giant insect, the Wirrn. What all these monsters had in common was a powerful visual presence. Even those which by present-day standards are absurd, such as the Wirrn, are striking. Some, like the Zygons, are

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among the most impressive and memorable designs ever to grace Doctor Who. The monsters of both Hinchcliffe’s and Lloyd’s tenures were also all what might be called high-concept creations: mummies and Yeti which were in fact disguised robots, green men from Mars who were anything but little, and so on. The Silents belong to, and epitomize, the third great period of Doctor Who’s monster-making, namely Steven Moffat’s tenure as lead writer for the revived series. During Moffat’s seven-year incumbency, a horror sensibility was again to the fore, as discussed in Chapter 2. From his very first contribution to Cardiff-period Doctor Who, ‘The Empty Child’ (2005), Moffat’s scripts were always inflected with the macabre and the uncanny. Once he took over as showrunner this tendency became stronger. What is interesting about the monsters Moffat devised, and for that matter also his take on ‘classic’ monsters, is that their horror is often related not just to how they look but also to sight itself – and, more specifically, the inability to see, or else to process what you see. Prisoner Zero, a shapeshifting alien serpent, lodges in an old house unbeknownst to the other inhabitants by putting a ‘perception filter’ around the room in which it is secreted. The Vashta Nerada, microscopic swarming carnivores, are not merely a danger lurking in the darkness but in effect are the darkness. Cybermen hide in plain sight in sarcophagi of treated water which renders their armoured suits invisible, showing just the human skeleton within. The Weeping Angels, apparently stone statues, move only when you are not looking at them. And the Silents are creatures whose peculiar genetic make-up ensures that you forget them as soon as they are out of your field of vision. These Moffat-created monsters are even more high-concept than those devised under Hinchcliffe and Lloyd. Often, though, the very nature of this concept demanded that the design be restrained. The Vashta Nerada are the most extreme example, for in visual terms they are largely an absent presence, notwithstanding the device of rendering them more obviously corporeal by having their swarms animate the spacesuits occupied by the remains of their deceased victims. Yet the potency of other horrors such as the Weeping Angels and the gasmask mutants in ‘The Empty Child’ also depend on their being part of the furniture of daily life. The Angels, in particular, originally derived their shock value from the fact that they fit seamlessly with the bland, androgynous sculptures which adorn so many cemeteries and

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monuments of the Victorian era. Only when they show their ‘hunting’ face do they give the designers latitude for visual assertiveness – and much the same is true of the Smilers in ‘The Beast Below’ and the titular threat in ‘The Snowmen’ (2012). This is not to suggest that the design and realization of any of these creatures is lacklustre; quite the contrary. For example, the spookiness infused into the seemingly insipid faces of the Angels in their inert state is impressive exactly because its source is hard to pinpoint. In short, these monsters are wonderful instances of the art which conceals art. The Silents, by contrast, are certainly not examples of reticent design. In terms of overall silhouette, facial detailing and quirky costuming, they are among the most visually distinctive of all Doctor Who monsters (Figure 6.4a). Glisteningly grey-skinned, dome-headed and pointy chinned, with cavernous, elongated eye sockets and the hollow nose of a skull, the Silents are instantly memorable in a way that wittily belies the fact that no-one in the Doctor Who narrative can hold onto a mental image of them. It is perhaps not surprising that their richly textured faces are among the most inherently painterly of Who monsters, since Moffat and his team openly acknowledged taking as partial inspiration the main figure in Edvard Munch’s 1893 image Der Schrei der Natur (popularly called The Scream). The turbulent, striated nature of Munch’s image (the woodcut version of which is shown in Figure 6.4b) seems very directly echoed in the Silents’ furrowed and wrinkled faces. This grooving, together with the fact that the Silents have small eyes set deep in the sockets rather than large, bulbous ones, sets them apart from the other main source of influence for their facial design – and indeed their overall lanky shape – namely the grey aliens of alienabduction reports and conspiracy narratives (Figure 6.4c). These ‘Roswell greys’ have been a staple of film and TV science fiction in the United States from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977) to The X-Files. It is therefore clearly no accident that the Silents’ first appeared in an episode of Doctor Who set almost entirely in US locations at a pivotal moment of the Space Race, namely the launch of the manned lunar expedition of 1969. The Silents’ clothing adds another layer of sly allusion: they wear a slimy-looking, wrinkled version of the stark, dark suits and ties commonly associated with the Men in Black, those shadowy US government operatives who feature in the same urban legends and SF narratives as the grey aliens.17

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Figure 6.4 The Silents, with inter-textual references

Figure 6.4a One of the Silents, poised to kill, from ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ (2011): prosthetics designed by Neill Gorton, costume by Barbara Kidd. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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Figure 6.4b A detail of Edvard Munch’s woodcut version of The Scream (1895).

Figure 6.4c Figures evoking the ‘Roswell Grey’ at the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico; photograph Terry Turner, Sioux City Council.

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The amalgam of visual quotations in the Silents’ appearance doesn’t in itself account fully for their impact, since there are nuances of design which ultimately owe little to the monsters’ cultural lineage. Moreover, their carefully choreographed movements and their on-screen presentation, in terms of cinematography, post-production sound and visual effects, clearly play a major role in defining the Silents’ alternately sinister and terrifying screen presence. In particular, the weird halfcrouching stance which they adopt when they are going to kill someone with bolts of energy from their hands (Figure 6.4c), and the simultaneous appearance of the Munch-inspired screaming mouth in their otherwise mouthless faces, makes them exceptionally chilling in action. That being said, the allusiveness of the Silents’ design is integral to their identity, and more broadly to the way in which they encapsulate the Moffat-era approach to horror storytelling. Moffat’s most memorable creations are rationalizations of collective or common anxieties, though the explanation usually serves to amplify those anxieties rather than allay them. For example, the Vashta Nerada are a terrifying validation of fear of the dark, for they are almost literally shadows with teeth. The Silents’ design also serves an explanatory purpose, though it refers to a very specific form of cultural paranoia rather than a universal fear. In effect, they are at one and the same time the grey aliens of urban myth who abduct and probe humans – in ‘The Day of the Moon’ (2011) it’s Amy Pond who ends up on the examination table in the alien spacecraft – and the Men in Black who conceal the aliens’ existence. Beyond the high concept, the Silents epitomize other aspects of the Moffat monster-making sensibility. For one thing, they are woven deep into the time-bending story arc of the Eleventh Doctor. Although they retain an element of mystery to the last, the Silents are given a mythos almost as rich and disturbing as those of the Cybermen and the Daleks. They are revealed in ‘The Day of the Moon’ as the éminence grise which shaped humanity’s technological evolution to serve their own needs. Before long, it emerges that they are old and implacable enemies of the Doctor, hailing from his personal future, which we later glimpse in scenes of the Siege of Trenzalore in ‘The Time of the Doctor’. More importantly, in terms of design ethos, the Silents embody a heightened level of gothic imagination, which has become one of the hallmarks of Moffat’s tenure as writer and showrunner in Doctor Who. The Clockwork Androids in ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ and ‘Deep Breath’ (2014), Prisoner

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Zero in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, the Whisper Men in ‘The Name of the Doctor’ (2013), the Monks in ‘Extremis’, and above all, the Silents – all are designed with an incisiveness and intensity worthy of Victorian and early twentieth-century illustrators such as Gustav Doré or Harry Clarke. This may not in every case be directly informed by Moffat’s written descriptions but, based on the weight of evidence from the work of the different visual artists contributing to episodes he wrote, it seems foolish to discount the centrality of his influence in inspiring designers’ flights of dark fancy.

Landmarks and watersheds X: The Hudolin TARDIS interior On the surface of things, the 1996 BBC/Universal TV movie, Paul McGann’s ill-starred vehicle as the newly regenerated Eighth Doctor, seems an unlikely place to find one of Doctor Who’s more significant design images. Yet this would-be pilot, which failed to resurrect the series, had a major impact on Doctor Who when the series triumphantly returned under the supervision of Russell T Davies in the new millennium. The TV movie’s most notable contributions to Who lore, and to the tone of the new series, were the naturalism of its dialogue and the unprecedented, and formerly unthinkable, kisses shared between the Doctor and his female companion. Production design was also an area in which the film established an important precedent, in the form of Richard Hudolin’s complex TARDIS interior. The filmmakers tried in various ways to distil essential elements of the classic series of Doctor Who, and the TARDIS set was by far the most successful example of this, evoking the Doctor’s love for Earth and his affinity with the Victorian era. At the same time, Hudolin rethought the TARDIS interior in terms of the kind of space it is, eliminating key aspects of the London period TARDIS sets and introducing elements which have persisted or resurfaced in the new series right up to 2020. Hudolin’s was not the first TARDIS interior to align aesthetically with the Doctors’ Victorian fin de siècle dress and tastes in furniture and hardware. Something similar had been attempted by Barry Newbery in the wood-panelled control room he designed for the 1976–7 season,

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which was designed by Barry Newbery. Commentators have often invoked Jules Verne’s name in relation to Newbery’s reimagined control room, though the designer himself more than once denied any intended association with the Nautilus or the other fantastical vessels which feature in Verne’s fiction.18 According to Newbery, the design of the warm-toned chamber owed most to the luxurious interiors of Edwardian yachts, while hinting also at the gentleman’s club and the scholar’s study.19 The overtones of the study are especially evident in Newbery’s control console, which neatly reworked the classic design for the Davenport desk into a six-sided form. Elements of Hudolin’s TARDIS, on the other hand – most obviously the riveted metal girders which surround and support the central control console and time rotor – more strongly call back to the Nautilus seen in Disney’s live-action film of

Figure 6.5 The 1996 TARDIS interior

Figure 6.5 The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) in the control centre of his TARDIS, designed by Richard Hudolin; McGann’s costume designed by Jori Woodman. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Richard Fleischer, 1954), designed by Harper Goff. Beyond the question of sources and influences, Hudolin’s TARDIS interior is notable for two innovations which have affected TARDIS design ever since. The most radical shifts from earlier sets were the seeming boundlessness which Hudolin achieved and the pervasive gloom. The actual control room for the TARDIS, which would probably better be called a control centre, was by far the smallest in all Doctor Who: it consisted of a hexagonal dais partially enclosed by metal girders which met to form a vault over the top of the control console (Figure 6.5). However, this was only a small fraction of the main TARDIS chamber. The double doors leading to the outside were set well back from the control station in an expansive marble wall, slightly elevated and approached by a short flight of broad steps. Running perpendicular to this entrance wall was the library, which in turn was abutted by an obliquely angled wall of file cabinets and then a kind of openwork wood screen letting onto a kind of Victorian conservatory, filled with pot plants, clocks, and an ornate square piano. Behind this, the shadows led into indeterminable depth, and the same applied also on the other side of the control station, where the concentric arcades, softly illuminated by perpetually burning candelabra and sconce lamps, gave onto a deep darkness beyond. All the TARDIS interiors of the Cardiff period have recalled one or more of the key elements of Hudolin’s set. The boundlessness did not return until 2018, with Arwel Wyn Jones’s design for Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, which was, if possible, even more tenebrous and hard to take in than Hudolin’s. On the other hand, the essentially circular form of the control centre and its framing girders in the Hudolin set was taken up at once, in the coral ribs of Edward Thomas’s implicitly circular 2005 control room (built with a segment of approximately two-fifths of the hemispherical wall cut away to allow for ease of shooting). It was to manifest again in the steel supports of Michael Pickwoad’s fully enclosed, essentially circular ‘pod’ set used from 2012 to 2017. Edward Thomas’s intervening TARDIS set (2010 to 2012) recalled another aspect of the Hudolin design, namely its irregularity. Here the exterior doors were for the first time not aligned with the central console. The whole control station was on a raised platform, approached diagonally by a staircase from the entrance. Further staircases rose and

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descended at odd angles from this platform, one leading to a gallery on the long wall, the others terminating in archways which led to other parts of the ship. The screwball quality of this design – most notably the comma and inverted-comma curvature of the long walls, which defies engineering logic – exceeded anything in Hudolin’s set, as did the retrofuturism of its fittings and décor, such as the glass floored control station, the huge, circular communication screen, straight out of Flash Gordon, and the mixture of coral and sheet-metal wall claddings. However, the sense of a space operating according to its own spatiophysical laws is a clear commonality between the 1996 and 2010 sets. A small but significant element reintroduced in Hudolin’s TARDIS, after near-complete absence since 1978, was seating, a feature which recurred in all the Cardiff-period sets except the most recent. An integral seat, set into the rails around the console’s dais, featured in the 2005 control room and both its two immediate successors. When Peter Capaldi took over as the Doctor, the 2012 set also acquired further, movable seating, and fixed library shelving, on the raised gallery which ran around the perimeter of the room. Both the 2010 and 2012 sets also featured storage in the form of integral or freestanding chests a level down from the control station, echoing the file cabinets and shelving of the Hudolin TARDIS. In short, the sense that the main chamber of the TARDIS was a liveable space is an important part of Hudolin’s enduring legacy. Above all, Hudolin left his mark on the TARDIS by fundamentally altering the character of the central console and its relationship with the architectural structure of the ship’s interior. In raising the console on a dais – as Newbery had done before him in his ‘Edwardian-yacht’ set – Hudolin established a precedent for the steadily increasing vertical elongation, and the correspondingly increased distance between the console’s platform and the levels above and below it, in the next three TARDIS sets. Hudolin’s console itself was also the first to be truly and assertively retro. Brachacki’s console had been so by default, as the result of compromise. Apparently, the designer originally wanted controls which moulded to the operator’s hands, and had to make do instead with an array of odd switches, dials, levers and lights, which were not necessarily cutting-edge even in 1963.20 The keyboard-heavy console of the mid 1980s had been a clear attempt to create something which was recognizable as up to date by contemporary standards. Hudolin reversed this, with a polished wood and cast-iron control desk

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which was elegantly adorned with vintage or pseudo-vintage elements. For example, location and date controls were on rotating drums operated by knurled dials, rather like those of a perpetual desk calendar, the chronometer was an old flip clock, and a brass sliding lever served as the TARDIS’s handbrake (see the panel visible at left of the console in Figure 6.5). No less emphatically retro was the, main information screen, actually a 1940s television-set in a new housing, mounted on a scissor arm and manoeuvrable via an old-fashioned lavatory chain. And in terms of overall design of the console, rather than opt for blanket surface detailing intended to suggest complexity, Hudolin pared back the number of features on most faces of the console to a few bold elements. Large, flashing lights, some of which were flush and some boldly convex, were especially prominent (see the panel partially visible at right of the console in Figure 6.5). This kind of detail resonates with imagery of technology in James Whale’s 1931 film adaptation of Frankenstein, footage of which punctuates key scenes in the McGann TV movie. And to hammer home the point, the Doctor’s companion-foran-episode, Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook), at one point expressly comments on the fact that the TARDIS’s flight controls seem ‘lo-tech’. The first two consoles of the Cardiff period, designed by Edward Thomas, elaborated Hudolin’s vision by making the controls even more ‘Heath Robinson’ and primitive seeming (see Figure 6.3a). The only concession to anything like contemporary technology in the 2005 console was the plasma screen jury-rigged onto one of the faces; otherwise, controls consisted largely of found objects embedded into the panels or the coral ribs which divided them, including a water sight gauge, an antique call bell, and a bicycle pump. The 2010 console incorporated even more zany elements, most prominent of which were a typewriter, hot and cold taps, a windscreen-washer-fluid bottle, a gyroscope and a telegraph machine. Very directly following Hudolin’s precedent, Thomas included a large lever to serve as the handbrake on the 2005 console, a feature which reappeared again in Pickwoad’s 2012 set. The 2010 console even had a pseudo-antique monitor mounted on a scissor arm. Although more restrained than its two predecessors, the 2012 console still resembles the Hudolin precedent in its use of traditional, twentieth-century machine parts for many of the controls and sensors, such as handwheels and ball levers from metalworking lathes, quadrant faders from vintage

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sound-mixing consoles, aircraft throttles and railway signal levers, and vintage radio elements which included (by the time ‘The Day of the Doctor’ was filmed) a 1920s Thorola-style circular speaker with a fancy, cut-out grill. Still more crucial than Hudolin’s influence at the level of fixtures and fittings is the much fuller integration of the control console into the fabric of the chamber. This was effected simply by extending up into the ceiling the transparent column which emerges from the heart of the console. In the London period, this column had risen and fallen to indicate that the ship was in flight, and originally the elements inside – which looked rather like a ‘Construction’ by Naum Gabo – had been capable of rotating (see Figure 5.1). At full extension, the cylinder never exceeded average head height. Hudolin transformed the drum into a continuous shaft which ran all the way up into to the apex of the vault formed by the converging iron pylons around the control centre (Figure 6.5). The rising and falling central element was superseded by two sets of interlocking glass tubes which parted and met within the glass column as the ship’s machinery operated. This arrangement was almost directly replicated in the 2005 set, and though the interlocking tubes did not persist in subsequent designs, each of the three Cardiff-period sets has kept the continuous glass column, which either disappears into the ceiling (the 2010 set) or forms the drum of a central pillar from which the vault springs (the 2005 and 2012 sets). In short, Hudolin’s most significant Doctor Who legacy was the conversion of the console from a freestanding unit to the fundamental, defining element in TARDIS architecture. Michael Pickwoad’s 2012 design formed a logical endpoint for Hudolin’s innovation: here, at last, the console was not merely central but for all practical purposes the trunk from which the whole infrastructure of the main chamber branched and spread.

XI: War Doctors Doctor Who’s biggest historical landmark to date, the fiftieth anniversary, gave audiences a trio of new episodes: two online ‘minisodes’ released in the weeks running up to the celebration, and a seventy-eight-minute television episode on the day itself. These three stories were also collectively a watershed in the revived series’ relationship with its main contribution to the Doctor Who mythos – the Time War.

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Previous Doctor Who anniversaries have been strongly oriented towards the series’ past: multiple Doctors teamed up at the start of the tenth season of the original run, and again in special episodes for the twentieth and thirtieth anniversaries, while the twenty-fifth was marked by rematches with the Doctor’s most enduring enemies, the Daleks and the Cybermen. The fiftieth-anniversary stories followed this precedent: The Time Lords of Gallifrey; their sometime allies the Sisterhood of Karn; the Daleks; the Zygons and UNIT all made return appearances. So did past Doctors Paul McGann, Tom Baker and David Tennant – though Baker, like Billie Piper, played an essentially new character rather than directly reprising his role. The prelude to the anniversary celebrations, ‘The Name of the Doctor’, had also delved into the past, beginning with a glimpse of the First Doctor embarking on his flight from Gallifrey with his granddaughter Susan. It ended on an epoch-making cliff-hanger, by revealing the Doctor as he had been during the Time War. The ‘War Doctor’, as he was quickly to become known, was an interpolated incarnation between McGann and Eccleston, played by John Hurt. If the invention of the War Doctor was an audacious way of making a virtue out of necessity in the wake of Christopher Eccleston’s polite refusal to return, it was a solution which created obvious challenges – for Hurt, for audiences, and not least for the costume and make-up designers, Howard Burden and Lin Davie. A slightly different challenge was presented by the return of Paul McGann in ‘The Night of the Doctor’ (2013), the prelude to the anniversary special. This seven-minute episode charted the Eighth Doctor’s shift from being a staunch pacifist, helping where he can to ameliorate the effects of the Time War but staying out of the fray, to accepting that he must regenerate into a warrior – the Hurt incarnation who disavows the name ‘Doctor’. McGann’s appearance was a calculated surprise, and a reward for the dedicated fan, given that his version of the character had had only one prior screen appearance. Consequently, antiquarian precision was not the order of the day as it had been when the costume designer, Howard Burden, decked out past incarnations (all played by stand-ins) in both ‘The Name of the Doctor’ and ‘The Day of the Doctor’. Burden, already experienced in adding a twist to the wardrobe of an established Doctor (Matt Smith), was therefore able to come up with an interesting variant of McGann’s original look.

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With John Hurt’s Doctor, Burden superficially had a blank slate. Yet Hurt’s costume and grooming had to integrate smoothly with the imagery of the series – to seem to belong to the world, and the internal chronology, of Doctor Who. More specifically, the newly revealed Doctor’s look clearly had to embody the aesthetic of the Cardiff period, rather than being too much of a throwback to the supposed excesses of classic series. At the simplest level, this meant making an older actor acceptable in a role which had for seven years been played by men around forty or, in Matt Smith’s case, significantly younger. To fit in ‘NuWho’, there had to be some measure of edginess, nerd chic, or at least ironic self-awareness, in his style. A closely related demand was that costume and grooming must mark John Hurt at once as a fully established incarnation of the Doctor. There was in this case no post-regeneration-story transition to introduce his quirks and idiosyncrasies (though his newly regenerated, still youthful face was briefly seen in darkened reflection at the end of ‘The Night of the Doctor’). Even with the expectations surrounding the anniversary story, the stakes were obviously not as high as they had been when Eccleston was similarly presented ‘cold’ to audiences in 2005. Yet the fact that this incarnation was an avowed warrior, who announced himself as ‘Doctor no more’, ironically added to the urgency of making him instantly credible as the Doctor. When Hurt’s outfit was first released to the public somewhat fuzzily, in paparazzi photos taken during filming, it immediately seemed to some fans to offer homage to both Christopher Eccleston’s and Paul McGann’s costumes.21 The most assertive element in the Hurt Doctor’s outfit was a battered, double-breasted leather motorcyclist’s coat, dating from the 1920s, which bore more than a passing resemblance to Eccleston’s Kriegsmarine U-boat-commander’s jacket. Beneath, Hurt wore a velvet waistcoat, again double breasted, which in structure if not fabric recalled McGann’s paisley silk vest from the 1996 movie (Figure 6.6b). Although Hurt and Burden assembled the War Doctor’s look from an array of mostly-vintage items which the designer had pulled from costume hire companies, Burden has confirmed that this two-way evocation of Doctor Who’s history was part of his goal. This was achieved partly in the choice to include a waistcoat, and partly via the overall silhouette created by the leather coat, which echoes the long line used for most of the Londonperiod Doctors and again for Tennant and eventually also Smith.22 Hurt’s costume was, in fact, a deceptively simple response to a unique situation.

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From one point of view it upset an unwritten sartorial rule in Doctor Who, namely that each new Doctor’s look was part of what strongly differentiated the new performer from his immediate predecessor. In Hurt’s case there was good dramatic (and branding) sense in using costume to form an aesthetic bridge between the TV movie and the Cardiff period, given that the War Doctor’s adventures notionally took place between the two. And after all, as Burden and others have pointed out, there is a strong through-line in the costumes of the Doctors, so in a sense the choice of Hurt’s costume only intensifies this.23 Burden’s costumes for McGann and Hurt form an internally resonant couplet, in ways which go beyond similarity of individual garments and speak much more to ethos and dramatic situation. While Hurt’s incarnation has become known as the War Doctor, the epithet is in many ways just as applicable to the Eighth Doctor from the early stages of the Time War conflict, albeit as conscientious objector rather than combatant. This similarity certainly manifests in terms of their clothing, for McGann’s polished leather gaiters, the First World War snake-buckle belt and twilled trousers (Figure 6.6a) have martial overtones which seem to prefigure Hurt’s costume.24 They also both relate to the historical moment which has always been the Doctors’ sartorial centre of gravity, the years around 1900 – but between them they describe an historical shift, and a corresponding progression from optimism to pessimism. McGann’s outfit, with frock coat, raffishly knotted silk scarf and brocade vest, is still very much that of the self-confident Victorian adventurer. Hurt, with his crumbling leather coat and half-chaps, frayed woollen muffler, and khakis, powerfully evokes the world-weariness induced by the Great War. There are further correspondences between the two costumes. In both cases, Burden kept the palette and choice of fabrics subdued. McGann’s outfit contains most of the same elements as the one he wore for the 1996 television movie, but the colours are much more homogeneous, and the overall tone warm rather than gaudy. The frock coat, for example, is moss green rather than bottle green, and cut from soft broadcloth rather than flashy crushed velvet. Hurt’s costume is almost entirely monochrome, with even the rich, nut-brown velvet of the waistcoat minimally departing from the prevalent khaki and leather mid-tones. Variety is created mostly through the wonderfully rich array of textures. This sartorial restraint had the effect of positioning both Doctors firmly within the existing Cardiff-period aesthetic, for even Matt Smith at

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Figure 6.6 Doctors of War

Figure 6.6a The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) as he appeared in ‘The Night of the Doctor’ (2013). Costume designed by Howard Burden. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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Figure 6.6b The War Doctor (John Hurt) in costume for ‘The Day of the Doctor’ (2013). Costume designed by Howard Burden. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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his most flamboyant had worn clothes in a relatively narrow band of hues, with few strong elements of primary colour. If anything, the chromatic range even in McGann’s costume is smaller than in Smith’s, and Hurt’s approaches Eccleston’s in its austerity. However, no amount of subtle costuming could belie the main difference between John Hurt and the Cardiff-period Doctors. Unlike the perennially youthful Paul McGann, Hurt was very obviously a senior figure – he was significantly older, in fact, than any of the actors who had played the role during the London period. The makeup department, led by designer Lin Davie with Jenny Jones as hair-and-makeup supervisor, neatly offset this, finding a way to underscore the youthful twinkle which Hurt deftly wove into his Doctor’s careworn melancholy. Just as Troughton had had his Beatleesque mop top, and Jon Pertwee eventually achieved a teased bouffant almost worthy of one of the members of Cream, so Davie gave Hurt a youth style of the 2010s: a mussed, but clearly product-laden fauxhawk not a million miles from David Tennant’s famously luxuriant quiff. The contrast with the weathered sobriety of Hurt’s outfit immediately, and in a neatly Cardiff-period way, telegraphed the Doctor’s ageless, alien eccentricity, much as the First Doctor’s Samuel-Adams bob had done fifty years before, when he first materialized out of the London fog.

XII: The 2014 title sequence With the arrival of a new Doctor in 2014, as so often with prior changeovers in lead actor, there also came new opening titles. The three prior sequences had been based around representations of the TARDIS travelling through time and space, all more or less directly indebted to Bernard Lodge’s titles from the 1960s and 1970s, and all ‘realistic’ within the framework of the series’ visual effects. Indeed, as noted above, imagery from these sequences was more than once integrated into the body of the episodes. The titles devised for Peter Capaldi were remarkable in part because they were overtly based on symbolic rather than representational imagery, but more particularly because they were derived from a fan creation. The source was an animated demonstration piece devised and distributed on YouTube by graphic designer Billy Hanshaw,25 which went viral and attracted the attention of the incumbent showrunner, Steven Moffat, who decided to adopt it.26 Fan involvement in the making of Doctor Who was by 2014 a

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commonplace, with two showrunners and two lead actors being among the numerous creative personnel who were avowed fans. What is distinctive about the genesis of Capaldi titles is in part the fact that Hanshaw was not on the BBC payroll, and in part the fact that social media brought his work to Moffat’s attention. Hanshaw’s speculative title sequence took the series’ central idea of time travel and filtered it through imagery of time measurement. It begins with an image of a pocket watch, embossed with Gallifreyan script, spinning towards the ‘camera’ amidst banks of cloud. The ‘camera’ then passes magically through the watchcase and rushes into mysterious depth amidst whirring cogs. These in turn give place to an aperture iris diaphragm, which opens on to a perpetual spiral based on the clock face, filigree Gallifreyan graphics showing behind the roman numerals. The TARDIS emerges from the heart of the spiral and flips into a contiguous one; the ‘camera’ follows it, plunging rapidly down the tunnel formed by this second spiral, and then into a centrifugal burst of light rays, out of which the most familiar graphic emblem of the Time Lords, the Seal of Rassilon, forms behind the Doctor Who logo. The Seal in turn melts away to reveal the pocket watch again – the smooth side of the case this time, with Capaldi’s smiling features hazily visible behind the sheen. At the end of the sequence the watch spins away again into cosmic space, towards a black-hole-like vortex between converging planets.27 The final, televised sequence based on Hanshaw’s original concept differs in several ways. The pocket watch is entirely absent, and so the swirling cogs, some now embellished with glowing circles around their rims, start the sequence. An outward-spiralling wipe – no literal, metal iris here – leads into the clock-face spiral, the tail end of which now unspools to give onto a star-scape. Concentric light rings then move forward, with blips of light, ‘target’ graphics, and even planetary bodies variously running around their circumference (see Figure 1.1, bottom right pair of images). These circles form an implied tunnel along which just the Doctor’s eyes, the logo, and finally the TARDIS travel in towards the camera. In spite of the fact that it is in certain respects more polished than Hanshaw’s original, this ‘improved’ sequence is ultimately rather less compelling than its source, though to be fair it is also unflatteringly paired with the tinniest arrangement of the Doctor Who theme tune devised to date for the revived series. In visual terms, the loss of the framing device of the pocket watch – already eliminated by the time Hanshaw made a

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variant of his original sequence as a ‘lead concept’ for the BBC 28 – dulls the overall impact of the clockwork theme. The final section, with its whirling circles, also seems finicky in comparison with Hanshaw’s initial use of the visually potent Seal of Rassilon as a background to the logo. Ultimately, then, the Capaldi title sequence is remarkable less for its specific formal properties than for the fact of its existence: its origins in what is to all intents and purposes fan art mark what is perhaps the second most notable watershed in design for Doctor Who.

XIII: The Thirteenth Doctor’s costume The most significant turning point in design for Doctor Who to date, by a country mile, came with the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor. If the task of developing her look for the role was in one sense a golden opportunity, in another it was a poisoned chalice. Expectation over the unveiling of each new Doctor’s costume – a media event from 1969 onwards – has ratcheted up since David Tennant’s incumbency, thanks in part to the exponential growth of social media. The advent of the first woman in the role greatly increased the intensity of this expectation. Because she was setting a precedent, Whittaker’s costume choice was inevitably freighted with risk. Overtly masculine clothes might have suggested an undue tentativeness, even an apologetic stance, as regards the Doctor’s gender shift. Conversely, overtly feminine dress could be accused of playing into patterns of female objectification and unhelpfully emphasizing the Thirteenth Doctor’s hitherto exceptional standing. Official, authorizing accounts of the costume have therefore adopted two main tactics: firstly, to stress the costume’s gender neutrality and secondly, to direct attention away from gender altogether towards other, abstract or universalizing ideas which are supposedly embodied in the costume, such as the cosmos, friendship and hope. Apart from being the subject of intense, direct scrutiny in relation to the issue of gender, the Thirteenth Doctor’s look was burdened ad absurdum with hopes and beliefs about its connection to the outfits worn by the Time Lord’s previous incarnations. It is hard not to see in the slightly fevered attempts to connect Whittaker’s costume to her predecessors’ another manifestation of anxiety surrounding the Thirteenth Doctor’s gender. It is true that at least since Matt Smith’s debut, the search for overtones or ‘Easter-Egg’ hints of previous

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Doctors’ outfits in the new look devised for any actor taking on the role has become something of a tradition, not just among dedicated fans but also commentators in mainstream publications.29 Some costumes undoubtedly encourage this kind of source-hunting more than others; in certain cases, homage has been acknowledged by designer or actor, as with John Hurt’s outfit, discussed above,30 or with Peter Capaldi’s nods to the Third Doctor and Sylvester McCoy’s to the Second.31 In fact, item for item, Jodie Whittaker’s costume is perhaps the least like any prior Doctor’s yet: only very generic items such as boots and braces are broadly similar to those worn by predecessors. Yet perversely, this self-evident difference seems to have spurred commentators to work harder to establish a genealogy for her outfit, and thus to ignore Ray Holman’s avowed intent to produce ‘a completely modern costume’.32 Claiming, as one critic did, to discern in the Thirteenth Doctor’s coat an amalgamation of Sylvester McCoy’s jacket, David Tennant’s coat and Peter Capaldi’s hoodie is only marginally sillier than the same writer’s assertion that Whittaker’s crisp, dark blue, high-waisted culottes pay homage to Patrick Troughton’s original, shapeless, plaid trousers simply on the basis that they too are high waisted.33 Evidently mindful of the heightened anxieties and hopes which were likely to swirl around her costume, Jodie Whittaker took the initiative in setting the agenda for discussion, with support from costume designer Ray Holman and the PR machine of the Doctor Who production office. Both in a print guide to the outfit for Radio Times and in an official behind-the-scenes webcast entitled The Doctor’s Costume (2018), Whittaker claimed to have found her inspiration, or ‘style point’, in a photograph of a striding young woman apparently wearing oversize, men’s cropped trousers, from a 1988 edition of the teen magazine Sassy (Fig 6.7b).34 Noting in The Doctor’s Costume that the image ‘felt timeless’ and ‘intriguing’, Whittaker added, crucially: ‘It was neither male nor female, which was really important to me’;35 in the Radio Times she even more pointedly described it as ‘non-gender specific’.36 In interview, Whittaker and Holman have focused heavily on the various kinds of symbolism infused into the garments and jewellery. Most of this symbolism, as they describe it, sidesteps issues of gender. A prime example is the Doctor’s ear cuff, which consists of a cluster of silver stars linked by a chain to a silver and a gold hand clasped together (Figure 6.7c and 6.7d). According to Whittaker in The Doctor’s Costume, the upper

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Figure 6.7 The Thirteenth Doctor’s look, with ‘style point’

Figure 6.7a Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor with (l to r) Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, on set for ‘The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos’ (2018). Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

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Figure 6.7b A photograph from the ‘Big Bottoms’ spread in the September 1988 issue of Sassy. © Matilda Publications.

Figure 6.7c The Thirteenth Doctor’s ear cuff revealed. Promotional still, © BBC Worldwide.

Figure 6.7d The ear cuff as seen on the website of its designer, Alex Monroe. © alexmonroe.com.

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part of the cuff represents the character’s descent from the stars – her literal fall to Earth at the beginning of the 2018 series – while the handshake represents the Doctor’s friendship with humanity.37 Closely related to this is the conceit, credited by Whittaker to Holman, of giving the Doctor a pale blue coat lined in deep blue: ‘the exterior is [the sky by] day but the lining is dark blue for space’.38 Writing about the rainbow stripes which form a wide bar across the Doctor’s shirt and appear also as narrow line of piping where the coat’s lining meets the revers (Figure 6.7a), Whittaker notes more expansively but also more personally that ‘nothing evokes a sense of hope in me more than hundreds of rainbows!’39 The one very specific allusion to gender acknowledged by Whittaker and Holman is the colour chosen for the lining of the Doctor’s coat sleeves. Holman apparently suggested to Whittaker using violet for these linings on the basis that this was one of the hues adopted by the Women’s Suffrage movement.40 If Whittaker and the Doctor Who production office were in a sense prudent to seize the PR initiative in relation to the Doctor’s new costume, there were hazards in this approach. For example, Whittaker’s and Holman’s fulsome explications of the outfit sent slightly mixed messages about the impact of the Thirteenth Doctor’s being a woman. At least one commentator regards the hidden detail of the violet sleeve linings as a feminist statement,41 but if it can really be regarded as such, it is arguably in tension with Whittaker’s emphasis on the ‘non-gender specific’ inspiration for her costume. The revelation of the suffragetteinspired sleeve lining also begs questions about a much more conspicuous aspect of the costume, namely the horizontal stripes across the shirt. Even more than the ear cuff, this decoration seemed to some observers promising as the bearer of an LGBT-friendly message.42 Such an assumption is not unreasonable, for the storytelling during Whittaker’s first season engaged productively with issues of marginalization, not least around gender and sexual orientation. More specifically, a line of dialogue in ‘Arachnids in the UK’ (2018) showed the Doctor quite unfazed by the suggestion that she might be in a same-sex relationship with her travelling companion, Yaz – a far cry from the disavowals, coldness, sheepishness or bumbling around matters of romance and attraction typical of prior Doctors during the Cardiff period.43 Speculation about the LGBT resonances of the motif intensified with the appearance of a similarly rainbow-striped scarf in

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the 2019 New Year’s Special and related publicity images. Yet in this case, the speculation was not rewarded by any comment from designer or star. The problem here is that the otherwise dense exposition of costume symbolism offered by Whittaker and Holman helps to make their silence on a given element seem like a structuring absence – especially since Whittaker teasingly suggested to the Radio Times that she might one day be able to reveal what ‘every detail’ of her costume means, adding that ‘for now everything [sic] is a secret’ between Holman and her.44 Another potential problem with Whittaker’s detailed discussion of her costume lies neither in specific details nor lacunae but in its sheer density. Such rich explication of a new Doctor’s costume by the actor wearing it is unprecedented for Doctor Who. Whittaker’s effusiveness on the topic might seem to reinforce the old prejudice that talking about, and thereby showing (undue) interest in, clothes is intrinsically a feminine proclivity. With this in mind, it is perhaps also unfortunate that the costume itself is so obviously designed from scratch, in spite of the fact that within the narrative it is supposed to have been put together from whatever was in stock in a charity shop. The outfit is inescapably ‘matchy-matchy’ in character, with its symphony of blues and details such as the consonance between the rainbow-stripes on shirt and coat piping. Notwithstanding Whittaker’s protestations about the central importance of comfort and practicality in the design, an unsympathetic view of all this careful coordination would be that it attests feminine absorption with style. Yet ultimately, Whittaker’s enthusiasm for discussing the costume, and the commitment she and Holman made to a gutsily colourful design, seem to me to represent an important shift which could have long-term, positive consequences for Doctor Who. Until Whittaker made her entrance, costumes for the Cardiff-period Doctors all basically perpetuated the sober dress codes associated with hegemonic masculinity from the mid-nineteenth century to the second decade after the Second World War, which still persist as important symbols of patriarchy. Whittaker and Holman have tacitly thrown into question the assumption that the Doctor’s power as a character is bound up with the use of deep, dark hues or earth tones, and fabric such as tweed and other heavy wools, striped suiting, leather, and other conventional markers of sober, masculine power during the era of British colonial

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ascendancy. Whether or not the Fourteenth Doctor is a woman, the door is now open for more varied gender expression in the character’s dress. It might conversely be argued that the Thirteenth Doctor’s costume invites brickbats in a way that a more muted, business-as-usual, outfit for the character would not have done. There has certainly been no shortage of mocking comparisons with Mork from Mork and Mindy (ABC, 1978–82), and Whittaker’s costume has raised the spectre of the oft-reviled 1980s Doctor Who aesthetic, embodied in the outfits worn by Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy (see Figures 6.2a and c) and Colin Baker.45 Yet the measurable success of the Thirteenth Doctor with audiences and the thoroughly documented popularity of her look with cosplayers (by no means all female-presenting) seem to vindicate Whittaker’s and Holman’s choices. In the last analysis, I would argue the biggest risk the actor and designer could have taken was that of playing it too safe and thereby wasting the opportunity for root-and-branch reinvention of the Doctor’s sartorial style. This danger, at least, they have surely sidestepped.

Conclusion

Throughout this book on design for Doctor Who I have treated the show’s three different television iterations – the original BBC series, the 1996 TV Movie and the current series – as parts of a whole rather than as distinct media texts. As noted in the preface, this is not unproblematic, but on balance the approach seems to me justified by the book’s subject matter. The wide temporal span of the case studies in Chapter 3 alone testifies to the consistent nature of the challenges faced by Doctor Who designers over the course of six decades. In spite of frequent turnover in creative personnel, neither the incessant demand for newly imagined or recreated societies and worlds nor the series’ accompanying shifts across genre and register has really changed (though the average number of changes in scenario each season has significantly increased in the Cardiff period). Moreover, as noted more than once in Part One, Doctor Who’s forays into relative naturalism in design have always proven to be little more than interludes: both the original and new series have repeatedly defaulted to stylized, graphically sharp imagery, frequently tinged with the gothic and the ‘operatic’. And as all three parts of this book affirm in different ways, Doctor Who’s complex attitude to its own past has been a recurrent factor shaping design choices at least since the early 1980s, challenging designers to respect heritage while keeping the show visually fresh. There are broader advantages in thinking about design for Doctor Who in a holistic way. Most obviously, as reflected in Part One, Doctor Who serves as an important index of developing design practices and iconography in screen science fiction over the last half century. Beyond this, by virtue of its generic and tonal fickleness, Doctor Who can be seen as a kind of microcosm of design for British fiction television at large, in all its diversity. Looked at from this point of view, Doctor Who’s overall internal inconsistency gives the lie to the idea that design for 217

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television can be evaluated according to definitive, all-encompassing rules. For example, the wild oscillations which have occurred in design for Doctor Who’s visits to Earth’s past throw into question the standard of historical accuracy which is still freely applied to period drama in much criticism.1 If a single series can accommodate so many different approaches to period dress and set design, from the ‘modestly’ selfeffacing to the brazenly theatrical, then this must perforce apply to period television drama at large. Bearing in mind John Bloomfield’s assertion that in a sense historic costume for the screen always has a ‘twist’, dictated by the needs of storytelling in a given production, we should recognize that the most constructive grounds for analysis are those which seek to account positively for such twists, not those which treat them as aberrations from some assumed norm. Inasmuch as I have argued for thinking about the three television iterations of Doctor Who as constituting a whole, I have also acknowledged the impact of internal divisions, especially between the London and Cardiff periods. As I showed in Part One and again in Part Three, there has been no shortage of dialogue between the ‘new’ and ‘classic’ series. This dialogue has often been positive and celebratory, with the deliberate recapitulation or elaboration of key designs from the original run: the Daleks and their city; the Time Lords’ regalia; the imagery of the 1974 time-tunnel title sequence, and so on. However, the new series’ relationship with Doctor Who’s past has sometimes been more equivocal. Perhaps the most obvious expression of this is the Cardiff-period mantra that certain designs need updating to meet contemporary audience expectations. This claim has been repeated over and over again in documentary paratexts such as Doctor Who Confidential (BBC, 2005–2011).2 It’s also worth emphasizing that key design decisions made for the first series of the revival served as tacit but nonetheless telling rejections of the past. Most obviously and powerfully, the Ninth Doctor’s grooming and dress related positively to the grunge-cum-normcore aesthetic of the early 2000s and correspondingly distanced him from the Victorianizing whimsy of earlier Doctors’ costumes.3 Beyond its aesthetic rapprochements with and retreats from the classic series, Cardiff-period Doctor Who is distinct from its predecessor in at least one other important way addressed in this book, which is applicable to the study of design in other media texts. Building on Matt

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Hills’ concept of the fan novum, I suggested towards the end of Part Two that the ‘design novum’ – i.e. the deliberate recoding or amplification of key elements in Doctor Who’s design heritage, which often expands the tonal significance of an image within the narrative and may even contribute to adjustment in internal series continuity – is peculiar to the Cardiff period, which is to say the era of the showrunner fan. The same phenomenon is evident in other long-form or serial media properties to which so-called ‘pro fans’ have made significant creative contributions. In Star Trek and Star Wars, and even in a much more limited media franchise such as Blade Runner, the design novum again demonstrably contributes to reflexive narrative expansion or reorientation, often producing ‘golden moments’ and above all stimulating fan discussion. For the sake of brevity, I’ll give just one example – the cameo appearance of Darth Vader in the first Star Wars ‘anthology’ film Rogue One (2016). Like most of the other Star Wars movies and television series made since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars property, Rogue One was directed and cowritten by an established industry professional who is also perceived as a ‘superfan’, Gareth Edwards.4 The film also involved pro fans in other capacities, most notably, for present purposes, Doug Chiang, the production designer. Darth Vader’s cameos in Rogue One were complicated aesthetically by the fact that the film is so intimately bound up with the original 1977 Star Wars (to which, for the sake of clarity, I’ll refer here by the subtitle used since its 1981 re-release, A New Hope). In diegetic terms, Vader’s second cameo at the climax of Rogue One leads almost directly into A New Hope. Because of this, Vader’s costume is a largely faithful reconstruction of the one he wore in the 1977 film, erasing most of the subtle variations which were introduced in the two sequels, and reinstating elements peculiar to A New Hope, such as the red-tinged lenses in Vader’s protective mask.5 In Rogue One as finally screened, the Dark Lord even wears his surcoat over his gorget, as he did in A New Hope, rather than under it, as in both sequels and even the prequel, Revenge of the Sith. So far, so custodial. It is in the sequence in which we first encounter Vader in Rogue One, in his sinister castle, that the design novum comes into play. When the imperial officer Orson Krennic is summoned to an audience with Vader, he flies to a volcanic planet which, unlike every other major location seen in Rogue One, is not named on screen. Here, Vader’s

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castle sits atop an escarpment with a river of lava passing directly under it. In several overlapping ways, this sequence brings Star Wars’ past very self-consciously into play, serving both to reaffirm and expand continuity. The planet on which Vader’s castle is built can readily be identified as Mustafar,6 where the Dark Lord had his fateful duel with his sometime master Obi Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. Clearly, Vader’s decision to make a home on the world on which he suffered an ignominious defeat and immolation begs to be explained, and fan discussion, fuelled by disclosures from Edwards and his collaborators in interviews and commemorative publications, has not disappointed.7 Beyond the visual cue to recognize the planet as Mustafar, there are other interesting design choices in this sequence which add suggestive layers of association. Immediately prior to his meeting with Krennic, Vader is seen suspended in a ‘bacta tank’ – a cylindrical container of curative fluid, first featured in The Empire Strikes Back, in which the seriously wounded are immersed for treatment and rejuvenation. What we glimpse here is a body lacking the extremities of all four limbs, underscoring the severity of the Dark Lord’s injuries. Here, as with the faithful facsimile of his New Hope armour and robes, there is nothing new per se but rather a confirmation of what fans have previously seen on screen, for the agonies of the freshly injured Vader had been shown in distressing detail in Revenge of the Sith. However, in the light of longterm fan debate about whether or not Vader could remove his lifesupporting armour, the visual choice is a striking one. Vader’s castle itself is something wholly new to Star Wars, at least on screen. The idea of the Dark Lord’s possessing such a stronghold actually has a venerable history: it dates back to the planning of The Empire Strikes Back, though the castle was eventually eliminated from the storyline of that film.8 Later, a fortress belonging to Vader named Bast Castle appeared in ‘expanded universe’ tie-in literature (now consigned by Disney to non-canonical status).9 However, Bast Castle was not on Mustafar; nor did its architecture pay homage to Ralph McQuarrie’s unused concept drawings from the preproduction phase of The Empire Strikes Back, which the design in Rogue One does. Tellingly, the debt to McQuarrie has been underscored in the film’s paratexts, especially in commentary by Chiang.10 In summary, Rogue One gives new life and meaning to disparate design elements which had been in circulation or under debate in the

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Star Wars universe and fandom, in some cases for decades. Part recapitulation (the injured Vader in his bacta tank, the New Hopeaccurate armour and robes) and part evocative variation on relatively abstruse themes (the architectural design of Vader’s castle and the choice of its setting), this bricolage of ‘legacy’ imagery at once emerges from and appeals to the logics of fan knowledge. It is made by cognoscenti for cognoscenti. And in the course of reconstituting aspects of Star Wars continuity, this particular design novum plays a crucial role in defining one of Rogue One’s most eminently dispersible moments. The potential for exporting ideas from this book into new contexts in this way will, I hope, offset the fact that my study of design in Doctor Who here is only adumbrative. Given the sprawling nature of Doctor Who as a television text (quite apart from its other media manifestations), this book was never going to be more than a first sortie into an immense territory. The historical survey in Part One could easily have been expanded to occupy the whole volume, and still have done little more than scratch the surface of the subject. By the same token, matching Part Two’s case study of design in Doctor Who’s historical adventures with detailed, critical discussion of design in all the other story types encompassed by the series would have been a hefty undertaking. Part Three’s exploration of the power exerted by certain designs over public imagination and over Doctor Who itself was avowedly partial in every sense; as I noted in the introduction to Part Three, the list of key designs could easily have been extended. I hope that in the last analysis the provisional and suggestive nature of this study is experienced not as a weakness but as an opportunity. I wrote this book to encourage those who love Doctor Who to think more about design, and those who study design to think more about Doctor Who. Somewhere in the Venn diagram describing the ideal readerships for this volume, I’m hoping that scholars to come will see potential in pursuing my subject in new ways and taking it in new directions. Platitude and truism lie gleefully in wait for the writer who is trying to bring a book to a satisfying conclusion. This is not necessarily a bad thing. A grand, final pronouncement to the effect that design for Doctor Who reflects some of the series’ most cherished values, on and off screen, may seem trite but is hard to deny. The ongoing delight of Doctor Who, as often noted, is its capacity to self-renew while remaining the same. The

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Eleventh and Thirteenth Doctors have even given rousing speeches addressing exactly this, the Eleventh just prior to regenerating – ‘We’re all different people all through our lives; and that’s okay, that’s good . . . so long as you remember all the people you used to be’ (‘The Time of the Doctor’, 2013) – and the Thirteenth just after regenerating – ‘We’re all capable of the most incredible change; we can evolve while staying true to who we are’ (‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’, 2018). With this in mind, I would contend that the study of design for Doctor Who is interesting not just because of the show’s kaleidoscopic worldbuilding, or its contribution to evolving science-fiction aesthetics over the course of almost six decades. Doctor Who design is intriguing above all because it is so often concerned not only with innovation but also renovation, in the fullest sense. The series constantly refreshes its old design images with new ideas, and derives new ideas from these images with characteristically and enchantingly unpredictable results.

Notes

Introduction 1

On ‘Doctor Who studies’ as a subfield of television/media studies, see Matt Hills’ editorial introduction to New Dimensions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Space, Time and Television (London: I.B. Tauris, 2013), 3–5.

2

Piers D. Britton and Simon J. Barker, Reading Between Designs (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003).

3

See inter alia Dale Smith, ‘Broader and deeper: The lineage and impact of the Timewyrm series,’ in David Butler, ed., Time And Relative Dissertations in Space (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), 263–79, and Piers D. Britton, TARDISbound: Navigating the Universes of Doctor Who (London: I.B. Tauris), passim but esp. 8–9.

4

The first clear avowal that the audios belonged to the same fictional universe as the television programme came with ‘The Night of the Doctor,’ the fiftieth-anniversary webisode by Steven Moffat, released in November 2013, in which Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor name-checks his companions from Big Finish; see Jenna Stoeber, ‘The Cultural Lives of Doctor Who: “The Night of the Doctor,” ’ Antenna, 21 November, 2013. Available online: http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2013/11/21/the-culturallives-of-doctor-who-the-night-of-the-doctor/ (accessed 7 June 2020).

5

‘Coming Soon: Time Lord Victorious,’ doctorwho.tv, 11 May 2020. Available online: https://www.doctorwho.tv/news/?article=time-lordvictorious (accessed 11 May 2020).

6

Neil Perryman, ‘Doctor Who and the Convergence of Media: A Case Study in “Transmedia Storytelling,” ’ Convergence 14, no. 1 (2008): 21–39; Matt Hills, ‘Televisuality without television? The Big Finish audios and discourses of “tele-centric” Doctor Who,’ in Butler, ed., Time and Relative Dissertations, 280–95; Matt Hills, ‘LEGO Dimensions meets Doctor Who: Transbranding and New Dimensions of Transmedia Storytelling,’ Icono14 14, no. 1 (2015): 8–29; Britton, TARDISbound.

7

E.g. Hills, ed., New Dimensions of Doctor Who; Andrew O’Day, ed., The Eleventh Hour: A Critical Celebration of the Matt Smith and Steven Moffat 223

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Era (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014), and Lorna Jowett, Dancing with the Doctor (London: I.B. Tauris, 2017). 8

See, for example, the brief discussion of Chris Achilleos’s cover illustrations for the Target novelizations in Chapter 1, and of photography for the covers of the Dark Eyes box sets in Chapter 4.

9

For a succinct account of the TVI/TVII/TVIII model, see Trisha Dunleavy, Complex Serial Drama and Multiplatform Television (London and New York: Routledge 2017), 9–11. On televisuality, i.e. a new kind of programming emerging in the 1980s which self-consciously privileges style, see John Thornton Caldwell, Televisuality: Style, Crisis, and Authority in American Television (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995); cf. James Chapman, Inside the TARDIS: The Worlds of Doctor Who (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006; second edition 2013), 192.

10 On the problems of a tradition of British telefantasy which is associated with low production values and poor special effects’, and producers’ recognition of the need to work against this in television fiction produced around the millennium, see Catherine Johnson, Telefantasy (London: BFI, 2005), 141. 11 Maireke Jenner, ‘Is this TVIV? On Netflix, TVIII and binge-watching,’ in New Media and Society 18, no. 2 (2016): 260. 12 See note 6 above. 13 See, for example, Stephen Brook and Peter Robins, ‘Doctor Who’s departing Davies reveals debt to Pop Idol,’ The Guardian, 23 December 2009. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2009/ dec/23/doctor-who-russell-davies-tennant (accessed 1 May 2020). 14 Morgan Jeffrey, ‘The BBC is “a very long way from wanting to rest” Doctor Who, says Drama boss,’ Radio Times, 25 February 2020. Available online: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-02-25/doctor-who-hiatusrested/ (accessed 25 February 2020). 15 See for example much of the work on recent television fiction by Jason Mittell, e.g. Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (New York: New York University Press, 2015). On some emergent trends in TV fiction in TVIV, see Jessica Balanzategui, ‘The New Quality Crime Drama in the TVIV Era: Hannibal, True Detective, and Surrealism,’ Quarterly Review of Film and Video 35, no. 6 (2018): 567–679. 16 Jenner, ‘Is this TVIV?’; Daniela M. Schlütz, ‘Contemporary Quality TV: The Entertainment Experience of Complex Serial Narratives,’ Annals of the International Communication Association 40, no. 1 (2016): 95–124. 17 Geraint D’Arcy does make some interesting comments on the problems that arise from new binge-watching habits for network and cable series, which rely on frugality and redressing or reuse of sets, using Gotham (Fox,

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2014–19) as his example, in his Critical Approaches to TV and Film Set Design (London and New York: Routledge, 2019), 212–15. 18 On the problems of the ‘cinematic’ in television, see Brett Mills, ‘What does it mean to call television “cinematic”?’ in Jason Jacobs and Steven Peacock, eds, Television Aesthetics and Style (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 57–66, and Deborah Jaramillo, ‘Rescuing Television from “the cinematic”: the perils of dismissing television style,’ in the same volume, 67–75. 19 For a discussion of the shift from 4:3 to 16:9, and arguments on the consequent loss of ‘dramatic and aesthetic qualities’, see Sarah Cardwell, ‘A Sense of Proportion: Aspect Ratio and the Framing of Television Space,’ Critical Studies in Television 10, no. 3 (2015): 83–100. I also address differences in framing between 4:3 and widescreen, with respect to set design and décor and mise-en-scène, in ‘Setting Variables: Axes of time, space and meaning in production design for the screen,’ Scene 4, no. 2 (2016): 117–35. 20 See note 7 above. 21 Matt Hills, Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-First Century (London: I.B. Tauris, 2010), 66–8. 22 Catherine Johnson, ‘Doctor Who as Programme Brand,’ in Hills ed., New Dimensions of Doctor Who, 101–4. 23 Lincoln Geraghty, ‘From Balaclavas to Jumpsuits: The Multiple Histories and Identities of Doctor Who’s Cybermen,’ Atlantis: Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies, 30, no. 1 (2008): 85–100. 24 Jonathan Bignell, ‘Mise-en-Scène in Doctor Who: The TARDIS as Space, Place and Setting,’ presented at the Doctor Who: Walking in Eternity conference at the University of Hertfordshire in 2013. An abbreviated version is available online: ‘The TARDIS as Space, Place and Setting,’ CST online, 21 November 2013: https://cstonline.net/the-tardis-as-placespace-and-setting-by-jonathan-bignell/ (accessed 8 June 2020). 25 Piers D. Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind”: Doctor Who Monsters and the Rhetoric of (Re)design,’ in Hills, ed., New Dimensions of Doctor Who, 39–53, and ‘ “It’s All-New Doctor Who”: Authorising New Design and Redesign in the Steven Moffat era,’ in O’Day, ed., The Eleventh Hour, 141–58. 26 Simone Knox, ‘The Transatlantic Dimensions of the Time Lord: Doctor Who and the Relationship between British and North American Television,’ in O’Day, ed., The Eleventh Hour, 106–20. 27 Claire Jenkins, ‘ “I’m saving the world, I need a decent shirt”: Masculinity and sexuality in the new Doctor Who,’ in Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson, eds, Fashion Cultures Revisited: Theories, Explorations and Analysis (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), 377–89.

226

Notes

28 Leon Barsacq, Le décor de film (Paris: Edition Seghers, 1970); Edith Head and Jane Kesner Ardmore, The Dress Doctor (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1959). 29 Jane Gaines and Charlotte Herzog, Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body (London and New York: Routledge, 1990). 30 Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron, Sets in Motion: Art Direction and Film Narrative (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995). 31 E.g. Fionnuala Hannigan, Filmcraft: Production Design (Waltham, MA: Focal Press, 2013); Deborah Nadoolman Landis, 50 Designers, 50 Costumes: Concept to Character (Beverly Hills, CA: Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences: 2004); Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Filmcraft: Costume Design (Waltham, MA: Focal Press, 2012), and Vincent LoBrutto, By Design: Interviews with Film Production Designers (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1992). 32 E.g. Tim Bergfelder, Sue Harris and Sarah Street, Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007); Laurie N. Ede, British Film Design: A History (London: I.B. Tauris, 2010); Lucy Fischer, ed., Art Direction & Production Design (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2015), and Adrienne L. McLean, ed., Costume, Makeup, and Hair (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016). 33 E.g. Stella Bruzzi, Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies (London & New York: Routledge, 1997); Sarah Street, Costume and Cinema: Dress Codes in Popular Cinema (London & New York: Wallflower, 2001), and C.S. Tashiro, Pretty Pictures: Production Design and the History Film (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998). 34 See note 32 above. 35 See note 33 above. 36 See note 33 above. 37 Helen Warner, Fashion on Television: Identity and Celebrity Culture (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014). 38 Tashiro, Pretty Pictures, 5–11; D’Arcy, Critical Approaches, 129–40. 39 Jane Barnwell, Production Design for Screen: Visual Storytelling in Film and Television (London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2017). 40 See note 32 above. 41 See Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind.” ’ 42 See note 32 above. 43 For a use of semiotic theory distinct from, but broadly complementary to, my own, see D’Arcy, Critical Approaches, esp. 14–17, 55–6, 89–90. 44 Alan McKee, ‘Is Doctor Who political?’ European Journal of Cultural Studies 7, no. 2: 207.

Notes

227

Introduction to Part One 1

E.g. John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado, Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text (London: St. Martin’s Press, 1984); Kim Newman, Doctor Who (London: BFI, 2006), and Chapman, Inside the TARDIS .

2

The set designer for ‘Kinda’, Malcolm Thornton, is among those interviewed in chapter focused primarily on the production of the serial in Tulloch and Alvarado, The Unfolding Text, 292–7.

3

For example, ‘Pyramids of Mars’ polled eight out of 241 stories in Doctor Who Magazine’s ‘First Fifty Years’ survey, published in Issue 474 (London: Panini Publishing, July 2014).

4

Britton and Barker, Reading Between Designs, 177–8.

5

E.g. Paul Booth and Craig Owen Jones, Watching Doctor Who: Fan Reception and Evaluation (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), 102; John Kenneth Muir, A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television (Jefferson NC & London: McFarland, 1999), 238.

6

TV Tropes, ‘Recap/Doctor Who S13 E3 “Pyramids of Mars.” ’ Available online: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/ DoctorWhoS13E3PyramidsOfMars (accessed 7 September 2019).

7

See Simon Guerrier, ‘Hippie Chic’ (interview with Katie Manning) and Alistair McGown, ‘In the Red’ (interview with Lee Bender, the proprietor of Bus Stop), in Doctor Who Magazine Special #52: Costume Design (London: Panini Publishing, 2019): 26–9 and 30–3.

Chapter 1 1

Richard Levin, Television by Design (London: The Bodley Head, 1960).

2

On the design conferences, see Hatts’ foreword to Britton and Barker, Reading Between Designs, ix. An example of Levin’s published work beyond Television by Design is ‘Television and the Designer,’ European Broadcasting Union Review 58B (1959) [reprint]: 2–15.

3

Ibid.: 18.

4

Philip Purser, ‘Richard Levin,’ Obituaries, The Guardian, 9 July 2000. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2000/jul/10/ guardianobituaries2 (accessed 12 November 2019). See also Levin’s text on the Land Travelling Exhibition of the Festival of Britain, of which he was principal designer, in Reyner Banham and Bevis Hillier, eds., A Tonic to the Nation: The Festival of Britain 1951 (London: Thames and Hudson, 1976), 148–9.

228

Notes

5

Michael Quinn, ‘Barry Newbery,’ Obituaries, The Stage, 28 May 2015. Available online: https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/obituaries/2015/ obituary-barry-newbery/ (accessed 12 November 2019).

6

Leonard Miall, ‘Sydney Newman,’ Obituaries, The Independent, 4 November 1997. Available online: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ obituaries/obituary-sydney-newman-1292055.html (accessed 12 November 2019).

7

‘John Reith: The life and times of the first Director-General of the BBC,’ History of the BBC. Available online: https://www.bbc.com/ historyofthebbc/research/john-reith (accessed 12 November 2019).

8

Clifford Hatts, interview with the author, October 1995.

9

Interview with Raymond Cusick by Simon Barker, cited in Britton and Barker, Reading Between Designs, 170.

10 Jeremy Bentham, Doctor Who: The Early Years (London: W.H. Allen, 1986), 120–1. 11 Hatts, interview; and see also Toby Hadoke, ‘Clifford Hatts obituary,’ Television and Radio, The Guardian, 4 September 2015. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/sep/04/clifford-hatts (accessed 12 November 2019). 12 Hatts, interview. 13 Anthony Hayward, ‘Norman Taylor: Creator of the “Howl-Around” Visual in the Original Dr. Who Title Sequence,’ Obituaries, The Independent, 10 March 2011. Available online: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ obituaries/norman-taylor-creator-of-the-howl-around-visual-in-the-originaldr-who-title-sequence-2237431.html (accessed 12 November 2019). 14 For a full account of the development of Derbyshire’s arrangement of the Doctor Who theme, see Louis Niebur, Special Sound: The Creation and Legacy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 96–102. 15 Daphne Dare, interview with the author, November 1994. 16 Michael Wolff, writing for the Journal of the Society of Industrial Arts in 1965, quoted in Jennifer Harris, Sarah Hyde and Greg Smith, 1966 and All That: Design and the Consumer in Britain 1960–1969 (London: Trefoil Books, 1986), 16. 17 Levin’s appointment as ‘head of the design group formed to prepare the way for colour television’ was announced in ‘Notices of the Society,’ Journal of the Royal Society of Arts (Vol. CXIX, July 1971): 489. Clifford Hatts (interview) recalled that Levin saw this new position as ‘standing water’ and regarded his appointment as a very clear attempt to diminish his power, a move Levin attributed to the ascendancy within the BBC of a man Levin had apparently once snubbed.

Notes

229

18 On Newman’s career at the BBC, and departure in 1967, see Tise Vahimagi, ‘Sydney Newman,’ in People, BFI Screenonline. Available online: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/522017/ (accessed 28 December 2019). 19 Ibid., and see also James Chapman, Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s (London: I.B. Tauris, 2002), 134–55. 20 Newman’s own account of his initial objection to the Daleks on the grounds that they were BEMs is recorded in Bentham, Doctor Who: The Early Years, 97. See also Marcus K. Harmes, Doctor Who and the Art of Adaptation: Fifty Years of Storytelling (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 4–5. 21 For details of the Quarks’ appearances in the TV Comic strips, starting with ‘Invasion of the Quarks,’ see Altered Vistas, a website devoted to Doctor Who’s history in comic strips, which is available online at http:// alteredvistas.co.uk/html/second_doctor.html (accessed 6 February 2020). 22 Chapman, Inside the TARDIS , 72. 23 For an encyclopaedic account of the publication history of these comics, see Steve Holland, Countdown to TV Action (London: Bear Alley Books, 2014). 24 Asa Briggs, The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Vol. 5: Competition (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 730 ff.; Tom Burns, The BBC: Public Institution and Private World (London & Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1977), 229–34, 238, 241–2. 25 Hatts, interview. 26 On psychedelic design in late 1960s posters, album covers, and other graphic design, see inter alia Andrew Hannon, ‘ “Hippie” is a Transnational Identity: Australian and American Countercultures and the London OZ,’ Australasian Journal of American Studies 1 no. 2 (2016): 39–59; Ian Inglis, ‘ “Nothing You Can See That Isn’t Shown”: The Album Covers of the Beatles,’ Popular Music 20 no. 1 (2001): 83–97, and Harris, Hyde and Smith, 1966 And All That, 132–40. 27 Dating the UNIT serials remains one of Doctor Who’s most intractable problems: while internal evidence in ‘The Web of Fear’ and in ‘Pyramids of Mars’ suggests that the Doctor’s confinement on Earth took place in the later 1970s, this was flatly contradicted in 1983 in the serial ‘Mawdryn Undead’. It’s unclear how far designers were briefed about dating for these episodes, though the director of ‘The Web of Fear’ and ‘The Invasion’, Douglas Camfield, apparently envisaged a date of 1976 for the latter. For a detailed account of the UNIT dating controversy, see the thorough discussion in the TARDIS Wiki. Available online: https://tardis.fandom. com/wiki/UNIT_dating_controversy (accessed 6 February 2020). 28 See Christine Cornea, Science Fiction Cinema: Between Fantasy and Reality (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 79, 82–9, and

230

Notes

Michael Punt, Martha Blassnigg and David Surman, ‘From Méliès to Galaxy Quest: The Dark Matter of the Popular Imagination,’ Leonardo 39, no. 1 (2006): 12–18, esp. Blassnigg’s section: 14–16. 29 Chris Bentley, ‘Brought to Book,’ Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #40: The Art of Doctor Who (London: Panini Publishing, 2015): 33. 30 See inter alia David Miller, ‘Space and Times,’ in ibid., 46–7. 31 See ‘Philip Hinchcliffe In Conversation,’ interview with Matthew Sweet, Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 10, Blu Ray Box Set: Disc 6 (BBC Studios, 2019), and also comments by Hinchcliffe and Holmes quoted in Doctor Who Magazine Special #15: In Their Own Words, vol. 3: 1970–76 (London: Panini Publishing, 2006): 87. For an excellent discussion of Hinchcliffe’s incumbency as producer, focusing on tensions between body horror in the series and the ‘gothic’ label generally applied in fan criticism, see Matt Hills, ‘ “Gothic” Body Parts in a “Postmodern” Body of Work? The Hinchcliffe/Holmes Era of Doctor Who (1975–77),’ Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media 4 (2007). Available online: https://intensitiescultmedia.files. wordpress.com/2012/12/hills-gothic-body-parts-in-postmodern-body-ofwork.pdf (accessed 1 August 2018). 32 For a succinct account of the expansion of period drama and the cultural significance of the ‘classic serial’ for the BBC in the 1970s, see Joseph Oldham, Paranoid Visions: Spies, Conspiracies and the Secrete State in British Television Drama (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017), 75–9. More generally on historical drama, see Lez Cooke, British Television Drama: A History, 2nd edition (London: BFI Publishing, 2015), 121–30. 33 ‘A Darker Side’ (documentary), Doctor Who: Planet of Evil (BBC Worldwide, 2007), DVD. 34 Interview with the author, February 1995. Clifford Hatts confirmed that Hinchcliffe was one of the producers who most actively petitioned the design departments to allocate specific personnel to his show. 35 Hinchcliffe specifically addressed the need to engage lighting directors in his vision for the programme in ‘Philip Hinchcliffe in Conversation’. 36 See Andrew Pixley, ‘Take It To The Limit,’ in Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #8: The Complete Fourth Doctor: Volume One (London: Panini Publishing, 2004): 47. 37 ‘Graham Williams,’ in In·Vision 28 (Cybermark Services, 1990), 2; see also ‘Production’ in the same volume, 10. 38 Interview with the author and Simon Barker, October 1994; see also In·Vision 28, 2, 11–12. 39 From a 1984 interview with Graham Williams quoted in Doctor Who Magazine Special #16: In Their Own Words, vol. 3: 1977–81 (London: Panini Publishing, 2007): 20.

Notes

231

40 K9 debuted in Part Two of ‘The Invisible Enemy’ on 8 October 1977; Star Wars had its UK premiere on 27 December 1977. 41 June Hudson, interview with the author, May 1995. 42 June Hudson, interview with the author, May 1995; Dee Robson, interview with the author and Simon Barker, October 1994. 43 Baker has described June Hudson’s costumes in particular as ‘operatic’. See inter alia Britton and Barker, Reading Between Designs, 165, and Baker’s autobiography, Who on Earth is Tom Baker? (London: HarperCollins, 1998), 227. 44 Piers Britton, ‘Black Velvet’ (interview with Amy Roberts), Doctor Who Magazine Special #52: Costume Design: 47–8. 45 For a measured discussion of Sutton’s starfield title sequence, and fan responses to them, see Miles Booy, Love and Monsters: The Doctor Who Experience 1979 to the Present (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012), 67–8. 46 See, for example, comments by Rian Hughes in ‘The Font of All Wisdom,’ a box-out from Graham Kibble-White’s article ‘Logo-polis,’ Doctor Who Magazine 523 (April 2018): 29. 47 See comments by the costume designer, Pat Godfrey, in David J. Howe, Stephen James Walker and Mark Stammers, The Handbook: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Production of Doctor Who (Tolworth: Telos Publishing, 2005), 637, and also Britton and Barker, Reading Between Designs, 175, 183. 48 According to the Wikipedia page devoted to the classic series’ episodes, the average viewing figure for the 1985 season was 7.14 million, whereas for the 1986 season it was 4.81 and for the 1987 season 4.94. Available online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doctor_Who_episodes_(1963– 1989) (accessed 28 August 2019). 49 The story of the ‘cancellation crisis’ is recounted in detail in Howe, Walker and Stammers, The Handbook, 666–76. 50 Grade and Powell, both speaking on Michael Grade’s radio history of television broadcasting, Michael Grade: On the Box, BBC Radio 2, 30 April 2012. 51 See the archived Radio Times listings and accompanying articles for the two serials on the Radio Times website, online at https://www.radiotimes. com/news/2012-07-17/paradise-towers/ and https://www.radiotimes. com/news/2012-08-01/delta-and-the-bannermen/ (accessed 27 December 2019). 52 See inter alia ‘Helter-Skelter’ (documentary on the creation of the title sequence, featuring Oliver Elmes and Gareth Edwards of CAL Video), Doctor Who: Time and the Rani (BBC Worldwide, 2010), DVD, and John J. Johnston, ‘Luminous Clouds and Time Corridors,’ in Doctor Who Magazine Special #40: The Art of Doctor Who: 12–13.

232

Notes

53 See ‘The Making of The Mysterious Planet’ (documentary), Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord (BBC Worldwide, 2008), DVD Box Set (Disc 1), and ‘Production Diary,’ In·Vision 86 (Cybermark Services, 1999), 13–14. 54 Previously, ‘Spearhead from Space’ (1970) had been entirely shot on film and entirely on location, because of industrial action at the BBC, while ‘Robot’ (1974–5) was shot wholly on video to accommodate the unusual volume of video effects shots involving the eponymous robot. 55 See, for example, comments by Ben Aaronovitch in ‘Endgame’ (documentary), Doctor Who: Survival (BBC Worldwide, 2007), DVD (Disc 2). 56 On John Nathan-Turner’s rationale for this approach, see In·Vision 93 (Cybermark Services, 2000), 2. 57 On the impact of total costing during the last three years of John NathanTurner’s incumbency as producer, see ‘Pre-Production – Visual Effects,’ In·Vision 96 (Cybermark Services, 2001), 10, and ‘Pre-Production – Personnel,’ In·Vision 97 (Cybermark Services, 2001), 4. 58 See various adverse comments by cast and crew in ‘Cat-Flap – The Making of Survival’ (documentary), Doctor Who: Survival (BBC Worldwide, 2007), DVD (Disc 1).

Chapter 2 1

Philip Segal and Gary Russell, Regeneration: The Story Behind the Revival of a Television Legend (New York and London: HarperCollins International, 2000), 135.

2

On Davies’s ‘detail oriented’ approach to executive-producing Doctor Who, see Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind,” ’ 45–7.

3

For a thorough account of the interconnected work of the art department and specialist fabricators, under Edward Thomas’s aegis, during the first two seasons of the revived Doctor Who, see Gary Russell, Doctor Who: The Inside Story (London: BBC Books, 2006), 80–97, 107, 109, and also Stephen Nicholas and Mike Tucker, Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds (New York: Harper Design, 2015), passim but esp. 6–9.

4

Cooke, British Television Drama, 269.

5

See Catherine Johnson, ‘Doctor Who as Programme Brand,’ in Hills, ed., New Dimensions of Doctor Who, 95–112, and also Matt Hills, Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-First Century (London: I.B. Tauris, 2010), 66–9.

6

Chapman, Inside the TARDIS, 118–33.

Notes

7

Susan Sontag, ‘Notes on Camp,’ in Against Interpretation and Other Essays (New York: Picador, 2001), 282.

8

Ivan Phillips, Once Upon a Time Lord: The Myths and Stories of Doctor Who (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), 208.

9

Ibid., 209

233

10 Phillips, Once Upon a Time Lord, 212–15 In discussing Doctor Who stories which engage in different ways with Greco-Roman myths and their storied imagery, Phillips in fact refers to Sontag’s claim that ‘not all seriousness that fails can be redeemed as Camp’ (Sontag, ‘Notes,’ 283); even so, he goes on to identify camp elements in Doctor Who episodes inspired by Greco-Roman myth, some naïve (e.g. ‘The Time Monster’) but others (e.g. ‘The Horns of Nimon’) operating ‘in defiance of Sontag’s denigration of self-aware camp’ (215). 11 My own approach to (knowing) camp is informed by arguments in Helene A. Shugart and Catherine Hegley Waggoner, Making Camp: Rhetorics of Transgression in U.S. Popular Culture (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008) and Tanya González and Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson, Humor and Latina/o Camp in Ugly Betty: Funny Looking (Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2015). 12 Sontag, ‘Notes,’ 280. 13 Piers D. Britton, TARDISbound: Navigating the Universes of Doctor Who (London: I.B. Tauris), 104, 236 (note 144). 14 See, for example: Rosie Narasaki, ‘“Doctor Who” Amy Pond vs. Clara Oswald In A Fashion Face-Off Through All of Time and Space,’ Bustle, 18 August 2018, available online: https://www.bustle.com/articles/36021-doctor-whoamy-pond-vs-clara-oswald-in-a-fashion-face-off-through-all-of-time-and (accessed 22 July 2018); Rosie Narasaki, ‘Ranking 13 Clara Oswald Outfits from Season 8, Because We’ll Miss Her Style More Than Anything,’ Bustle, 14 November 2014, available online: https://www.bustle.com/articles/49154ranking-13-clara-oswald-outfits-from-doctor-who-season-8-because-wellmiss-her-style-more (accessed 22 July 2018); Gemma Cartwright, ‘Karen Gillan is definitely a style star to watch,’ Popsugar, 5 December 2014, available online: https://www.popsugar.co.uk/fashion/Karen-Gillan-FashionEvolution-Photos-35327973 (accessed 22 July 2018), and Samantha Simon, ‘12 things to know about our style crush, Jenna Coleman,’ InStyle, 13 May 2017, available online: https://www.instyle.com/celebrity/12-things-knowabout-our-style-crush-jenna-coleman (accessed 22 July 2018). 15 Mark Sweeney, ‘Merlin: BBC cues up TV and cinema ads,’ Media, The Guardian, 29 August 2008. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/ media/2008/aug/29/bbc.television (accessed 13 September 2019). 16 The Wikipedia page devoted to episodes of the new series gives the average viewing figure for Capaldi’s debut season (2014) as 7.24 million,

234

Notes

with 6.03 and 5.45 million respectively for the next two (2015 and 2017). Available online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doctor_Who_ episodes_(2005%E2%80%93present) (accessed 28 August 2019). 17 See, for example, Huw Fullerton, ‘Does this Doctor Who title change mean a shake-up for the series?’ Radio Times, 13 March 2017. Available online: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-03-13/does-this-doctor-whoseries-10-title-change-mean-a-shake-up-for-the-series/ (accessed 13 March 2017). 18 David Stevens, The Gothic Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 54–6. 19 Hayley Nebauer, conversation with the author, February 2018. 20 It is true that there was no shortage of contemporary commentary, often satirical, in Russell T Davies’s version of Doctor Who, as detailed for example in Alec Charles, ‘War without End? Utopia, the Family, and the Post 9/11 World in Russell T Davies’s Doctor Who,’ Science Fiction Studies 35, no. 3 (2008): 450–65, and addressed in Marc Edward DiPaolo, ‘Political Satire and British-American Relations in Five Decades of Doctor Who,’ The Journal of Popular Culture 23, no. 5 (2010): 964–87, but I would argue that the tone of the show was much less didactic than under Chris Chibnall. 21 Ben Dowell, ‘The next series of Doctor Who starring Jodie Whittaker will get a whole new “cinematic” look,’ Radio Times, 2 December 2017. Available online: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-12-02/the-nextseries-of-doctor-who-starring-jodie-whittaker-will-get-a-whole-newcinematic-look/ (accessed 2 December 2017). 22 All these analogies were made by students in my 2013 course ‘Doctor Who – Transmedia Travels’. 23 See Martin Harris and Victoria Wegg-Prosser, ‘The BBC and Producer Choice: A study of public service broadcasting and managerial change,’ Wide Angle 20, no. 2 (1998): 150–63.

Chapter 3 1

For an astute account of this fan-critical distinction, and the problems surrounding it, see Daniel O’Mahony, ‘ “Now how is that wolf able to impersonate a grandmother?” History, pseudo-history and genre in Doctor Who,’ in David Butler ed., Time and Relative Dissertations in Space: Critical perspectives on Doctor Who (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), 56–67.

2

In an interview by Julie Neigher for the Los Angeles Times (10 March 2014), the costume designer for The Tudors, Joan Bergin, acknowledges

Notes

235

the influence of ‘Balenciaga corsets and the Degas ballerinas’. Available online: https://www.latimes.com/fashion/alltherage/la-ig-fidm-20100815story.html; accessed 1 March 2020). On Anna Karenina’s indebtedness to 1950s couture, see Gillian Mohney, ‘Jacqueline Durran On Dressing Keira Knightley In “Anna Karenina,” ’ Elle, 16 November 2012. Available online: https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/news/a22403/jacqueline-durraninterview-on-anna-karenina-costumes/; accessed 1 March 2020). 3

Anthony Hayward, ‘Louis Marks obituary,’ Television, The Guardian, 7 October 2010. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-andradio/2010/oct/07/louis-marks-obituary (accessed 1 March 2020).

4

The claim that Acheson had rented costumes used for Renato Castellani’s 1954 film version of Romeo and Juliet, having hoped to use those from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film of the same play, is what Acheson was claiming in interview in the late 1980s and 1990s, e.g. in conversation with the author, October 1994. More recently, in conversation with the author in April 2015, he was less certain about this but did recall visiting a costume rental in Italy during the preproduction period for ‘The Masque of Mandragora’.

5

Email to the author, 9 August 2019.

6

Barsacq, Le décor de film.

7

On the ideal of the ‘reality effect’, see Affron and Affron, Sets in Motion, 40–1, and for a critical discussion of this notion, Tashiro, Pretty Pictures, 5, 7, 9.

8

Affron and Affron, Sets in Motion, 44; Vincent LoBrutto, By Design, 94, 115; Peter Wollen, ‘Architecture and Film: Places and Non-Places,’ in Paris Hollywood: Writings on Film (London & New York: Verso, 2002), 203.

9

Affron and Affron, Sets in Motion, 35–40.

10 Ibid., 39. 11 Ibid., 44. 12 The painting, dated c. 1502, hangs in the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni in Venice. Barry Newbery revealed this as the source for his design for Giuliano’s studiolo in conversation with the author, August 1998. 13 On generic verisimilitude, see Steve Neale, Genre and Hollywood (London & New York: Routledge, 2000), 27–35, esp. 28. 14 Ibid.; Catherine Johnson, ‘Telefantasy,’ in Glen Creeber, ed., The Television Genre Book, 3rd edition (London & New York: BFI/Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015), 57–8. 15 Matt Hills, ‘Doctor Who,’ in Creeber, ed., The Television Genre Book, 67. 16 Cf. Newman, Doctor Who, 21. 17 Roland Barthes, ‘An Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative,’ New Literary History 6, no. 2 (1975): 249.

236

Notes

18 Neale, Genre and Hollywood, 39–43. 19 Ibid., 168–70. 20 See, for example, ‘The Last Jedi: An Online Round Table – Part One,’ at Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, 12 February 2018. Available online: http://henryjenkins.org/blog /2018/2/11/the-last-jedi-a-round-table-part-one (accessed 21 December 2019). 21 Neale, Genre and Hollywood, 173–5; Richard Dyer, Pastiche (London & New York: Routledge, 2007), 128–9.

Chapter 4 1

It is important to acknowledge that fan discourse per se does not ignore design: for example, it is frequently addressed in the monthly subscription periodicals published by Cybermark Services – first An Adventure in Space and Time, a loose-leaf publication which covered the series up to the end of Jon Pertwee’s tenure, and then In·Vision, a magazine devoted to the remainder of the London period – as part of their meticulous chronicling of the show’s production history. (In·Vision is cited several times in notes for Chapter 1 above and again in notes for Chapter 6 of this book.) However, both these periodicals are primarily documentary rather than critical.

2

See, for example, reviews of the two serials at the Doctor Who Ratings Guide: By Fans, For Fans. Available online: http://www.pagefillers.com/ dwrg/keep.htm (accessed 20 October 2019).

3

Alan McKee, ‘Which is the best Doctor Who story? A case study in value judgements outside the academy,’ Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media 1 (2001). Available online: http://intensitiescultmedia.files.wordpress. com/2012/12/mckee.pdf. (accessed 20 October 2019.)

4

Ibid.

5

Ibid.

6

See reviews at the Doctor Who Ratings Guide. Available online: http:// www.pagefillers.com/dwrg/kind.htm#12 (accessed 20 October 2019).

7

McKee, ‘Which is the best Doctor Who story?’

8

‘Dream Time’ (documentary), Doctor Who: Kinda (BBC Worldwide, 2011), DVD. See also Tulloch and Alvarado, Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text, 295–6.

9

See for example, ‘Doctor Who: 10 Special Effects That Totally Sucked,’ WhatCulture, 25 May 2015. Available online: https://whatculture.com/tv/ doctor-who-10-special-effects-that-totally-sucked?page=2 (accessed 20 October 2019).

Notes

237

10 Michael Bayliss, ‘Could’ve Been a Classic,’ Doctor Who Ratings Guide, 3 November 2009. Available online: http://www.pagefillers.com/dwrg/kind. htm#12 (accessed 20 October 2019). 11 ‘Dream Time,’ Doctor Who: Kinda, DVD. 12 Christopher Bailey, speaking in ‘Dream Time,’ Doctor Who: Kinda, DVD. 13 Robert Shearman, speaking in ‘Dream Time,’ Doctor Who: Kinda, DVD. 14 Steven Moffat, speaking in ‘Doctor Who and the Third Man’ (documentary), Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 10, Blu Ray Box Set: Disc 6 (BBC Studios, 2019). 15 Booth and Jones, Watching Doctor Who, 28; for the whole discussion of custodial evaluation and narration, see 21–2, 26–9. 16 Marc Platt, Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible (London: Virgin Books, 1992); Richard Dinnick, Doctor Who: Myths and Legends (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2017). 17 Nicolle Lamerichs, ‘Costuming as Subculture: The Multiple Bodies in Cosplay,’ Scene 2, no. 1 (2014): 113–25. 18 Ibid.: 114. 19 Jacklyn Black Cosplay Facebook page. Posted 24 December 2013. Available online: https://www.facebook.com/ jacklynblackcosplay/?comment_id=Y29tbWVudDo4MDkzMTAyMzI1MTcx ODlfODEyMTQyMDMyMjM0MDA5 (accessed 24 January 2022). 20 Cf. Lamerichs’ observation that ‘cosplay can also be enjoyed if audiences have no idea who the characters are’, in ‘Costuming as Subculture’: 118. 21 Author’s personal observation. 22 Booth and Jones, Watching Doctor Who, 25. 23 Simon Guerrier, ‘Living the Dream,’ Doctor Who Magazine Special #39: The 2015 Yearbook (London: Panini Publishing, 2014): 81. 24 Making My 12th Doctor Costume. Available online: http:// www.12thdoctorcostume.com/2015/05/capaldi-coat-finished.html (accessed 22 January 2020). 25 See, for example, Ricks’ retrospective coverage of a Bonhams auction from 1999, cross-indexed over his various blogs on 8 February 2018; lots are filtered by Doctor, e.g. those pertaining to Davison’s incumbency on Making My 5th Doctor Costume, available online: http:// www.5thdoctorcostume.com/2018/02/bonhams-flashback-18th-august1999-film.html (accessed 22 January 2020). 26 Ricks includes costume indexes for Jon Pertwee by both season and garment in Making My 3rd Doctor Costume. Available online: http:// www.3rddoctorcostume.com (accessed 22 January 2020).

238

Notes

27 Emerald L. King, ‘Cosplay, crossplay and the importance of wearing the right underwear,’ The Conversation, 7 August 2015. Available online: http://theconversation.com/cosplay-crossplay-and-the-importance-ofwearing-the-right-underwear-45045 (accessed 1 March 2020). 28 See, for example, Rob Bricken, ‘Steven Moffat Finally Confirms The Doctor Can And Should Be A Woman,’ Gizmodo, 8 December 2014. Available online: https://io9.gizmodo.com/steven-moffat-finally-confirms-the-doctorcan-and-shoul-1668433760 (accessed 28 February 2020). 29 King, ‘Cosplay, crossplay and the importance of wearing the right underwear.’ 30 Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind,” ’ esp. 45–7. 31 Britton, ‘ “It’s All-New Doctor Who,” ’ 148–9. 32 Matt Hills, ‘The Dispersible Television Text: Theorising Moments of the New Doctor Who,’ Science Fiction Film and Television 1, no. 1 (2008): 28. 33 For an account of the reconstruction of the 1960s TARDIS prop, see Matt Sanders, ‘Thinking Outside The Box,’ Doctor Who Magazine 521 (February 2018): 36–8. 34 Newbery created a brand new TARDIS prop in 1976 for ‘The Masque of Mandragora’, and Yardley-Jones introduced a replacement in ‘The Leisure Hive’ (1980). Narrative avowal of design change to the TARDIS was not in itself an innovation of ‘Twice Upon a Time’: scripted response to a TARDIS revamp had occurred as early as ‘The Eleventh Hour’ (2010), but in that episode, as later in ‘The Day of the Doctor’, it was principally change to the interior of the ship that the Doctor overtly acknowledged. As a rider, it’s worth noting that the retroactive conferral of diegetic legitimacy upon changes to the TARDIS exterior still does not account for scenes in ‘Logopolis’ (1981), where slightly different TARDIS props were used interchangeably in the first couple of episodes to represent both the TARDIS and a real police box. 35 See Britton, TARDISbound, 61, and Geraghty, ‘From Balaclavas to Jumpsuits,’ 90. 36 There was a brief interlude in the 1982 serial ‘Earthshock’. Here, the Cybermen’s vocal affect was much closer than before to human, in terms of speech patterns and cadences, and a literal window onto their lost humanity was opened up in their costumes. Whereas previous Cybermen had had smooth, near-featureless metallic masks, in ‘Earthshock’ a clear section was inserted into the centre of the lower jaw. Behind this it was possible to make out the macabre detail of a silvered human jaw moving when a Cyberman spoke. However, ‘Earthshock’ proved a one-off. For their next three appearances, though the basic helmet design was unchanged, this jaw section was either sprayed silver or textured to reduce the translucency.

Notes

239

37 There is, however, precedent in the Big Finish audio ‘Spare Parts’, by Marc Platt; see Britton, TARDISbound, 79–80. 38 This is also to some extent true of Philip David Segal, the producer of the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann, and an avowed fan. See Philip Segal and Gary Russell, Regeneration: The Story Behind the Revival of a Television Legend (New York and London: HarperCollins International, 2000). 39 Matt Hills, ‘The expertise of digital fandom as a “community of practice”: Exploring the narrative universe of Doctor Who,’ Convergence 21, no. 3 (2015): 367–8. I am grateful to one of the anonymous reviewers of this book for encouraging me to complement my discussion of the expressive potentialities of design in Doctor Who with consideration of the fan novum. 40 Matt Hills, ‘The dispersible television text: theorising moments of the new Doctor Who,’ Science Fiction Film and Television 1, no. 1 (2008): 30. 41 On the ‘golden moment’, see ibid.: 26–7, 31.

Chapter 5 1

Bill Strutton, Doctor Who and the Zarbi, reprint edition (London: BBC Books, 2015), 8.

2

Interview with the author and Simon Barker, October 1994.

3

Benjamin Cook, ‘Heaven and Hell’ (interview with Rachel Talalay), Doctor Who Magazine 494 (January 2016): 46.

4

Ibid.

5

Ibid.

6

The design for these walls had originally featured in a space which teases the possibility that it is part of a TARDIS interior, the apparently subterranean room in which the Curator (Tom Baker) keeps the painting Gallifrey Falls (No More) in ‘The Day of the Doctor’.

7

This was one of the ‘Entertainers’ Tale’ Millennium Series, issued 1 June 1999. Images of the series and related imagery can be seen on Collect GB Stamps. Available online: https://www.collectgbstamps.co.uk/explore/ years/?year=1999 (accessed 25 February 2020).

8

See for example Robert T. Grieves, ‘Who’s Who in Outer Space,’ Time, 9 January 1984: 61, available online: https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/ Who%27s_Who_in_outer_space; ‘Doc fails time test,’ The Sun, 9 October 1989, available online: https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doc_fails_ time_test, and John Craven, ‘The exterminators return,’ Radio Times, 4 February 1984, available online: https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/ The_exterminators_return (all accessed 25 February, 2020).

240

9

Notes

See Bentham, Doctor Who: The Early Years, 124–5.

10 A ruined city on Skaro had appeared in ‘Destiny of the Daleks’ (1979). 11 See, for example, behind-the-scenes stills on the BBC’s archived Doctor Who Classic Series website. Available online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ doctorwho/classic/gallery/cybermen/cyberbum.shtml (accessed 12 August 2019). 12 ‘The Genesis of the Cybermen – Part Two: The Moonbase,’ WhoSFX , 6 April 2017. Available online: https://whosfx.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/ the-genesis-of-the-cybermen-part-two/#content-wrapper (accessed 27 December 2017). 13 On the ‘Moonbase’ Cybermen’s voices, see Bedwyr Gullidge, ‘Exclusive Interview: Part 2 – Nicholas Briggs – In Sound and Space,’ Blogtor Who 1 November 2016. Available online: https://www.blogtorwho. com/nicholas-briggs-exclusive-interview-part-two/ (accessed 17 December 2016). 14 Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind,” ’ 47. 15 Gavin Rymill, ‘Cyber Conversion!’ Doctor Who Magazine 504 (November 2016): 42–7. 16 Fraser McAlpine, ‘Neil Gaiman: “We’ll Make the Cybermen Scary Again,” ’ Anglophenia, BBC America Website, November 2012. Available online: http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2012/11/neil-gaiman-wellmake-the-cybermen-scary-again (accessed 28 December 2017). 17 ‘Upgrading the Cybermen,’ Behind the Scenes – Doctor Who: Series 12, on the Official BBC Doctor Who YouTube site. Available online: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylQiuHQJEQ&list=PLKEzuOOEQvYN69Sjz yuR6Xhu-wk1p-3wA&index=21&t=0s (accessed 24 February 2020). 18 Ibid., comments by Chris Chibnall and Ray Holman. 19 See Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind,” ’ esp. 50–1. 20 Ivan Phillips offers another perspective in an unpublished conference paper (‘Doctor Who and the Terror of the Vorticists: Popular Fantasy and the Cultural Inheritance of BLAST,’ BLAST 2014 Conference, Bath Spa University, 24–6 July), suggesting that even the earliest Doctor Who with its howlaround imagery, can be understood as ‘a visual approximation of the space-time vortex’, though he acknowledges that ‘the sense of travelling into and through a tunnel is certainly foregrounded’ in the 1973/74 slit-scan sequences. 21 See inter alia ‘The Tunnel Effect’ (documentary), Doctor Who: Robot (BBC Worldwide, 2007), DVD, and Jason Arnopp, ‘Into the Unknown,’ Doctor Who Magazine Special #40: The Art of Doctor Who: 7–9. 22 For a very different reading of the legacy of Lodge’s slit-scan sequence, see Miles Booy’s discussion of subsequent title sequences, in which he

Notes

241

flatly asserts that ‘none of [the later title sequences] bears any relation to the strange effect – the opening credits of the Baker years – from which they notionally descend’, in Booy, Love and Monsters, 68. 23 Available online at the BBC Writersroom: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/ writersroom/scripts/DW9-EP12-Hell-Bent.pdf (accessed 30 January 2019). 24 See Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind,” ’ 51.

Chapter 6 1

Radio Times, 20–6 November 1993.

2

McGann offers a brief account of the ‘standoff’ over the scarf in an interview accompanying the 2003 webcast of ‘Shada’, on the BBC’s ‘classic’ Doctor Who website (now archived). Available online at http:// www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/webcasts/shada/interviews/mcgann/ page6.shtml (accessed 28 February 2020).

3

See inter alia ‘Christopher Eccleston’s 2005 interview on watching Doctor Who, Rose and why he took the role,’ Radio Times, 6 March 2015. Available online: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-03-16/ christopher-ecclestons-2005-interview-on-watching-doctor-who-rose-andwhy-he-took-the-role/ (accessed 28 February 2020).

4

Piers Britton, ‘Stitches in Time: The 1960s,’ in Doctor Who Magazine Special #52: Costume Design: 7. See also Gillian Drummond’s interview with Heneghan from which material in the foregoing is drawn, in 3Story Magazine, 27 November 2013, which is available online: http://3storymagazine.com/doctor-who-costume-designer/ (accessed 28 December 2017).

5

‘Hell Bent,’ 2015.

6

‘In Defence of Number Six,’ a ‘box out’ forming part of an interview with Steven Moffat by Benjamin Cook, Doctor Who Magazine 502 (September 2016): 19.

7

June Hudson and Tom Baker have spoken often of their frustration with having the question-mark embroidery imposed by Nathan-Turner; see, for example, their remarks in ‘Tom Baker – The Ultimate Interview: Part Three’, Doctor Who Magazine 501 (August 2016): 30. On Nathan-Turner’s later instructions to include question marks in Colin Baker’s and Sylvester McCoy’s costumes, see ‘Production – Costume,’ In·Vision 77 (Cybermark Services, 1998), 6; ‘Departments – Costume,’ In·Vision 91 (Cybermark Services, 2000), and for Peter Davison’s and script-editor Christopher H. Bidmead’s responses to the inclusion of the question marks and other

242

Notes

gimmicks on the Fifth Doctor’s outfit, see Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #18: In Their Own Words, vol. 4: 1982–86 (London: Panini Publishing 2007): 6–7. 8

‘Departments – Costume,’ In·Vision 91 (2000), 11.

9

For example, Colin Baker spoke in a 1985 interview of having a ‘particular regard for Patrick Troughton’s Doctor’ (quoted in Howe, Walker and Stammers, The Handbook, 617), and McCoy acknowledged Troughton’s influence on his approach to the role in an interview with Jeremy Bentham for In·Vision 91 (2000), 7.

10 See, for example, comments by McCoy and Andrew Cartmel in Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #18: In Their Own Words, vol. 5, 1987–96: 47. 11 McCoy has spoken of his wish to be rid of the sweater in, for example, ‘Endgame,’ Doctor Who: Survival (BBC Worldwide, 2007), DVD (Disc 2). 12 See Davies’s comments in the pitch for the new series of Doctor Who on the need to ‘move on from that neutered, posh, public-school, fancydress-frock-coat image’, in Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #11: The Doctor Who Companion – Series One (London: Panini Publishing, 2005): 41. 13 Simon Guerrier, ‘Street Smart’ (interview with Sophie Aldred), Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #52: Costume Design: 51. 14 Numerous examples of this dichotomy can be found, for example, with a dual keyword search of the fan forums at gallifreybase.com. 15 ‘Piper “jumped” at Doctor return,’ BBC News, 29 May 2008. Available online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7426282.stm (accessed 29 December 2017). 16 See Paul Kirkley, ‘Dressing to the Nine’ (interview with Lucinda Wright), Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #52: Costume Design: 62–2. 17 The Munch painting and the grey aliens are both mentioned as sources for the Silents in ‘The Monster Files – The Silence,’ Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series (BBC Worldwide, 2011), DVD Box Set, Disc 6. The Men in Black are mentioned as influences in ‘The Silence’, on the BBC’s official Doctor Who website, available online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/profiles/40WD7vqVPfRPcbZF029sZhB/the-silence (accessed 20 August 2017). 18 Interview with the author and Simon Barker, October 1994, and subsequent conversations with the author, August 2000 and June 2003. 19 Interview with the author and Simon Barker, October 1994. See Britton and Barker, Reading Between Designs, 186. 20 Barry Newbery, interview with the author and Simon Barker, October 1994.

Notes

243

21 See Piers Britton, ‘The Cultural Lives of Doctor Who: Of Anniversaries and Authenticity, Costumes and Canon,’ Antenna, 5 December 2013. Available online: http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2013/12/05/the-cultural-lives-ofdoctor-who-of-anniversaries-and-authenticity-costumes-and-canon/ (accessed 9 June 2020). 22 Howard Burden, interview with the author, 22 March 2019. 23 Ibid. See also Piers Britton, ‘Made to Measure’ (interview with Howard Burden), Doctor Who Magazine 540 (August 2019): 43. 24 Burden, ibid., has confirmed that the visual connections were intentional. 25 Available online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXOBHnWiinY (accessed 28 December 2017). 26 Ian Youngs, ‘The Doctor Who fan who created the show’s new titles,’ BBC News – Entertainment and Arts, 22 August 2014. Available online: https:// www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28871058 (accessed 28 December 2017). 27 Hanshaw’s original, speculative concept online on YouTube; https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=oXOBHnWiinY (accessed 14 July 2016). 28 This ‘lead concept’ is available online on Vimeo: https://vimeo. com/103254857 (accessed 28 December 2017). 29 See, for example, comparisons between Capaldi’s costume and Jon Pertwee’s in Stuart Heritage, ‘Doctor Who: BBC unveils Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord costume,’ TV & Radio, The Guardian, 27 January 2014. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/ jan/27/doctor-who-costume-peter-capaldi (accessed 26 December 2017). 30 See notes 21 and 22 above. 31 On the homage to Jon Pertwee in Capaldi’s costume for ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’ (2014), see Howard Burden’s comments in ‘Made to Measure,’ Doctor Who Magazine (August 2019): 43. On acknowledgement of the homage to Troughton embodied in McCoy’s costume, see note 8 above. 32 ‘Ray Holman – Costume Designer Q+A,’ BBC Doctor Who website, 11 October 2018. Available online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/ entries/3cfd7b93-2e89-4fec-a7b9-8de903f454f5 (accessed 12 October 2018). 33 Thomas Ling, ‘All the Doctor Who references in Jodie Whittaker’s new costume,’ Radio Times, November 2017. Available online: https://www. radiotimes.com/news/tv/2019-04-12/doctor-who-jodie-whittaker-costumeoutfit/ (accessed 12 October 2018). 34 Beth Elderkin, ‘Here’s the Fashionable Sources of Doctor Who’s Iconic Outfit,’ Gizmodo, 25 October 2018. Available online: https://io9.gizmodo.

244

Notes

com/heres-the-fashionable-source-of-doctor-whos-iconic-outf-1830001785 (accessed 26 October 2018). 35 ‘The Thirteenth Doctor’s Costume,’ Behind the Scenes – Doctor Who: Series 11, on the Official BBC Doctor Who YouTube site, 25 October 2018. Available online: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=AHJd9C8VmQw (accessed 26 October 2018). 36 Jodie Whittaker, ‘The Doctor’s “Timeless” Look,’ Radio Times, 6–12 October 2018: 17. 37 Emily Dixon, ‘Jodie Whittaker’s “Doctor Who” Costume Includes A Feminist Statement You Might Have Missed,’ Bustle, 27 October 2018. Available online: https://www.bustle.com/p/jodie-whittakers-doctor-who-costumeincludes-a-feminist-statement-you-might-have-missed-13007264 (accessed 25 August 2019). 38 Whittaker, ‘The Doctor’s “Timeless” Look.’ 39 Ibid. 40 ‘The Thirteenth Doctor’s Costume,’ and cf. Dixon, ‘Jodie Whittaker’s “Doctor Who” Costume.’ 41 Dixon, ‘Jodie Whittaker’s “Doctor Who” Costume.’ 42 Ella Braidwood, ‘Doctor Who: Fans search for meaning behind Jodie Whittaker’s ‘gay scarf,’ PinkNews, 27 November 2018). Available online: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/11/27/doctor-who-jodie-whittaker-gayscarf-rainbow/ (accessed 25 August 2019). 43 This exchange is discussed in Heather Hogan, ‘The New “Doctor Who” Is Casually Queer and Brilliantly Hopeful,’ Autostraddle, 8 November 2018. Available online: https://www.autostraddle.com/the-new-doctor-who-iscasually-queer-and-brutally-hopeful-439442/ (accessed 25 August 2019). 44 Whittaker, ‘The Doctor’s “Timeless” Look.’ 45 Ling, ‘All the Doctor Who references.’

Conclusion 1

On this, see inter alia Warner, Fashion on Television, 92–6.

2

Britton, ‘Making “A Superior Brand of Alien Mastermind,” ’ 46–50.

3

See Chapter 6, note 12, above.

4

Josh Rottenberg, ‘ “Making Star Wars is a Team Sport”: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards on reshoots, inspiration and trepidation,’ Los Angeles Times, 8 December 2016. Available online: https://www.latimes. com/entertainment/movies/la-ca-mn-rogue-one-gareth-edwards20161201-story.html (accessed 5 June 2020).

Notes

245

5

Jonathan Wilkins, ed., Rogue One A Star Wars Story – Mission Debrief (London: Titan Publishing, 2017), 47.

6

The planet’s identity has been paratextually confirmed, e.g. in Wilkins, ed., and also in Josh Kushins, The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (New York: Abrams, 2016), 172–89.

7

See for example the discussion threads ‘Why did Darth Vader build a castle for himself on Mustafar?’ on Quora, and ‘Vader’s castle on Mustafar’ at thecantina.starwarsnews.com.

8

J.W. Rinzler, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back (New York: Del Rey, 2010), 12, 24, 32.

9

See the Wookiepedia entry on Bast Castle, available online: https:// starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Bast_Castle (accessed 5 June 2020).

10 See Kushins, The Art of Rogue One, 175, and ‘ “We set the bar so high”: Doug Chiang on designing Rogue One,’ Interviews, starwars.com, 22 December 2016. Available online: https://www.starwars.com/news/ we-set-the-bar-so-high-doug-chiang-on-designing-rogue-one?cmp=smc %7C756139147&linkId=32763287 (accessed 5 June 2020).

246

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Dyer, Richard. Pastiche. London and New York: Routledge, 2007. Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #52: Costume Design. London: Panini Publishing, 2019. Geraghty, Lincoln. ‘From Balaclavas to Jumpsuits: The Multiple Histories and Identities of Doctor Who’s Cybermen,’ Atlantis: Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies 30, no. 1 (2008): 85–100. Harris, Jennifer, Sarah Hyde and Greg Smith. 1966 And All That: Design and the Consumer in Britain 1960–1969. London: Trefoil Books, 1986. Hills, Matt. ‘The dispersible television text: theorising moments of the new Doctor Who,’ Science Fiction Film and Television 1, no. 1 (2008): 25–44. Hills, Matt. Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the TwentyFirst Century. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010. Hills, Matt, ed. New Dimensions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Space, Time and Television. London: I.B. Tauris, 2013. Hills, Matt. ‘The expertise of digital fandom as a “community of practice”: Exploring the narrative universe of Doctor Who,’ Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 21, no. 3 (2015): 360–74. Howe, David J., Steven James Walker and Mark Stammers. The Handbook: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Production of Doctor Who. Tolworth: Telos Publishing, 2005. Johnson, Catherine. ‘Doctor Who as Programme Brand.’ In New Dimensions of Doctor Who: Adventures in Space, Time and Television, ed. Matt Hills, 95–112. London: I.B. Tauris, 2013. King, Emerald L. ‘Cosplay, crossplay and the importance of wearing the right underwear.’ The Conversation, 7 August 2015. Available online: http:// theconversation.com/cosplay-crossplay-and-the-importance-of-wearingthe-right-underwear-45045. Accessed 1 March 2020. Lamerichs, Nicolle. ‘Costuming as Subculture: The Multiple Bodies in Cosplay,’ Scene 2, no. 1 (2014): 113–25. LoBrutto, Vincent. By Design: Interviews with Film Production Designers. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1992. McKee, Alan. ‘Which is the best Doctor Who story? A case study in value judgements outside the academy.’ Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media 1 (2001). Available online: http://intensitiescultmedia.files.wordpress. com/2012/12/mckee.pdf. Accessed 20 October 2019. Muir, J.K. A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television. Jefferson, NC & London: McFarland & Co, 1999. Neale, Steve, ed. Genre and Hollywood. London and New York: Routledge, 2000. O’Day, Andrew, ed. The Eleventh Hour: A Critical Celebration of the Matt Smith and Steven Moffat Era. London: I.B. Tauris, 2014. Phillips, Ivan. Once Upon a Time Lord: The Myths and Stories of Doctor Who. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020.

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250

Index of Names

Acheson, James 38, 45, 50, 74, 110, 171, 173, 176 Achilleos, Chris 39, 42 Adam, Ken 28, 155 Affron, Charles & Mirella Jona 10, 11, 84, 113, 114, 115, 187 Bailey, Christopher 120, 124 Baker, Colin 4, 55, 56, 60, 63, 64, 180, 181, 182, 183, 216 Baker, Tom 20, 42, 44, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 73, 111, 130, 134, 167, 175, 176, 178, 180, 181, 182, 183, 191, 203 Barker, Simon 4, 8, 18 Barsacq, Leon 10, 113 Baugh, Martin 30, 37 Bellamy, Frank 39 Bergfelder, Tim 10 Biba (boutique) 19 Bidmead, Christopher Hamilton 54, 55 Bignell, Jonathan 9 Bloomfield, John 45, 100, 111, 218 Booth, Paul 125, 128 Brachacki, Peter 83, 141, 142, 148, 149, 152, 200 Brancusi, Constantin 163 Brandt, Marianne 25, 163 Brown, Duncan 45 Bryant, Nicola 60, 97 Bruzzi, Stella 10 Budden, Janet 53, 56

Bullen, Nicholas 37 Burden, Howard 12, 15, 87, 91, 92, 93, 99, 100, 106, 127, 174, 203–9 Burrough, Tony 53, 56 Burton, Tim 70 Bus Stop (boutique) 19 Capaldi, Peter 20, 89, 90, 92, 94, 98, 105, 114, 154, 180, 200, 208, 211 Carpaccio, Vittore 114 Cartier, Rudolph 25 Cartmel, Andrew 186 Catlett, Peter 45 Chapman, Dave. 69 Chapman, James 8, 86 Chapman, Spencer 24 Chiang, Doug 219, 220 Chibnall, Chris 54, 93, 95, 118, 131, 140, 141, 142, 166 Christopher, John Clarke, Arthur C. 23 Clarke, Harry 157 Clemett, Brian 45 Coduri, Camille 189 Cole, Tosin 93, 96, 212 Coleman, Jenna 88, 92, 108, 127 Collin, Dinah 57 Corman, Roger 114 Cream (rock band) 37 Cusick, Ray 24, 25, 43, 104, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 161, 166 251

252

Index of Names

D’Arcy, Geraint 11 Dare, Daphne 27, 30 Davie, Lin 208 Davies, Rhian 36 Davies, Russell T 4, 6, 7, 9, 68, 75, 76, 80, 81, 82, 84, 89, 93, 94, 118, 131, 132, 135, 140, 141, 164, 186, 189, 197 Davison, Peter 4, 55, 56, 62, 111, 123, 128, 153, 178, 180, 182, 183, 185 Del Toro, Guillermo 89 Dinnick, Richard 126 Dodd, Derek 28, 158–9 Dodd, Ken 64 Donati, Danilo 74 Doré, Gustav 197 Dry, Anthony 42 Dyall, Valentine 58 Ebbutt, Ros 68 Ede, Laurie 12 Edwards, Gareth 219 Eisenstein, Sergei 50 Elmes, Oliver 55, 65 Fisher, David 51 Fisher, Terence 117 Gable, Christopher 59 Gaines, Jane 10 Gatiss, Mark 142 Geraghty, Lincoln 9 Gill, Mandip 93, 95 212 Gillan, Karen 82, 88 Glover, Julian 51 Godfrey, Pat 181, 183 Grade, Michael 62, 120 Graham, David 155 Grainer, Ron 27, 95 Grimwade, Peter 124 Hale, Gareth 64 Hanshaw, Billy 208–10, 243 n.27 Harding, Tony 46

Harris, Sue 10 Hartnell, William 23, 46, 83, 142, 143, 143, 151, 175, 177, 183 Hatts, Clifford 25, 29, 35 Hawkins, Peter 155 Head, Edith 10 Herzog, Charlotte 10 Hill, Jacqueline 23, 151 Hills, Matt 5, 8, 132, 140–1, 219 Hinchcliffe, Philip 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 54, 57, 68, 89, 90, 99, 191, 192, 197–202 Hodgson, Brian 27, 135 Holman, Ray 87, 92, 93, 94, 96, 100, 109, 172, 211, 214, 215, 216 Holmes, Robert 42, 49, 54, 89 Howe-Davies, Andrew 63 Howell, Peter 55, 124 Hoyle, Fred 23 Hudolin, Richard 72 Hudson, June 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 100 Hughes, Nerys 123, 124 Hughes, Ray 46 Hunt, Richard 24 Huntsman of Savile Row (Tailor) 19 Jacklyn Black Cosplay (cosplayer) 127–8, 130 Jacobs, Kemi-Bo 90 James, Doreen 50, 51 Jenkins, Claire 9 Jenner, Maireke 6 Johnson, Catherine 9 Jones, Arwel Wyn 94, 95 Jones, Norman 110 Kaye, Stubby 64 Khan, Kublai 23 Kidd, Barbara 18, 49 Kingston, Alex 87, 88 Kneale, Nigel 25 Korda, Alexander 25 Kroll, Natasha 148, 149 Kubrick, Stanley 38, 168

Index of Names

Lamerichs, Nicolle 127 Lane, Barbara 36, 179 Langford, Bonnie 97, 184, 185 Laskey, David 68 Laurimore, John 110 Lavers, Colin 57, 179 Le Fanu, Sheridan 91 Letts, Barry 36, 54, 65, 99 Levin, Richard 21–2, 25, 28, 29, 99, 154, 228 n.17 Liminton, Roger 38, 125, 152 Lloyd, Innes 28, 29, 35, 42, 191 Lodge, Bernard 25–6, 36, 39, 42, 55, 56, 65, 72, 95, 168–70, 208, 240 n.22 Louis, Morris 37 Lovell, Jack & John 163, 166 Lucas, George 47, 48, 118 Luckham, Cyril 58 McCoy, Sylvester 4, 26, 55, 60, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 73, 128, 176, 181–6, 211, 216 McGann, Paul 1, 4, 71, 73, 74, 132, 145, 176, 177, 178, 183, 197, 198, 203–8, 206 McKee, Alan 120 McKinsey & Company 35 McLean, Adrienne 11 McManan-Smith, Richard 47, 52 Manning, Katy 19 Marks, Louis 110 Medici, Catherine de’ 23 The Mill (VFX company) 26, 75 Millennium FX (supplier of prosthetics and animatronics) 75 Mister Fish (tailor) 19 Moffat, Steven 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 93, 94, 99, 100, 118 Moholy-Nagy, László 25 Morris, Mary 124 Mount, Peggy 64 Munch, Edvard 193, 196 Murray-Leach, Roger 43, 44, 45, 63, 121, 126

253

Nathan-Turner, John 50, 52, 54, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 62, 64, 181, 182 Nebauer, Hayley 91, 99, 100 Newbery, Barry 22, 23, 27, 43, 44, 46, 56, 105, 114, 133, 149, 152, 153, 155, 197, 198, 200 Newman, Kim 8 Newman, Sydney 22, 29, 30 Oberman, Tracy-Ann 135 O’Kane, Patrick 166 Pace, Norman 64 Page, Louise 75, 81 Parks, Rosa 105 Patel, Vinay 142 Perryman, Neil 5 Pertwee, Jon 19, 20, 31, 32, 36, 39, 40 Phillips, Ivan 86, 240 n 20 Pickwoad, Michael 90, 91, 93, 154, 155, 160, 161, 199, 201, 202 Piper, Billie 76, 146, 186, 188, 189, 190, 203 Platt, Marc 128 Pope, Begonia 178 Powell, Jonathan 63 Purdie, Jim 49 Raine, Jessica 90 Rawlins, Christine 37, 47 Reid, Beryl 64 Reid, Sandra 30, 161, 162, 163, 166 Reith, John 22, 28, 46 Ridley, Anna 49 Riley, Tom 106, 108 Roberts, Amy 51, 52, 53, 57, 100 Roberts, Eric 74 Robinson, Vinette 105 Robson, Dee 57, 58 Roddenberry, Gene 70 Rose, Andrew 61 Ruscoe, Christine 43, 44, 63 Russell, William 23, 151 Ryan, Christopher 64

254

Index of Names

Saward, Eric 59, 60, 64, 181 Sayle, Alexei 64 Sax, Geoffrey 16 Scoones, Ian 52 Scott, Dougray 90 Sharp, Ken 36 Shearman, Robert 124–5, 141 Shelley, Mary 91 Sherwin, Derrick 35, 36, 99 Simms, Joan 64 Sladen, Elisabeth 19 Smith, Matt 9, 20, 42, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 98, 132, 178, 179, 180, 203, 204, 205, 208, 210 Smith, Sheridan 132 Sontag, Susan 86, 87 Snoaden, Tony 47 Spoczynski, Jan 56 Stoker, Bram 91 Story, Graeme 53 Street, Sarah 10 Sutton, Sid 55, 56, 65, 72, 231 n.45 Talalay, Rachel 154 Tashiro, C.S. 11 Tate, Catherine 23, 79 Taylor, Norman 25 Tennant, David 20, 42, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 88, 132, 203, 204, 208, 210, 211

Thomas, Edward 75, 77, 83, 156, 158, 199, 201, 232 n.3 Thorne, Stephen 58 Thornton, Malcolm 53, 56, 121, 124 Todd, Richard 124 Trew, Ken 61, 182, 183, 186 Troughton, Patrick 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 83, 88, 177, 183, 185, 211 Vadim, Roger 38, 39 Wagenfeld, Wilhelm 25 Waller, Elizabeth 45 Walsh, Bradley 93, 96, 212 Warner, Helen 11 Wells, H.G. 69 Whale, James 201 Whittaker, Jodie 20, 50, 93, 94, 95, 96, 105, 142, 146, 199, 210, 211–14, 212, 213, 215, 216 Williams, Graham 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 54, 57, 86 Williams, Maisie 107, 109 Wise, Robert 48 Woodman, Jori 73, 74, 198 Wright, Lucinda 75, 78, 189 Yardley-Jones, Tom 53, 133, 238

Index of Subjects

Adam Adamant Lives! 30, 33 Aliens 62, 81 An Adventure in Space and Time 142 The Avengers 4, 22 Barbarella 38, 39 Battlestar Galactica original series (1978–80) 16, 48, 97 ‘reimagined’ series (2004–7) 76, 77, 79, 82 Bauhaus 24, 25 BBC TV Design departments 21, 29, 68, 75, 97, 99, 105 Design Group 29, 228 n.17 McKinsey and 35 modernism and 22–7 Big Finish Productions 4, 5, 82, 132, 182 The Big Sleep 117 Blade Runner 51, 117, 219 Blake’s 7 56, 57 brand and branding logic 131, 174 management 82 rebrand 55, 84, 93, 96, 183 refreshment 82, 89 The Brides of Dracula 117 Buffy, the Vampire Slayer 76–7, 81, 82 camp (aesthetic) 37, 39, 68, 71, 74, 77, 85–8, 117, 118, 173

Chroma Key (video compositing process) 46, 65 Color Field painting 37 companions to the Doctor: Ace 187, 188 Amy Pond 1, 82, 88, 93, 136, 196 Barbara Wright 1, 23, 147 Clara Oswald 1, 91–2, 93, 106, 108, 126–7, 134, 136, 141, 154, 181 Donna Noble 79, 93, 189, 191 Graham O’Brien 93, 96, 212 Ian Chesterton 1, 23, 147 K9 46–7 Mel Bush 92, 184, 187–8 Peri Brown 97, 187–8 River Song 13, 87–8, 187 Romana 51, 122, 187 Rose Tyler 1, 78, 79, 81, 88, 93, 146, 186–91, 190 Ryan Sinclair 93, 96, 212 Yasmin (‘Yaz’) Khan 93, 96, 212, 214 Constructivism 25, 83 cosplay at conventions 127, 128, 129 and crossplay 130–1, 133 and ‘curatorial evaluation’ 129 wigs in 128, 129 Cybermen Cyber Warriors 164, 166, 167, 174 Cyber Masters 173, 174 255

256

Index of Subjects

Mark 1 (Mondasian) 136–40, 162–3 Mark 2 (Telosian) 85, 161, 161–7 see also Patients Dada 25 Daleks and Dalek aesthetic Dalek City 155, 160–1, 218 Dalek Emperor(s) 157, 159 Dalek Saucer/Ship 80, 160 New Dalek Paradigm 158 Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD 83, 158 The Day The Earth Stood Still 24 Davros 159 design disciplines/crafts costume 10, 11, 18, 19, 21, 27, 30–1, 31, 36, 37–8, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 161–7, 171–4, 175–91, 193, 202–8, 210–16, 218, 219 graphic design 21, 25–6, 39, 42, 55–6, 95, 167–70, 208–10 hair 11, 19, 34, 37, 63, 83, 105, 106, 132, 186, 189, 208 make-up/prosthetics 60, 64, 95 visual effects 3, 46, 52, 65, 69, 72, 97, 196, 208 design idioms and styles Art Deco 56, 58, 63, 85, 168 Art Nouveau 53 ‘artificial’ 113–14 denotative 113, 114 eclectic 51–2 ‘graphicized’ 79, 80, 81, 96, 217 moderne 80 modernist 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 37, 155, 160, 161, 163, 168 ‘operatic’ 49, 52, 54, 55, 57, 60, 94, 114, 217 realistic/naturalistic 22, 38, 67, 96, 102, 105, 113, 114, 115, 125, 173

stylized 4, 18, 20, 24, 79, 80, 96, 105, 114, 116, 121, 149, 152, 163, 217 Vienna Secession 72 design novum 140–2, 219, 221 The Doctors: Eighth Doctor 73, 74, 132, 198, 203, 205, 206, 208 Eleventh Doctor 9, 83, 88, 179, 180, 196, 205, 208 Fifth Doctor 56, 111, 128, 178, 180, 182, 185, 216 First Doctor 132–3, 141, 142, 143, 154, 178–9, 203, 208 Fourth Doctor 86–87, 130, 175–81, 178–9, 186 Fugitive Doctor (‘Ruth Clayton’) 96, 142–3 Ninth Doctor 77, 78, 186, 190, 204, 208 Second Doctor 21, 30, 31, 83, 88, 177, 183, 185, 208, 211 Seventh Doctor 73, 128, 176 Sixth Doctor 128, 131, 132, 179, 180, 181, 182 Tenth Doctor 5, 79, 81, 130, 208, 211 Third Doctor 19, 31, 32–3, 34, 39, 177, 211 Thirteenth Doctor 1, 93–6, 130, 146, 210–16 Twelfth Doctor 129, 178, 181 War Doctor 203, 204, 207, 208, 211 Doctor Who as brand 5, 9, 20, 39, 42, 63, 65, 71, 97, 98, 167 genre and generic instability in 42, 93, 103 ff., 187, 217 as transmedia text 4–5, 13 Doctor Who serials - London period (classic series) ‘An Unearthly Child’ 147, 152, 170

Index of Subjects

‘Arc of Infinity’ 58, 173 ‘Battlefield’ 66, 68, 69 ‘City of Death’ 51, 52, 87 ‘Earthshock’ 57, 59 ‘Face of Evil’ 121 ‘Frontios’ 56, 57 ‘Full Circle’ 53 ‘Ghost Light’ 66, 68 ‘Kinda’ 56, 120–5, 123 ‘Logopolis’ 53, 54 ‘Marco Polo’ 23, 104 ‘Nightmare of Eden’ 53 ‘Paradise Towers’ 61, 184 ‘Planet of the Daleks’ 38 ‘Planet of Evil’ 43–4, 121, 122 ‘Planet of Fire’ 57 ‘Pyramids of Mars’ 18, 44, 177, 181 ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ 66, 68, 159 ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’ 43, 126, 166 ‘Silver Nemesis’ 68, 166 ‘State of Decay’ 52, 74 ‘Survival’ 68–9 ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ 34, 35 ‘The Androids of Tara’ 50–1 ‘The Ark in Space’ 43 ‘The Aztecs’ 23, 27 ‘The Caves of Androzani’ 56, 57, 59–60 ‘The Chase’ 155, 161 ‘The Claws of Axos’ 36, 149 ‘The Creature from the Pit’ 121, 122 ‘The Crusade’ 23, 28 ‘The Curse of Fenric’ 66–7, 69 ‘The Curse of Peladon’ 37, 74 ‘The Daleks’ 24, 25, 27, 160–1 ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ 28, 35, 155 ‘The Day of the Daleks’ 39, 44, 170

257

‘The Deadly Assassin’ 44, 50, 126, 170–4 ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ 159, 191 ‘The Five Doctors’ 153 ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ 67–8 ‘The Green Death’ 38, 39 ‘The Happiness Patrol’ 67, 68, 114 ‘The Invasion’ 31, 66, 166 ‘The Invasion of Time’ 171, 172 ‘The Invisible Enemy’ 46 ‘The Keeper of Traken’ 53, 57, 120 ‘The Leisure Hive’ 51, 53, 54, 120, 183 ‘The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve’ 23, 28, 104 ‘The Masque of Mandragora’ 43, 44, 110, 114, 116 ‘The Mind Robber’ 31, 37 ‘The Moonbase’ 85, 161, 162, 163 ‘The Mutants’ 37, 38 ‘The Power of the Daleks’ 158–9 ‘The Ribos Operation’ 50 ‘The Stones of Blood’ 49 ‘The Sun Makers’ 47 ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’ 44, 46, 53, 111 ‘The Tenth Planet’ 134, 135, 136, 137, 161, 162 ‘The Three Doctors’ 38, 44, 58, 125, 152 ‘The Time Monster’ 149, 152 ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ 61, 63, 64 ‘Mindwarp’ (second segment) 63–4, 98 ‘Terror of the Vervoids’ (third segment) 63 ‘The Visitation’ 2, 104 ‘The War Games’ 31, 44, 152 ‘The Web of Fear’ 2, 30

258

Index of Subjects

‘The Web Planet’ 28, 148 ‘The Wheel in Space’ 34, 164 ‘Underworld’ 46 ‘Vengeance on Varos’ 61 ‘Warriors’ Gate’ 53 Doctor Who episodes, Cardiff period (new series): ‘A Christmas Carol’ 84 ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’ 96, 166, 167 ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ 85, 158 ‘Dalek’ 141 ‘Dark Water’ 111, 112, 136, 164 ‘Death in Heaven’ 111, 112, 136 ‘Doomsday’ 80, 81, 135 ‘Extremis’ 91, 197 ‘Face the Raven’ 92, 93 ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ 96, 141, 142, 154 ‘Heaven Sent’ 93, 94 ‘Hell Bent’ 94, 134, 141, 153, 154, 172, 174 ‘Hide’ 90 ‘It Takes You Away’ 96 ‘Kerblam!’ 94, 95 ‘Nightmare in Silver’ 85, 162, 166, 167 ‘Orphan 55’ 94, 96 ‘Resolution’ 94 ‘Robot of Sherwood’ 105–6, 108, 115 ‘Rosa’ 94, 105, 106, 113, 115 ‘The Age of Steel’ 79, 135 ‘The Beast Below’ 84, 193 ‘The Day of the Doctor’ 85, 203 ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ 90 ‘The Empty Child’ 170, 192 ‘The End of Time’ 80, 173 ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ 79, 196 ‘The Girl Who Died’ 107, 109 ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ 85, 157, 158 ‘The Name of the Doctor’ 197, 203

‘The Night of the Doctor’ 203, 204 ‘The Pandorica Opens’ 87, 136 ‘The Parting of the Ways’ 80, 157, 159 ‘The Time of the Doctor’ 127, 128, 196, 222 ‘The Timeless Children’ 134, 141, 142, 151, 154, 173, 174 ‘The Witchfinders’ 94, 95, 96 ‘The Witch’s Familiar’ 156, 157 ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’ 222 ‘The Woman Who Lived’ 107, 109 ‘The Zygon Invasion’ 111, 112, 113 ‘The Zygon Inversion’ 111, 113 ‘Twice Upon a Time’ 90, 114, 116, 132, 133, 134, 141, 142, 154, 238 ‘Under the Lake’ 90 ‘World Enough and Time’ 91, 98, 136–40, 139, 141, 162, 166 ‘World War Three’ 2, 78 Doctor Who aliens (extra-terrestrial or non-human): Axos and Axons 36 Cheetah People 69 Clockwork Androids 79, 196 Cybermen (see separate entry) Daleks (see separate entry) Ice Warriors 31, 85, 163, 191 Mara (snake prop) 121, 124, 125 Monks 91, 197 Moroks 27 Omega 58 Patients 137, 138, 139, 140, 141 Peladonians 37 Servicers (Mummy Robots) 18 Silents 85, 101, 191–7, 194 Solonians 37–8 Sontarans 79, 85, 131 Time Lords (see separate entry)

Index of Subjects

Vashta Nerada 192, 196 Weeping Angels 192 Yeti 2, 27, 30, 163, 191, 192 Zygons 85, 111, 191 Doctor Who title sequences: computer-generated 65, 72 ‘howl-around’ technique 25, 26, 36, 170 logos 9, 36, 42, 55–6, 65, 83, 168, 169, 209, 210 slit-scan technique 39, 42, 55, 65, 72, 167–70 Dr. Who and the Daleks 83, 158 Ealing Studios 43, 65, 121, 122 evaluative modes convivial 128 critical-theoretical 113–18 custodial 126, 219 see also narration, custodial fan critique, see fandom and fan criticism fan novum 140–1, 219 fan-professionals (‘pro fans’) 13, 118, 125, 126, 209, 219 fan studies 9, 13, 120, 125–6, 128 fandom and fan criticism 13, 18, 84, 85, 86, 100, 102, 117, 119–26, 211, 219 fashion 9, 11, 19, 88, 105, 186, 187 Firefly 77 Flash Gordon 16, 57, 74, 200 Forbidden Planet 24, 149 genre 42, 48, 62, 127, 147, 217 and idiom 115, 116 theory 12, 115, 116, 117, 118 German Expressionist film 54, 67 Gallifrey One (annual convention) 127, 128, 130 gothic (aesthetic category) ‘Hinchcliffe Gothic’ 42, 44, 45 horror 42, 45, 49, 68, 69, 77, 112, 117

259

and the macabre 89, 93, 117, 192 ‘Moffat Gothic’ 89–93, 196 romance 90, 92 Hammer Studios 42, 45, 49, 91, 117 Harry Potter series 81, 89 historical narratives in Doctor Who 103–111 anachronism in 94, 104, 107, 110–11 authenticity/verisimilitude in 23, 110, 116 historical events in 23, 104, 105 historical figures in 104, 106 ‘pseudohistorical’ vs. ‘pure historical’ 104 industrial and commercial design 19, 22, 25, 163 jungle and forest sets 35, 43, 44, 121 122–3, 124, 127, 128, 129, 132, 140–1, 203, 209, 219, 220, 221 lighting for TV 18, 76, 95, 98, 121, 153 chiaroscuro 44, 45, 49 The Master/Missy played by Anthony Ainley 68, 69 played by Roger Delgado 39 played by Sacha Dhawan 189 played by Michelle Gomez 111, 112, 187 played by Eric Roberts 74 modernism, see design: modernist moments dispersible 221 and the fan novum ‘golden’ 141, 219 self-reflexive 141 mood 116–7, 133

260

Index of Subjects

narration, custodial 127, 133 narrative long-form 3, 7, 8, 219 story arcs in 93, 103, 116, 196 reflexive 134, 141, 219 series narrative (macro-narrative) 97, 116, 133 narrative theory 115–16 index/indices in 116 nerd chic 84, 204 psychedelia 36–42, 43, 169 Quatermass and the Pit 25 The Quatermass Experiment 147, 191 Rassilon 126, 172 Seal of Rassilon 73, 126, 198, 209, 210 semiotics 12, 115 showrunners 13, 17, 75, 84, 89, 93, 99, 100, 131, 140–1, 166, 192, 209, 219 see also fan novum Star Trek original TV Series 3, 16, 149 The Next Generation 61, 62, 70 steampunk (aesthetic) 73, 77, 84, 130 Studio Design Unit (BBC) 148 TARDIS exterior, design of 83, 132–3, 142, 238 n.34

interior, design of 1, 72–3, 77, 83–4, 94, 96, 141–2, 147–54, 150, 151, 197–202, 198 Target Books 39, 41 Time Lords 31, 37, 38, 44, 50, 58, 80, 126, 170, 203 High Council 80, 172, 172, 173 Regalia 50, 171–4, 172, 173, 218 War Council 173, 174 Time Lord Victorious (multi-platform narrative) 4 TV Action (comic) TV history and forms 5–8 TV technology: ‘filmized’ image 17, 66, 76 grading 76, 95, 105, 174 high-definition video (HD) 7, 8, 17, 35, 95, 149 home theatre 13 screen ratio 8, 95, 161 2001: A Space Odyssey 38, 168 2010: The Year We Make Contact 153 Type styles and typefaces 36, 83, 168 verisimilitude generic 115, 117 socio-cultural 115 The X Factor 6 The X-Files 74, 75, 193