The regeneration/new-Doctor process can make one feel like they're building a puzzle. First, we saw his face by way of a gaudy TV special that announced Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor, then we got a closer look at his ferociously furry and furrowed brow in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, and then we heard the new Doctor speak - a pleasure, though he was too excited about new kidneys and confused about proper TARDIS operation to really give us anything tangible about his new persona. Sadly, we'll have to wait a bit longer to find out who this Doctor is, but at least we now know what kind of shoes he wears.
In an amazing triumph of official releases over the scourge of grainy on-set spy photos that - let's be honest - never do their subjects justice, the BBC has released a still photograph of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in his new costume with nary a bow tie, scarf, decorative vegetable, or pair of trainers to be seen.
Here's the description from the BBC:
"Sporting a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, a white shirt as well as black Dr. Marten shoes, the look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden."
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It's all rather plain and bland, isn't it? According to Peter Capaldi, though, the Time Lord's new look is supposed to be basic.
“He's woven the future from the cloth of the past. Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 per cent Rebel Time Lord.”
The "no scarf" comment is not going to be oh so popular with old school Whovians, but pushing that minor flap aside, both the "woven his future from the cloth of the past" remark and the "Rebel Time Lord" label are well placed little nuggets for us to ponder while we gaze upon the Time Lord's new clothes - looking for clues because the Doctor's costume usually says something about the character.
Look at the Doctors from the renewed Who era: Christopher Eccleston's leather jacket and his Doctor's tough guy loner act; David Tennant's trainers and occasional trench coat and his Doctor's penchant for running and dashing around like a caped crusader; and Matt Smith's bow-tie and suspenders look, which paired nicely with his absent minded professor routine. What does this costume say about Capaldi? It's so bare that it's hard to theorize, but really, it's a chicken or egg thing: do the clothes make the man (Time Lord) or does the man (Time Lord) make the clothes?
We'll find out when Doctor Who returns this fall, but until then, feel free to let us know what you think about the Doctor's new swag.
Doctor Who Season 8 is expected to begin airing by Autumn 2014.