Paul McGann’s Doctor Who Gets a New Outfit
Looks like the Eighth Doctor’s costume is getting a refresh! Paul McGann appeared last week at the Armageddon Pop Culture Expo in Auckland, New Zealand. While there he unveiled a new costume for his Doctor. According to McGann, it’s a work-in-progress and it’s still unofficial. McGann is hopeful it will be adopted by the folks at Big Finish, who produce the Doctor Who audio adventures. Interestingly, there have been some reports that the BBC has given its blessing to the new look. There have been no official photos released, so we’ll just have to cope with these fan-snapped pics.
McGann pointed out the three elements of the new costume were the double-breasted naval jacket, the satchel, and the new sonic screwdriver. The pants and shirt were his own and not part of the proposed costume. There was no mention of the intended hair style or beard for the new costume, other than McGann never liked the wig he wore for the part. The sonic screwdriver was build by the WETA Workshop and continues the Jules Verne look from the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie. The tip of the sonic screwdriver lights up blue, similar to version Eccleston carried.
Below is a video from the Armageddon Pop Culture Expo of McGann unveiling the new costume. Click here if you can’t view the embedded video below.
As expected, this proposed costume change has generated a tremendous amount of discussion and argument amongst the fans. Personally, I’m in favor of the new look. I consider myself a huge Eighth Doctor fan. I own all the Eighth Doctor novels (over 70) and audio adventures (over 50), and I’ve watched the 1996 TV movie more times than anyone really should have. I feel I’m qualified to make an informed decision regarding the character and I’m digging this look.
The jacket creates a nice transition between McGann’s previous Edwardian jacket and Christopher Eccleston’s leather jacket. The sonic screwdriver looks gorgeous! The wooden handle is a beautiful touch. Makes perfect sense for this incarnation of the Doctor. Probably the most contentious piece of the costume is the satchel, or man-bag. Lots of outcries from fans regarding the bag. I don’t understand why it bothers so many people. They can accept a 24-foot multi-colored scarf, but apparently a satchel is their line in the sand. Whatever. Get over it.
There has also been speculation that perhaps McGann will appear in the new TV series as a past Doctor this upcoming season, hence the updated look. While I would absolutely love that, I somehow doubt this. I can’t imagine the BBC would let the costume be unveiled in such a casual way. I think it’s simply a new look for the Eighth Doctor that McGann has helped develop that he’s hopeful Big Finish will adopt.
For those of you unfamiliar with Paul McGann’s previous Doctor Who look, here’s a reference for you.