Doctor Who

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.

Paul McGann's new Doctor Who costume

Paul McGann's new Doctor Who costume

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.

Paul McGann's new Doctor Who sonic screwdriver

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.

Paul McGann as Doctor Who

Sources: Doctor Who News Page, Daily Dust, and GeekTyrant.

12 thoughts on “Paul McGann’s Doctor Who Gets a New Outfit

  1. I’m not thrilled with it. Perhaps if he was wearing the Victorian style shirt and tie with the coat, it would look better. It looks a little too plain as it stands.

    I like the satchel. Indiana Jones carried one, so why not Doctor Who? I imagine that the satchel will be like Tom Baker’s coat pockets, and hold everything he could ever need in it.

  2. I don’t understand. There is probably something I am missing here. Why is there a new costume for a doctor who is now gone? Is it for the books? But surely the books being written at the moment are all for the current doctor in his Matt Smith form.

    I agree with Luke that the outfit does look a little plain. It’s also hard to judge if that isn’t the full thing. I do really like the sonic screwdriver though. Very steampunk-esque.

  3. @Shag

    Ah. Thank you. I feel slightly more informed but not really any wiser. A voice in my head is going ‘but why design a new screwdriver for an audio series?’

    However Im guessing that actually it will change a lot in descriptions and so forth even if you don’t actually see it just as that would change for a book. I was also unaware of the audio adventures. Are they on bbc4?

  4. @Ruth – The first set of 8th Doctor and Lucy adventures were broadcast on BBC7. The more recent ones have just been available on CD and digital download.

    I enjoy them. I’d recommend them to any Doctor Who fan!

  5. I like the coat but he needs more to the costume underneath but I really like the sonic its like a mix of of 9th and 10th with 11th really nice sleak design

  6. This is frankly awesome. When you consider some of the things Eight went through this makes perfect sense to me. It really shows McGann’s commitment to the role. Someday if the BBC ever decides to do a big reveal and give us the fourth and last time war, McGann will have to return. God only know’s what the Doctor did and what effect that had on him, look included. Remember in the first episode of Nine’s run he had ‘just’ regenerated. Eight lived through the time war, and had some adventures afterward…

  7. Heck maybe its for 50th special. Sylvester McCoy said he’d love to return for that. They should have a multidoctor story for it

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