Darlings, the very first woman to play the lead character on Doctor Who in its 50+-year history just found her look. The BBC just released the first official photo of Jodie Whittaker in costume as The Doctor, and …
We LOVE it. We’ll spew more words explaining why, but before we do, we’re going to cut right to the chase: It made us smile. That’s the Number One reason we’re feeling it. Everyone has a list of words that sets their teeth on edge and “chuckle” has long been one of ours, but damn it all, we chuckled.
There are going to be a lot of Mork from Orc jokes (and the show itself may be remiss if it doesn’t include one from time to time), but the rainbow stripe and color scheme seems like a nod to Tom Baker’s scarf, if not Colin Baker’s coat. The long, oversized coat feels like David Tennant, the high-waisted pants call Patrick Troughton to mind, and the lace-up boots evoke Matt Smith. This is smart, to our way of thinking. She of course needs to stand on her own as a character – and we think this look is unique enough to get that point across. But for the beginning of her run at least, she’s going to need to convince a portion of the audience that she really is the same character played by those thirteen previous male actors. Light, almost subconscious nods to previous costumes is a good idea.
In addition, we’re happy on two fronts. First, because they didn’t “girl” her up. We hope they don’t simply write this iteration of the character as a woman who acts like a man; meaning, we want to see a feminine side to the Doctor in this portrayal. But we’re very happy to see that no one even came close to putting her in a skirt or heels.
Second, no matter where the Doctor sits on the gender spectrum, they should always be portrayed as a brilliant, mercurial, occasionally dark, scientist/adventurer/professor with an outrageously strong, if highly idiosyncratic ethical code and a warped way of looking at the universe. In other words, at the Doctor’s heart, no matter who the Doctor is, he or she should always be a great, big nerd. You can make him or her a cool nerd or a sexy nerd or an old nerd, but the Doctor should always be just a little nerdy. And boy, did they ever nail that part of the character here. Nerd girls, far be it for us to tell you who to adopt, but this sure looks like a clear and well-rendered attempt to give you the avatar of your dreams. And we don’t REMOTELY think it’s a coincidence that you could source practically the entire outfit for cosplay with a trip to your average mall.
It’s distinct, yet familiar. It knows its history yet works to establish a new paradigm. It shows great familiarity with the franchise. And most important of all, it seems to be a gift-wrapped box on a silver platter to nerdy women of all – you’ll pardon the pun – stripes. Excellent costume design.
“Fans will first see the new Doctor this Christmas when Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor regenerates, but everyone will have to wait until Autumn 2018 to see what’s in store in the new full series.”
[Photo Credit: BBC]