With a vibrant and nostalgic costume, Jodie Whittaker appears well-prepared to take the helm of the TARDISBBC WORLDWIDE

Despite its lack of a decorative vegetable, Jodie Whittaker’s revealed costume for the Thirteenth Doctor is nonetheless inherently Doctor-ish. With braces reminiscent of Matt Smith, a rainbow motif which calls to mind the horror that was Colin Baker, high-waisted trousers which recollect the attire of a grumpy Patrick Troughton, and the classic long coat which suggests pretty much every single doctor (Eccleston excepted), it looks like Chibnall’s takeover is going to be grounded in the show’s rich and often contradictory history.

“Just remember Colin Baker’s patchwork coat and question mark collar. For the Doctor, this is practically black tie”

But, most importantly, this outfit has colour. The BBC released a statement to inform viewers that much like the dress from 2015, Whittaker’s coat is blue in real life. Forget the monochrome ensemble of Capaldi or the Victorian gentleman of Smith’s final series – Whittaker is bringing bold back. Even her dyed blonde hair adds a lightness to the show’s image that has been missing since Moffat’s takeover. No, it is not quite the lurid numbers of Baker #2 and McCoy, but this level of colour has not been seen on the show since the 1980s. Given the minimal information Chibnall has dropped about the future of the show, can we use this to form a picture of what Doctor Who will look like under the Broadchurch creator?

It is not surprising to see the 1980s coming back in Doctor Who given the popularity of shows such as Stranger Things and Glow – even Pearl Mackie’s costumes last series made reference to Prince and comic book culture – but this is very insular nostalgia, possibly as an attempt to appeal to viewers lost under Steven Moffat, whose rebranding of the show coupled with a ratings war with ITV saw a steep decline in viewership over the last few years.

Jodie Whittaker is revealed as the Thirteenth DoctorYOUTUBE

In a show that follows the same formula week on week, and has done so for the best part of 54 years, it is difficult to maintain interest, and it seems that Chibnall is trying to appeal to the fanbase of ‘Classic Who’, which is notoriously dedicated. Take a look at the companions – the last time there were three companions in the TARDIS for any degree of time (Boom Town does not count) was with the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, whose era, along with that of Baker #1, tends to be considered the Golden Age of Doctor Who.

Tie that in with the inversion of the colours on the St. John’s Ambulance sign on the TARDIS as well as the darker paintwork and the slimmer style, and we are seeing a definite movement away from the Davies and Moffat eras of ‘NuWho’. While viewers are yet to have a peek inside the new TARDIS, it seems a safe bet that it will likewise draw on elements of ‘Classic Who’ while reflecting the Thirteenth Doctor’s personality, which has thus far been difficult to ascertain from her clothing.


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But there are still many questions about the series ahead which go unanswered by this promo shot – what is the pattern on her socks? (Probably stripes.) Are her shins cold? Jodie refuses to comment. But more seriously, Chibnall is infamous for his secrecy on set and it is unlikely he will reveal any real information until its airing in Autumn 2018. He is even going so far as to leave deliberate and different errors in each script he prints so he can trace any leak back to its perpetrator.

All we can do for the next year is analyse these titbits that come our way. And to those peppering Facebook feeds with comments about how Whittaker looks ‘too ridiculous to be the Doctor’ – just remember Colin Baker’s patchwork coat and question mark collar. For the Doctor, this is practically black tie

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