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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 52: Costume Design > The 2010s

The 2010s

Doctor Who began its next decade in a strong position, firmly established as one of the BBC’s most popular programmes. The series’ confidence was reflected in a diverse array of costume design…

In comparison with the 2000s, the 2010s saw significantly more turnover in costume designers – five changes in eight years. The first and most prolific designer of the decade has been Ray Holman, who had previously worked on Torchwood (2006-09). Holman had also stepped in to design Blink (2007) and Turn Left (2008), two ‘Doctor-lite’ episodes produced under highly pressured circumstances during Louise Page’s run. He left Doctor Who at the end of Matt Smith’s debut season but was to return for the second year of Peter Capaldi’s run in 2015, and then again for the 2018 and 2020 seasons, designing for Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.

Holman’s approach to costume in Doctor Who has been largely consonant with Louise Page’s; like her, his great strengths are in dressing the principal players in striking but accessible ways. His handling of the Doctor’s female companions has been especially consistent. Starting with Rose Tyler in Turn Left, leather outerwear has continued to be a leitmotif under Holman’s auspices, right down to Yasmin Khan, who in the 2018 series showed a marked penchant for black biker jackets. During her first year as Amy Pond in the 2010 series, Karen Gillan’s look was as strongly defined by leather bomber jackets, both contemporary and vintage, as by her micromini skirts and short shorts. And when he returned to the show in 2015, Holman wasted no time in introducing leather into the generally more low-key and practical wardrobe of Clara Oswald, using it to subtlest effect in The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion. Here, only the sleeves of Clara’s black mac are leather, neatly suggesting shift and transformation – a choice that takes on metaphorical overtones when Clara is replaced by a ruthless Zygon duplicate, Bonnie.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Few television programmes make the same production demands as Doctor Who. With such diverse settings as distant points in Earth’s history and alien civilisations in the far future, the series has always stretched the ingenuity – and resources – of its talented costume designers. This unprecedented magazine features numerous rare and previously unpublished illustrations showing how the look of a Doctor Who episode evolves from sketch to screen, plus exclusive interviews with many of those designers including: • Alexandra Tynan (costume designer in the 1960s who created the look of the Cybermen) • Barbara Lane (the designer of Azal, Alpha Centauri, the Axons and more – this is her first interview in over 40 years) • Lee Bender (designer and owner of Bus Stop, a boutique which supplied outfits for Sarah Jane Smith) • June Hudson (designer of the Fourth Doctor’s final outfit and many elegant costumes for Romana) • Colin Lavers (designer of the Fifth Doctor’s costume) • Amy Roberts (designer of Anthony Ainley’s Master) • Lucinda Wright (designer of Christopher Eccleston’s series as the Ninth Doctor) • Howard Burden (designer of the Twelfth Doctor’s costume) • Ray Holman (designer of the Eleventh and Thirteenth Doctor’s costumes, and Doctor Who’s current costume designer) Plus, the stars who wore the designers’ creations in Doctor Who look back at their characters’ clothes: • Anneke Wills (Polly) • Katy Manning (Jo Grant) • Sophie Aldred (Ace) • Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler) • Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint)