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Cutting It Fine

In the first part of an interview with Howard Burden, the costume designer recalls working on some of the most memorable episodes featuring the Eleventh Doctor…
Matt Smith promotes Series 7 (2012-13) in the new costume designed for him by Howard Burden.
Costume designer Howard Burden.

When Doctor Who Magazine speaks to Howard Burden, he’s just finished working on a revival of Dad’s Army, a production that assembled a new cast to remake three lost episodes from the original series. Howard compares this experience to “putting together the pieces of a familiar old jigsaw puzzle”. This phrase might just as aptly describe some of his experiences as Doctor Who’s longest continuously serving costume designer of the 2010s. Among other challenges, Howard had to recreate the dress of nine past incarnations of the Doctor, as seen in cameos during the denouements of The Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor in 2013.

Yet Howard’s time on Doctor Who certainly wasn’t all about revisiting the past: he also helped propel the series forward with a number of wholly new or strikingly reimagined costume images, from the War Council of Gallifrey to the ‘impossible girl’ Clara Oswald, and from the digital ‘ghost’ of River Song to a new incarnation of the Doctor’s best enemy, the devilishly eccentric Missy. The three-year period during which Howard worked on Doctor Who was marked by numerous rites of passage, the most epoch-making being Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations. First up, however, we wind right back to the beginning: 2012. With Matt Smith and his two co-stars thoroughly established, and expectations regarding the anniversary festivities ramping up, what were the chief pressures when Howard took over as costume designer?

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • An exclusive interview with Jodie Whittaker. • The latest Production Notes from showrunner Chris Chibnall. • Former Doctor David Tennant discusses Jodie Whittaker. • Howard Burden recalls designing costumes for three different Doctors. • The second part of a candid interview with 1980s script editor Eric Saward. • What topped the DWM season poll? We reveal the results! • We talk to the team behind the Blu-ray special edition of 1973’s Planet of the Daleks. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2005 story The Long Game. • Eric Saward previews his novelisations of Resurrection and Revelation of the Daleks. • Is Doctor Who a kids’ show? The Time Team decides. • How to recreate the Second Doctor’s ‘cosmic hobo’ style. • The final part of Herald of Madness, a comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!