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The Sixth Doctor’s Coat

One of the most controversial outfits in the history of Doctor Who can also be one of the most rewarding to cosplay…
Jamie Lenman proudly wears his bespoke Sixth Doctor coat, which was made for him by tailor Steven Ricks. The cat brooch was made by Jamie’s wife.
Photo © Jamie Lenman.

There’s not much overlap in the twin spheres of Doctor Who and rock ‘n’ roll. KLF’s chart-topping version of the show’s theme has long since vanished into the Time Vortex. The great Trock wave of 2009 has crashed and rolled over us. Even Peter Capaldi’s twangy rendition of the title tune, plucked out on the Doctor’s very own guitar, seems a distant memory.

Yet on 23 November 2018, after a gruelling two-week tour of the UK, I performed my own rendition of the Ron Grainer classic to an intimate home-town crowd, dressed in costume as our favourite Time Lord. But which costume exactly? The answer may surprise you…

The Sixth Doctor’s coat of many colours, as worn by actor Colin Baker (and briefly by his successor, Sylvester McCoy), is without doubt the most maligned piece of couture in the series’ entire history. More reviled than Adric’s pyjamas. More derided than Skagra’s hat. It’s even been suggested by some that this singular raiment was directly responsible for the show’s perceived decline and eventual cancellation, some three years after its final on-screen appearance.

But not by me. I adore that coat, every mismatched square of fabric, every stitch. From the minute it first leapt off the TV screen and into my young heart, I was determined to one day own it for myself and stride about the dim streets of Camberley in rainbowed splendour. Hours were spent poring over production photos and freeze-framing videos of old episodes, attempting in vain to draw up a definitive pattern for the construction of my own copy. Then all of a sudden guitar lessons became a priority and a career in tailoring went onto the back burner.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: Tom Baker speaks to DWM ahead of the publication of his first Doctor Who novel! • Tom Baker answers questions from our TARDIS tin • An interview with Doctor Who author James Goss, who helped Tom write Scratchman • Actor Shaun Dooley (who played Epzo in 2018 episode The Ghost Monument) reveals his photographic contribution to Series 11 • A look at BBC Audio's resurrection of the 1970s Dalek Annuals • Part Four of The Warmonger, a brand-new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends • The Time Team watches three episodes - from 2007, 1966 and 1987 - which introduce new companions • Cosplayer Jamie Lenman shows his appreciation for the Sixth Doctor's coat • The Fact of Fiction delves into the 2011 Eleventh Doctor story The God Complex • DWM's reviews of Series 11 episodes It Takes You Away, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos and the New Year's Day Special Resolution • An overview of Series 11’s ratings • Answers to the DWM Christmas Quiz • The Blogs of Doom, reviews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!