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COSPLAY: The W ar Doctor’s Com panion

Athena Stam os went from cosplaying at conventions to being the Doctor’s com panion. Here’s how…
Above: Athena Stamos as Cinder, the War Doctor’s companion.
Photo © Greg De Stefano.

First com es the appearance on TV of a new outfit and the desire to cosplay it, follow ed by the scram ble of com m unication and research as people try to identify the shoes, the coat, the shirt, the everything. Then there’s the draw ing up of plans and schem es and tim etables before getting distracted by som e shiny new idea. Ultim ately, there’s the sw eat and the tears (and occasional passing out from spray-paint fum es at 2.00am) once you realise the convention is only a w eek aw ay. Finally, the bittersw eet epilogue: the dreaded ‘con crud’, w ith every virus that was going round the venue attacking you sim ultaneously on the M onday m orning.

But Athena Stam os is no regular cosplayer, and her cosplay experience has taken a di erent path. It’s taken her from a lifelong love of dressing up, and all things creative, to a starring role on the cover of an o cially licensed Doctor W ho com ic and even being a playable character in an o cial Doctor W ho video gam e. It’s an achievem ent so unlikely that aspiring to it wouldn’t even occur to m ost fans. So how did it happen?

A Doctor W ho fan from the age of four, when her m other plonked her in front of Tom Baker’s adventures on PBS, Athena first began cosplaying during the so-called ‘w ilderness years’ preceding the show ’s 21st-century revival. Originally dressing as the Fourth Doctor’s com panion Leela, she quickly developed a love of fandom and a deep respect for the cosplay scene.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

This issue includes: • An exclusive interview with new composer Segun Akinola • A candid interview with Eric Saward, Doctor Who’s longest-serving script editor. • Former showrunner Steven Moffat discusses Eric’s legacy. • Robert Allsopp describes his unusual contributions to Doctor Who’s prop and costume departments – from the Sylvester McCoy episodes to the present day. • Alex Mercer describes what it’s like to be one of the current producers of Doctor Who. • Storyboard artist James Iles talks us through some of his stunning illustrations. • Jacqueline King – aka Sylvia Noble – answers questions from the TARDIS tin. • A tribute to Shane Rimmer, who guest starred in The Gunfighters in 1966. • Part Four of Herald of Madness, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • How one cosplayer became the War Doctor’s companion. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 1979 story Nightmare of Eden. • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!