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The 1960s

Doctor Who’s black-and-white decade included numerous examples of outstanding costume design. Some of it drew upon contemporary trends in unexpected ways…

Opposite page below: The recently regenerated Doctor (David Tennant) selects his new clothes from the TARDIS wardrobe in The Christmas Invasion (2005).

Left: Colin Baker as the Doctor, wearing both his predecessor’s costume and his new coat, in a publicity photo from The Twin Dilemma (1984).

For BBC designers, the early 1960s was a era of prestige – but not for those in the Costume Department. Indeed, the costume designers on Doctor Who would receive no on-screen credit until 1970, when the series moved to colour production.

In the monochrome era, and especially in the years around 1960, set design was central to the BBC’s international identity as a beacon of excellence, and Doctor Who’s earliest acclaimed imagery was the work of set designers – most conspicuously, Raymond Cusick’s Daleks. Indeed, for several years only set designers’ names appeared in the series’ closing credits, under the simple title ‘designer’. And it was mostly set designers that were the focus of Television by Design, a landmark 1960 book by the BBC’s Head of Design, Richard Levin. Graphic design was second in line for attention within its pages, while costume featured only incidentally in the photographic illustrations, not the text.

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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 This unprecedented magazine features numerous rare and previously unpublished illustrations showing how the look of a Doctor Who episode evolves from sketch to screen, plus exclusive interviews with many of those designers including: •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)