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Scary Monsters

Barbara Lane’s career on Doctor Who saw her design some of the most memorable aliens to appear in the 1970s. It was all part of creating what she calls “complete worlds”…

I was totally taken aback!” says Barbara Lane of the random phone call she recently received from Doctor Who Magazine. “I thought, what on earth could I say?”

It’s a week since that phone call and we’re settling down at the kitchen table in Barbara’s home near Chester to talk about her 45-year career as a sought-after costume designer. Among her many television and film credits are seven Doctor Who stories between 1971 and 1976. “You meet so many people doing this work,” Barbara tells us. “I’ve never been one of those who hangs on to anything. When it’s over, it’s done and you get on with the future. That’s all you can do.”

Aside from a brief interview in the Radio Times tenth anniversary Doctor Who special in 1973 and a piece published in The Sun three years later, Barbara has rarely talked about her Doctor Who work. “I’ve got no sentiment at all about my work,” she says. “People are more important to me. People are real and what you do in your career is what you do to make a living. And you do the best you can, which is what I always tried to do.” Barbara’s best gave Doctor Who such memorable creations as the Axons, Azal, Aggedor and Sarah Jane Smith’s memorable ‘Andy Pandy’ dungarees.

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 This unprecedented magazine features numerous rare and previously unpublished illustrations showing how the look of a Doctor Who episode evolves from sketch to screen, plus exclusive interviews with many of those designers including: •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