Friday 24 December 2010

Seventh Doctor costume transition

This week I’ve been taking a little look at an area of The Doctor’s costume that sometimes gets overlooked: The Costume Transition Scene!
I’m taking about that moment in the first episode of a new Doctor where the old skin is finally shaken off and a re-designed costume helps define the start of a new era in Doctor Who history.

When William Hartnell became Patrick Troughton, it wasn’t just his face that changed – his costume miraculously regenerated at the same time.

Later, when Jon Pertwee took over, his new clothes were more realistically introduced by having The Doctor lift them from the changing room of the hospital where he is taken at the start of Spearhead From Space.

But it was Tom Baker’s transition scene that was the first to make some play on the anticipation of what The Doctor would be wearing.

Looking through the list of regenerations, I have realised there seems to be two dominant scenarios for these scenes:

The Hospital Changing Room scenario
The Third Doctor steals the clothes of a hospital consultant before stealing his car as well; after the Eighth Doctor emerges from the morgue, he takes the clothes of a surgeon, who is going to a fancy dress party; the latest regeneration sees the Eleventh Doctor lifting a the parts of his costume from the hospital locker room as he strides through.

The TARDIS Dressing-up Room scenario
Although we don’t see the dressing-up room, the Fourth Doctor keep popping out of the TARDIS dressed in unsuitable costumes; the Fifth Doctor finds his new clothes in the TARDIS, almost as if he was supposed to; the Sixth Doctor is the first to be seen in the dressing-up room to choose his new clothes; followed by the Seventh Doctor who goes through a similar selection; finally the Tenth Doctor makes his choice from a re-imagined dressing-up room, courtesy of The Mill’s special effects gurus!

Friday 17 December 2010

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

I can’t believe a year has flown by since I last wished everyone a Happy Christmas.

Looking back though, a lot has happened and I’ve completed or started a number of amazing projects.

From updating my Tennant Coat; making a Five Coat or two; starting a replica Tennant suit jacket using original GAP Trousers; making a couple of Inverness Capes (must get round to writing that up!); as well as some smaller item such as Five Hatbands, Six Cravats and Seven Hankies.
However, I think the most exciting has been starting work on a replica Six Frock Coat, which I am so looking forward to getting done next year.

I hope you’ll join me in the following months as it starts to come together.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Bonhams costume sales - previous auctions

As well as the auctions I have been to over the past couple of years, I have done a little digging back and found some further Seventh Doctor items from three sales from 2005 to 2007.

Lot 611
'Dr. Who': The Master's 'tissue compression eliminator' (miniaturising gun), the prop in black-painted brass with electric wiring, as used by Anthony Ainley throughout the 1980s in his portrayal of The Doctor's nemesis, 23cm (9in) long.

Sold for £1,440

Lot 613
'Dr. Who': a prop scanning device,
battery-operated, as used in the 1987 episode 'Time And The Rani' by both Sylvester McCoy and Kate O'Mara, 17cm (6½in) long

Sold for £120

Lot 621
'Dr. Who': a model of The Rani's Tardis,
of painted foam, as made for the 1993 Children In Need episode, 'Dimensions In Time', 30.5cm (12in) high

Sold for £240

Lot 622
'Dr. Who': a Tardis roundel,
fibreglass, with traces of black and grey paint, indicating use in the Tardis of both The Doctor and The Master, believed to be the last surviving example from the original Tardis, 55cm (21½in) diameter

Estimate: £500 - 700

Lot 623
'Dr. Who': a Haemovore concept model,
painted plaster, as made for 'The Curse Of Fenric', 1989, 41cm (16in) high

Estimate: £400 - 500

Thursday 4 November 2010

Revenge of the Invasion of the Aussies

Had a great day today, meeting up with a couple of forum members who were in the UK from Australia.

I’ve previosuly met up with Bob Mitsch, Ian Cummins, Jonathan from Paris. This time it was the turn of Mark Ferris, who last year did a run of replica five and Six Shirts, and is known as linxthesontaran. He has also made a SUPERB replica Dalek ala The Chase (see below).

He is currently half-way through a one-year trip to the UK, and has been living and working in Harrogate in Yorkshire. We had been hoping to meet up sooner, but travelling costs down to london and back can be prohibitive, especially on a tight budget.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

A little (big) experiment

While working on the new brown hanky, something occurred to me.

The screen-used ones were actually cut from a much larger scarf, and only represented a quarter of their full size (see right).

I wonder what it would be like to have a full, uncut version?

Well, since I had a Spoonflower order going through, I thought I’d have a go at making one - just to see how big it really was.

It was actually an easy job to create the un-cropped version, as the Photoshop file I created actual had the entire artwork (see left), since I needed to crop it just over a quarter area. It simply had been on a reduced canvas area.

The full area is almost a yard square, so the order covered a yard, just for the single scarf.

Anyway, the order arrived this week, and now I have trimmed and hemmed the edges, here is the result (see below).
I’ve photographed it with my panama hat so you can get an idea of how big it really is!

If you’re interested in getting one of these, drop me a line. I’m happy to make them to order as one-offs.

Sunday 15 August 2010

What a waste of time

Well, today was the first Bonhams Entertainment Sale at Goodwood, and I’m sorta pleased I didn’t bother to go down to see how the precious four Doctor Who items got on.

Both the two Daleks had been withdrawn from sale before the day; the Dalek statuettes (which weren’t even labelled as Daleks in the catalogue) went unsold; and the only item that did sell was a Tom baker doll and TARDIS from the late 1970s! (see below)

So all in all a bit of a waste of time :(

Friday 23 July 2010

Bonham: 15th August 2010 -
Auction Of The Daleks

When I went to the recent Bonhams Auction, they made mention of an addition to their calendar of memorabilia sales, by including Goodwood!

Their plan is to have the viewing at their Bond Street showroom, which I will go along to, but I doubt I will go to the sale itself, as now they have released the catalogue I can’t see anything I want to bid for.

Here are the few Doctor Who items on offer.

Lot No: 111W
This lot has been withdrawn
Part believed to be from Revelation of the Daleks, 1985 to Remembrance Of The Daleks, 1988, A Dalek, refurbished and re-used throughout 1980’s and 1990’s, all parts made by the BBC Visual Effects Department, during the series, of wood, metal, fibreglass and plastic construction, painted grey with black details including; hemispheres, slats, plunger and gun, the dome lifting to reveal interior mechanism and seat, on wheeled base, height 66 inches, width 25 inches and depth 44 inches
The vendor states that this Dalek has been altered and parts refurbished, reused and replaced throughout its existence. The eye stalk was used in Rembrance of The Daleks, 1988. The dome piece of this lot was used during the 1970s/ early 1980s.

Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000

Lot No: 112W
This lot has been withdrawn
Part believed to be from the 1970’s to Remembrance Of The Daleks, 1988, A Dalek, repainted, re-furbished and reused on numerous occasions, of fibreglass, wood, metal and plastic construction, painted black with gold hemispheres, slats (7 slats missing), plunger arm and eye-stalk, dome lifting to reveal interior with wiring, mechanism and seat, on wheeled base, height 65 inches, width 25 inches and length 44 inches.
The vendor states that: “The top of the dome from Resurrection of the Daleks filmed September 1983 and transmitted 1984. Present owner worked in workshop, on location and in studio during production of this episode.
The replacement eye stalk and shoulder section from Remembrance of the Daleks filmed and transmitted 1988. Present owner also in attendance on film location for this storyline.”
This particular Dalek has also featured in many Doctor Who exhibitions and books, with a final major refurbishment for an on-screen appearance at The Children's Royal Variety Show 1994 in front of Princess Margaret, in aid of NSPCC.

Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000

Lot No: 265AR
Clive Barker (British, born 1940) ‘The Emperor and His Wife’, 1999 stamped and numbered 9/9, polished aluminium and polished bronze 21.5cm.

Estimate: £4,000 - 6,000
I love the way theis item makes no reference in the text to it being a pair of Daleks!
Earlier on in the sale is one item of Doctor Who toys.

Lot No: 68
Tom Baker Doctor Who Doll and TARDIS
Boxed Dr Who doll complete with sonic screwdriver, scarf and hat, made by Harbert of Italy 1979, 23.5cm (9 1/4in) tall, boxed Tardis with opening doors and rotating inner to make the Doctor disappear and reappear, made by Dennis Fisher 1976, 34cm (13 1/2in) high (very good condition and in very good condition boxes) (2)

Estimate: £200 - 300
Sold for £240

Saturday 5 June 2010

7 hankies - new versions

I been real busy with a number of projects recently, but at long last I have gotten around to making up some new, improved hankies.

As I outlined previously, I now have produced much better artwork for the classic red hanky, as well as the much rarer brown one.

When I did my first run of hankies I used a lightweight fabric from Spoonflower which was a Bamboo/Cotton mix. It had a silky feel and was just the right weight for a hanky.
Since getting access to the screen-used versions, I’ve found it was on a much thinner fabric.

It just so happens that Spoonflower have had supply problems with the bamboo/cotton, so have been forced to discontinue it and replace it with a Cotton Lawn, which is a much thinner, gauze-like fabric, and a much better match to the real thing.
I have therefore had my new hankies printed on the Cotton Lawn instead.

The first batch of printed fabric arrived a couple of weeks back, and I now have a good half-dozen red and a few brown hankies ready for dispatch if anyone is interested!

The Red Hanky
The classic red hanky has come out pretty well, considering. Spoonflower does have some colour-density issues, especially with reds, but that aside they have come out good.

Below is a comparison between the pattern detail on the screen-used hanky (below, left); the first version I did last year (below, centre); and the new improved version (below, right). click to see a super-sized version.

The Brown Hanky
After offering a next-best option last year (a brown colourway of the existing red design - see right) it is really satisfying to present a much more screen-accurate version for the first time.

As I explained before, the size and area I have reproduced has been a compromise, but what I have done makes for a practical, useable cosplay prop.

Below is a comparison between the screen-used hanky (below, left); and the new replica version (below, right). click to see a super-sized version.

If you want to get you hands on these new improved hankies, they are priced at GB£20 each, or GB£35 for both.
Hat NOT included with any orders!
Email me at 
and I can send you full details.

Monday 31 May 2010

Bonhams auction - 23rd June 2010

When I was at the last Bonhams auction, one of the auctioneers made mention of a further sale in June, where Doctor Who items would be available.

I think I was expecting another full-on sale of ex-BBC items, but what it appears to be is a general Memorabilia sale, with a hand full of Who related lots.

There are seventeen items in total, and you need to real carefully what they are. The repeated use of the phrase “built for exhibition purposes” is a bit disappointing.

I’ll go to the viewing, but I can’t see myself bidding on anything.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:

Here are just the lots relating to the Seventh Doctor era
Lot No: 137
A replica costume created for exhibition purposes, the costume comprising head and hand pieces of moulded plastic and foam latex, the headpiece in the form of a fly with protruding teeth, with tuxedo jacket and matching trousers, of black wool, a white waffle shirt, a blue velvet bow tie, grey socks and pair of slip on grey shoes, on mannequin and base, height 60 inches

Estimate: £250 - 350
Sold for £540

The head and hand pieces were cast from the original screen used costume, and this piece was created by the effects workshop.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Cameo Auction - 23rd May 2010

We seem to have had a number of sales of costumes form the Angels Costumier vaults, and yet another is planned for today, Sunday 23rd May 2010 at Cameo Fine Art Auctioneers in Midgham, Berkshire.

There are a good 230 plus items on offer, from a wide variety of productions such as Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Fifth Element, the Star Wars prequels and  number of the Bond films.

Hidden in there are half a dozen lots from Doctor Who dating back as far as 1964, but here are just the ones covering the Seventh Doctor’s era.

Lot 146
Battlefield, 1989.
A Blue shimmering full length dress worn by Jean Marsh as Morgaine.
Estimate: £400 - 500

Lot 148
Delta and the Bannermen, 1987. 
A yellow striped holiday camp style jacket unnamed.
Estimate: £150 - 200

While search back though some old autions of the Cameo website, I came across a sale in March 2010 which I didn’t know about!

Again, here are just the ones from the Seventh Doctor era.

Lot 139
Doctor Who Time and the Rani 1987
A Camera script for specific shots in the episode and seven Doctor Who annuals and The Dalek Pocket Book.

Estimate: £50-80
Lot 219
An entertaining space costume worn by Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor.

Estimate: £400-500
Lot 244
Doctor Who The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 1988
A Gypsy style skirt used in the episode.

Estimate: £350-400
Lot 291
Doctor Who 1987. Delta and the Bannermen
Jacket used by the Holiday Camp usher's

Estimate: £200-300

Lot 293
Doctor Who The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 1988
A Distressed Faux Leather Jacket detailed used in the episode.

Estimate: £250-350

Saturday 8 May 2010

The REAL McCoy

Since I first started doing the replica Seven Hatband Hankies, I discovered the different versions used, which to be honest I was not aware of (call myself a Doctor Who fan?)

From what I gather, the production department of Doctor Who purchased up to twenty of the red paisley hankies used during Sylvester’s first and second season (see right).

For his third (and final) series his costume was revised, with a chocolate jacket (instead of beige), and a complimenting brown hanky around his panama hat to replace the existing red one.

Fewer brown hankies were bought, so they are quite rare and hard to find.
On top of this they were not simple colourway of the existing red ones, but were a segment cut from a much bigger (probably) scarf.

Luckily I recently managed to get access to one of screen-used panama hats, with a rare brown hanky around it (see left).

I was able to get some top quality scans, from which I can create a replica. I also got my hands on a red one too (see above), and also scanned this with the intention of revising my artwork for this at the same time.
Shown above is a reconstruction of the full-sized scarf. The top right corner is the only screen-used part.
Great as it has been to finally get to see the real thing, it has given me a number of dilemmas I need to overcome before I can produce a usable replica.

The quarter segment I have has frayed edges on the outside (top and right in the picture above) and has a surged (overlocked) edge on the others (bottom and left in the picture above).

On top of this, the square this creates is actually not big enough to actually tie around the hat. The screen-used panama hat I obtained has the brown hanky attached with double-sided sellotape, with the tips of the hanky barely touching each other (see left).
When the hanky was remove from the hat, a lot of care was needed to clean off the residual glue left behind by the tape.

I want to make something that is practical, but yet as accurate as I can make it, but on this occasion I think I need to go a little off-pisté to make it work.

My plan is to make the hanky to the same dimensions as the red ones I have been doing as these have worked perfectly for the buyers that have them. However, I do not want to simply enlarge the artwork I have, as this will not look ‘right’. What I will do instead is recreate the rest of the scarf as if I was the wardrobe department at the time, then from it crop a larger area to make the finished hanky.
Shown above is a demonstration of the new crop I will make, repeating the available design to make it big enough.
Here is how I did it.

Firstly I scanned the hanky in large chunks (see left), as I do not have access to a scanner which can do it in one piece.

It is always very difficult to scan fabric without it stretching and skewing, so I have a clever little technique to correct for the inaccuracles that will enevitably be hinherant in the scan.

If you cast your mind back to when I did the original artwork for the Red Hanky, I reconstructed the full design by making up a eighth of it and repeating it (see right).

This is the basic method I will use again, though this time around with a little more thought.

I then montage the scans together to make up the design. I only need to worry about doing a triangle-shaped area, so the bit missing at the bottom will not matter (see left).

I then turn this group of layers into a Smart Object and cut a pin-accurate clipping mask around it to the correct shape (see right).

I can then duplicate this Smart Object layer and rotate or flip it as needed to complete the full design of the scarf, though most of it falls off the pasteboard area of the image (see left).

The clever part of doing it this way, is that when I double-click on any of the Smart Object layers, Photoshop opens up the layer group I created at the start and I can then adjust my retouching for in misalignments (see right). Then when I save this down, because each of the segments was duplicated from the one original layer, ALL the copies of it update automatically, hence a minor tweak will cascade throughout the artwork.

Once this is all done and I’m happy with the result, I can then start colour testing the image with Spoonflower.
I have already done a couple of these tests, and am now pretty happy with the results.

The only fly in the ointment came when I was ready to order my first run of these new hankies. Up until now I have been using a bamboo-cotton mix fabric, which has a silky texture and a very fluid drape, so was just about right for the hankies. Annoyingly this has now been discontinued by Spoonflower’s supplier, so is not available. Drat!

The have, however, brought on board a new material as a sort of replacement, which is called Cotton Lawn.
It is half the weight and apparently has a gauzy (semi transparent) quality to it. To start with I was a little skeptical about it, but having received a sample, I find it is almost a better match to the screen-used props anyway! Which is a result.

So I have now ordered a sheet of red and brown hankies – all to new, super-clear screen-accurate designs!

Check back real soon to see how they have come out – and how to get your hands on one for yourself!!

Thursday 22 April 2010

Just wanna give you a heads-up about a great new website that has just been launched by a couple of friends of  mine. basically does exactly what it says in the tin, except it is more costumes than props, covering the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors.

There is a host of fantastic items to see from Romana’s Pink Frock coat as seen in Destiny Of The Daleks (see below, left); to an original Six Frock Coat in all its glory, plus pretty much the rest of Colin Baker’s entire Who wardrobe (see below, centre); to Ace’s badge covered jacket (see below, top right) and McCoy’s panama hat, complete with Hatband Hanky (see below, bottom right).

It’s well worth taking a look, and checking back regularly as I know there are plans to add more items as they come to light.
A big thanks to Chris and John for sharing their
stunning collection of original Doctor Who costumes
with the rest of us!

Saturday 20 March 2010

Time Quest 2 - episode two

This entry is the fourth part of my write-up regarding the Time Quest 2 event held on the 12th to 14th March 2010.
The full story can be read across the following entries:

You can also read Bob Mitsch’s review of his trip:

Yesterday was great fun, and it was good to finally meet some online friends as well as the guests at the event.

This morning kicks off with two of the Doctors: Sylvester McCoy doing his stage talk; and Peter Davison doing his photocall.
Since the photocalls are relatively quick – plus having a Gold Ticket, it means I get to queue-jump in front of any Silver or Standard ticket holders, I opt for this first.

Peter is a charming guy, and very pleasant to meet (see right).

I then quickly nip into the stage talk, to discover a bit of a shock. It’s not quite the stage talk I was expecting. To my surprise Sylvester is in a mobility scooter as he has a hip injury (see left), and rather than being ON the stage he is driving his scooter up and down the aisles taking questions from the audience.

It soon developed in controlled chaos as Sylvester returned to the front down the side aisle, running over everyones toes as he went! He was a weapon!

Story-wise he was enormously entertaining, recalling Dimensions In Time as Don’t Mention In Time, as he hated it! Except for working with Louise Jameison – he couldn’t work out why, while putting on a lecherous expression . . .

He also remembered his time working on the Movie with Paul McGann, telling us that they are the same height, but they put Paul on a box to make his taller for the iconic photocall (see left).
He also told of how he liked the costume they gave him – without the question-mark pullover which he thought was ‘obvious’. Ironic really since he revealed the question-mark umbrella had been his idea!

The similarities between his current predicament and Davros were not missed on him either. He was a good sport!

Working Sylvester hard, he was then straight into the photocall (see right).

But I must say that Bob had enormous fun at the photocalls, and his picture with Sylvester is way better than mine! (see below).
By the way, Bob’s hat is sporting a screen-used red hanky . . .

Yet again, the photocall with The Doctor (Sylvester) clashed with another Doctor on stage, this time Colin Baker (see left). His style is much dryer than the rest, and although entertaining is more grounded and factual.

After a bit of a break it was time for Janet Fielding to take to the stage again, this time with Peter Davison as her foil.
I say it this way round, since she was such good value for money. She clearly knew her stuff and everything that happened during her time on the show, but she shows it little reverence or respect! And she shows Peter even less so!

A highlight of the talk was when an audience member brought up the subject of Matthew Waterhouse and his up-coming memoirs, which met with derision on stage. The pair of them had stories to tell of Matthew and his in-experience of acting, and how he gave acting lessons to Richard Todd (an actor of some 50-years at the time) during Kinda.

They also recalled how Matthew saw himself as the ‘senior’ member of the cast! The was a reason: since he had joined the show before any of his co-stars.

Janet was constantly ribbing Peter – mainly because he was a man! Her constant inferred insults by suggesting other guest stars were really great actors was not missed on Peter!

We then all queued up for the Colin Baker photocall. It was during this that the stand-out moment of the weekend occurred.
Bob was in full Six costume, and a couple of other cosplayers in Doctor costumes were closeby in the queue. A passing attendee spotted the perfect photo and asked for them to pose (see left). At that very moment Colin Baker passed by en route to the photocall, and spotted the camera and set-up. He cheesily beamed a wide smile and Bob grabbed him to be in the photo. What no-one noticed was that Sylvester, still in his mobility scooter, was in the background using the stair-lift and was peeking over the edge at them. He then raised his hat and beamed an equally comical smile!
I so want to see that picture!

So, Colin eventually reached the photoshoot room and the queue started moving. When my moment came to step next to Colin, he recognised my costume and made a nice comment about it.

The photocall continued with a chance for anyone who missed Janet Fielding the previous day.

During all this Michael Jayston had started his stage talk, which was more of a traditional format with an interviewer asking questions and leading the conversation.

Michael Jayston has had a long and distinguished career on tv, having done a lot of classical drama, as well as Doctor Who (playing the Valeyard in The Trial Of A Time Lord season).

He is also very well known for doing voice-over work for commercials, and the interviewer had a special request for him to say “Gold, from St. Ivel”, the tag-line to a long running campaign (see left).

Michael was very modest about his voice, but recognised that it had been an asset to him, recalling the long list of audio books he has recorded, including P. D. James and John le Carré.

There then followed a nice long lunch break before the days group photocall (see below).

All in all it has been a fantastic weekend: meeting new friends; putting faces to online friends; meeting so many Doctors; autographs; photocalls – and all in just a couple of days!