Peter Capaldi had a significant amount of input into his Doctor Who outfit, according to the show’s lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat.
The showrunner was talking exclusively to SFX about the latest series, and revealed that Capaldi had some very definite ideas on what he wanted his costume to be like:
“He wanted to be quite stark. Stark and skinny. A stick-insect sort of thing. Clara actually calls him a grey-haired stick-insect at one point. We had some hilarious pictures of Peter just dressing up. It was all coming from him because he’s really into his clothes. I didn’t feel qualified to go and chat too much about it. Certainly the costume didn’t go anywhere until I shut up. The thing I’ve learned about showrunning is you need to know the bits you’re bad at!”
Despite his hands-off approach to the overall decision-making process, Moffat did have a few requirements on how a Doctor should look:
“I’ve got certain things that I’ll say – I don’t want anything in that costume that I have to write into the script. I don’t want people saying ‘But why are you dressed as a circus clown?’ I want him to walk into a pub, a restaurant, a space conference, an army base and nobody stares at him.”
The newest Doctor’s darker outfit did raise a few concerns when filming, particularly for one episode:
“There was an issue simply because it’s quite dark as a costume and it’s a show that largely takes place in a tunnel. I kept saying ‘We are going to be able to see him, aren’t we?’ I suppose the red lining helps, when the flaps are open.”
Moffat also said that, despite the Twelfth Doctor’s now trademark look, the character will be mixing it up on screen in the new series:
“I think there’s always something a little bit formal about the Doctor. Oddly enough in this series, for whatever reason, he seems to be wearing different outfits far more often than the Doctor normally does. He’s got his basic outfit but he’s in a spacesuit in one of them, and he’s a caretaker in another one and then he’s all dressed up in a later episode. He does vary it a bit. And he mixes up the basic costume, hugely. We’ve tended to see the white shirt version in public but actually the one I like best is when he wears the jumper under his coat. I think he looks like a submarine commander, like an old sailor or something. It makes him all rugged and handsome!”
For more of Steven Moffat’s thoughts on the upcoming series check out SFX Issue 251, which is currently on sale with a choice of five collectible Doctor Who covers.
Peter Capaldi’s Doctor – and his new costume – will arrive on our screens in the feature-length episode Deep Breath, which airs worldwide on Saturday 23rd August.