Doctor Who: The 10 Best Alternate Doctor Costumes | Screen Rant

The Doctors in Doctor Who are one of the most iconic characters within popular culture, but they'd be nothing without their costumes. The clothes that the legendary Time Lord chooses to wear form a big part of their incarnation's identities, revealing a great deal about their individual personalities.

RELATED: Doctor Who: 5 Best Doctor Costumes (& 5 Worst)

While the Doctors all tend to have their own signature style, each incarnation has also been known to wear a variety of different costumes over their time in the TARDIS. Sometimes these alternate looks are better than their main attire, unveiling new aspects of television's greatest hero.

  • The First Doctor was played by William Hartnell in 1963-1966
  • He appeared in 144 episodes throughout the series' run

The first incarnation of the Time Lord traditionally dresses like an Edwardian gentleman, with his tweed waistcoat and blue ribbon tie conveying the presence of a man outside of time. William Hartnell's Doctor is a more stubborn and irritable take on the character than audiences are used to today, which is reflected in his more formal attire.

One of his greatest costume choices however comes in the serial "The Reign Of Terror," a serial that transports the Doctor and his companions back to the French Revolution. In this story, the Doctor can be seen sporting a flamboyant black hat and a rather militaristic navy jacket, with France's national colors wrapped around his body. It's a bold and striking appearance, which perfectly evokes the historical setting.

  • The Third Doctor was played by Jon Pertwee
  • He played the Doctor for five seasons (1970-1974)

The Pertwee era of Doctor Who is known for its more action-packed approach, and a major factor behind this punchier tone is Jon Pertwee's portrayal of the lead role. With his dashing velvet cape and fancy frock coat, Pertwee's Doctor cuts a James Bond-esque appearance. He's a man of action, ready to protect the Earth from all manners of extra-terrestrial threats.

RELATED: Doctor Who's Doctor’s Best Outfits, Ranked

A particularly memorable alternate costume can be found in 1973's "The Green Death". In this story, the Doctor dresses as a cleaning lady in order to go undercover at Global Chemicals. His flowery blue dress and wrinkled old head wrap are hilarious to witness, and delivers a more comedic side to this otherwise more stern incarnation.

  • The Fourth Doctor was played by Tom Baker
  • He holds the longest tenure of any Doctor: 7 seasons (1974 - 1981)

Considered the most likable Doctor, Tom Baker's incarnation is responsible for arguably the legendary Time Lord's most iconic appearance. The combination of a floppy hat and ridiculously long scarf has become engrained in popular culture, with many viewers believing it to be the definitive Doctor costume.

For Tom Baker's final season, producer John Nathan Turner decided to update the actor's classic look. Season 18 features the Fourth Doctor wearing a darker and more burgundy variation of his attire. It's a bold decision by the producer which ultimately pays off, as Tom Baker's more muted colors reflect his Doctor's more somber personality throughout the 18th season.

  • The Sixth Doctor was played by Colin Baker
  • He played the role for 31 episodes, 3 seasons (1984 - 1986)

Doctor Who's most abrasive Time Lord is Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor, and his bolshy personality is reflected in his clothing choices. His main look sees him dressed in a particularly colorful set of garments, comprised of a multicolored jacket and red checkered tie. This bright and vibrant choice of clothing conveys the image of a more unpredictable incarnation than viewers are used to.

RELATED: Doctor Who's Master’s Best Outfits, Ranked

For "Trial Of A Time Lord's" third serial, entitled "Trial of a Time Lord," Colin Baker sports a more toned-down appearance. His costume change consists of a striped purple waistcoat and a starred yellow tie, which is much easier on the eye. Baker's new outfit is striking and dynamic, and captures the audience's attention immediately.

  • The Seventh Doctor was played by Sylvester McCoy
  • He played the role for 42 episodes, 3 seasons (1987 - 1989)

Portrayed by Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor is perhaps the incarnation who went on the biggest journey across his run on television. Starting off as a more clownish figure, his original attire sees him dressed in a cream white jacket and a sweatshirt covered in question marks. His clothing displays a more outgoing personality and a man who is often viewed as a fool by his long line of enemies.

For Season 26 his costume takes a much darker tone. Here, McCoy dons a gloomy brown jacket and a dim purple tie, which conveys a more enigmatic presence for this Doctor. The result is a version of the Seventh Doctor who demonstrates more gravitas, and who embodies the more mysterious aspects of the legendary Time Lord.

  • The Seventh Doctor was played by Paul McGann

Despite being the Doctor for only one television movie and minisode, Paul McGann's Doctor is fondly remembered by fans. His most iconic costume takes an Edwardian appearance reminiscent of William Hartnell's Doctor. His velvet green frock coat and light brown waistcoat convey a more romantic feel to this dashing adventurer.

RELATED: Doctor Who's Clara's 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Outfits

His best costume though arguably comes in the form of his outfit for "Night of the Doctor". Steven Moffat's minisode combines the old-fashioned aspects of McGann's original costume with a more combative approach, dressing this incarnation in a magnificent green long coat and a pair of sturdy brown boots. The costume choices perfectly convey this Doctor's current timeline here, as he finds himself in the midst of the Time War.

  • The Seventh Doctor was played by David Tennant
  • He played the role for 47 episodes, 3 seasons (2005 - 2010)

One of Doctor Who's most popular Doctors is easily David Tennant, with many considering him to be the best Doctor to date. Usually seen sporting a long brown coat and a trendy pinstriped suit, David Tennant is one of the Time Lord's best-dressed incarnations to date. His costume also changes on a frequent basis throughout his era, with Tennant having undertaken many different looks.

A particular fan favorite appears in the Series Three two-parter "Human Nature/Family Of Blood". In this story, the Doctor turns himself human through the use of the Chameleon Arch, and adopts the identity "John Smith". John makes drastically different clothing choices to the Doctor, adopting a grey suit and tie ensemble, complete with a mortarboard cap. The costume change fits the narrative perfectly, helping communicate to viewers how the Doctor's Time Lord self is no longer present.

  • The Seventh Doctor was played by Matt Smith
  • He's the youngest actor to play the Doctor so far
  • He played the role for 39 episodes, 3 seasons (2010 - 2013)

Normally the Doctor's dress style is distinctly uncool, but the Eleventh Doctor is responsible for inspiring many fans' clothing choices. Matt Smith is the major driving force behind his incarnation's attire. The actor's decision to wear a tweed jacket, a bow tie, and a fez has led to a notable resurgence in these otherwise eccentric garments.

Matt Smith's Doctor has also delivered many other unforgettable costumed pieces, however. The most notable alternate Doctor costume comes in "The Snowmen," a story that features one of the Eleventh Doctor's saddest moments. Smith's appearance here consists of a large purple hat, complete with a matching long coat and bowtie, which evokes a "Willy Wonka" aesthetic perfect for this incarnation.

  • The Twelfth Doctor was played by Peter Capaldi
  • He played the role for 35 episodes, 3 seasons (2014 - 2017)

The Twelfth Doctor is not only responsible for many funny memes fans will love, but he has also provided some of Doctor Who's greatest costumes. This Doctor's main look, which Peter Capaldi describes as "100% rebel Time Lord," consists of a white shirt and navy blue magician's coat. The coat's striking red lining swooshes behind the actor as he chases down corridors, infusing the sci-fi series with a fast energy.

Capaldi's Doctor is perhaps best known for his "rock star" image, however, as featured in "The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar." In this two-part adventure, the Doctor is seen wearing a black zip-up hoodie and pinstriped trousers reminiscent of Patrick Troughton's Doctor. It's a somewhat basic approach for the Doctor's outfit, but it works superbly, reflecting the midlife crisis this incarnation is experiencing in the series opener.

  • The Seventh Doctor is by Jodie Whittaker
  • She has played the role for 22 episodes, two seasons (2018 - present)

The most current incarnation to date, Jodie Whittaker's Doctor has a rather unique attire. Her most prominent costume is comprised of a dashing light blue coat, a bright rainbow shirt, and some snazzy blue trousers. Jodie's vibrant appearance creates an iconic image, which lingers in the minds of television audiences.

Her greatest costume, however, comes in her outfit for Series 12's opening two-parter "Spyfall." The narrative sees Jodie Whittaker donning a glamorous black tuxedo and stylish bowtie, as the Doctor and her friends are sent to investigate Daniel Barton by MI6. It's a smart and sophisticated image for this incarnation, which flawlessly captures the story's James Bond aesthetics.

NEXT: 10 Hidden Details You Didn't Know About Doctor Who's Costumes



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