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Published on May 25th, 2011 | by Patrick Riley

The Tweed Dilemma

Are you “furious” about Matt Smith’s Series 6 jacket change?  The Harris Tweed authority sure is, if The Daily Record, “Best for Scottish News and Sport” is anything to go by.

The departure of the Series 5 genuine Harris jacket in favour of a 20% acrylic Chinese wannabe* reportedly caused Angus MacNeil, MP Western Isles, to throw a temper tantrum:

“I’m appalled and outraged. What the BBC are doing is stealing Scotland’s heritage. It is a kick in the teeth to one of our most iconic industries.”

MacNeil has promised to send an angry letter to BBC director general Mark Thompson.  What he and The Daily Record, which demonstrated a perfect example of one-sided reporting when it called the Beeb “greedy,” don’t understand is that the corporation had nought to do with the jacket switch.  Matt Smith has been saying since promotion for his first season that in the middle of a winter filming schedule, authentic Harris tweed doesn’t do a very good job of keeping him warm.

Nonetheless, naysayers will cry that the BBC made Matt say that to cover up a diabolical advertising scheme, and there’s good evidence to back up that claim.  As we reported recently, the BBC currently has a deal going with a Canadian designer to manufacture and sell “officially licenced” Eleventh Doctor jackets to eager (and wealthy) Whovians for a whopping £309.99 (The Daily Record incorrectly claims the price to be £360)!  It’s certainly an income source the broadcasting giant couldn’t have had if they had remained with last year’s Harris model.

Whether the final decision was truly made by Matt Smith and the Doctor Who production crew or its parent company is anyone’s guess; either way, remember to grab some salt anytime you fancy a trip to a tabloidy website such as The Daily Record.

*We’ve since learned that the current jacket is not, in fact Chinese, but Saville Row.


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

2 Responses to The Tweed Dilemma

  1. avatar 23skidoo says:

    You have to admit, when Doctor Who gets in trouble these days, it does so in original ways. Last year it was the tempest in a TARDIS over people misunderstanding Eleven’s “I’m not ginger!” remark. Before that people got uptight over the “Evil angels” in Voyage of the Damned (though funny they didn’t seem to care about the truly evil Weeping Angels). Oh and I remember the use of “spooning” in “Dalek” got people up in arms (who I guess were too stunned to notice the first-ever (and to date only) use of the far stronger word Godd*** in the same episode).

    Doctor Who isn’t about product placement. 99% of those who can actually afford tweed coats will default to Harris tweed without any coaching from Doctor Who. And anyway, if I recall correctly the BBC doesn’t allow product placement anyway, so odds are someone would probably have mandated Eleven’s coat be changed anyway once the whole Harris thing became popular. Same would happen if we found the fez was made by the East Birmingham Fez Factory or whatever.

    • Going off on a tangent, I know, but I am madly in love with the BBC’s anti-product-placement rules… It’s a huge percentage of why Doctor Who is so much better than any American drama!

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