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Published on February 3rd, 2014 | by Drew Boynton

Five Reactions To Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who Look

Does he look smart and cool or has he turned into a fool?  The debates and battles have raged (OK, maybe not “raged”…) online and in fandom in the days since the Twelfth Doctor’s look was unveiled, with what seems to be a mostly favorable reaction.

The BBC’s News Magazine Monitor page collected some of the more notable comments and put them together under five basic headings: No messing about, One step beyond, All grown up, Behind the Sofa, and Cutting a dash.  Just from the titles, a person can sense where the reactions are headed.

Fan and Who-author Jenny Colgan liked the new costume and said  that Capaldi’s look is “cool, subtle, not giving too much away”.

Empire Magazine‘s James White compared the look to Jon Pertwee and thinks some scary stories might lie ahead because of  the Third Doctor’s “vaguely gothic” look  “with all the Hammer Horror overtones that suggests”.

The only fairly negative comment came from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy‘s Julian Bennett, who ended with, “It looks like a man having a midlife crisis and trying to relive his youth.”  But for someone who is 1200 years old, when exactly would a midlife crisis hit them?

The best part of the article, for me, is the comparison of the Twelfth Doctor’s new suit to the look of famed eccentric film director David Lynch (Dune, Twin Peaks).  The dark jacket and buttoned up white dress shirt somehow seem cooler now… even without the Lynchian sunglasses or dangling cigarette.

Do the Doctor’s clothes have an effect on how you personally enjoy the stories?  Would you be able to enjoy the upcoming eighth series if Peter Capaldi had decided that a return to the Sixth Doctor’s outfit would have been best?



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About the Author


Drew has been a fan of Doctor Who ever since he flipped through the channels late one night and saw a girl blowing up an army of funny robot men with nothing but a slingshot and some old coins. He currently lives somewhere in the woods of Missouri with his beautiful wife Barbara.

10 Responses to Five Reactions To Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who Look

  1. avatar ShadowOmega says:

    It’s a more subdued look to be sure…he probably would’ve looked better carrying on the Victorian Matt Smith look with a couple changes… But a fairly major editorial critique on the article: after the three century-spanning The Time of the Doctor, the Doctor isn’t around 1200 anymore… More like 1500 years old.

    • The Doctor’s age has been a complete inconsistency since it was first mentioned.

      According to the Third Doctor, he’s “thousands” of years old. So a matter of 300 years is hardly canon-busting!

    • avatar TimeChaser says:

      Actually it was just 300 years til Clara came back the first time. The total time spent on Trenzalore was more like 900 years, so he’s in the 2000s by now.

      • avatar drewboynton says:

        I still like to think of him as being a young and spry 1200, I guess. :)

  2. avatar DonnaM says:

    Mercifully it seems Capaldi has far too much sense to inflict the monstrosity forced upon poor Colin Baker upon us; and so do the powers that be!

    I love the simplicity of the look – it’s pared down from the extravagances of the Classic series yet still as a feel of them, it’s totally un-gimmicky but it’ll still be distinctive whatever setting the Doctor finds himself in. Most importantly, it’s the man wearing the clothes, not the clothes wearing the man!

    Also there’s a built-in opportunity to adapt as time goes on – change the colour of the cardigan or coat lining and it’s still recognisably the Doctor’s outfit, just subtly tweaked.

  3. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I quite like it. I’ve warmed up to it more since the first viewing. I like its simplicity and darkness, with that flash of the red coat lining. Capaldi to me looks like a Classic version of what Eccleston did, stripped down with no gimmicks.

  4. avatar Rick714 says:

    Yeah, Smith was already 1500 when Clara came back the first time and then. When he ditched her a second time, he was there for an undisclosed amount of time but it looked to be at least another 300 years. Now, if I’m trying to think like The Moff as to what age he was at the very end, I’d say it’s down to two ages. either:

    A) it was another 300 years making him 1800, in which case, Moffat could say this “his” incarnation of the Doctor lived as long as all the others put together! or…

    B) Moff went for the big 2000, having that last stretch be closer to another 500 years and really, he was preeeeeetty old at the end.

  5. avatar Jamie-42 says:

    I don’t think that the clothes have a great impact on my enjoyment of the stories, although I do like this look.

    What does strike me is the possiblility of…pockets! That was always a classic era signature that has not always been present up till now. I am hoping for a return.

    As far as his age is concerned…who really cares. The Doctor is the Doctor no matter what age he claims to be.

  6. avatar Ranger says:

    It’s a look that’s been growing on me the more I see it. I like it. Though the trousers do seem to be a bit too baggy and long in the leg, in contrast to the clean look of the upper body. I can’t believe I’m criticising the Doctor’s trousers. I feel such a perv.

  7. avatar STLShawn says:

    what about the bloodshot eyes? are those gonna stay?

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