Monday, July 29, 2013

Doctor Who Sontaran costumes through the ages on display...

The time and space traveling Doctor has faced his fare share of alien races over his fifty year run, everything from Daleks to Cybermen, Autons to Ice WarriorsThe Weeping Angels to The Silence, but here's a closer look at the race of clone troopers, The Sontarans (Doctor Who's very own Mr. Potato Head), across the years.

Original Sontaran costumes and make-up from Doctor Who
Doctor Who Sontaran costumes 1973 - 2008
Original Sontaran costumes Doctor Who
These three versions of Sontarans from 1973, 1985 and 2008 were photographed on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay, Wales on May 20, 2013.

The Sontarans are a brutal race of humanoid clone warriors, bred for one purpose, war. They have a distinctive dome-shaped head, stocky build (due to the denser gravity on their home planet of 'Sontar') and only three fingers on each hand. They were created for the BBC sci-fi series by writer Robert Holmes and first appeared in the 1973 serial 'The Time Warrior'.

Sontaran from Doctor Who (1973)
Sontaran Commander Linx Doctor Who 1973
Sontaran Commander Linx Doctor Who Time Warrior 1973
Sontaran weapons utility belt Doctor Who 1973
Doctor Who Sontaran Commander Linx
Here's the refurbished original costume worn by Kevin Lindsay as 'Commander Linx' of the Fifth Sontaran Battle Group. In this Third Doctor adventure we are introduced to this Sontaran who has crash-landed his spacecraft in the Middle Ages (along with meeting new Who Companion 'Sarah Jane Smith' for the first time).
Sontaran from Doctor Who (1985)
Sontaran Group Marshal Stike costume Doctor Who 1985
Sontaran Group Marshal Stike Doctor Who 1985 The Two Doctors
Sontaran Group Marshal Stike weapon Doctor Who
Sontaran Stike Doctor Who
In 1985 the schemes of the Sontarans brought together the Second and Sixth Doctors in the aptly titled serial, 'The Two Doctors'. This is the original costume worn by Clinton Greyn as 'Group Marshal Stike', who is leader of a squad of Sontarans hoping to steal the secret of the time travel from the Time Lords, in order to wage war across all time and space, by dissecting the Doctor's brain.

Sontaran from Doctor Who (2008)
Sontaran General Staal costume Doctor Who 2008
General Staal costume Doctor Who 2008 Sontaran Stratagem
Sontaran General Staal costume Doctor Who 2008
In the modern day series revival of Doctor Who, the Sontarans were re-introduced in 2008 to do battle against the Tenth Doctor in 'The Sontaran Stratagem'. Christopher Ryan wore this Sontaran suit as 'General Staal (The Undefeated)' in a plot to transform the atmosphere of Earth, poisoning all human life in the process, in order to turn the world into a Sontaran clone-factory.

If you like this alien race, be sure to also check out the Doctor's classic arch-foes, the Daleks through the ages, plus The Ice Warriors now and then.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Giant K-1 Robot and Melkur statue from Tom Baker's Doctor Who era...

Over the past few blog entries I've tended to concentrate more on the costumes worn by the Eleven Doctors, but for the next few days I plan to showcase some of the outlandish aliens, monsters and fantastical creatures that delighted me so much growing up watching Doctor Who in Britain.

Original K-1 Robot and Melkur statue from Doctor Who
K1 Robot Doctor Who 1974
This K-1 Robot was a bit before my time (although for a self-confessed sci-fi nerd any robot is cool in my book), whilst I certainly remember this Melkur statue, both from the Tom Baker era. These fantastic original props were photographed on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay, Wales on May 20, 2013.

Refurbished original K-1: The Giant Robot (1974)
Original K1 Robot Doctor Who
K1 Robot Doctor Who 1974
Doctor Who K1 Robot
Doctor Who K1 Robot
K-1 Robot Doctor Who 1974
The Experimental Prototype Robot K-1 was built by the eccentric 'Professor J.P. Kettlewell' of Think Tank and the Doctor and his Companions 'Sarah Jane Smith' and 'Harry Sullivan' encountered this giant metal creation in the 1974 serial 'Robot', written by the infamous sci-fi writer Terrance Dicks.

It was notably the first episode to feature the Fourth Doctor after his regeneration in Planet of the Spiders. The plot saw K-1 reprogrammed by rogue scientists from its prime directive to help humanity and also saw this robot made of 'living metal' become obsessed with Sarah Jane Smith after she had been the first to ever show it kindness.

If you like this classic robot, be sure to also check out these cool cyborg Daleks from Doctor Who across the ages.

Refurbished original Melkur statue prop 
from The Keeper of Traken (1981)
Keeper of Traken Melkur statue Doctor who
Melkur statue Doctor Who
Melkur statue Doctor Who 1981
Meanwhile 1981's Keeper of Traken serial featured this Melkur statue.

In Trakenite culture corrupted creatures were rendered immobile and stone-like by the planet's peaceful atmosphere, upon his arrival the Doctor discovered this calcified statue was very much alive and was in fact the evil Time Lord, 'The Master's'TARDIS in disguise using its functioning chameleon circuitry.

If you're fan of the Fourth Doctor's adventures, be sure to take a closer look at Tom Baker's iconic Doctor Who costume on display.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ninth through Eleventh Doctor Who costumes on display...

After a sixteen year absence missing from episodic television since its cancellation in 1989 (not counting the one-off TV movie in 1996), a new Doctor Who materialised on British screens on March 26, 2005, brought back to life by self-confessed Whovian Russell T. Davies and played by the enigmatic (and NorthernChristopher Eccleston.

The many looks of Doctor Who
Doctor Who Eighth Ninth Tenth costumes
Doctor Who costume exhibit
Matt Smith 11th Doctor Who TARDIS
Eighth through Tenth Doctor Who outfits
Here's a closer look at the outfits worn by the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay, Wales on May 20, 2013.

Yes, in 2005 the time and space traveling alien 'Doctor' was back with his iconic blue police box time machine, the TARDIS, and making all kinds of new friends, but most importantly his new Companion 'Rose Tyler', played by former teenage pop star, Billie Piper.

With every regeneration The Doctor takes on a new physical form and new personality, plus he chooses new attire to complete and reflect his new appearance.

Replica of the costume worn by Christopher Eccleston
as The Ninth Doctor (2005)
Christopher Eccleston Ninth Doctor Who costume
Ninth Doctor Who costume
Christopher Eccleston 9th Doctor Who costume
Rather cleverly for his TV revival, the BBC decided to make his outfit probably the least costumey it had ever been, wearing what some people would describe as modern, normal clothes. The black jacket and sweater really was a good decision, as it wouldn't scare off those casual viewers who thought Doctor Who was too sci-fi or kiddie from them, plus it allowed this Doctor's eccentric personality to shine through and stand out even more.

A survivor of the Last Great Time War, the last of his kind of Gallifreyan Time Lords, he was haunted by these terrible events, at times serious, but also capable of a cheeky grin and quirky sense of humour.

As well as re-introducing the world to the compelling space/time traveler, Christopher Eccleston also spent the least amount of time as the Doctor in an episodic series, just one season and then he was gone (not counting Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor in the TV movie). Personally I'm glad his tenure was so short-lived, as his departure ushered in a new Golden Age of Doctor Who with the arrival of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

Sonic Screwdriver used by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors
Ninth Tenth Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver
In the first season finale, The Parting of the Ways, to prevent the Time Vortex from killing Rose after their battle with the Dalek Emperor, the Ninth Doctor absorbed the temporal energy into himself, which triggered his regeneration into his next incarnation.

Original costume worn by David Tennant
as The Tenth Doctor (2005-2010)
David Tennant Tenth Doctor Who costume
Tenth Doctor Who costume
David Tennant 10th Doctor Who costume
This version of the 900-year-old Time Lord was filled with much more enthusiasm and charm than his predecessor, but he also possessed a vengeful and unforgiving streak too.

David Tennant's slim and foxy Tenth Doctor sported a four-buttoned pin-striped suit, shirt and tie, plus a light brown faux-suede coat (a treasured possession given to him by iconic singer Janis Joplin), finished off by different pairs of trainers/sneakers depending on the colour of his suit. The longer overcoat certainly helped evoke the looks of Doctors past.

As well as continuing to travel with Rose Tyler, his other notable Companions included medical student 'Martha Jones' and the outspoken 'Runaway Bride' Donna Noble (quite possibly my favourite pairing).

Tenth Doctor pyjama and dressing gown costume 
from The Christmas Invasion
Doctor Who TARDIS
Doctor Who Christmas Invasion costume
Tenth Doctor Who Christmas Invasion pyjamas robe
Also on display in addition to his signature look, were the dressing gown and pyjamas (the clothes belonged to a male friend of Rose's mum) that he wore whilst recovering from his premature regeneration in the 2005 Christmas Day special.

Original costume worn by Matt Smith
as The Eleventh Doctor (2010-2013)
Matt Smith Eleventh Doctor Who costume
Finally, here's a waxwork and the costume worn by the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, with his signature tweed jacket and bow-tie (although this incarnation is also partial to a fez or cowboy hat).

Be sure to check out more detail about the Eleventh Doctor Who and his Companions costumes in my earlier post.

Recent events have called into question the numbering of these last three Doctors (when did John Hurt's Doctor exist?), plus with Matt Smith leaving the series in the 2013 Christmas Special, we'll soon be treated to an entirely new Time Lord once again.

Sonic Screwdriver and Sonic Cane props used by the Eleventh Doctor
Eleventh Doctor Who Sonic Cane prop
Eleventh Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver prop
Plus here's the Eleventh Doctor's trusty Sonic Screwdriver, which was supplied when the TARDIS regenerated at the start of the fifth season of the revival Doctor Who series, plus a Sonic Cane that the Time Lord uses in the 2011 episode, Let's Kill Hitler, to complement his top hat and tails.

If you're a fan of the 50-year-old show, be sure to also check out the First through Fourth Doctor Who outfits, plus Fifth through Eighth Doctor Who costumes, plus much more cool vehicles, props and monsters from the Doctor Who Experience.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fifth through Eighth Doctor costumes from Doctor Who on display...

With every regeneration the alien 'Doctor' from Doctor Who not only finds himself in a new body, but he also possesses a slightly different personality, and more often than not his choice of clothes reflects this new persona.

Original Doctor Who costumes on display
Doctor Who costume exhibit
Fifth Sixth Seventh Doctor Who costumes
Yesterday I shared with you the costumes worn by the First through Fourth Doctor on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay on May 20, 2013, and today it's the turn of the Fifth through Eighth Doctors, which were seen on screen from 1981 to 1989 and then again in the U.S. TV special from 1996.

Here's where things get more personal for me as these are the Doctor Who episodes I remember watching the most when I was growing up in the 80's, plus following Tom Baker's iconic never-ending scarf worn by his Fourth Doctor, the next incarnations of the Doctor's attire became even more costumey in appearance.

Original costume worn by Peter Davison
as The Fifth Doctor (1981-1984)
Original Peter Davison Fifth Doctor Who costume
Fifth Doctor Who costume
Peter Davison Fifth Doctor Who costume
5th Doctor Who costume
Peter Davison Fifth Doctor Who costume
What a hard act to follow Peter Davison had when he became the Fifth Doctor, after a much beloved seven season stint by Tom Baker, but fortunately this very different Time Lord was already familiar to the British public through his role as vet 'Triston Farnon' in the BBC drama series, All Creatures Great and Small.

This revitalised Doctor appeared physically younger and more athletic than his predecessors, always running from place to place. With a passion for cricket, this fresh-faced Doctor who was endlessly curious and more vulnerable, wore the lighter garb of an Edwardian cricketer, with a quirky stick of celery for this buttonhole. Plus notice the irreverent question mark detail on his shirt collar, which had first been added to Tom Baker's attire in 1980.

The three Companions I most remember during his three year stint were 'Tegan', 'Nyssa' and 'Adric', mainly because of Adric's shocking death in a crash involving a Cyberman-controlled freighter in the serial 'Earthshock'. His death deeply affected the Gallifreyan and his friends (and me viewing at home), and Adric is the last word that the Fifth Doctor says before regenerating into the Sixth Doctor.

And if I'm honest, Peter Davison was my favourite original series Doctor.

Original Sonic Screwdriver used by the Fourth and Fifth Doctor
Fourth Fifth Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver prop
In addition to his original costume his handy technological marvel, the Sonic Screwdriver, was also on display, which was used by both Fourth and Fifth Doctors until it was destroyed by an alien Terileptil in 1982's 'The Visitation'.

Refurbished original costume worn by Colin Baker
as The Sixth Doctor (1984-1986)
Colin Baker Sixth Doctor Who costume
Patchwork Sixth Doctor Who costume
Sixth Doctor Who costume cravat
Sixth Doctor Who costume cat brooch
Sixth Doctor Who costume teddy bear buttons
Colin Baker Sixth Doctor Who costume
Poor Colin Baker, although he's not related to the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, you can't help but feel he was compared to the other actor. The Sixth Doctor first appeared at the end of the final episode of 'The Caves of Androzani' and I have to say he's my least popular Doctor (along with his whiney Companion 'Peri').

This incarnation of the infamous Time Lord is probably one of the most divisive amongst fans, from his brightly-coloured, childlike patchwork costume to his arrogant and explosive personality. Overall, I didn't think he was particularly likeable, although it has to be noted that during this time the powers-that-be at the BBC weren't particularly supportive of the long-running sci-fi show.

His outfit is just such a riot of colour and fabrics, with childish teddybear buttons and cat pin, that it's really hard to take seriously and does make it look like the costume belongs firmly in the land of children's television.

Original costume worn by Sylvester McCoy
as The Seventh Doctor (1987-1989)
Sylvester McCoy Seventh Doctor Who costume
Seventh Doctor Who costume
7th Doctor Who costume
Original Sylvester McCoy Seventh Doctor Who costume
Moving swiftly along to another of my favourite regenerations and the far more likeable Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor.

Initially this incarnation appeared to be more of a comedic 'nutty professor', but we soon learned that this demeanor merely hid a more enigmatic, mysterious and secretive side than we'd previously seen. Plus even though he abhorred violence, he proved to be a persuasive and devious manipulator.

Even though the Seventh Doctor's costume was much less of a costume than his predecessor, his sweater still retained a a nod to the show's 'Doctor Who' title, being covered in question marks, plus he also sported an umbrella with a question mark handle.

I was also a fan of his plucky teenage traveling Companion 'Ace' and her cool explosives, although I was pleased to say goodbye to Bonnie Langford's annoying 'Mel Bush' holdover from the Sixth Doctor era.

Sadly this incarnation of the Doctor marked the end of the twenty-six year old show, which was cancelled in December 1989. But this was not the last we'd see of the Seventh Doctor, as he popped up for a special cameo at the start of the American TV movie in 1996, in a slightly refined outfit, when he was gunned down in the middle of a gang shoot-out, causing him to regenerate.

Replica of the costume worn by Paul McGann
as The Eighth Doctor (1996)
Paul McGann Eighth Doctor Who costume
Eighth Doctor Who costume
Eighth Doctor Who TV movie costume
Eighth Doctor Who costume
He only appeared in one movie-length adventure, but Paul McGann made an enormous impact as the Eighth Doctor in 1996, as this was the first Doctor Who TV story viewers had been able to enjoy in seven years.

This version of the time and space traveler was much more adventurous and hands-on than previous incarnations, and he clad himself in a much more romantic 19th century frock coat and shirt and conveyed that man-out-of-time persona.

On this adventure he teamed up with 'Dr. Grace Holloway' (and even uncharacteristically kissed her) to stop his arch-nemesis and fellow Time Lord, 'The Master' from destroying Earth.

Sadly this one-off movie event didn't spawn a new on-going series and we were made to wait another nine years for Doctor Who to be revived in the hands of Russell T. Davis.

Sonic Screwdriver used by the Seventh and Eighth Doctors
Doctor Who TV movie Sonic Screwdriver
Also on display with his costume was this homage to the classic Sonic Screwdriver gadget from the TV movie, which had been absent from television screens for around fourteen years.

If you like these outfits worn by the enigmatic Doctor, be sure to also check out more original props, costumes and monsters from Doctor Who on display at this fantastic ever-changing exhibit.