(Reboot) Doctor Who Historical Costumes, Part IV


It’s been a long, strange trip through Earth’s history with Doctors Nine, Ten, and Eleven as we looked at the historical costuming in episodes with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith. Now we have a brand-new Doctor Who, #12, Peter Capaldi, with barely one season under his belt. He hasn’t spent too much time mucking around in our history, but he did give us a nice start. Let’s take a look…

Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor Who Historical Episodes

Starting off with a bang in “Deep Breath,” the newly regenerated Doctor, along with the same-old Clara, burst into Victorian London, by way of the TARDIS being spit out of a dinosaur (it’s not supposed to make sense). Apparently, this is now is happy place, because he went here after Amy and Rory died and now with post-regeneration syndrome, the Doctor returns to chill out with the Paternoster Gang.

All of the major players get costume changes in this ep, making it a pretty sweet kickoff for both this Doctor and for Doctor Who historical episodes in this era, I hope. Madame Vastra is seen in a dark paisley and black outfit with the same long jet necklaces she’s worn before, and toward the end of the ep, she’s wearing a teagown of dark velvet printed with green palm fronds (a nod to her reptilian nature?), trimmed in velvet ribbon and appliques. Jenny is not actually seen in her usual maid’s uniform this time; instead, she starts bundled up in a cloak over something tailored, plus a nice hat. Later she’s seen in a very fitted waistcoat, shirt, tie, and skirt. Plus she’s shown in naught but her corset and chemise when Vastra is “painting” her. Rawr. Clara starts and ends in modern clothes, but in between she wears a green velvet 1880s bustle gown, and her hair is in an attractive period style.

The third Capaldi episode, “Robot of Sherwood,” isn’t truly a historical one, and the Doctor tries to point this out to Clara. Robin Hood is just a legend. But they land in some kind of medieval-ish England-like place with a character calling himself Robin Hood. Yeah, he and his merry men turn out to be robots playing at a sort of giant Society for Creative Anachronism in the sky. The costumes are stock Robin Hood, probably made-over from that BBC series.

“Mummy on the Orient Express” isn’t a true Doctor Who historical episode either, but it does feature some spiffy historical costumes. The setting is a spaceship holographically designed to look like the Orient Express, and many passengers dress in 1920s outfits. Our friend Loren of The Costumer’s Closet pointed out the Clara wears a dress made by Leluxe called “the Vamp,” and this exact style of dress has been used in other TV shows. Perhaps other of the gowns shown in this ep were from that same line, although where did they get the adorable vintage-style PJs Maisie wears? Also, props to the hair and makeup stylists, they did an excellent job giving a ’20s look to this episode.

Of course, this was just the beginning. Who knows what the future holds for heading into the past!

Don’t miss the Frock Flicks Guide to (Reboot) Doctor Who Historicals, Part I, with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, Frock Flicks Guide to (Reboot) Doctor Who Historicals, Part II, with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, and Frock Flicks Guide to (Reboot) Doctor Who Historicals, Part III, with Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor,


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

2 Responses

  1. Jean Martin

    I love Peter Capaldi :) Clara had some fun with historical costumes during this time. But her modern outfits seem more iconic. The Paternoster Gang are always fun to see.

  2. Alexa

    Done a DW marathon and had to come here for a costume recap. Can we hope for part V feturing Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor? There’s been few historical ones already with some pretty okay visuals