Good old Doctor Who, everyone’s favorite Time Lord!
(Yes, we’re aware that her name is The Doctor, but sometimes it’s fun to annoy pedants.)
The BBC has shared an official look at Jodie Whittaker’s new outfit for when she steps into the brown ankle boots of the Doctor this coming Christmas. While we probably won’t get the chance to see the Doctor in this get-up until 2018, when the show’s eleventh modern season will begin.
Let’s just say, right from the start, that the Thirteenth Doctor is going to look awesome.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) November 9, 2017
Not since David Tennant was first photographed wearing his trademark striped suit and Converses has a Doctor’s initial costume photo looked so instantly perfect. Jodie Whittaker’s outfit screams retro chic, looking for all the world like it could have easily been the clothes worn by a forgotten Time Lord in the Seventies.
The Doctor isn’t the only character in the show to be reverting to a classic look. The Tardis, too has regenerated to look a little more like its previous incarnations, gaining a bit of wear and tear after the shiny, glossy finish and pristine stickers it sported during the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi eras.
With both of these looks, the BBC’s picture is hoping to communicate a sense of nostalgia and familiarity for older fans. The show, the photo seems to promise, is embracing its classic heritage, and bringing back long forgotten quirks that have been removed in more modern incarnations of the show.
New showrunner Chris Chibnall does seem eager to return to an older formula for the show. He’s said that he’d like to have a long-running narrative arc, rather than single one-off adventures, making Doctor Who feel more like it did back in the old days.
All of this appeal to nostalgia is also, no doubt, an attempt to placate those hardcore fans who might oppose the Doctor’s new gender. For anyone who may think that, for some strange reason, the Doctor can’t be a woman, at least she’s wearing an outfit that brings to mind previous adventures from back when a color television was a luxury.
It’s easy to get over-excited and read too much into this outfit, so let’s not jump to conclusions about what kind of episodes we’ll be getting in the new season.
One thing is certain, though: the BBC is leaning hard into the classic Doctor Who visual aesthetic, and that can only be a good thing for lapsed fans of the show who’ve got tired of a lot of the modern kookiness that the series has picked up over the past few years.