Dr. Who Through the Years

All images via The British Broadcasting Corporation

We’re getting pretty excited for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special! A television cult classic and the longest-running science-fiction T.V. show in the world, for the past 50 years the Doctor has been adventuring through space and time in his TARDIS (that’s short for Time and Relative Dimension in Space… or a time machine for the uninitiated), battling sinister aliens with his wits and sonic screwdriver, and keeping history on the right track with the assistance of a varied cast of supporting characters. Of course, a 50-year running T.V. show is bound to experience some changes. To date, there have been eleven different actors who have taken on the prestigious role of the Doctor, with each transition written into the plot as a ‘regeneration’ of sorts.

My sweetie is taking me to see the anniversary special in 3D when it airs on November 23rd, so naturally I’ve been brushing up on the past 50 years. While watching some of the older episodes, I couldn’t help but appreciate how each of the Doctor’s incarnations has a distinct look to go along with his individual personality. So, with this momentous anniversary nearly here, what better time to explore the varied style choices of the first eleven Doctors?


When the series began in 1963, the First Doctor (above) sported a dark blazer, and checked pants, accessorizing with a long silk scarf and a twisted cane.



The Second Doctor, who took over in 1966, had a slightly scruffier sensibility, with his of-the-times mop top, oversize coat, and stovepipe hat. His checked pants have evolved into an equally-oversize plaid pair, which extend to meet a pair of sensible boots.



Debuting in 1970, the Third Doctor was the first to be broadcast in color, at which point his wardrobe transformed into a rainbow of velvet smoking jackets, fantastic frilled shirts, and shimmering satin capes.



The Fourth Doctor is arguably one of the most recognizable, especially in the U.S. Clad in an iconic, miles-long striped scarf, a wide brimmed hat, cravat, and a frock coat, this Doctor had a far more earth-toned appearance when compared to the last. His episodes started airing in 1974, and were my introduction to the series, since they played on my local PBS station on Saturday nights, right after Red Dwarf.



The Fifth Doctor took over in 1981, and his look went from 70s earth tones to early-80s cricket-club-chic. His fifth incarnation favored a sporty look modeled after an Edwardian cricketer’s outfit, which included a white sweater, tan frock coat, striped pants, and a pair of plimsoll shoes.



The Fifth Doctor regenerated to the Sixth Doctor in 1984, and his outfit was certainly the most colorful of the bunch, sporting a patchwork frock coat, yellow pants, and multi-colored ties.



In 1987, the Seventh Doctor’s ensemble was a bit more toned down in plaid tweed pants, a cream hat and coat, and question mark sweater.


The Eighth Doctor starred in a 1996 movie and once again reverted back to a more formal look with his long back coat, cravat, and matching waistcoat.



For the series relaunch in 2005, the Ninth Doctor — who is my personal favorite — turned far more modern, donning jeans and a battered black leather jacket.



The Tenth Doctor — and arguably the most popular — took over later in 2005 and chose an eclectic look, including a pinstriped four-button suit, brown overcoat, and sneakers.



The Eleventh Doctor, who is the most recent, debuted in 2010. He enthusiastically embraced the classic bow tie, along with a tweed jacket, and some cool hats, including a fez and a Stetson.

dr who all

The Twelfth Doctor will be regenerating soon, and I’m pretty excited to see what items he adds to The Doctor’s wardrobe. And while you’re waiting for The Day of the Doctor, be sure to check out ModCloth’s selection of Doctor Who items right here! — By Jamie, Customer Care Advocate

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  1. Vicky 11/21/2013 at 10:41 am #

    Refreshing to see something so interesting and entertaining on the marketing blog. Love the photos and fashion trend nod…

  2. cutiecameras 11/21/2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I am so excited for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special! I am a HUGE fan and am very excited to see what they do. I also love David Tennant and am happy he will be back.

  3. Abby 11/21/2013 at 2:23 pm #

    I am SO EXCITED for the 50th Anniversary!! I am such a massive fan of the show. I can’t wait to see Rose and Ten back in action. Let’s hope it’ll be around another 50 years!!

  4. Victoria / Justice Pirate 11/22/2013 at 6:59 am #

    I grew up watching this show and got made fun of because no one ever heard of it at all in the US, but my brothers and I were obsessed with it and my eldest brother had all the released episodes that weren’t lost taped on VHS tapes that we’d watch over and over again. When the new series started up again in 2005, we were so excited, and people still had no idea about it. I am really glad to hear that people are learning more about the classic doctors that I grew to adore so much!!!!! It is nice that you posted about the classic doctors, because I don’t believe many younger people or possibly newer fans appreciate or understand how amazing the show always has been. There are LOADS of amazing fashions throughout every series by the way. The 8th doctor’s movie was terrible! What a let down that was for me when it came out. I’m kinda bummed out that the one picture of Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor) that you have isn’t even with one of his companions (Ace being his main one, who is my second favorite companion of all time – I used to make people call me Ace in the early 90s). Romana II is my favorite companion (4th Doctor’s time, as Tom Baker is my favorite doctor) and she had the coolest outfits (then again I could list you loads of companions that had amazing wardrobe choices).

  5. Milady 12/02/2013 at 2:38 pm #

    i mean the 10th

    • Milady 12/02/2013 at 2:38 pm #

      The 10th doctor is the best doctor in all of the doctor who history!

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