blue & suit

Twelve for Twelve: July 20

Continuing my contributions to the Thank You, Peter Capaldi project.

July 20: Twelve’s Style

“I was hoping for minimalism, but I think I came up with magician.”

As far as I know there were only two Doctors that underwent a massive change of dress style during their time: the Eighth Doctor (though that’s a bit of a cheat since we only saw him twice on screen, 17 ½ years apart) and Twelve. While the other Doctors stayed pretty much consistent, just changing the bells, whistles and cuffs from time to time (Eccleston, Davison and Colin Baker pretty much never changed at all, at least on screen, while Tennant just alternated between brown and blue suits most of the time with the occasional tux tossed in for variety), Twelve went from a rather tight-laced, stiff-collared look to a relaxed, “aging-rocker” look, with a brief stop-off to revisit a bit of Jon Pertwee’s style with the red velvet, my personal favourite look of his.

As with many things, I credit Clara for this evolution. As the two became closer, and as he began to grow into his own (new) skin, Twelve began to relax. I got the feeling he started to dress - and act - younger because of her influence, a desire to be more like her, to a degree, or to be more appealing to her (even if this wasn’t conscious). Ironically, in Series 9, as the Doctor dressed more and more casual, we saw Clara begin to dress in some respects more like the Doctor, with the outfit she wears in the Zygon story being particularly Doctor-like. Even the media noticed this when they covered the location filming and although Bonnie sidetracked things, imagine her going on an adventure dressed to kick butt like that! Him in his red velvet and her in her black leather - I mean talk about an attractive couple (sorry, not sorry - and they were regardless. Just look at how perfect they fit together with him in the red velvet and her grey outfit from the Raven Trilogy). My theory goes both ways - the Doctor wanting to be more appealing to Clara, and Clara wanting to be more like the Doctor, whether in unintentional fulfillment of the Hybrid prophecy or to deepen her own connection to him.

So why, then, did the Twelve suddenly adopt the red velvet near the end of Series 9? He’d been casual for so long, dressing young for Clara’s benefit - why go all formal all of a sudden? The answer, I think, is in Hell Bent; Clara says outright that she liked the outfit. In fact, despite her having just been rescued from certain death and seeing the Doctor shoot the General, the outfit made enough of an impression for her to ask about it (even above asking things like “How did you get back to Gallifrey?”). And it symbolized him being the Doctor to her to the extent that a) its absence made her instincts kick in that all was not right with the Doctor and b) she gave him another one (or retrieved the one he’d left behind on Gallifrey) and gave it to him as part of her final farewell. The Doctor knew this, and so we continued to wear it for a while afterwards, possibly as a reminder of Clara’s “Run you clever   boy   and be a Doctor” message. Before that, he wore it because he knew Clara liked it. Is it possible he saw Rigsy as a potential rival (remembering we saw Clara giving him a bit of eye in Flatline)? The impression I got was Rigsy’s baby came as a surprise to the two of them, so it may not have been needed. But he might still have dressed up to impress Clara. After all, she clearly didn’t want him marrying a sentient plant thing…

I must confess I wasn’t a huge fan of the casual look at the time of original broadcast. I was quite happy to see the red velvet coat replace the jumpers. Until I realized how it symbolized his desire to appear younger for Clara, recalling the underlying subplot of Series 8 regarding the Doctor’s apparent age and his competing with Danny. Proof of concept for this theory for me is the fact he returned to the casual look in Series 10 in order to better identify with his students and Bill. The red velvet would not have worked - plus there was no need to impress Bill in the same way he wanted to impress Clara.

What kinds of fish do YOU think best represent Fishblr?

Suggest as many as you’d like, I’m going to do a poll later to narrow it down to top 3.

Edit: I know bettas will come up a lot, but bonus points if you’re a little more specific? They vary an awful lot, so left to my own devices I’ll probably just pick the fin types I like best (HMPK) in probably one of the common solid colors (red or blue) which may not suit everyone’s idea of the fishblr representative betta?