Doctor Who: Russell T. Davies Explains David Tennant’s Clothes


**SPOILER ALERT! This article contains spoilers for the Doctor Who special, The Power of the Doctor! **

The special final for Jodie Whittaker‘s Doctor aired just a few weeks ago and ended with a surprising regeneration in an actor we’ve seen in the role before – a former doctor, David Tennant.

While we knew that Tennant was returning to the series, his regeneration nonetheless surprised many fans, and not just because he introduced himself as the 14th Doctor. For most of Doctor Who, when the Time Lord regenerated, their clothes remained the same. In Doctor’s powerhowever, Whittaker’s ensemble transformed into a new outfit for Tennant, the first time this has happened since the First Doctor (William Hartnell) regenerated into the Second (Patrick Troughton).

In an interview at Doctor Who magazine (Going through Radio Times), showrunner Russell T. Davies shared that it was still his plan for The Doctor to get new clothes during the regeneration process.

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“I was very certain that I didn’t want David to appear in Jodie’s costume,” he said. “I think the notion of men dressing in ‘women’s clothing’, the notion of drag, is very tricky. I’m a big fan of this culture and its dignity, it’s really a precious thing. But it has to be done with immense thought and respect. As far as Jodie and her doctor are concerned, I think it might look like mockery when a straight man wears her clothes. Putting on a fat four-foot Scottish- twenty in it, it’s like we’re taking the mickey.”

Davies, it seems, wanted nothing Doctor Who taken out of context and used by those who want to “weaponize” the moment to poke fun at queer culture. “If they can play with the genre in a sarcastic or critical way, they will,” he said. “We could have the Doctor dressed as a knight, or dressed as a God, or dressed as William Hartnell, and the only photo they would feel would be of David in what they considered to be women’s clothing.”

Davies’ actual consideration of changing clothes during regeneration could also impact the story – it’s clear something went wrong when Whittaker’s 13th Doctor turned into Tennant. The clothes changing into a different outfit than what Tennant wore as the 10th Doctor, no less, could be a hint of what lies ahead when Tennant and the the next doctor already announced, Ncuti Gatwa, come back? We will have to wait until next year to find out when Doctor Who drops three new specials on Disney+.

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