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4th Doctor cosplay

Started by russellsuthern, Apr 10, 2018, 12:22 pm

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Apr 10, 2018, 12:22 pm Last Edit: Apr 22, 2018, 08:03 pm by Scarfwearer

Hi all,

Hope you are well & your builds are coming along nicely.

I have decided to start a thread showcasing my Tom Baker costumes.
I'm going to go season by season, showing the major looks, not every tiny variation, but there'll be a few surprises too along the way!
As a 50 year old man, Tom is MY Doctor & my hero. I couldn't think of doing anyone else.  :)

I admire the guys who manage 100% accuracy, but... I'm not that guy. I do my best, but actually I like a costume to look a bit different, as it gives a sense of individuality. (That's my excuse & I'm sticking to it!)

I'm not too sure how much new stuff I can bring to the party, after all, Tom is probably the most cosplayed Doctor of all, but hopefully one or two of you might find some things of interest. At the very least it will be a nice historical document showing how my cosplay has developed, especially as I am hoping to keep adding to the thread as my costumes evolve & I get more stuff.

After all, the whole fun of cosplay is showing your efforts as is, then upgrading as you go. After all, if everyone waiting until their costumes were perfect before showcasing them, the conventions would be very boring indeed!!

The thread will mostly be showcase, but the will be some how-to-do tutorials for my customized items, but I thought I'd keep it all in one thread for simplicity sake.

Before I start, there are three guys I'd like to name check as being really instrumental in my research.
You've probably heard of them before, but they definitely deserve recognition for their sterling efforts:

1)  Steve Ricks.
This guy tailors awesome Dr Who coats, but in his blog he also has a very detailed breakdown of all of Tom's costumes through the 7 years he was in the role.
It's a detailed masterwork.

2) Honorary Doctor (aka: Bob Mitsch.)
This guy does loads of cosplay, but his Dr Who stuff is amazing, with his season 12 look absolutely outstanding.
His breakdowns are great, with some great tips on sourcing stuff.

3) Whovian Chaser.
This guy does Cosplay videos on Youtube.
His 4th Doctor vids are awesome. They have some really good tips on how to get "the look!"

All these guys are well worth checking out.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to getting started.
The next part will probably be ready to put up over the weekend, so....

get ready for:

PART 2.    SEASON 12.  ;D

Coming soon!

All the best for now,



Apr 13, 2018, 02:11 pm #1 Last Edit: Apr 13, 2018, 02:13 pm by russellsuthern
PART 2.....   SEASON 12

baker s12 5.jpg

The season 12 look was not originally my favourite because I thought it looked a bit scruffy.
However, since attempting to cosplay it, it has grown on me.
Probably because I can wear it out & about. It must be the thrifty Scot in me. If I'm going to buy a costume, I want to wear it more than once or twice a year at a convention!
In fact, I often wear it out without the scarf & no one bats an eye. It's only when I put the scarf on that people start commenting, "Hey, Doctor!" Which proves that the general public have no idea what Tom wore beyond the scarf & hat.

Anyway, on to the breakdown:

(It does get more exciting- promise!)


Tom wore brown derby wingtip shoes. For most cosplayers any brown brogues will do...

In fact any shoe that doesn't look too modern, black or brown will do.
Most cosplayers opt for brown or tan socks, but any plain coloured socks will do, but they must look plain & timeless, so the Bart Simpson socks need to stay in the drawer!


Tom wore flecked grey tweed trousers.
Tweed itches my skin, (I have very baby soft skin... ::))
So I do what most cosplayers do, which is hit the charity shop & buy any gray slacks, or suit trousers.
Cheap & they do the job just fine.
I also wear grey cords, as I find them very comfy. Not 100% accurate, but they look fine actually:

When I'm out & about, I often mix & match, sometimes wearing light or dark brown trousers, which look good & make a nice change.
You can get some great bargains in the charity shop.
I found some designer Santinelli trousers which would have been over £100 & cost me £5. :D
Tom wore braces with his trousers, but I just stick to a plain brown leather belt.


Tom wore a simple white shirt with a checked design.
A simple white shirt would probably do, as It's covered by lots of other stuff, but the checked shirts are fairly easy to find in charity shops.
These are mine:

The first is probably the most accurate, the second is a lovely subtle yellow stripe & the third is a very nice vintage blue & brown check pattern.


Tom wore a brown/yellow argyle diamond cardigan.

baker s 12 2.jpg

You can see in the picture above that it has sleeves much lighter than the main body of the jumper. This has led some to speculate that it was a custom job with the costume dept sewing the sleeves on. Why they would bother to go to that trouble I don't know, but I guess we'll never know the truth.
Anyway, here's mine:


This is a top commonly found on Ebay & you see a lot of cosplayers using it. Some add sleeves, but I'm not going to bother..
They don't get seen & it gets hot at those conventions!

Anyway folks, that's all for this segment.
Next time I'm going to look at the neckerchief. :)

Best regards,



I don't know if any of Bob Mitsch's neckerchiefs are left, but I made the pattern for him. I can share that if you want to print your own at Spoonflower or elsewhere.

I've never seen one of the vintage off-the-rack ones or even properly identified it. Based on similar patterns, however, it's almost certainly a Vera Neumann design or fashion copycat. We based the dimensions on the many diagonal ended pieces she did. Here's a little evidence.


Rassilons Rod

I have a neckerchief from Bob :)

I also have a season 13 waistcoat. Unfortunately this is about 2 sizes too big :/
In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.


The first Tom Baker costume has grown on me too.  Growing up with 1980s Dr. Who, I'm kind of conditioned to the thought that a proper Doctor MUST have some kind of long coat.  But if you look at the first 4, the closest you get is Patrick Troughton's.  Pertwee had sharp smoking jackets and while Hartnell's is long by modern standards (and has odd design elements like a shawl collar and no breast pocket) I'm forced to agree that it is more a lounge coat than a frock coat.

Anyway, as you mention, the "Robot" era look could easily pass for an eccentric college professor of that era--for instance Donald Sutherland's character in "Animal House"--except for the scarf and (to a degree) the hat.  Heck, if there hadn't been the purported miscommunication that resulted in the long scarf, even the scarf would be fairly ordinary. 

This comes back to my Indiana Jones costume.  At first I just had ordinary chinos and a safari shirt from Cabela's and until you add the hat and whip (well, and the jacket and bag) you can pass for a janitor or a small town sheriff or something.  But as soon as you put the hat and gunbelt on, you're clearly Indy.  It's like taking off your glasses to become Superman.  That said, I did have a place that was doing very nice, very affordable screen accurate Indy apparel so I got their shirt and trousers and I've got to say, while I didn't like the shirt much at first (the lapels are kind of odd), I put it all on for a picture last year and liked how it looked enough to wear it out walking the dog.  And the proper trousers and shirt are much more Indy--you probably couldn't put your finger on it unless you spent as much time looking at the costume as we do on Dr. Who stuff, but there's a definite aura of authority and adventure to the look. 

It would be funny to try that on people when you go out sans scarf and hat--see if you get a more "Doctor" reaction than you ordinarily would, without anyone actually being able to realize why. 

Or I could just be babbling incoherently. 

Oh, yeah, one other detour regarding the scarf and hat--back in the 80s, my favorite aunt borrowed one of these knitting machines that were a brief fad and made me and my brother Doctor scarves.  Not terribly accurate--all the sections are the same width instead of wide ones and narrow ones--and the colors are off, but wearing that with a battered grey crushable felt hat; people recognized it as Dr. Who--even though the rest of the outfit consisted of Nike sneakers, jeans, and a black Member's Only jacket with, probably, a T-shirt underneath. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


I also have notes on the cardigan. It was a pickle to work out the not-really-Argyle. Interestingly, it's not fair isle construction but a 2-sided stranded knit that while done by machine translates to a hand knit just fine.


Apr 14, 2018, 05:51 pm #6 Last Edit: Apr 14, 2018, 05:56 pm by russellsuthern
Hi all,
Thanks for your comments & Lespaceplie for his neckerchief identification.

I'm always up for having a go at bodging something up myself, so here goes:

PART 3....  SEASON 12 (Cont)


Tom wore what looks like a long, thin neckerchief in green & white with an angular black striped pattern:

scarf 0.gif

It is said that it was his own scarf. It is quite difficult to see from the pictures exactly what the pattern is.
I spent a long while looking for something similar to no avail, so decided to try to knock something up myself.
I'm certainly no seamstress, but this is what I came up with.

Firstly I found a large, fine nylon ladies scarf in a charity shop:
scarf 1.jpg

I cut it to what I thought was the approximate shape & size:
scarf 2.jpg

Then I tacked it together & began drawing a design onto the material with a permanent black marker:
scarf 3.jpg

Which ended up looking like this:
scarf 4.jpg

This is it folded into a more "scarflike" shape:
scarf 5.jpg

Tom wore it several ways, sometimes tucked in, sometimes out.
This is me wearing it out:
scarf 6.jpg

And in:
scarf 7.jpg

Not bad for rough job.

Once all the other gubbins is added, I think it'll go together quite nicely.

Thanks for reading.

The next entry will cover the jacket & the hat.

Best regards,



Apr 15, 2018, 09:55 pm #7 Last Edit: Apr 15, 2018, 10:08 pm by galacticprobe
Quote from: russellsuthern on Apr 13, 2018, 02:11 pm

Tom wore flecked grey tweed trousers.

Playing catch-me-up. (Rough weekend. :P)

I love this topic, Russell! You're doing a better job than some of the dedicated costume forums are! One note I'd like to add, if I may, is the name of the tweed you're describing: Donegal Tweed - like the 11th Doctor's primary jacket for Series 5 (only his jacket was a brown Donegal). People looking for such trousers can search eBay for grey Donegal Tweed Trousers/pants (helps to include your waistline to narrow the search, or you'll get everything from the cursed-pirate-in-the-moonlight to the Jabba the Hutt sizes).

I saw a fantastic grey Donegal tweed 3-piece suit - jacket, waistcoat, and trousers - in my size a few years ago for $125 US (when I was really short on money). Not only would this have done well for Tom Baker's Season 12 trousers, but it would also have served for a complete Jeremy Brett 'Sherlock Holmes' suit (seen in full in "The Solitary Cyclist" and other early episodes). All I'd have needed to complete that look was a matching deerstalker hat. So sometimes you can find a bargain that will fill several bills: trousers for the 4th Doctor's Season 12 look; the Jeremy Brett 'Sherlock Holmes' look; or just your ordinary 3-piece suit. (Sometimes eBay can be your friend.)

So for those searching for the tweed, it's a Donegal. (The Harris Tweed is a more checked pattern, like the 11th Doctor's jacket worn in "Victory Of The Daleks", "The Time Of Angels", and "Flesh And Stone" which is the episode where he lost that jacket to an angel's grip.)

Quote from: russellsuthern on Apr 13, 2018, 02:11 pm
Tweed itches my skin, (I have very baby soft skin... ::))

Wool in general makes people itch, unless it's a very soft wool. What works great to stop that is 1) find a pair of lightweight, long-legged cotton Victorian-esque "undergarments" to act as a barrier between the wool and your legs (something I had to do when doing living history and wearing dark blue melton wool trousers... melton... think peacoat; oh, the itch!), or 2) find some of that jacket lining - body or sleeve - and have a tailor sew it into the trousers for you, unless you or someone you know are adept enough to do it yourself. It will also stop the itch, and offer more "breathing" for your legs so you don't get hot.

Anyway, I hope some this is helpful. And keep on, Russell! This is amazing!

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Thanks for you kind words & advice, Dino.

This is one reason I love posting On TB, because I always get positive response & encouragement.

I'm really looking forward to building this thread up over time.
I have a few crazy ideas for future posts, which I hope you'll all get a kick out of. ;)




Apr 17, 2018, 08:55 am #9 Last Edit: Apr 17, 2018, 09:11 am by russellsuthern
Part 4.... SEASON 12 (CONT)


Tom wore a red corduroy hacking jacket.
It's very difficult to find an exact match.
Even the Cosplay sites aren't exact with their copies, but they do offer a fairly good look.
I'm not too worried about hyper accuracy & I'm not too keen on spending too much, so I'm hunting round all the charity/antique/vintage shops.
Any red/rust corduroy jacket with elbow patches will do.
In the meantime I have a standard red jacket, which does not look accurate at all, but once it all goes together, it all works quite well, as I hope you'll see when the finished gallery pics go up.
jacket 1.jpg

This picture also shows the dark brown trousers I sometimes use & my favourite Dr Who T shirt!

It actually looks a bit dark in the above picture. This gives a better idea of the colour:
jacket 2.jpg


Tom wore a brown fedora made by Herbert Johnson.
It has a very large brim & tall crown, which makes it very difficult to find a good match, they just don't make 'em like that anymore!
hat 0.jpg

The two things that struck me when researching Tom's hat was that firstly, every cosplayer has to have the hat as part of their costume, but quite often Tom didn't wear it. In fact, as the years rolled by he wore it less & less, in the last 2 or 3 series he barely wore it at all!

Secondly, everyone refers to it as a "floppy" hat, but it only went floppy after being continually stuffed in Tom's pockets! Early pictures show what looks to me like quite a stiff brim with quite a structured shape to it.

As I said, It's difficult to find a good match. Even the official BBC Tom Baker hat you can buy is really inaccurate, I'm afraid.

Before we go onto my hats, I'd like to reference a chap called Penwiper on PrydonAcademy, who has a fantastic tutorial on how to take any brown felt hat & "bash" it into a good Tom Baker shape. Well worth a look:

I have gone through 4 hats in my quest for a good match:

Hat 1.jpg

Hat 2.jpg

Hat 1 I do like, but it is really inaccurate.
Hat 3.jpg

It's too light & the brim is to small & has the stitched rim which seems standard these days, but which Tom's didn't have.
It originally came with a leather strip around it, so I took that off & put the hatband & bow on myself.
As it has a smaller brim, I may attempt to dye it burgundy & use it with my season 18 gear...

Hat 2:
Hat 4.jpg

I think this hat has a better shape, as the brim is wider, but It's not felt, but some kind of thinly woven straw or grass, like a summer hat.
It's nice & light & doesn't look too bad from a distance. It came without a hatband, so I put one one myself.

Hat 3:
Hat 5.jpg

In my quest for a more accurate hat, I turned to Ebay.
I bought what was described as a cowboy hat style fedora. I liked the colour & the hatband, but the brim was too upturned at the sides.
It really looked like a cowboy hat rather than a fedora, so using penwipers tutorial I tried to bash it into shape, but it turned out a bit of a disaster. It went completely floppy, looking more like a ladies summer hat! Plus, you can clearly see the brim changed colour, going a weird shade of grey/green!
I'm thinking I might try to dye it bottle green & have another go at reshaping it to look like Tom's 2nd hat...

Hat 4:

Eventually I bit the bullet & spent some real money on a fedora from Laird Hatters:

Hat 6.jpg

Hat 7.jpg

It's not perfect, the brim could be wider & the crown taller, but it has good shape, I like the ribbon & the brim does not have a stitched rim, which makes it more accurate. I think I'll be sticking with this one!

That's all for now, next time we'll look at the most iconic part of Tom's wardrobe...

The scarf!

Best regards,



If you're looking to make the impression of the S12 jacket instead of trying for a replica, the autumn/winter season has been absolutely chock full of dark red/burgundy corduroy jackets, though they're mostly of the trucker cut with completely different details. Just go a little oversized to improve the silhouette. Many are still available now, but the season is selling out.

This also falls into a separate but related topic of buying clothes for everyday wear that hint at the Doctor's wardrobe without actually being cosplay. For instance, I often find myself wearing a blocky, burgundy chore coat that reads like a lowly workshop cousin to the hacking jacket.


Apr 17, 2018, 03:23 pm #11 Last Edit: Apr 17, 2018, 03:27 pm by Volpone
Yeah, the jacket would be a bugger.  It's the biggest reason I wrote off the idea of this costume.  At first glance it's just a sportcoat.  But then you realize the pockets are patch pockets, not ones constructed into the coat.  Then there's all kinds of stuff going on in the back, IIRC--vents and belts, etc.  It looks like the kind of thing a younger Hunter S. Thompson might wear.  

As to hats, if I may, the trick is reblocking.  That's a lot simpler and less pretentious than it sounds.  What it gets down to is just soaking the hat with water and then, while it's wet, changing the shape.  

Again with the Indy costume:  The Indy fedora is quite similar to the Doctor's fedora--tall crown, wide brim.  But it's blocked completely differently.  It's got a slight turn-up to the brim in the back, what one writer called a "stovepipe" crown, with a very pronounced pinch to the front.  On top of all that, instead of the more conventional fedora style crown, the indentation on the top is more like the one on a Homburg.  I have a term for it, but it is not shareable here.  ;)  

Anyway, I can't seem to find the one I got, but here's the official licensed value-priced Indy hat:  Compare that with virtually any photo of Indy (particularly in "Raiders...") and you'll see it isn't close at all.  

So I got to work reblocking it.  I completely soaked the hat down and wedged it down onto a galvanized thing Marines used to use in the old days when they starched and ironed their covers--but the roll of roof flashing in my garage or any appropriately sized cylinder will do.  

Once I got rid of as much taper to the crown as I could and got the brim shaped the way I wanted it, I wet it again to redo the front pinch and the "divot" on top.  End result?  


So.  Finally getting to the point.  The Indy hat and the Doctor hat have the same basic hat--but they're blocked completely differently.  The Doctor's hat has what Dino referred to as a "Tom Mix" "bash"--the front of the crown is lower than the back (the Indy hat is the other way).  I've done a 4th Doctor with whatever I've got laying around but the Indy-blocked hat just doesn't work.  I've thought about temporarily reblocking it, but that seems like a lot of work for one picture.  One day I may buy a second inexpensive fedora just to see how well I can do.
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Lespaceplie: Thanks for the advice. Will certainly look into that.

Volpone:  Yes, that is exactly what Penwiper was doing in his tutorial that I posted a link to, although he called it "bashing" rather than "blocking" :)

I tried it, but the results were not great. Probably just need a bit more practice... ::)

BTW:  Your Indy costume looks awesome! ;D

Best regards,



At the risk of hijacking your excellent threat (that's kind of what I do here) I was pleased with how the photo turned out.  And amused.  Because I look so Indy in it--a little ticked off and ready to punch a Nazi.  But really I'm just trying to think if I'm in frame for the 8 second timer, if the whip has slid out of place and if I remembered to put the gloves on.  Which gets to the movie:  When he's walking across the tiles in the temple in the opening and it looks very deliberate, that's mostly the shoes.  The Alden orthopedics Ford wears create a very deliberate 2 phase tiptoe.  Or in the truck chase, where Indy steals the Ark.  Ford is hunched forward, looking very intent.  This is because if you're wearing a wide brimmed fedora in a truck cab, you need to hunch forward or your hat keeps getting banged forward by the seat/truck back wall. 

Anyway, kudos on the outfit.  I'm fascinated that you make "good enough" work.  I did a "good enough" Stargate costume and the Indy costume and decided they could be better and wound up redoing them.  When you said you were going to just do gray trousers instead of a wool tweed or when you did the scarf, my thought was "that's going to look terrible."  But it really works.  Even though your hair is the complete opposite of a 40 year old Tom Baker, and you lack the scarf and other accoutrements in the pic, it looks really really good.  I totally see the look you're going for. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Hijack away!
I have been guilty of doing the same thing myself on occasion...

Thanks for your kind comments.
I did wonder how the neckerchief would turn out, but I wasn't too worried if it all went wrong, after all, it barely cost anything & it was an interesting experiment.
I love the light green colour. I think it really sets off the rest of the ensemble.

Of course, I'm just teasing you with parts of the whole costume at the moment. I'm nearly ready to take some shots of the completed costume, which I hope you'll all enjoy!

And regarding the wig... well, I have taken the plunge & got one!
It looks & feels really odd when I wear it on it's own, but with the rest of the gear it feels really "right"....

Photos coming soon!

Btw: The other half, upon seeing the wig, just rolled her eyes & said in her best Darth Vader voice, "well, your journey into a midlife crisis is now complete..." ;D