Sunday 30 January 2011

James Acheson -
Dressing Doctor Who

I had a nice surprise through my letterbox today: my copy of the Jon Pertwee story The Mutants on DVD (see right).
It is officially not out until Monday, so it was a bonus to get it a couple of days early.

I know it’s a Third Doctor release, but of considerable interest to Fourth Doctor fans is a 20 minute featurette talking to James Acheson. The Mutants was the first time he worked on the series, but of note he would later go on to design Tom Baker’s costume for Robot.

He talks at length about his work on The Three Doctors and dressing not only Jon Pertwee, but also William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton; about devising a suitable costume for Elizabeth Sladen on her inital outing as Sarah Jane in The Time Warriror; about perpex bowler hats for Carnival Of Monsters; building Giant Robots; creating the Zygons; going on wild goose chases for period costumes for The Masque Of Mandragora; before becoming disillusioned with his work on The Deadly Assassin.

Also seen in passing is a fantastic sketch of Tom Baker’s The Doctor (see right). It was unclear if it was the original costume design – I don’t think it was. He explained how the scarf’s length came about by accident and how later designers put Tom in longer coats, both of which are in this drawing but not in James’ screen-used costume.

After leaving Doctor Who, James went onto considerable success in Hollywood, designing the costume for Spider-Man, and has landed himself awards and accolades for tis work, including a coverted oscar!

If you want to hear what he had to say in full, I recommend buying the DVD!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! Nifty to hear him talk about his work on the show. Can't wait to see it. I have my Copy on pre-order (Region 1)