For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to take an easy, laid-back trip through Time and Space during with some quick peeks at one or two costume props for each of The Doctor’s incarnations from Doctor Who.
Third Doctor At a Glance:
The Third Doctor, portrayed by Jon Pertwee, appeared 1970 to 1974, and was a true outlaw. Having been exiled to Earth by the Time Lords, he worked as a scientific adviser for UNIT, a group he met in his second incarnation.
Most of this Doctor’s reign was spent on circa 1970s Earth, something which seemed to frustrate him to no end. He did manage to find some willing companions, however, including UNIT scientist Liz Shaw, and journalist Sarah Jane Smith. This companion, portrayed by Elisabeth Sladen, became the longest-running companion for the Doctor Who series, worked on adventures with the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. She later had her own spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The Third Doctor’s character certainly looked the part of a swinging 1970s Earth man. He was proper, dapper and cunning, with a keen mind for gadgets and could be more of a diplomat than other incarnations. Since he and his TARDIS were Earthbound for much of his tenure, he enjoyed cars, especially his yellow roadster. He also possessed the practical..and pretty awesome…skill of Venusian Aikido, a form of Karate. His look was very tailored…and a bit frilly. He wore velvet smoking jackets, ruffled shirts and Dickensian cloaks, a much more urbane appearance than the first two doctors.
Props to Look For: Vintage Smoking Jacket and Cloak
The Third Doctor’s smoking jackets rivaled anything Hugh Hefner or other swinging males of the 70s might don, and he had them in different colors. One of the most popular was his red jacket. Smoking jackets, were certainly a “men’s club” type of item, and gentlemen wore them with they were in their smoking lounges to prevent the smell of smoke from getting on their regular clothing. Over the years, they became the fashionable look of affluence and leisure. There are still several men’s clothiers who sell both vintage and modern jackets. Gentleman’s Emporium has some vintage style velvet jackets for around $129.95 that could pass well for Third Doctor’s look. Vintage jackets can be found all over eBay, as well as at vintage and used clothing stores for much less, some as cheap as $20. However, some designs will run well over $200, and even up to nearly $1,000.
His cloak, was of the Dickensian era (called an Inverness Cloak), which is the layered look often associated with Sherlock Holmes or Jack The Ripper. The custom cloak to the one The Third Doctor wore can be seen on Twin Roses Designs, whose custom designs often run around $300. A similar one is also found on Gentleman’s Emporium (with red lining), for $109.
For the cosplayer on a budget, a plain old black costume cloak can be lined with purple satin, and cut to resemble The Doctor’s. These are available on costume sites for as cheap as $12, depending on the design.
Bonus prop…The Third Doctor’s Tattoo!
Although there was a running joke among The Doctor’s other incarnations that the Third Doctor was a bit of a “dandy” in those cross-over Doctor specials (he was even called “Fancy Pants”), actor Jon Pertwee was certainly no metrosexual. Pertwee served in the Royal Navy, and revealed in and interview two years before his death at age 76, he served as a secret agent during the Second World War. As a former sailor, Pertwee’s tattoo of a serpant can be seen in some episodes of the show, which Whovian lore soon incorporated to be the the mark of an exiled. The tattoo, conveniently enough, would disappear when exile had ended.
A close design can be found on Shutterstock available with basic signup (about $29 for two images). This could be printed out on temporary tattoo paper to complete the cosplay. I’ve also included this simple printable design we drew up, as well, if you don’t feel like spending any money for a clip art image. It isn’t exact, but it’s typical of that type of tattoo design. We recommend using it as a basis to modify to your liking. There are several free similar clip art designs available online, as well.
Don’t worry, even though the Third Doctor may have been tough enough to take over the world, he was still a Time Lord, and said in the episode The Colony in Space, “I want to see the universe, not to rule it.” Thank goodness for that.