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.
Fourth Doctor At a Glance:
The Fourth Doctor was portrayed by Tom Baker from 1974 to 1981, and is still the longest-lasting incarnation of The Doctor. Baker’s Doctor was fresh out of the Third Doctor’s Earth exile and ready to explore. His personality could be unpredictable and offbeat. He could be playful and fun, brooding and series, and very alien and distant.
For most Whovians, no matter who their “favorite” Doctor of classic or modern era, the Fourth Doctor is THE Doctor. Even people with just a passing interest in the show default to an image of Baker when hearing the words “Doctor Who.”
Long-serving companion, Sarah Jane Smith continued into the Fourth Doctor’s reign, with other notables being and alien warrior Leela, Time Lady Romana and the robot dog K-9.
Even after his more than 170 episodes of his regular seven-year run, Bakerwas seen in later episodes, including the celebrated “Day of The Doctor” 50th anniversary special in 2013, as a mysterious curator.
This was The Doctor for the free-spirited 1970s counter-culture. Show creators have implied his Bohemian look was inspired by Herni de Toulouse-Lautrec’s famous painting of friend and nightclub owner Aristide Bruant. The look included wild curly hair, long frock coats, wide brimmed fedora, waistcoat and cravat, and, of course the overly-long striped scarf said to be knitted for him by Madame Nostradamus, whom he called a “witty little knitter.”
Props to Look For: Hat and Coat Pins
The Fourth Doctor’s Hat was a brown wide-brimmed fedora. Two versions available on Amazon include a Costume Hat for $21, and a men’s suede finish hat from Jacobsan’s Hat Company for $6.77 (retail $15). Think Geek also has a replica of the hat worn by Baker for $24.99.
Another Fourth Doctor item, that helped make him standout, but was his occasional lapel pins, including a paint palatte pin he wore in the “City of Death” episode co-written by Douglas Adams, and a set of four goose pins, as seen in “The Power of Kroll” episode.
Artisan-made pin replicas are available on sites like Etsy, but many cosplayers prefer to make their own, either with polymer clay or by cutting out clip art or photo images pasting them on cardboard or another surface. If you don’t want to look for a suitable image, we’ve include a printable set Fourth Doctor-inspired pin images to print out on card stock, and glue on a pin back. Like the Third Doctor’s tattoo, these aren’t identical replicas, but will serve as close substitutes. The palette pin was worn on his right lapel, and the four geese pins were worn with three on left lapel, and one larger one on his right.
What? No scarf?
Not to worry.
The Fourth Doctor’s scarf is, no doubt, the most popular, recognizable, and re-created costume piece from the Fourth Doctor, or any of The Doctor’s incarnations for that matter. With this is mind, it isn’t hard to find an official commercial or artisan-made scarf, as well as sites with patterns to make your own. Commercial scarves can be purchased from Think Geek for $49.99 for a 12’ scarf, BBC Shop and Amazon for around $84 for an Official 13’ scarf and other retailers.
Recently, I’ve even run DIYs in the past on ways to make a Fourth Doctor Scarf without having to knit or crochet. There is a link to a scarf pattern on these posts, for those looking to knit their own.
If you want to get the look completely right, there are many sources who have turned becoming The Fourth Doctor into an art form. There is a Fourth Doctor Costume blogspot from one cosplayer who, although doesn’t share his patterns with anyone, does give a good look a beautiful, well-made costume. BBC America’s Anglophenia also has a list of what is needed to dress like the Fourth Doctor from waistcoat to boots.
Oh, and don’t forget to carry a nice bag of jelly babies (available at sites English Tea Store for less than $5 a bag), like to in your pocket to hand out to everyone you meet.
The Fourth Doctor knew the importance of being childish when the time served:
“There’s no point in being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes,” he said.