Friday 28 June 2013

Six Frock coat vs Special Weapons Dalek!

Just had a great day out celebrating all thing Sylvester McCoy at the BFI.

You maybe aware that each month the BFI has been screening a Doctor Who adventure - and since this is July, Remembrance Of The Daleks was being screen to represent the Seventh Doctor, with both Sylvester and Sophie in attendance.

You can read the full story over on my Seventh Doctor Blog, but what you might have missed is I wore my Ultimate Sixth Doctor Frock Coat for a small photoshoot before hand.

Due to unpresidented demand the ticked for the past few screenings have been allocated by a ballot system, and unfortunately I missed out - or so I thought.

A few weeks ago one of my clients, Tom Nichols, who has a small business hiring out Daleks and TARDISs for event, got in touch to ask if I was going to the BFI screening. It turned out he had offered to display his Special Weapons Dalek in the foyer, and had received the promise of a couple of tickets in return.

He wasn’t familiar with the area, but I thought it an unmissable opportunity to take his Special Weapons Dalek to Windmill Walk, where the Daleks have a pitched battle in episode three of the serial.

The location is barely three streets from the BFI, so Tom jumped at the idea.

We had some fun getting some great pictures of the Dalek in situe, and a number of slack-jawed passers by also grabbed a few shape too.

It was amazing to see it on the very spot where 25 years earlier it had been trundling along, obliterating Daleks as it went.

We then drove over to the BFI, where we were welcomed by security and shown where the Dalek was to be set up.

Tom was very easy going about it, and was happy for it to sit there unattended for the duration of the afternoon as a talking point and photo opportunity for everyone passing through. Some ropes were supplied to cordon it of, so all was good.
My full review of the screening can be read 7th Doctor Costume Blog: Perks of the blog - part two
I just want to say a BIG thank you to Tom Nichols for letting me tag along and help him set up the Dalek - and for getting me into a screening I thought I had missed out on!

Sunday 23 June 2013

Sixth Doctor cat brooch index

I’ve had a little success recently with getting some of the brooches the Sixth Doctor wore, so I thought I’d do a revamped Brooch index, setting the brooches on my Ultimate Six Frock coat.

Brooch One
The first brooch was a china tortoise shell cat, which was introduced in The Twin Dilemma  (see below) and was worn through to Vengeance On Varos.
I was lucky enough to get myself an exact copy in 1985, when the artist who created it did a very limited run of replicas (see left).

Serials appeared in: The Twin Dilemma, Attack Of The Cybermen, Vengence On Varos

Episode count: eight

You can get a replica of this brooch made by the ORIGINAL maker! Ordering details an be found here: Ultimate Six Frock Coat - purrrrrrfection!

Brooch Two
Midway through season 22 a new brooch appeared on The Doctor’s lapel.

This was a flat plastic silhouette of a black cat with an arched back.
The eyes have fake gemstones.

Serials appeared in: The Mark Of The Rani, Timelash

Episode count: four

Brooch Three
In between The Mark Of The Rani and Timelash, The Doctor wears a sweet little one-off brooch for The Two Doctors.
It is a flat cut-out of a white cat with a contented looking face.

Serials appeared in: The Two Doctors

Episode count: three

Brooch Four
To round off season 22, The Doctor wears the most unexpected brooch of all - an enamel pin-badge of the cartoon cat Marie from the Disney animated feature The Aristocats.

These are very rare, but it is still possible to track them down through persistent searching on eBay.
Various versions are around with extra decoration around the character, but what you are looking for is Marie on her own.

Serials appeared in: Revelation Of The Daleks

Episode count: two

Following the 18-month hiatus, he returned with some new brooches, a couple of which have an interesting background story.
They were designed and created by Maggie Howard, and they were known as Maggie’s Moggies.
The brooches were based directly on two of Colin Baker’s own cats: Eric and Weeble!

Brooch Five
The first to appear is Weeble (see right) which is worn for the trial scenes throughout The Trial of a Time Lord season, paired with the red cravat.
It is then worn throughout Mindwarp, the end of which leads into the opening of the trial, keeping continuity with those scenes.

Just like the china cat I bought back in 1985, Maggie Howard then did a very limited number for sale in 1987.

It would be incorrect to call them production made, as they are hand crafted replicas of the originals made by the original artist, so they’re as close as you’re going to get.

Serials appeared in: The Trial Of A Time Lord (trial scenes only), Mindwarp (all scenes), The Ultimate Foe (all scenes)

Episode count: twelve

Brooch Six
The second Maggie Moggie was the black cat, Eric (see left).

This was worn paired with the turquoise cravat during the flashback scenes of The Mysterious Planet to help distinguish the two time-lines.

Serials appeared in: The Mysterious Planet

Episode count: Four

Brooch Seven
The flashback scenes that form Terror Of The Vervoids saw one final brooch adorn The Doctor’s frock coat.
This a comic-styled ginger cat with a tiger-striped back and tail. The brooch is exclusively paired with the YSL yellow-starred cravat.

Serials appeared in: Terror Of The Vervoids

Episode count: four

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Thank you!

One of my clients collected their Ultimate Six Frock Coat today – and he gave me a cartoon as a thank you.

I wasn’t expecting it, so it came as a great surprise and something I’m put on my wall.

What do you think of it?

And if you’re curious, here is the finished coat – proudly worn!

Sunday 16 June 2013

BFI - Doctor Who at 50

I had a fun and interesting day out yesterday, and as you’ll read, things to an unexpected turn!

Being June, the BFI’s Doctor Who at 50 season has reached the Sixth Doctor, and I was fortunate enough to get tickets for the screening of The Two Doctors in the ballot.

Since I have the Ultimate Six Frock Coat, I had to go in full costume!

Travelling on the train and walking along the South Bank from Blackfriars to the BFI was fun, I can tell you.

Once at the BFI I received a lot of positive comments on the costume and was asked for my photo by a number of people, which was cool.
Disappointingly I was the ONLY cosplayer there, so I did stand out like a sore thumb!

The event was quite a packed programme, with a number of other distractions aside from The Two Doctors itself.

Between episodes one and two host Dick Fiddy interviewed fan Grahame Flynn who is an owners of one of the screen-worn Colin Baker costumes, which he brought along to discuss.

He explained how he became involved with periphery of the series during the 1980s, having spoken with June Hudson and later John Nathan-Turner.

Amongst his collection is the original shirt and waistcoat from Tom Baker’s season 18 costume.

He explained how June disliked the imposition of the question marks on the lapels, opting to do them in a subtle colour to minimise their impact.

Attention then turned to Colin’s costume and Grahame show one of Pat Godfrey’s oringinal design sketches.

The fabrics used on the coat also came up, and how a lot of it was sourced from the John Lewis department store in London!

Dick Fiddy was then invited to try the coat on - something he wasn’t prepared for and seemed surprised to be offered.

They discussed the waistcoat and shirts, explaining how they were made in an ivory colour rather than white so they were tv-camera friendly.

Then to my own surprise I was called out of the audience and asked to come down the front to show off my own coat.

I discussed how it had been made and the work that had gone into creating it, as well as the time it had taken to do it all.

This was the first time my finished coat had been side-by-side with an original screen-worn, so it was a bit nerve-wracking.

I showed off the lining, as well as the hand-woven back panel, which stood up incredibly well compared to the original coat standing next to me.

Mine is modelled after the earlier versions, and the one Dick was wearing was the later one, specially created for Colin’s expanding waistline.

If you look closely you can see how the tartan panel on my back is narrower, as this is where the coat was made larger to fit. The back of the collar falls differently too, as this had to allow for the change in cut.

It was very exciting to be asked to show off my coat and I’m proud to say I was involved, if only in a small way, with the BFI’s celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who!

Many thanks to Paul Ducker who kindly sent me the photos he took

Saturday 8 June 2013

Ultimate Six Frock Coat -
completing the costume

I’ve enjoyed showing off my Ultimate Six Frock Coat recently, but the costume is nothing without the extra items that make the ensemble complete.

One of the things I needed to sort out for myself was a waistcoat.

Of the three different versions worn by Colin Baker, my personal favourite has always been the original from season 22.
I liked the fact it had more muted colours, which somehow made the coat standout all the more. The later silk waistcoats just fought the coat and neither won. Now I know the costume is supposed to tasteless, but there are limits!

For many years I thought the waistcoat was made from a tapestry fabric or something similar, but when I got to see the original first hand I was amazed to find it is made from knitted fabric, cut as cloth.

Each side has a very distinctive design: on the left is a geometric grid, with vertical lines of grey and blocks of colour in between; the right has a zig-zag design, with a curious lattice stitch across the surface.

I knew from the outset it would be a very difficult garment to match, but I was determined to achieve it. I could see every stage would be a challenge, from making the fabric to assembling it into a waistcoat.
My college tutor and a fellow classmate who is an avid knitter were both at a loss as to how to replicate it. I quickly learned there were potential limits to what can be achieved even with modern domestic knitting machines.

Sunday 2 June 2013

Revelation Of The Disney

I had a little package arrive in the post yesterday. Small but very exciting.
It was my eBay find, which I had been searching over two years for.

A Disney enamel pin badge of Marie from The Aristocats!

Okay, so this might not seem very earth shattering, but this is the exact same design of badge worn by the Sixth Doctor in Revelation Of The Daleks.

As you know he always wore a cat brooch, and after serving him for several adventures, he retired his china tortoise shell cat and started wearing a different brooch in each serial.

I’m no expert on these Disney badges, but I’ve been looking a quite a few over the past couple of years.
What I have observed is that there is a almost standard set of illustrations of Marie (the character concerned), and the version seen in Doctor Who appears to be the most common.

That said, finding her on her own and not surrounded by some form of embellishment has been difficult.

I’ve seen versions with her name or phrase in a plaque; her siting on a throne; or even in a small group with her litter-mates.
The only times I have found the right design of her on her own, it has been either a vinyl sticker or a pair of earrings with loops at the top.

You’d expect that the pin badge would be fairly common and have been remade down the years, but this hasn’t been the case, or there’d be a lot more of them knocking around.

From what I can find out, Disney has a policy of releasing item for limited times only, then withdrawing them from sale to create a rarity. They did it with VHS tapes and DVDs and they also seem to do it with collectors enamel brooches.

The brooch I’ve found comes from Disney Resort, Paris and the packaging has a URL at the bottom, so must be a relatively recent release.

It could well be it has been reissued, but I haven’t found it online at the given URL or on any other retail sites.

Eitherway I’m pretty chuffed to finally track one down and add her to my collection of screen-accurate cat brooches.