Thursday, 1 November 2012

I would like a hat like that...

For his first few stories, the second Doctor favoured an ancient black stove-pipe hat. Except he didn't. A stove-pipe tends to have a flat top, like an elongated top hat, whereas the Doctor's is more pointed. It's more of an early 19th Century "Paris Beau".
The latest incarnation of the Doctor certainly has a bit of a hat fetish, so here is a potted history of the Doctor's headgear.

When we first meet the Doctor he is wearing a black Astrakhan hat against the cold of a foggy London evening. This will be his favoured headgear, and he is still wearing one in his final story. For The Web Planet, he wears a white version. It may look as if this is to match the colour of his Atmospheric Density Jacket - but it is actually a design decision. Because the Vortis skyline is like a night sky, were he to have worn a black hat, on old 405-line TV, it would have looked as if the top of his head was missing.
In ancient Egypt, he opted for a fedora style panama, and in 16th Century Paris wore a period hat - tall, black and not unlike the Second Doctor's favoured headpiece. Naturally, when in the Western town of Tombstone, he adopted a stetson.

The Second Doctor's fascination for hats is quite extreme, but peters out quite quickly. As well as the Paris Beau, he dons a tam o'shanter (a sort of beret with a feather) and a soldier's tricorn hat when in 1746 Scotland. In Atlantis he gets to wear one of the elaborate priestly headpieces, as well as a gypsy headscarf (with cool 60's shades). On the Moon, he has to wear a spacesuit helmet, but the fascination with hats wanes. For his final story, The War Games, he wears a number of WWI uniform hats - but these are as disguises rather than by choice.

It looks as if the Third Doctor is going to be a hat wearing Time Lord, when he takes the wide brimmed fedora belonging to the owner of the rest of his stolen costume - rejecting a flat cap first. However, the hat must get returned to its rightful owner as we don't see it again. The only headgear we will see him wear will be items of practical apparel - spacesuit helmets and hard hats.

The Fourth Doctor becomes the first true hat-wearing one. He opts for a floppy wide brimmed felt hat - after declining a Playing Card coronet, a Pierrot's pointed clown hat and a Viking helmet. He will wear this hat for his full tenure (with a wine red redesign for his final season). It gets shot by Nerva's self-defence system, poked by a Taran electric sword, and has a hole shot in it by a trigger happy Delta Magnan refinery worker. Like the iconic scarf, the Doctor will actually utilise his hat against his foes - blinding Sandminer Voc Robots and Daleks. He uses his hat to help fool the Chancellery Guards on Gallifrey, later donning one of the Time Lords' own headpieces to help blend in amongst the crowd in the Panopticon.

The Fifth Doctor is also a hat wearer - choosing a folding panama to match his vaguely Edwardian cricketing apparel. He doesn't do anything with it - save wear it or stick it in his pocket.
The Sixth Doctor has enough to worry about in the costume department without adding a hat to the mix. Apart from larking about with a police helmet, he steers clear of hats.

The hat is back with the Seventh Doctor. He tries on the Fourth's red hat and a Napoleonic bicorn first, but opts for another panama (with a circular rather than pointed brim). The Doctor will use the hat in feats of legendary legerdemain - though little else. In Silver Nemesis, he dons a Fez - but isn't particularly drawn to it as an on-going fashion accessory.
The Eighth Doctor's costume is a "borrowed" fancy dress costume. He declines the hat as well as the gun and holster.
Neither the Ninth nor Tenth Doctors are hat people - though John Smith wears a period hat and an academic mortar.

Which brings us to Doctor Eleven. He is not a regular hat wearer, but has a fixation on the fez and the stetson. He gets his first fez at the National Museum and only wears it because Amelia Pond tells him she saw him wearing it - causing him to then be seen by her wearing it... River hates it so much she shoots it. He has another fez in A Christmas Carol and in Death is the Only Answer. He is given a stetson by Craig Owens (remnant of a stag do) which he wears on his trip to Utah. Hat-hating River shoots that as well. He gets to don the real thing when he finds himself temporary sheriff of Mercy.
One other item of headwear he has worn is the top hat - when he wears with his tails at Amy and Rory's wedding and again in 1938 Berlin.
We know that he will have a new costume for the second part of Series 7, but from location photos so far, no sign of a new hat. I suspect it will just be a matter of time...

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