Slide 1 of 30
Faces of the DoctorWhen the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker would be the first female Doctor Who, fans of the long-running science-fiction series were quick to query: "What will she wear?" It wasn't a jab at her sex; far from it. Clothes have always maketh the man, especially when that "man" is an enigmatic Time Lord with the power to traverse dimensions and raise himself from the dead.
In the 54 years since the titular Doctor of "Doctor Who" made his debut on British television, the renegade alien has regenerated a new body — tics, temperament and all — more than a dozen times.
As a result, Whovians await the unveiling of a new Doctor's costume, which typically precedes the next Doctor's official debut, with fist-pumping anticipation. And for good reason: The outfit typically offers clues about his — and now, her — nascent and often startlingly mercurial personality, which can swing from clownish, to sardonic, to bellicose, and all points in between. Read on to see how the Time Lord has changed over time.
UP FIRST: William Hartnell
The First Doctor (1963-1966)Slide 2 of 30
The First Doctor (1963-1966)The original Doctor, played by William Hartnell (and by Richard Hurndall and David Bradley in cameos after Hartnell's death) was literally without precedent. An elderly curmudgeon, he displayed occasional flashes of empathy, particularly with his granddaughter Susan.
Although ostensibly late Victorian-Edwardian, his look was a hodgepodge of eras you couldn't quite pin down. He matched a wing-tipped shirt, a vest, a frock coat and checkered pants, along with a ribbon tie, which he fashioned into a bow. Occasionally, he pulled out a fob watch or a monocle, or topped his noggin with a triangular hat known in Central and South Asia as a "karakul."
The overall effect was that of an itinerant out of time and space. He was a cipher, an unknown quantity who bore more than a whiff of danger. His outfit would serve as a template for future incarnations.
NEXT: Patrick TroughtonSlide 3 of 30
The Second Doctor (1966-1969)Slide 4 of 30
The Second Doctor (1966-1969)When Hartnell's failing health sounded a possible death knell for "Doctor Who," the producers of the show came up with a radical idea. Since the Doctor was an alien with alien biology, why not give him the ability to recover critical trauma — or even roll back death — by physically reinventing himself? After collapsing from the strain of battling a race of murderous cyborgs known as the Cybermen, the Doctor regenerated for the first time, manifesting a new visage: Patrick Troughton's.
Personality-wise, the Second Doctor was his predecessor's polar opposite. If Hartnell's Doctor was the cantankerous pensioner who wanted the damn kids off his spaceship, Troughton's was the lovable buffoon who knew a great deal more than he let on.
Nicknamed the "cosmic hobo" by viewers, the Second Doctor was an equally playful dresser. His bow tie was permanently askew. His wild mop of hair — coupled with baggy, plaid trousers and an oversized jacket he almost certainly lifted off some unsuspecting soul — gave him a puckish, Stooge-like air. He also brandished a recorder, mostly for music but occasionally to communicate with other, melodically inclined species.
NEXT: Jon PertweeSlide 5 of 30
The Third Doctor (1970-1974)Slide 6 of 30
The Third Doctor (1970-1974)After the Doctor's fellow Time Lords exiled him to Earth for breaking their laws of noninterference, forcing a regeneration in the process, the "cosmic hobo" morphed into the "space dandy."
Paternalistic, authoritative, yet unwaveringly moral, this Doctor worked as a scientific adviser for the military organization UNIT. A suave pugilist, he was also adept in the art of "Venusian aikido."
As played by Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor had flair to spare. A frilly Byron shirt; a lush, velvet jacket; and a flashily lined cape became his visual calling cards. Memorably, he was known for his James Bond-like rides: a bright-yellow roadster named Bessie that featured an anti-theft forcefield, a remote control and an inertial-dampening hyperdrive, along with a hovercraft-esque vehicle that fans dubbed the "Whomobile."
NEXT: Tom BakerSlide 7 of 30
The Fourth Doctor (1974-1981)Slide 8 of 30