Doctor Who costume designer on 2022 specials and the future

Posted Filed under

In an interview for the WHO Corner to Corner podcast, Doctor Who costume designer Ray Holman voiced his confidence in the quality of the two upcoming 2022 specials, Legend of the Sea Devils and the Doctor Who BBC centenary special – though his confidence is based mainly on having read the scripts and having worked closely with showrunner Chris Chibnall and the cast and crew on on the costumes.

“The two specials to come are great, I think. I haven’t seen them.”

“When you’re doing a creature costume…, the creature costume is that drawing… I mean, we all know now that Sea Devils are in [Legend of the Sea Devils]. You know, whether you are drawing a Sea Devil – whether you’re drawing [any creature costume], that is the costume you present to an actor and they go and wear it… and they perform in them.”

The following video illustrates his approach and attention to detail on the costumes for the Series 13 six-part serial Doctor Who: Flux.

In the podcast, Holman also related the challenges of costuming a major science fiction drama on a BBC budget.

“A costume department on Doctor Who, is comprised of me, the designer, Simon [Marks] my assistant designer, the supervisor who runs all the trucks, two stand-bys who will go on set, and a trainee. And it took years and I only managed to get somebody to run the workroom last series”

“But the BBC couldn’t afford it before that. And so that’s where it is. Whereas you get other big science fiction things and they’re run like films and so we can’t compete on Doctor Who. People think we can. And we make it the best as we can do.”

“When we’re working with the BBC budgets and BBC Budgets are – I’m not moaning about them because it’s a skill to work within budget. And I think sometimes people forget that we’re all working to a specific budget. …there are only certain things we can do. And so when you’re doing something like Doctor Who, in a science fiction way, it can be at the bottom of the rung in comparison to other things but that doesn’t – because you can’t show all of your skills. But what you do is – you’re showing the skill of doing it in a restrained way.”

Holman further expressed his hopes for future Doctor Who under past and future showrunner Russell T Davies.

“The BBC isn’t Disney. It’s not Marvel. I’m hoping for the – that Russell will get some really good financing – that. You know he’ll really move it forward and make different worlds out of it.”

Ray Holman also assured fans that his Doctor Who costumes are in good hands moving forward.

“Even though there isn’t the [Doctor] Who Experience at the moment, we keep the costumes where we hope they will all go out at some point. We do have them and now they’re all going across to [new Doctor Who production company] Bad Wolf and they are there and they aren’t just thrown away.”

The next episode of Doctor Who, titled Legend of the Sea Devils, will air in Spring of 2022.