When our beloved Matt Smith announced he was leaving Doctor Who there was mass speculation on who would replace him. Many suggested that it was time for a female doctor to hit out screens! While this didn’t happen, a group of friends from America created a spectacular crossplay group of all the doctors which showcased at Planet Comicon!
It all began in March 2012 when Hilary (Third Doctor) attended a small convention in Kansas with her sister, cosplaying the Fourth and Fifth Doctor. The pair found other Whovians and joined the Kansas City Timelords Society. They began discussing their favourite show and cosplay, when the fateful words were uttered, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you had a group of all eleven female Doctors?” Hilary accepted the challenge and quickly began the search for recruits and sourcing materials for the cosplays.
Hilary comments on the experience of forming the group and producing the cosplays, “We found each other through a convention and a love of Doctor Who. These costumes, made with discount upholstery fabric, a low-end sewing machine, and a lot of love, has brought us together. My world has changed in ways I could never have imagined. When you’ve got friends to support you, “I think I can do this” becomes “Look what we did together.”
Well let’s take a look shall we…
Melinda kept her cosplay of William Hartnell close to the screen original; a black velvet frock coat on top of an ivory embroidered silk vest. Melinda even had the Doctor’s iconic cane. Melinda commented, “I love watching all the Doctor Who episodes, no matter which series, because I am intrigued by the thought of time travel and love science fiction shows. I chose to cosplay the First Doctor because I figured I was old in real life and I can relate to him!”
Laurel kept her cosplay true Patrick Troughton’s portrayal, with a comically oversized black coat, grey plaid trousers, custom braces, polka-dot tie, and even a painted wood recorder! Laurel recalls that when she first learned of Doctor Who she was working a full time job she hated and studying hard to finish two degrees at University. A friend joked that she should look for the Doctor to escape, so Laurel did just that and never looked back! Joining the Femme 11 group to help out a friend, Laurel comments on her experience “I have never been to a convention before and I thought it would be a lot of fun. If I had known of the friends I would make, I would have started cosplaying a long time ago!”
Hilary, the leader of the group, who made and sourced the majority of the costumes saw The Third Doctor as a fun excuse to play with fabulous fabrics! For this, she made a bright green velvet smoking jacket and a dark green velvet bow tie. Accompanied with a dark brown cloak with a dramatic pumpkin orange satin lining.
Tina as the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)
Tina chose to cosplay the Fourth Doctor as she was captured by his charm. She was introduced to Doctor Who by her husband when the show was rebooted in 2005. She found the storylines brilliant and emotional, “some can make you cry like a baby and go through a box of tissues”.
The costume was compiled of an array of both vintage and modern items including a vintage sweater and an antique neckerchief. Tina made the Doctor’s iconic 17.5ft scarf, which took between three and four months to complete! Being part of the Femme 11 group gave her the motivation to finish. Tina found the experience of cosplaying “super fun” and she can’t wait to do it again!
Megan loves Doctor Who because it breaks all the set rules of time travel and science fiction, it tells a story that is both fun and interesting, without worrying about technicalities.
Megan chose to cosplay the Fifth Doctor because she can relate to him, in her words he is known as the polite Doctor, which she believes describes her personality perfectly! The Fifth Doctor’s style is often described as an Edwardian cricket player, because of this Megan used Edwardian fashion as an inspiration to feminise the cosplay. The striped pants become a bustle skirt and the collapsible hat was switched for a “My Fair Lady” style hat. For the finishing touch, Megan acquired multiple stalks of celery, a miniature cricket ball and bat and a collection of mini Cybermen figurines.
Amy loves the Sixth Doctor’s brash, arrogant and knowledgeable personality. “He can’t stand injustice and has no patience for petty pleasantries if it means standing by while innocent people are being harmed. His big mouth and short temper get him into trouble, but his intelligence and perseverance normally allow him to muddle through”.
Amy noticed that both his clothing and attitude were reminiscent of 18th Century fops who wore outlandish costumes with unrivaled panache. Amy added, “When I imagined a female version of the costume, I knew I had to do it as a female fop!” The costume uses a steel boned corset and petticoats to maintain its seventeenth century shape. The petticoat is four yards of hand-dyed pillow ticking (just like the original trousers) and the overdress has twelve different fabrics and a 135″ hem. The stomacher is an amalgamation of the various vests he wore, with plaid fabric, teddy bear buttons, and a watch chain. Completing the ensemble is a fan hand-dyed to replicate the colours of his umbrella, green kitten-heeled shoes, and red tights to replace his red spats.
Remi began watching Doctor Who when she started talking to her pen pal in England who recommended the show to her. Remi instantly fell in love with the show’s sass and unhindered message of “always love if love is due”.
Remi chose to cosplay the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) because “that level of dedicated sarcasm was way too much for me to pass up from a cosplay standpoint!” The Seventh Doctor’s outfit kept the iconic question mark and zigzag vest and the question mark handled umbrella. Working as a team, Amy crocheted the unique vest pattern using a technique called Tunisian Crochet, while Hillary moulded the acrylic onto a handmade umbrella handle. A cowboy-styled hat was reshaped in Panama, compete with a paisley hatband, while one of Amy’s work suits was tweaked for the coat and skirt.
Tonya chose to cosplay the Eighth Doctor, as despite the TV movie often getting a bad rap among fans, she believes Paul McGann did an excellent job. She comments, “He was caring, concerned, and rather gentle. A true gentleman in every sense of the word” Tonya wanted her cosplay to reflect this.
As the Eighth Doctor’s outfit was stolen from a Doctor who was off to a Western-themed party, she felt a men’s Western-wear pattern was the most logical place to start! The coat was made of green/brown velvet, with a coordinating brown damask vest and fawn-coloured silk cravat. Tonya completes the cosplay with the Doctor’s iconic pocket watch.
Abby was raised on the original Star Wars, she claims “Sci-fi is in my blood”. Naturally she was caught by the Doctor Who bug. She chose to cosplay as the Ninth Doctor because he is her favourite; she even has a Tardis and Ninth Doctor tattoo!
For years Ed was a Doctor Who non-believer, but finally she broke down and watched an episode featuring the Tenth Doctor, instantly she was hooked! To celebrate her love and sentiment for the character, she chose to cosplay him. “I see of a lot of myself in the Doctor, I just couldn’t help but cosplay as him”.
Finally, Heather chose to cosplay the Eleventh Doctor, portrayed by Matt Smith. “I like the Eleventh Doctor and chose to cosplay him because he’s awkward and angry and yet still sees the best in people. That’s how I feel most days! Also, I wanted to wear a fez, because they’re cool!”