Doctor Who: Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson’s costumes have plenty of retro references

Doctor Who has finally released imagery of the Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa and his travelling companion Ruby Sunday, played by former Coronation Street star Millie Gibson in their Doctor Who season 14 costumes, and both appear to be laced with retro reference to 60 years of the series.

It’s traditional for there to be nods to Doctors past in costumes, and that once again seems to be the case in Ncuti Gatwa’s striking outfit which features a long tartan coat, bright orange shirt and checked trousers, offset with some distinctive jewellery.

The outfit has echoes of a number of the most famous outfits ever to have been seen in the TARDIS with fans pointing out what they believe to be references across the internet since the first photos emerged.

The checked elements of the trousers feel like a homage to the earliest incarnations of the Doctor, William Hartnell’s First and most notably the costume worn by Patrick Troughton’s Seconds – but that’s not where the retro references appear to end it seems.

Obviously, Gatwa’s costume has kept with the tradition of a long flowing coat, something that has been observed by most Doctor Who incarnations since 1963, regardless of changes in colour, pattern and style, however, the prominence of the colour orange in Gatwa’s costume could be seen to be a nod to Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor who has orange – albeit a different shade- on his hat, lapels of jacket and in stripes on his trousers.

BBC Studios – James Pardon

Gatwa’s jewellery is also seen by some as a nod to the past of the show, especially the wearing of rings. Although Fifteen is wearing more rings than any previous incarnation, Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth notably had a ring and so did Jon Pertwee’s Third, so could this be a little bit of an homage to those characters?

In addition to Gatwa’s costume, some have noted that there are similarities between Ruby Sunday’s outfit and that of previous modern companions. The denim jacket and boots combination does appear to have some similarities with Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler, the first companion that Russell T Davies introduced to the new era of the series alongside Christopher Eccleston in 2005. Also, some have pointed out that Pearl Mackie’s Bill Potts worse similar attire at some points while travelling companion to the Twelfth.

BBC Studios – James Pardon

We will get out first full story starring Gatwa as Fifteen and Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday around the festive season of 2023 with the eight-episode season 14 of Doctor Who running in 2024. Before that fans can enjoy the return of David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor in three 60th anniversary specials in November 2023.

The 60th specials will be the first Doctor Who episodes to stream exclusively intentionally as part of a new deal between the BBC and Disney+.