When 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 a new Doctor’s costume, which typically precedes the succeeding iteration’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 to all points in between.