Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sixth Doctor - felt cats silhouettes

Any casual viewer of the Sixth Doctor will have picked up on his affection for cats, expressed through the various brooches he wore during his time in the TARDIS.

The cat-loving nature of his Doctor was all Colin’s idea - in fact, a couple of the brooches he wore were portraits of Colin’s own cats!

But unless you’re a die-hard Sixth Doctor fan, you might not know about the deeper, hidden secret about his costume.


On the inside of the yellow lapel, from time to time, you might get a glimpse of a small black silhouette of a cat, and depending which adventure you are watching, their number varies.

But there is a method behind this seeming random act. Like the notches on the nose of a WWII fighter pilot’s aircraft, Colin added a small felt cut-out of a cat for each adventure he had completed.

The list is as follows, and the images above reflect this.

The Twin Dilemma - no cats
Attack Of The Cybermen - one cat
Vengeance On Varos - two cats
Mark Of The Rani - three cats
The Two Doctors - four cats
Timelash - five cats
Revelation Of The Daleks - six cats

After the hiatus between season 22 and 23, the idea was dropped and the cats disappeared.

Of the maximum six cats that appear inside the coat, only three are known to have survived - and they had been removed form the coat so suffered some damage in the process.

A few years back I had access to the coat inside which they are now all sewn, and from this I have been able to lovingly recreate them.

I redrew them in Adobe illustrator, restoring much of their shape to how they would have looked freshly sewn into Colin’s costume (one of the cats had lost its tail, so this has been recreated to match the others).

I then took the artwork to a specialist, who laser cut in felt for me!

He cut as many as he could out of the piece of felt I provided, so I have a number of sets available for sale.

If you would like a set of felt cat silhouettes for your Sixth Doctor coat, one set of three cost GB£25. Two sets of three are GB£40.
FREE global shipping is included in the price!
Email me at tennantcoat@me.com 
and I can send you full details.

Sixth Doctor - ankle armour!

You may have read that I currently offer replicas of the Sixth Doctor’s boots, modelled directly on a pair worn during some of the later episodes.

These have proved quite popular and although they are not cheap, they do add the finishing touches to the perfect Sixth Doctor cosplay.

I’ve also been making the spats to go with the boots, but only by request as I wasn’t 100% happy with the pattern.

I modelled mine directly from a set of screen-worn spats, but to be honest I think the budget had run out by the time the spats were made. They really weren’t cut that well or made to last, unlike much of the rest of the costume.

It’s always a tricky tightrope to walk between being utterly screen accurate and making something that looks and fits well, plus lasts repeated use.

The BBC costume department was always on hand to make running repairs or remake parts of the costume when they wore out, but that’s not something my clients have the luxury of.

So when I was recently asked by two clients for spats,  I decided it was time to revisit the pattern and make a couple of very minor tweaks to sort out the things that were niggling me about the originals.

The main thing I wanted to do was adjust the centre front seam, which on the originals has the tendency to drift off towards one side. It just doesn’t sit nicely down the front of the boot, no matter how you poke it about.

Also, all the edges are overlocked with orange thread, which is a quick, easy and frankly lazy way to hem them. Although it tidies up the raw cut edges, it’s not very attractive to look at.

Finally the spats have a short length of black elastic to secure them under the heal. This is attached to the front part of the spats, which means you have to poke the toe of the boot through the hole making them somewhat awkward to put on and this can rough up the overlocked edges causing snags, so they can become tatty very quickly.

You can also see that the originals have faux buttonholes and buttons on the sides, under which was a strip of white velcro to make the actual closure.

What I have done is to realign the front seam so it now sits vertically down the front of the boots when worn and add a bit more to the section that goes around the heal.

I have faithfully replicated the faux buttonholes and buttons, along with the strip of velcro, but I have substituted it with a matching orange velcro instead to make it less obtrusive - in fact you have to look closely to see it at all!

I have also relocated the elastic to span the back part of the spats rather than the toe, making it easier to fit.
This seems a very minor point, but only if you try fitting them with the elastic in the old position do you realise what an improvement this is.

The last thing I did was to create a proper hem around all edges which is neatly turned up and topstitched to match the rest of the spats.

I have overlocked my raw edges, but these are now out of sight and the whole thing looks a lot smoother.

Now that I am much more happy with the result, I have made up a number of pairs, which are available for sale.
If you want to get a pair of spats to complete your Sixth Doctor cosplay, they are priced at GB£35 each.
FREE global shipping is included in the price!
Email me at tennantcoat@me.com 
and I can send you full details.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Great Radio Times Sew Off

A couple of weeks ago saw the final of The Great British Sewing Bee - for those that don’t follow it, it’s basically Bake Off, but with sewing machines.




It’s always a talking point amongst sewers across the country and this discussion reached the feedback pages of the Radio Times over the last few weeks.

Last week a letter from Christine Bates contiued the ongoing debate, and added to the mix her Mother’s 1931 vintage Singer sewing machine - which is nice, but frankly a bit too modern even for me!

As a footnote the editor asked if anyone else had a working sewing machine that was older than Christine’s.

Well, if you know anything about how I work, you’d know the answer to that is YES!

So I wrote in, and low and behold they have published my letter, plus two others, along with the photo I sent them!

As it happened, I was working on a Colin Baker coat when I needed to take the picture, so I sneaked it in there!

Here is my letter, which has been published near in full, even down to my cheeky sign-off address!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Original 6th Doctor items on eBay -
July 2016

No sooner has the echo of the gavel faded in the Bonhams sale room, then items sold there start appearing on eBay.

Revelation of the Daleks -
Blue Mortuary Tunic
This auction is for an original, screen used Doctor Who costume from the 1985 serial 'Revelation of the Daleks', starring Colin Baker as the Doctor.

The story is set on the planet Necros, the location of the funeral home named Tranquil Repose. This costume was worn by one of the various cast members playing a mortuary attendant, and can be clearly seen in various scenes throughout the story.

The costume itself consists of a light blue tunic with buttons down the left hand side and a pair of light blue trousers. The costume parts are in good, screen used condition and come from a smoke and pet-free home.

The price for this auction is set at just £250.00 (buy it now or best offer), representing an excellent opportunity to purchase an affordable, original, screen used costume from a well respected classic Doctor Who serial, from over 30 years ago.


Revelation of the Daleks -
Green Mortuary tunic
This auction is for an original, screen used Doctor Who costume from the 1985 serial 'Revelation of the Daleks', starring Colin Baker as the Doctor.

The story is set on the planet Necros, the location of the funeral home named Tranquil Repose. This costume was likely worn by one of the various cast members playing a Tranquil Repose guard, who can be clearly seen in various scenes throughout the story, particularly in the catacombs with Davros.

The costume itself consists of a green tunic with buttons down the left hand side with a couple of pockets at the front. There is a label at the top from 'Garroulds of London' who provided the tunics for this story; there is also "DW" inscribed on the label (see third photo). The tunic is in good, screen used condition and comes from a smoke and pet-free home.

The item has been checked by Bonhams auctioneers having been sold as part of lot 82 in the 1991 Bonhams Doctor Who auction, as well as part of lot 80 in the more recent Entertainment memorabilia auction in 2016.

The price for this auction is set at just £195.00 (buy it now or best offer), representing an excellent opportunity to purchase an affordable, original, screen used costume from a well respected classic Doctor Who serial, from over 30 years ago.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Bonham auction - 29th June 2016

After Bamfords nipped in earlier this month an stole Bonhams thunder, it’s now time for the summer Film and Entertainment auction at Bonhams in Knightsbridge.

There is a mix of new items; some items previously sold; and some items from previous sales that went unsold, now listed with lower estimates.

For the Sixth Doctor it’s an item previously sold at a Bonhams auction some 25 years ago!

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Sixth Doctor era
Lot 80
Doctor Who: Revelation Of The Daleks, 1985: Mortuary Attendant costumes,

comprising five pairs of light blue or green cotton trousers and six tunics, with eight light blue vinyl belts, one tunic with embroidered black chain-link insignia, as seen onscreen worn by various cast members, several tunics and trousers labelled Garroulds of London, some inscribed DW in ballpoint, various sizes

FOOTNOTES
Purchased at a Bonhams auction in 1991 (lot 82).
Estimate £500 - 700

Sold for £400

Bamfords Entertainment Auction -
8th June 2016

The summer Film and Entertainment auction at Bonhams is at the end of this month, but before then there is a bonus auction at Bamfords.

I’m not aware of Bamfords selling Doctor Who items before, but their sale next week has twenty-one lots - rivalling any Bonhams auction in recent years.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Sixth Doctor era

Lot 4024 - Doctor Who - Terror of the Vervoids - a Grenville costume
Doctor Who - Terror of the Vervoids - a Grenville costume, worn by Tony Scoggo, 23rd season, first broadcast 1st - 22nd November 1986, comprising shiny green jacket and trousers

Sold for £650

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Bonhams: 1994 -
31st March Entertainment Sale

I’m getting quite into tracking down past Bonhams Entertainment auctions where Doctor Who items were sold.

It started with the 1991 Doctor Who auction, where dozens of costumes and props were up for grabs. I’ve since traced later sales where many times from the 1991 auction were resold, and some of these still pop up today from time to time.

A couple of weeks ago I found a Bonhams catalogue from 1994, containing 22 lots of Who-related items on sale.

Frustratingly due to the cost of producing print publications in the days, there are no photographs to illustrate the items on offer (every image would have had to be taken on film and processed, compared to the instant and cheap nature of digital photography today).

These sales also pre-date the internet, so finding the realised prices is near impossible.

Less care seems to have been taken in preparing the text in the catalogue.


There are a number of spelling errors and possible mis-titling of episodes, but since some of these are for pre-production scripts (and therefore possibly correct at the time) I have replicated the text here exactly as it appeared in the 1994 catalogue.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:

Here are just the lots relating to the Sixth Doctor era

Please note there are a number of spelling and title errors in the catalogue, which I have repeated here for accuracy as some may refer to early drafts of scripts

Lot 355 DR. WHO Vengeance On Varos 1985 (Colin Baker)
A complete guard costume comprising grey trousers with red side seam ('T. WELLOCK' in biro on the BBC Television workshop label), grey jacket with red epaulettes and 'Varos' logo on the front and reverse, black leather belt, with 'Varos' logo and clasp, necklace and cap with Varos logo on peak. (5)
Estimate £70 -100

Lot 356 DR. WHO Vengeance On Varos 1985 (Colin Baker)
Costume of Jondar (Jason Connery), comprising a khaki pair of trousers with a khaki side seam and elasticated stirrups, a khaki sleeveless 'trooper style' jacket and a black leather belt. (3)
Estimate £100 - 150

Lot 358 DR. WHO
A TARDIS Sign and casing of metal, wood and ļ¬breglass used during the John Nathan Tumer era of Dr. Who (1978-1989), together with the back cloth belonging to the TARDIS door.
Estimate £400 - 600
Note: The vendor informs me he acquired this lot at a Dr. Who auction in Saxmundham.

Lot 365 DR. WHO
Studio sets/plans for 'Timelash', 'Ultimate Foe' and 'Time Of The Rani', series 1985-87.
Estimate £30 - 50

Lot 367 DR. WHO THE AUCTION, CATALOGUE
Sale of selected costumes from the wardrobe, on 11th May 1991. 41 page catalogue with black and white illustrations, colour cover, together with a list of prices realised. (2)
Estimate £10 - 20

Lot 368 DR. WHO MEMORABILIA
An extensive collection of Dr Who and related science fiction memorabilia, including jigsaw puzzles, badges, Cassette tapes, models, newsletters, annuals, toys, posters, magazines, approximately thirty paperback books, a mug, a china moneybox and three albums comprising of numerous official BBC colour photographs. (a lot)
Estimate £200 - 300

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bonhams: 1992 -
August 24th Entertainment Sale

Last week I showed you the content of a Bonhams sale from January 1992. In it a large number of ex-BBC Costume Dept outfits from Doctor Who were sold off.

Since then I have found another catalogue from 1992, this time from August.

Interestingly a number of the extensive Doctor Who items sound very much like those sold back in January, though with much higher estimates this time around.

More recently I think we have seen some of these lots continuing to be sold on. It’s fascinating to trace the items back through the various auction catalogues, following the prices they sell for.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Sixth Doctor era

Lot 648 Dr. Who—The Auction, Catalogue from 11th May 1991, sale of selected costumes from the Wardrobe, 42 page catalogue with black and white illustrations, colour cover, together with a sheet of prices. (2)
Estimate £10-20

Lot 649 Dr. Who stage playscript, ‘The Ultimate Adventure’ by Terrance Dicks.
Estimate £30-50

Lot 682 ‘Timelash’, 1985 (Colin Baker) Maylin Tekker’s (Paul Darrow) costume.
Estimate £80-l20

Lot 683 ‘Timelash’, 1985 (Colin Baker) An android collar.
Estimate £30-50

Lot 684 ‘Attack of the Cybermen’, 1985 (Colin Baker) A Cyberman gun.
Estimate £200-300

Lot 685 ‘Mindwarp’, 1986 (Colin Baker) A Mentor guard helmet.
Estimate £50-80


Lot 686 ‘Mindwarp’, 1986 (Colin Baker) A Mentor guard helmet.
Estimate £50-80

Lot 687 ‘Terror of the Vervoids’, 1986 (Colin Baker) A pink and white short dress, worn by Janet the Stewardess on Hyperion III (Yolande Paulfrey).
Estimate £50-80


Lot 687a ‘Terror of the Vervoids’, 1986 (Colin Baker) An Hyperion II guard’s gun and a blue and yellow pistol.


Lot 688 ‘The Mysterious Planet’, 1986 (Colin Baker) One of Drathro’s guard’s helmets.
Estimate £150-250

Lot 689 ‘Terror of the Vervoids’, 1986 (Colin Baker) Two gold Magarian jumpsuits.
Estimate £50-80

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bonhams: 1992 -
The BBC Costume Dept sale

Exactly 24 years ago TODAY there was an unusual auction at Bonhams to sell off a vast amount of ex-BBC costume department items.

Due to the volume of items on offer, the sale was held at the BBC Costume Warehouse, which at the time was on the Royal London Industrial Estate in North Acton.

Most of the sale was non-descript items, broken down into sections such as PERIOD COSTUMES - GREEK/ROMAN, MEDIAEVAL, TUDOR, ELIZABETHAN, STUART, GEORGIAN and REGENCY, VICTORIAN and EDWARDIAN etc.

It then moved on to SPORTSWEAR and MISCELLANEOUS before CHILDRENS and LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT. There was even a section for FANCY DRESS and ARMOUR, CHAINMAIL ETC.

Then things got more interesting with NARNIA prior to the big draw the sale - the SCIENCE FICTION section.

This was broken down into DR WHO, BLAKE’S 7, THE FLIP SIDE OF DOMINICK HYDE, STAR COPS, and OTHER SCIENCE FICTION COSTUMES.

The sale closed with a section of late additions, which included an extra Doctor Who lot.

I recently picked up a copy of the sales catalogue on aBay - such as it is. Back in 1992 this consisted of a pocket folder with a stapled loose sheet listing of the items for sale. There are no photographs or illustrations, and the descriptions are scant to say the least.

I have transcribed all the Doctor Who items.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Sixth Doctor era
Click the link above to download a copy of the full catalogue


Lot 302 Attack of the Cybermen, 1985, Colin Baker as Dr Who.
White jumpsuit with gauze inserts worn by Faith Brown as Flast, a Kryon (1)
Sold for £60

Lot 303 Revelation of the Daleks, 1985, Colin Baker as Dr Who.
Guards helmets from Tranquil Repose on Planet Neiros and medical attendants uniform (8)
Sold for £170

Lot 304 Vengeance on Varos, 1985, Colin Baker as Dr Who. 
Guard helmets (3)
Sold for £160






Lot 305 Vengeance on Varos, 1985, Colin Baker as Dr Who. 
Black jacket with soft leather red cuffed gloves attached worn by
Owen Teale as Maldak (1)
Sold for £110

Lot 306 Mask of the Rani, 1985, Colin Baker as Dr Who. 
2 pairs of boots worn by Kate OMara as the Rani (4)
Sold for £40

Lot 307 Mysterious Planet, 1986, Colin Baker as Dr Who. 
2 suits worn by Drathros human servants, Billy McColl as Humker and Sion Tudor Owen as Tandrell, white with yellow lapels (2)
Sold for £45

Lot 308 Mysterious Planet, 1986, Colin Baker as Dr Who. 
Black shirt, jacket, belt and water bottle for Merdeen played by Tom Chadbon (4)
Sold for £120

Lot 309 Terror of the Vervoids, 1986, Colin Baker as Dr Who.
Green suit worn by Grenville, played by
Tony Scoggo (1)
Sold for £65

Lot 310 Terror of the Vervoids, 1986, Colin Baker as Dr Who.
Spacesuits, white with silver and grey detailing, 4 with padded shoulders (6)
Sold for £150