Friday 26 March 2010

The Photos Of Peril

For those who read my earlier entry, All Change, you will know I have radically shaken up the fabrics I am using to make my latest Tennant Coat.

Although I am still using my fabric of choice – Malabar – I have found a much better colour match to the screen used material, which in reality is a lot darker than you might think.

Anyone who has engaged me in conversation about the fabric for my coats will know how much I love Malabar!
My reasoning is because it has a very natural feel to it defying its 100% polyester label; has a luxurious weight; drapes just right when made into a coat; is tough and hard wearing; washable at 30degrees; and is a nice material to actually cut, handle and stitch.
So to find a better colour and still be Malabar was fantastic bonus.

I have been plotting and working on my newest coat since just before Christmas, when a friend pointed me towards the Self-Striped lining on sale at a store in Los Angeles. Later I did a coat for Benjamin Rudman, and he specifically wanted this to be used for his coat (see right). The results were very nice and I had to admit the new lining handled a lot better than the heavy satin twill I had been using to date.

I think it was the idea of making myself a new coat using the more screen-accurate lining that made me take a second look at other fabrics I could revise.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was planning to go to the Time Quest 2 event, so I had an incentive to get my new coat done in time for this.
Besides, I had recently sold my then current coat to Roland (see left) in anticipation of making a new coat, so for a brief period I did not own a Tennant Coat I could wear – at least not one I actually liked.
I might explain that comment at some future time.

So the pressure was on to get it made!
I have been quite busy of late, making Five Coats, artworking Six Cravats, and attending Bonhams Auctions, so it made for a frantic few weeks while getting it done.
I was sewing it right up to the week before the event, including the day before I met Bob Mitsch from the airport to take him on his Location Tour of London.

At the event I met up with Jann Tarrant, who is doing a degree course in photography and is using the idea of cosplayers who dress as Doctor Who as the subject of her thesis.
My reputation appeared to have proceeded me, and she was keen to take some pictures of me in my new coat to use in her portfolio. How could I refuse?

So we arranged to meet late in the day on the Saturday of the event, and went outside the venue, which was a converted mansion.
We discussed the type of pictures she’d envisage taking, and asked my input. I sometimes find the static posed images a little dull, and I personally prefer something a little more action/adventure, with a bit of energy or at least peril in them!!

Now to understand what I meant, I referred her back to some pictures I took on Hound Tor, wearing my Alcantara coat (see right).
These in turn had been inspired by a great image that appeared in the Radio Times 10th Anniversary Special back in 1973. It had ben taken of Elizabeth Sladen while filming her first story The Time Warrior (see below).

I had always been very impressed with the image and loved the way it told a story in my imagination of how she had got to where she was . . . and what was going to happen next!
By the way, notice the position of Elizabeth’s right hand – it takes on significance later . . . 

Jann was quite excited by the idea, and got instantly what I meant and was looking for.
We we went down to the far end of the house, beyond which there is a victorian-style knot garden, and picked a suitable corner to use. The house reminded me a lot of the one used in Rise Of The Cybermen, and a number of people who have seen the pictures taken have ask if it was the house used in Day Of The Daleks, which it sadly is not.

We started to do a few poses to see how far around the wall I could reach and how it would look. Bit of a cliche, but propping the pose with a sonic seemed natural.
The first few were a little rough (see below - click to enlarge), with the occasional closed eyes and bad posing on my part.

Seeing what was starting to work we did some more, but this time I did not like my raised right arm position (see below - click to enlarge). Also I had the embarrassment of my sonic locking up. That never seems to happen to the other fella!

The next batch we took started to get somewhere. I dropped the raised arm, and started to get the target pose in my mind (see below - click to enlarge). Notice I am now getting that right hand around the corner of the wall at last!

Jann felt we could show the coat off a bit more than we were by moving to a portrait format, so we went again, this time a bit wider (see below - click to enlarge).

It was out of this run that we got what I think is the most stunning picture of the lot (see below).

I must say getting a picture like this makes all the effort worthwhile! And the timing was perfect, having just completed what I like to regard as my best coat to date.
I must extend an enormous thank you to Jann Tarrant for taking the pictures; having endless patience and willingness for ‘just one more picture’; and for letting me share the results with you.
I wish her all the very best with her degree and hope it all comes off as she hoped – she deserves the success!


  1. Wow. Fantastic pictures!

    I had to double take on almost all of them, as on first glance you really did look like a screenshot right out of a Tennant episode!

  2. Great work once more! The new coat looks great. But I still prefer the old version, it might not be as screen acurate, but i just like the colour very much.
    But if I should ever get another coat, I might give the Teak-Version a chance.

    Really nice pictures, too. Good luck for Jann! Is there a way to see some more of her cosplay-pictures?

  3. You should be the next doctor!
    Those pictures and the coat are A-MAZING!