Monday 17 December 2012

Midnight - nearing the end

The main event of Midnight really has to be the stage appearance of David Tennant and Billie Piper. This had been saved to the very end to give them star billing.

David has done a few events now, but manly just photocalls and autographs. This was Billie’s first, so she was a bit green to it all. You could see she was a little reserved and taken aback by seeing so many fans hanging on her very word, but she soon relaxed and got into the swing of things.

David is a lot more gregarious and outgoing, so he was able to carry stuff where Billie was less confident.

There was no interviewer or moderator - it was just an open mic for questions from the audience.
Before too long the questioning became quite probing - and I'm choosing my words deliberately there!

One person asked that if Rose had been a hooker like Billie’s character in Diary Of A Call Girl, how would The Doctor react? David said his character wouldn't judge her and would take her as he found her - which was an unfortunate turn of phrase!

Other questions included asking what they thought of the costumes seen at the event. Billie was very complimentary about the work that had gone into them and the originality of some (Dinner Lady Rose in particular).

Asked about the filming, Billie’s lasting memory was of long cold shoots on Welsh cliff tops and the friendliness of the crew she worked with.

Moving forward she acknowledged how working on it can at times dominate any conversation she has subsequently. It is something that follows her around, though she always looks back fondly and the biggest thing she misses about it is David!

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Sunday 16 December 2012

Midnight - photocall

Just to put it out there - here is my photocall with David Tennant and Billie Piper.

My other photocalls can be seen over on my Fourth Doctor blog.

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Midnight - costumes and cosplay

Something to look forward to at any Doctor Who convention are the cosplayers and their various costumes on show.

Many come with costume changes or just their one favourite they like to be seen in.

Personally I wore three costumes to Midnight.
On Friday I did my Eleventh Doctor; Saturday was the turn of my Fourth Doctor; and Sunday, when David Tennant was around, I did my Tenth Doctor.

I’ve surprised myself as to how much I like wearing the Fourth Doctor costume, and it goes down well with the fellow cosplayers at conventions.

Around the event there was a good contingent of cosplayers, wearing a good range of costumes.

One thing that struck me was the Amy cosplayers - I only really saw ONE. Has her ship sailed already? I do hope so.

I was quite taken with the Geordie girls who dress as members of UNIT. They were game for a laugh and happy to pose for the cameras.

There is a core group of UK cosplayers I have become aware of, who like to keep the classic series alive.
It was great to see good costumes of the Anthony Ainley Master; the Fourth and Fifth Doctors; and a great Sarah Jane and K-9.

There was an unsurprising turn out of Rose cosplay, with the 50s Idiot’s Lantern dress seeming to be the most popular. I did see one very original costume - Dinner Lady Rose from School Reunion! Not sure I’ve seen anyone do that before.

As you’d expect at an event with David Tennant as a guest, the Tens out numbered the Elevens for once. His star still burns bright...

One thing I did notice though was an interesting rise in the femme and crossplay costumes - that is to say either girls dressing as male characters, but with a feminine style; or guys dressed as female characters in full drag.
I’ve seen it discussed at American conventions and a little of it online, but this was my first UK event where I saw it first-hand.


The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Saturday 15 December 2012

Midnight - first night

I got to the hotel not long after lunchtime, so had the drop on most people and checked in quickly.
After a bit of time in my room unpacking my costumes and sorting out my WiFi, I went down to the lobby to register for the event.

By now the place was packed, and full of fans checking in and milling around.

The convention is taking place in the Hilton hotel close to Birmingham International Airport, so reminds me no end of the set up for Gallifrey One in Los Angeles.

On the way down to the opening ceremony I had one if those awkward yet flattering moments in the lift.
Standing next to some one, they looked at me, pointed, and said “You’re Steve Ricks!”
I always enjoy speaking to readers of my blogs as at least it proves someone is reading them! But it's un-nerving when you are recognised by a stranger.
Awkward introductions over we had a cool chat in the lobby, during which it emerged he had recently snapped up a pair of All Saints boots on eBay - the same pair a friend had spotted, but had missed out on when the auction suddenly closed early. Now I know why!

The main hall was filling up, so I found a seat in the gold ticketed area to wait for the opening ceremony, due to kick off at 8pm. By 8.30 I was fidgeting in my seat as it still hadn’t started.

The monotony is broken by a member of staff putting a Santa hat on a Dalek at the front of the stage. This prompts a flurry of flashes as a lot of people rush forward for a photo. Everyone needs to pace themselves me thinks!

It’s not even started and we’re running FIFTY minutes late.

I’m then subjected to the Midnight police, who not only want you to have phones on silent - but demand flight mode so no Facebook, Twitter or Internet! Bloody Kaleds!
Must say its taking the shine off the event already.

Finally we get going and after some introductions we get to see the guests who are already here (David and Billie are only here for the Sunday).

Here is the list of guests.

Friday 14 December 2012

Midnight - here I come!

This weekend is a convention in Birmingham called Midnight, and marks the first event appearance for Billie Piper, who until now has kept a distance from the fans.
Alongside her is David Tennant, who although he has attended conventions before, this is his first dedicated Who event.

The pairing of these two for the first time has caused a buzz, and I know of fans coming all the way for the US specially for the event.

Since there is the promise of a photo opportunity with the Doctor and companion together, I booked myself a gold ticket a number of months back when they convention was announced. It sold out soon after.

In hindsight it’s not the most ideal timing, as I’m attending Motor Mouth in January and Gallifrey One in February, making it three conventions in as many months! And all this while I’m in full-on work on my Six Frock Coat.
Luckily I have a slight lull in my schedule there, so a forced weekend away from the sewing machine is not entirely a bad thing.

I caught a train from London Euston - not the fastest of services, but I’m in no rush - and noticed we stopped at Matt Smith’s home town of Northampton along the way.

Bit of a grim journey though. Here’s the view from the train of the landscape en route.

Roll on the weekend!

The full story of my time at Midnight,
can be read here

Thursday 13 December 2012

Original 10th Doctor items - on eBay!

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a small flurry of original Doctor Who Props and costumes for sale on eBay. It’s been like a mini Bonhams auction!

Here’s what’s been on offer for Tenth Doctor fans.


Doctor Who ORIGINAL magnaclamp as used in the Doctor Who (2006) story Doomsday featuring the Daleks and Cybermen.

The prop is used at the end of the episode where the Doctor devises a plan to suck the Daleks and Cybermen back into the void.

Only 2 magnaclamps were made, this has been screen matched to the one used by David Tennant, as both have unique weathering.

The magnaclamp features a Torchwood bar code.
The LED lights still work, but the red light doesn't.

The magnaclamp does show signs of wear and tear ,which obviously is common for screen used items.
This is a VERY VERY heavy( over 5 kg ) prop made of metal and vac form plastic.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Bonhams auction - 12th December 2012

It’s nearly December, and that means yet another Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale.

As usual Doctor Who gets a look in, with a range of eras represented, including a stunningly colourful poster for the second Peter Cushing Dalek film, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD.

But the main items on offer cover the now finished spin-off series, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures.

Since both these series had the bulk of their runs alongside the Tennant era, I have listed them here in full.

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 Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures

Lot 150
Torchwood, Series 1 - Countrycide: A scale prop corpse model, with a slit-throat rolled in plastic sheeting, 2006, with numerous abrasions and cuts to the body, made of rubberised foam latex, splattered with fake blood, modelled to be hung by the feet, length - 72 inches (183cm.)
Estimate: £200 - 300
Sold for £250

Lot 151
Torchwood, 2006 - 2011: Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman): A full length RAF blue Great Coat, double breasted with domed gilt RAF-style buttons with raised wings and crown motif and Group Captain epaulettes, well worn with simulated bullet holes to each sleeve, labelled in the inside jacket pocket Angels, handwritten in blue ink John Barrowman, April '06, with attached BBC stock number
Estimate: £700 - 900
Sold for £2,125

Friday 9 November 2012

Louise Page - pitching for Ten

Since the beginning of the year I have presented a series of exclusive interviews and Q&As with Tenth Doctor costume designer Louise Page.

Louise has been very supportive and happy to discuss a number of topics form her time as Doctor Who costume designer.
I can’t thank her enough for talking about the Tenth Doctor’s Ties; revealing the makers of The Doctor’s Glasses; dressing the Fifth Doctor for Children In Need; and making the Sancturay Base Space Suit.

But how did she get the job of dressing The Doctor? What were her original thoughts on how he should look?

Today I have the first of a three part look at Louise’s pitch.

In the first part, she explains how she presented her initial ideas to Executive Producer Russell T Davies and Producer Phil Collinson.

You can read my review of
Louise Page’s School Project
on my Tennant Suit blog

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Revenge Of The Radiophonic Workshop

If you are a long-term reader of my blogs you will may remember I went to a concert given my ex-members of the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop.
It was a one-off event as the Workshop had long been disbanded in various cost cutting initiatives, and creating sounds doesn’t need the specialist equipment and skill that was previously employed.

Personally I think this tears the soul out of the soundscapes that encompass the type of production they used to compose for – but hey!

So, it’s great news to hear the Radiophonic Workshop is coming back – abet in an online presence.

BBC News - BBC Radiophonic Workshop revived online
I do hope it proves to be a success.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Tennant Coat - Cardiff photoshoots

You may well have seen the photos taken during my big Cardiff photoshoot. It was principally an Eleventh Doctor affair, but we had the chance to do some solo shots of the Tenth Doctor with Kevin Coppa wearing the Ultimate Tennant Suit.
Army Of Ghosts Playground
This is the playground at Canel Park that appears in Army Of Ghosts. It’s where The Doctor parks his TARDIS for the duration of the story.

I couldn’t see any ghosts around, but Kevin got quite animated at one point!
Torchwood Tower
Next we visited Roald  Dahl Plass in Cardiff city centre.

This is where the TARDIS landed in Boom Town, opening the rift towards the end of the episode.

The Doctor returned in Utopia.

This is also the site of Torchwood One’s secret underground base, The Hub.

Millennium Centre
Opposite the Torchwood tower is the Cardiff Millennium Centre, which has appeared a number of times in the new series.

The interior was seen in Boom Town, New Earth, Utopia, Last Of The Time Lords, and with some matt shot trickery in Vincent And The Doctor.

Ianto Memorial Wall
Down by the dock, obscuring the entrance to Torchwood One, is the Ianto Jones Memorial wall.

We took a moment to pay our respects to the loss of this cherished member of the Torchwood team.

Only a moment though.

Friday 8 June 2012

Bonhams Auction - 3rd July 2012

It’s coming to that time of year again, and the summer Memorabilia Auction at Bonhams is due to be held on 3rd July.

There’s not much in the sale of Doctor Who interest – just four items: one 1960s Dalek poster and three costume from David Tennant’s era.

Here are the details.

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 Tenth Doctor era

Lot 159
Doctor Who - The Runaway Bride, December 2006
Two Roboform costumes, one believed to have been David Tennant's disguise costume worn during the episode, each outfit comprising: a black hooded cape of wool, with Velcro® fastening and split side seam, together with a black wool jacket/coat, the costume attributed to Tennant with a pair of black loafer shoes and a black leather effect belt with large buckle, the other with belt only (2 costumes)
Estimate: £400 - 500
Sold for £1,000
NB This costume was originally sold for £438 at the 15th December 2011 auction (lot 163). Its estimate was also £400 - £500.

Lot 160
Doctor Who - Tooth and Claw, 2006
A maid's costume, as worn by Queen Victoria's staff, comprising: a black cotton dress, with button front with lace effect collar and cuffs, together with a fine net and lace belted apron
Estimate: £100 - 150
Sold for £225
NB This costume was originally sold for £400 at the 15th December 2011 auction (lot 159). Its estimate was also £100 - £150.

Lot 161
Doctor Who - Smith and Jones, 2007: A Slab guard costume,
comprising: a two-piece black leather biker type outfit, the leather jacket with geometric detail to top of sleeves with a pair of trousers, both labelled 'Hein Gericke' the jacket with label inside inscribed 'Matt', together with a pair of leather gauntlet/ gloves and a black cotton T-shirt (5)
The Slab guards protect the Plasmavore, Florence Finnegan whilst she is on Earth.

Estimate: £300 - 400
Sold for £237
NB This costume was originally sold for £225 at the 15th December 2011 auction (lot 164). Its estimate was also £300 - £400.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Louise Page - my precious memento

You will hopefully have seen the interviews I have conducted with costume designer Louise Page about her time creating the look and clothes for the Tenth Doctor.
I have now met her half a dozen times and resisted the urge to be a fanboy and ask for her autograph.

She is a real icon for designing the coat and suit I love so much, so asking her to just sign some photograph or a page of a book would not seem fitting enough for the esteem I hold her in.

When we first met at a local Starbucks, she brought along a large swatch of the fabric from the Tennant Coat and kindly gave it to me to keep.

During a later visit we discussed the blue suit at length, and she pulled out an equally large swatch of the blue suit fabric. Again I was thrilled to be given the swatch to keep.

Well this last visit I finally found THE one thing I wanted her to sign for me.

To keep the swatches safe and in pride of place, I found the perfect frame with a double mount to display them.
I keep it on top of my bookcase of tailoring books, along with my Matt Smith autographed convention brochure.

This was the perfect thing to finally ask her to sign, so she kindly captioned the two swatches on the mount and signed her name along the side.

She very much liked how I had framed the swatches, and was very happy to autograph it for me.

I now have the most FANTASTIC memento of meeting her. Thank you Louise!!

Saturday 3 March 2012

Tennant Coat does the Squidbillies

Well, this is an odd one.

One of my clients was at DragonCon in 2010 and cosplayed his Tennant costume.

He attended a panel for the Squidbillies tv series and managed to get dragged onto the stage for some audience participation!

The panel has been included as an extra on the DVD release (volume 4), but you can see what happened in this YouTube video.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Louise Page and my Tennant Coat

As you will have seen, costume designer Louise Page recently visited me again this week so that we could do a proper on-camera interview for my blogs.

While she was with me she got the opportunity to see one of my latest Tennant Coats.

She was most impressed with my work and my attention to detail. The back of the coat, with its complex darts, box pleat and buttoned vent particularly caught her eye.

But she was most taken with the custom lining I had specially woven last year.

She explained how the original had come from the stock room of Angels, and there was only just enough for the prototype (which was displayed at Earl’s Court) and three screen-used coats (one of which is at Olympia, prior to its move to a permanent home in Cardiff Bay).

We had the chance to compare mine with her sample of the original and it was a pretty good match.

I hadn’t had the benefit of access to her swatch, so I did the best I could, which had proved to be very good all things considered.

Watch out very soon on the Tennant Suit Blog, as well as on here, for some choice sound bites from Louise as she talks exclusively about creating the iconic look for the Tenth Doctor, including a tie-by-tie back-story.

Friday 3 February 2012


Today I’m launching a very special competition.

Do you have a question about the costumes of the David Tennant era you’ve always wanted answered?
Well now’s your chance.

You may have read that just before Christmas I had the enormous privilege of meeting costume designer Louise Page.
We had two meetings and I had the chance to chat costumes with her for over five hours!

Earlier today she returned to do a formal interview, which I will be serialising over the coming weeks.
I had lots of questions, but it struck me that I’m sure there are other fans who have more interesting questions to ask.

So I put the idea to Louise, who has agreed to answer twenty questions submitted by my readers, to be put to her during a planned interview this summer.
This gives you plenty of time to think over what you want to ask and submit your question.

I will be shortlisting the best questions, and although can’t guarantee to use them all, I will do my best to put as many as possible.

I will be attending Gallifrey One later this month, as well as both days of the Official Convention in March, so as well as email me you can submit your question in person, if you can catch me!
To submit your question, please email me at
Please limit your questions to the David Tennant era; be as concise as you can; and above all try and think of something that’s never been asked before.