The long-running popular TV series Doctor Who is, Piers Britton argues, a 'uniquely design intensive text': its time-and-space-travel premise requires that designers be tirelessly imaginative in devising new worlds and entities and recreating past civilizations. While Doctor Who’s attempts at worldbuilding are notorious for being hit-and-miss – old jokes about wobbly walls and sink plungers die hard – the distinctiveness of the series’ design imagery is beyond question. And over the course of six decades Doctor Who has produced designs which are not only iconic but, in being repeatedly revisited and updated, have proven to be an ever-more important element in the series’ identity and mythos.
In the first in-depth study of Doctor Who’s costumes, sets and graphics, Piers Britton offers an historical overview of both the original and the revived series, explores theoretical frameworks for evaluating Doctor Who design, and provides detailed analysis of key images. Case studies include the visual morphology of Doctor Who’s historical adventures, the evaluative character of cosplay, and the ongoing significance for the Doctor Who brand of such high-profile designs as the Daleks and the TARDIS interior, the ‘time-tunnel’ title sequence, and the costumes of the Fourth and Thirteenth Doctors.