22 July 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Costume Designer, Colin Lavers.

Colin was the credited costumer for four Doctor Who serials, most in the Peter Davison era. As the designer of costumes for Four to Doomsday — the first adventure that Davison recorded — he was responsible for helping to realise The Fifth Doctor's iconic "look".

One part of The Fifth Doctor's costume that was not his idea was the retention of the question mark-lapeled shirt from Tom Baker's season 18 look. He was specifically asked to keep them in, via a 10 February 1981 memo from John Nathan-Turner to Lavers. "I do feel that the Doctor Who shirt with the '?' mark on the lapels is worth hanging on to," wrote Nathan-Turner.

A couple of years later, Lavers' duties on The Five Doctors gave him the opportunity to clothe a wide range of Doctors and companions, some of whom had never been seen on colour television before. Combined with his turns on his other two serials, The Power of Kroll and The King's Demons, he provided outfits for more recurring characters in "classic" Doctor Who than any other costumer.

He provided new or significantly modified outfits for the Fifth Doctor, The Master, Susan, Sarah Jane, Liz, Zoe, Jamie, the Brigadier, Romana I and Tegan. He recreated costumes for Mike Yates and The First, Second and Third Doctors. Although he didn't actually design this last group's costumes, their Five Doctors costumes were at least subtly different from those they had worn in any other serial. In his stories, Lavers failed to provide costumes for only two main characters: Turlough and the Fourth Doctor

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Colin's family and friends.

[Sources: Richard Kewing; TARDIS Index File]

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