Gally 2016: A Beginner Attempts Cosplay

(The first in a four-part series recounting my experiences at this year’s Gallifrey One. Enjoy…)

Of course, you don’t have to cosplay to enjoy the convention scene. But it can help.

And when you’re talking about a Doctor Who convention, it helps a lot.

I was pretty much my usual self when I first attended Gallifrey One last year. But I was already thinking about dressing up for future conventions. So when I somehow managed to score a ticket to this year’s con (it’s a long story), I couldn’t throw away my shot.

It was more or less a foregone conclusion that I’d suit up as Twelve. And I thought it would be fun to try a variant of the “punk rock Doctor” look Peter Capaldi introduced in “Last Christmas” and “The Magician’s Apprentice.” But I have little experience in costuming, and even less expertise. So I tried to improvise.

imageI ordered the coat from the official Doctor Who shop. Although it is licensed, it’s not quite on the level of the jacket Capaldi wears in his more stylish episodes (think “Flatline”). But it’s perfect for the Time Lord who runs around introducing “dude” into vocabularies several centuries too early.

I found a reasonable facsimile for the hoodie at JCPenney (and at a price much lower than I was prepared to pay). The boots came from Target – not screen accurate, but suitable for a ridiculous amount of running. The slacks were right out of my closet, and the sunglasses were my own.

imageThe T-shirt was the most interesting challenge. It’s nearly impossible to find the exact shirts Capaldi wears online (most of the Twelve cosplayers I’ve met actually make their own reproductions), so I decided to have a little fun choosing my own. And knowing that Capaldi’s a lifelong fan of David Bowie (and even lobbied to have him on the show… oh, the feelings), I thought a “Heroes” shirt would pay fitting tribute. I even came up with a backstory for it…


“I knew Ziggy Stardust. We used to hang out on Mars. He was always going on about going to Earth and starting a band. I tried to talk him out of it. I told him, ‘The kids there, they’ll kill ya.’ He should have listened to me…

“So five years later I was sharing a pint with this bloke named David Jones. I told him the whole story. He told me he could make an album out of it – I said sure, why not. I really wasn’t paying attention to him. The next time I saw him he was the biggest rock star in the world.

“But he had to go and be ginger.

I wanted to be ginger!”

fb_img_1456972943554.jpgAnd so, with all the pieces together, I introduced the costume in a brief preview on Halloween. It went over fairly well.

But the real test awaited. Gallifrey One. Where I would be surrounded by hundreds of professional and amateur cosplayers. People who devote so much time and energy and money into crafting their costumes almost from scratch. People like Andrew Elkins (aka Geek Regeneration, one of the best Fourth Doctors I’ve ever seen) and Riff Millar (a spot-on Delgado Master) and The Whovian Complex and so many more. How could I compare to so many regulars and experts?


Bear in mind, reader, that I worry too much. My take on Dude Twelve received so many compliments, online and off. Random people came up to me and asked to take their picture with me.

And the experts?

They were the most supportive of all.

I had so much fun in the costume that now I’m thinking of trying something new for next year, and I’m welcoming all suggestions. Another Master? Count Scarlioni? The War Doctor? Who can say?

(That pun was entirely unintentional. But I suspect that none of you will believe me.)

I have a little time to think about it. Always time…

Thanks to everyone for your continued support. I’ll be back soon with more tales from Gally.

Until then…

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