1. A stitch in time
There’s no other drama series like Doctor Who – you can go anywhere in space and time, and meet creatures and characters beyond your imagination! There are huge alien worlds to create and historical periods to venture through, and one of the production roles bringing those people and places to life is the costume designer.
Ray Holman was the costume designer on series nine of Doctor Who, having previously designed series five of spin-off Torchwood and many other television shows. But how did he become a costume designer? And what are the unique challenges when making Doctor Who?
From starting out on a college course to working in the film and television industry, Ray reveals what it’s like to work on one of TV's most challenging shows.
2. Meet the costume designer
In Ray Holman's huge experience, Doctor Who is a unique series to work on. He tells us here exactly why and how concept leads to costume.
4. How do I become a costume designer?
Entering the film and television industry can seem like a daunting task. But as Ray Holman explains, there are many ways, and many skills, that can lead you there.
It isn’t simply about fashion and fabric – understanding television, film and theatre production from the ground-up is vital, and being a part of a big and disparate design team is one of the most rewarding parts of the process.
There are many ways into the industry – some academic, some not – and many skills which can lead you to become involved in a costume department.
Ray’s own journey is completely unique and personal to him, but each member of the team he has assembled has come from a different background. They share one common trait though – a passion for a costume, character and storytelling.
Doctor Who is testament to why a team of people with wide-ranging talents is vital to its success. With each new episode are new design challenges and new characters.
Knowledge of period dress will always be necessary in designing for Doctor Who, but then so is an understanding of technology and modern design techniques which come from that. Creatures from new civilisations will always have tonal touchstones that influence every aspect of their design from costume to spaceships to weaponry, and a wide and varied skillset within a department is vital for capturing that.
There’s no one trajectory for becoming a costume designer, but Ray knows exactly what attitude, approach, and abilities will stand you in good stead for achieving your goal.
5. Gallery: From sketch to reality
In designing a costume, Ray has worked with directors, producers and actors to refine the concept before making the final costume with his talented team. Here we take the original concept and show you the completed costume as it appeared on-screen in Doctor Who – the journey from idea to realisation.
6. Decide your destiny
The Doctor's adventures can take him anywhere in the universe, through time and space. What would you most like to design for?