To look back on Doctor Who, one would be forgiven for believing that the series proposal must have been longer than all the Harry Potter books combined. If I was to erase the memory of Doctor Who from anyone on the planet other than myself and try and present the series as a new and original idea, I don’t know which outcome would be more likely. On the one hand I could be met with fistfuls of dollars being thrust in my face, on the other I could be escorted to a van and be kept away from sharp objects for the rest of my life. You can’t construct in the same way, some of the elements that have become fundamental parts of Doctor Who Folklore.
In 2005 we were reassured, this is how it was, this is how it is now, and this is how it always will be. So here is a run down of some of the happiest accidents in Doctor Who history.
10. The Fourth Doctor’s Scarf
This is an easy one to start off with. The tale behind Tom Baker’s infamously long scarf is no secret. The original designs for the costume simply showed that the Doctor needed a scarf of regular length. A lovely lady known as Begonia Pope was hired to knit the scarf and was delivered a selection of colours of wool to choose from however when the production team arrived several weeks later, the poor woman had used all of it! The scarf went around Tom Baker several times, but the production team decided to keep it.
During the Tom Baker years the scarf began to get longer in accordance with Tom Baker’s wishes. It seems the knitting bug was addictive. The production team may have tried to imitate the same success with Colin Baker’s costume, which dramatically backfired and turned out to be one of the most criticized features in Doctor Who history. It just goes to show what a delicate balance there is between the overdesigned and the serendipitous.