Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Bonhams auction - 15th December 2016

Every six months I eager anticipate the Bonhams Entertainment auctions at Knightsbridge.

They often turn up Doctor Who props and especially costumes. In the past we ’ve seen Tom’s trademark scarf sold, and even one of the velvet frock coats.

This time around, to say there is very little on offer is an understatement - only one solitary item. But it is a pair of shoes worn by Tom during his time as The Doctor!
Bonhams Sale 23527
15th December 2016
Entertainment Memorabilia

Lot 46 Tom Baker as The Fourth Doctor, a pair of brown brogues, 1970s,with four eyelets, inner stamped Regent Made In England, right shoe with indistinct size stamp but believed to be 12

FOOTNOTES
Ex-lot 144, 'The Angels Film Costume Auction', 23rd May 2010, Cameo Fine Art Auctioneers.

Estimate £800 - 1,200

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Frock Coat Of Evil

After last week’s grey tweed frock coat, this week I completed work on what chronologically was Tom’s next coat, the brown velvet version which debuted in Face Of Evil!


This too was a client-led project, and something I hadn’t done before so again the production time inevitably became quite drawn out.


The main challenge was to source a velvet in just the right shade of brown.

I have a couple of suppliers I go to for velvets. It’s from these that I sourced the velvets for the Sixth Doctor Frock Coat, as well as the collar of my City of Death coat.

One of my UK based supplier has over 40 colours and up till now hasn’t let me down, but for this particular coat the range of browns they stock just didn’t match the screen-worn shade I was after.

Next I looked to a manufacturer I use for corduroy and moleskin who also has a range of velvets, but again their range was too narrow to cover what I was looking for.

Next on my list was a stockist in Germany who have a good range, but it’s difficult sometimes to communicate the shade you want and the range of browns they sent still didn’t have what I was looking for. They also were a little on the heavy side, and given the fluid drape I need for the skirt part of the coat, the cloth really wasn’t suitable.

This left a final option - the various cloth and fabric shops of London’s Soho.

To be honest I don’t like to use Soho for a coats like this, as although you can sometimes find what you want, the stock isn’t repeatable and be a dead-end for future coats. When the Doctor Who costume designers find cloth here, like off-the-peg clothing used on the series, by the time you find where it came from the last of the cloth as gone and can’t be restocked.

However, I did find a couple of potential fabrics I was happy to show to the client, and sent him swatches. He wasn’t convinced and we went back and forward before agreeing that one of them could work.

Sadly though, by the time I got back to the shop my fears had come true - the last of that shade had been sold!
Despondent I looked through a couple more shops before heading home and chanced upon a PERFECT match - even better than the first choice I had sent the client.

Rather than let it slip through my fingers, I snapped up enough to make the coat, plus a second for myself, which I’ll make at a later date.

I conveyed the results of my trip back to the client and put a swatch in the post - but time was now of the essence and I needed to crack on with making the coat in time for his deadline around Halloween.

To cut the coat, I used a combination of the Eighth Doctor Night Of The Doctor coat I made, with the grey Android Invasion coat I did recently.






To be frank - having studied photos of the brown velvet frock coat - I don’t much care for it.

I feel the original was probably made in a rush and wasn’t best thought out or executed.

It has a set of waistline level pockets, but the flap are disproportionately large and look to have been hand sewn in place as an after thought. You can see the hand stitching in this screencap (see left).

Having discussed this with the client, we agreed to make the flaps large, but just pull back a little from their near comical size, so I used the pattern size of the lower pockets from the City Of Death and Android Invasion coats as a guide.

The buttons for this coat are very easy to match as they are simply self-covers buttons.
All I had to do was keep hold of some scraps of cloth left over during sewing, and took them along when I had the buttonholes sewn. The guy that does them also makes covered buttons while you wait!


The tailoring on this coat has been deliberately loose and lightweight. Where I would usually use a horse-hair or calico backing to support the cloth, I have erred on the side of a lighter weight or even a cotton pocketing fabric. This has made the the skirt of the coat hang very limp and the body is a lot looser on the the chest.

Although this doesn’t make it my best work in that regard, it’s given the coat a saggy pre-worn look I feel original had.

In hide-sight there are a couple of changes I might have made to the cut, but as it is the first time I have made this coat you can’t always 100% predict how it will turn out.

I’d love to hear what you think of the coat, as it’s taken quite a while to get to this stage!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Invasions Of The Frock Coats

Once in a while I am client-led when it comes to what new garments I make. And here is a case in point. What follows is a bit of an insight into how I work towards making one of my replicas.

After already making one Tom Baker coat for a client - who was over the moon with the result - he asked me if I could make another for him, but one as yet I hadn’t done - the grey frock coat that debuted in season 13’s The Android Invasion.

As it happened I had found sone PERFECT brown corduroy fabric a few years back, with the distinctive wide/narrow configuration.
It’s quite a chestnut brown colour, but being 100% cotton it means over-dyeing it to the required dark chocolate brown will not be a problem when it comes to it.

The main tweed fabric, however, is something more of a challenge.

It’s been often described and mis-identified as a Donegal akin to Matt Smith’s series five jacket. This is what is known as a classic hopscotch weave - one over/one under which forms a sort of checkerboard design.

But if you look closely you can see it actually is more of a vertical and horizontal grid pattern, so is a much more complex structure.

This detail rarely showed up the broadcast episodes as the definition of cameras back in the 1970s tended to mush the appearance of the coat into a single light grey colour.

Similarly most publicity stills fail to capture this detail of the fabric.

So finding a suitable cloth was going to be a problem, which in the end took months of research to track down, and endless discussions with a number of weavers with a view to recreating it from scratch.

After heading down the former then latter route, I chanced upon a near identical weave in the perfect colour way freely available in a fabric supplier’s catalogue. before rushing to buying the cloth I took a swatch to mull it over.


Convinced it was a good option, I first ordered one metre so I could do a drape and photography test.

It’s all very well finding a palm-sized swatch, but how the cloth will look en-mass in a garment is a whole other thing.
I think the scale of the weave is maybe a fraction large, but I am interested in how it looks at a distance, comparable with a publicity still, and to see if the weave forms an even grey colour.

I felt it was a success -  so finally the coat was on!

At this stage I shan’t bore you with the ins and outs of making the coat, I’m sure you want me to skip to the end and show you how it came out, so here it is!

This the the coat with the whole ensemble - shirt, waistcoat, cravat and of course scarf!

Losing the scarf so you can see more of the coat itself, here it is.

And this is how the coat looks from the back.




You can see how the cuffs are laid-in, with buttons aligning with the back seam, above which is the unusually sewn-in leather elbow patches.


I have also faithfully as I can recreated the deceptive closure of the coat. Although it has a button and buttonhole configuration for a double breasted coat, it is intended to be worn single breasted, with a toggle made from two buttons sewn together to pull the leading edges together.




As far as I have been able to find, this was only ever seen once, early on in The Android Invasion. For the rest of the coats appearances, the toggle was left dangling, often from the lower from buttonhole, as you can see in this photo from Horror Of Fang Rock.

I have drawn the line though at having the missing buttons which plagued the coat’s appearances down the years!

I managed to track down some buttons, which I think are a really great match to those used on the original. They were a chance find and now they are on the coat they look fab!

I’d love to hear what you think of the coat, as it’s taken quite a while to get to this stage.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Original 4th Doctor items on eBay -
July 2016

Now, this (or certainly other similar masks) have been doing the rounds since massive BBC Costume Sale in 1992!

GENUINE SCREEN SEEN DR WHO CHLORIAN GUARD MASK FROM THE 1979 TOM BAKER SERIAL "THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT" IN EXCELLENT CONDITION
COMPLETE WITH PROVENANCE SIGNED BY JUNE HUDSON.
VERY DESIRABLE PIECE, PROPS FROM THE MUCH LOVED TOM BAKER ERA DONT TURN UP VERY OFTEN.
BEEN IN MY PRIVATE COLLECTION FOR A GOOD FEW YEARS NOW, STORED OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT IN A SMOKE FREE ENVIRONMENT

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Bonham auction - 29th June 2016

After Bamfords nipped in earlier this month an stole Bonhams thunder, it’s now time for the summer Film and Entertainment auction at Bonhams in Knightsbridge.

There is a mix of new items; some items previously sold; and some items from previous sales that went unsold, now listed with lower estimates.

For the Fourth Doctor it is all new stuff which I haven’t seen at auction before.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era
Lot 81
Doctor Who: 'The Invasion Of Time', a Gallifreyan Outsider's cloak,

1978, of multi-coloured, striped cloth, applied with animal-print panels, and green and blue faux fur pieces, beaded cords

FOOTNOTES
The cloak was screen used in the 1978 story 'The Invasion Of Time' and later reused in the 1989 story, 'Survival', as a Cheetah Person's horse blanket.
Estimate £1,000 - 1,500

UNSOLD

Bamfords Entertainment Auction -
8th June 2016

The summer Film and Entertainment auction at Bonhams is at the end of this month, but before then there is a bonus auction at Bamfords.

I’m not aware of Bamfords selling Doctor Who items before, but their sale next week has twenty-one lots - rivalling any Bonhams auction in recent years.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Fourth Doctor era

Lot 4014 - Doctor Who - a mask.
Doctor Who - a mask, Davros, Creator of the Daleks, 32cm high

Sold for £170

Lot 4020 - Doctor Who - Meglos - a Caris costume
Doctor Who - Meglos - a Caris costume, worn by Colette Gleeson, 18th Season, first broadcast 27th September to 18th October 1980, jacket, white quilted fabric with black trim

Sold for £300


Lot 4027 - Doctor Who - The Creature From the Pit - a Chlorian costume and mask
Doctor Who - The Creature From the Pit - a Chlorian costume and mask, 17th Season, originally broadcast 27th October - 17th November 1979, maroon crushed velvet jacket

Sold for £500


Lot 4028 - Doctor Who - The Horns of Nimon - a Soldeed costume
Doctor Who - The Horns of Nimon - a Soldeed costume, worn by Graham Crowden, 17th Season, first broadcast 22nd December 1979 - 12th January 1980, green and pale gold quilted fabric

Sold for £600

Lot 4032 - Doctor Who and the Prisoner of Azkaban - a helmet mask
Doctor Who and the Prisoner of Azkaban - a helmet mask, 33cm high

Sold for £1,400

Monday, 30 May 2016

Original 4th Doctor items on eBay -
May 2016

It’s been a bit quiet on eBay for original Fourth Doctor items, but I did come across this one screen-used costume, and a rather amazing opportunity to buy your very own Bessie!

Power of Kroll
refinery uniform
Jacket, trousers and belt worn by the actor Graham Mallard portraying the character Harg in The Power of Kroll (1978/9), the fifth story in the Key to Time season. Harg is dragged to his death by Kroll through a pipeline at the end of Episode 2.

Costume purchased at auction on 3 April 1983 at the Doctor Who Celebration: 20 Years of a Time Lord in Longleat.

The costume has been stored in a smoke free environment since purchase and is in overall very good condition. The patterned fabric has hardened and become somewhat brittle at the shoulders. The name GRAHAM MALLARD is hand written on a tag sewn into the back of the trousers.

Happy to sell internationally (can amend postage preferences from those listed as required).









BESSIE - Ford Siva Edwardian Tourer
FORD SIVA EDWARDIAN 4 SEATER TOURER
STARTED LIFE IN 1952 AS A FORD ANGLIA E494A
REBODIED IN EARLY 1970'S WITH SIVA PRODUCED BODY - 100 WERE MADE , BUT ONLY 18 BELIEVED TO BE IN EXISTANCE
DUE TO E494A CHASSIS = NO HYDRAULICS ON BRAKING OR CLUTCH TO WORRY ABOUT - ALL CABLE / RODS
STARTS ON THE BUTTON - AND DRIVES SUPERB
REMOVABLE SOFT TOP
SEMAPHORE TRAFFICATORS- ALL ELECTRICS CONVERTED TO 12 VOLT
ONLY 3 KEEPERS SINCE NEW

TAXATION CLASS - HISTORIC
NO TAX OR MOT REQUIRED

FULLY COM INSURANCE AROUND £60 A YEAR
OVER 60 YEARS OLD - SMALL BLEMISHES ON PAINTWORK - BUT COMES WITH AEROSOL TOUCH UP PAINT
WOULD BENEFIT FROM WOODWORK RE-VARNISHING

ONLY SELLING DUE TO CHANGE IN WORK CONTRACT - NO LONGER GET ENOUGH WEEKENDS OFF TO ENJOY

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Barking Signing - 16th April 2016

This weekend was the latest Barking Celebrity Signing event run by Tenth Planet Events.

Barking Signing - 16th April 2016
As seems typical these days, one or two guests have been postponed to later events, or have cancelled at the last minute, leaving barely five celebrities to meet.

Luckily though, two aspects of the line-up I really wanted to meet were in attendance, so it was still well worth the trip across London to see them.

I’m of that age that went through my formative years during the Hinchcliffe era of Doctor Who, so adventures like Genesis Of The Daleks, Robots Of Death, The Talons Of Weng-Chiang and of course The Brain Of Morbius are etched on my own brain!

So it was jaw dropping to hear that Cynthia Grenville, who played Maren, the high priestess of The Sisterhood Of Karn was coming, along with one of her hand-maidens, Ohica, played by Gillian Brown. Not only this, a photo-opportunity with them both was on offer - something I would make the effort to get on this occasion.

This did mean getting to Barking a bit early than I usually do, battling against weekend engineering works to do so. That said I planned my route well and was there ahead of schedule to get my photo.

I couldn't resist taking along my Tom Baker coat and scarf to make the photo that extra bit special. Both actresses remarked on my coat, which was super-flattering.


Once I had my photo, it was time to gather some autographs for my book.

CYNTHIA GRENVILLE is known for Secrets and Poldark, as well as playing Maren, leader of The Sisterhood Of Karn in The Brain of Morbius.

On stage she appeared in Fiddler on the Roof at Her Majesty's Theatre with Topol.

Cynthia was a delight to meet, sharp as a button and while signing asked if I wanted hr to write her character name after her signature, so she knew her stuff.



GILLIAN BROWN played Ohica in The Brain of Morris. Since then she has been seen in Grange Hill as the librarian; The Mayor of Casterbridge as Lucetta's Maid. Parts followed in Angels,  Z Cars, Owen, M.D., and  Colditz.


I remarked to Gillian that her episodes were amongst my absolute favourites from my youth, to which she commented that the sets wobbled and it was all a bit rushed.

I reassured her it was so well written and acted that it out-shone any of the short-comings to make it a classic.

CY TOWN was a Dalek Operator who worked on every Dalek story produced from Frontier in Space to Remembrance of the Daleks.

He also appeared in Miss Marple: Nemesis, Reilly: Ace of Spies, The Meaning of Life, Blakes 7, Z Cars, The Brothers, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Upstairs Downstairs, Dad's Army, Moonbase 3, Doomwatch and Steptoe and Son.

Cy is notable for being the only surviving Dalek operator from the original run of Doctor Who. John Scott Martin, who appeared from the very first to very last Dalek appearance (as the Special Weapons Dalek) died in 2009. Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser, Gerald Taylor and Peter Murphy have all since passed on.

He signed my book to share a page with Dalek voice-overs Nicholas Briggs, Brian Miller and David Graham.

DANIEL HOFFMAN-GILL played Bors in the Series 9 prequel The Doctor's Meditation and the episode The Magician's Apprentice.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill is also known for My Last Five Girlfriends, Kill Keith and Galavant.
On stage he performed in a number of productions for the Nottingham Playhouse, including Heaven of Davids, The Ashes, Of Mice and Men and Jack & The Beanstalk.

Daniel is a real gentle giant, and such an enthusiastic guy to talk to. He’s a big Star Wars fan it appears, and he instantly clocked my Finn jacket I was wearing.


ANNETTE ANDRE
is well known for playing  Marty Hopkirk's widow Jeannie in the ITC series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Prior to that she made regular appearances in other genre series The Avengers, The Saint, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Troubleshooters, The Baron and The Prisoner, as well as The Persuaders!, The New Avengers and Return of the Saint. In the 1980s, she appeared in the soap opera Crossroads as well as returning to Australia to play Camilla Wells in Prisoner (retitled Prisoner: Cell Block H in the US and UK).

As Anette isn’t a Doctor Who celebrity, I got her to sign my copy of The Prisoner Companion.


This was a book I took with me to all the interviews I conducted while making my documentaries about The Prisoner back in the 1990s.
It has well over 100 signatures from cast and crew, many of whom have since passed on.

Once everyone had their photoshoots and autographs, it was then time for a Q & A session with the guests.


The line-up for the Q&A was quite short, being only five guest, but on the up-side it gave more time for each to talk and recount their times working on Doctor Who (or the shows they are known for).

The interviews, conducted by Robert Dick, were kicked off by Anette Andre who discussed her time on Randall And Hopkirk (deceased).



She recalled the difficulties of not only doing the appearing and disappearing effects during filming, but playing scenes were she cannot ‘see’ one of her co-stars, but the other could. Scenes would have to often be shot twice over to represent who could see what at which points during the action!

She went on to talk at length about working on The Saint with Roger Moore.
She found the director hard to work with, but once Roger had a quiet word with him she found her time on the show a joy.

Finally she discussed working with Patrick McGoohan on The Prisoner, which by total contrast was horrendous to work with.

Patrick could be difficult with leading ladies, to say the least and Anette found it hard to play scenes where the actor opposite her would not look her in the eye.

Cy looked back on his time on Doctor Who with a great deal of fondness. He had played small parts before settling to becoming a Dalek regularly from 1973 until towards the end of the series in 1988.

He did tell me (during the autograph session) that he used to drive an old been up car. During Resurrection Of The Daleks he parked in the BBC car park, not far from Peter Davison’s BMW. Between their cars a stage-hand was parking and hit Cy’s car. Peter noticed and said, “At least it wasn’t mine he hit!”. Charming!!!