These photos are from a variety of episodes and set photos from S7 and S8. Some photos may contain S8 spoilers if you have not seen the released set pictures for the upcoming series!!!! All images have been released as promo shots by the BBC (and are solely the intellectual property of the BBC and its authorized affiliates), and do not include any non-promo shots (i.e. taken by fans, released illegally, etc.)
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What is Moffat’s obsession with the color purple? Is his favorite food eggplant and he’s secretly working it in the scripts by dressing his characters in eggplant purple? Is there some correlation between the choice of when the characters wear this color and what is happening in the series at the time? As with everything in the Who-verse, no one but Mr. Moffat knows for certain, and there is fan speculation surrounding almost every line, scene, and detail. Some of it will become relevant as we go along with the series, and some will be happy coincidences. Some points will be poignant, while others will be absolutely silly; some will turn out to be correct, while others, in hindsight, will be incredibly wrong. But while we all speculate, I really want to know what Moffat is doing with this specific shade of purple! It is certainly worth pointing out that traditionally purple has been considered the “Royal Color” – the color of the King, Queen, or other royalty. While no character listed is royalty strictly speaking, The Doctor is a Lord; it may not be a Lord of the land, but he is a Lord of Time and thus his title and species implies a social hierarchy. The implication seems to be that the Time Lords are a higher level species than the ones they regulate, having stopped creatures from the dawn of time and the ability to travel forward and backward throughout the universe’s entire history. Aside from any royal ties, this color is woven in throughout S7 and S8 in the main character’s wardrobe with some consistency. We do not know the circumstances surrounding each characters mood during the scenes we see the color in, and we do not know if it is symbolic or significant. We are aware that it is prominent enough, and woven into the main character’s costumes with a frequency that makes it worth looking at.
Let’s start back in S7, “The Snowmen” with Matt Smith’s Doctor introducing a slightly longer purple coat with a stove pipe hat in contrast to his typical tweed jacket. The shade of purple woven throughout the episode is slightly different to the specific purples used throughout S8, but it is our first introduction to the color that will become prominent in the main character’s wardrobes. This episode was also The Doctor’s first introduction to Clara as a true and human companion, having previously seen her in “Asylum of the Daleks” as an auxiliary companion in a Dalek shell. This outfit on its own was a fantastic costume choice, demonstrating The Doctor’s slightly more jaded side after losing the Ponds with the full swish of a jacket behind him, in addition to the more Victorian feel. We see him wear this outfit at different points in S7, with Smith finally regenerating in the purple-ish jacket in “The Time of The Doctor.”
Vastra from the Paternoster gang in “The Snowmen” appears to be wearing a very similar shade of purple while out and about the streets. Interestingly, the gang keeps a relatively low profile, and The Doctor is avoiding human contact, while they are both wearing this shade in the episode. Whether this is because the purple is visually aesthetic with the rest of the scenery, or because it ties the two characters together, or is part of a further reaching story arch, we still cannot say, but this is the first introduction to this shade we have.