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Christine Rawlins

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Christine Rawlins was the credited costumer for season 7 of the 1963 version of Doctor Who. She later designed costumes for The Sun Makers. Along with Daphne Dare, she was one of only two people who received the credit on an entire season's serials.[1]

Principle designs Edit

Her most enduring design was likely the basic early "look" of the Third Doctor, which was based on the look of the titular character in Adam Adamant Lives!, at least according to Rawlins' recollections. As the exclusive costumer for season 7, she also designed all of Liz Shaw's garments.

Likewise, she had significant contributions to make to the iconic looks of certain recurring enemies. She was responsible for the bodies of the Autons and Silurians, while the visual effects department supplied the masks. However, the chocolate-coloured UNIT uniforms, so associated with season 7, weren't her design at all, but a reuse of Bobi Bartlett's work for The Invasion. (REF: The Third Doctor Handbook)

Legacy Edit

Rawlins was not particularly happy to be assigned to Doctor Who, as she didn't like science fiction. She once claimed never to have watched the show outside of what was necessary to complete her job.

However, she believed herself to have been influential in changing the way the BBC allocated costumers to Doctor Who. Because she was booked for the whole season, she was, at any one moment, required by the director of the serial being recorded and the one that was next in the recording schedule. "It was tricky," she once said in a 1988 interview with The Frame. "I do think my design was pretty awful, for that reason. I was the last costume designer to do a whole year of Doctor Who. Afterwards the BBC, in their wisdom, changed that policy." (REF: The Third Doctor Handbook)

Indeed, no costumer was assigned to more than six consecutive episodes for the remainder of the programme's original run. Though the broadcast order might've created the illusion of longer stretches of continuous employment — such as Barbara Kidd's involvement with season 12 or Ken Trew's with season 26 — the production order ensured costumers weren't getting overburdened. The next person to tackle an entire season was Lucinda Wright, some thirty-five years later — but that was for the radically different production environment of the BBC Wales version, for which series-long commitments are the norm for a costume designer.

Other credits Edit

Doctor Who was one of Rawlins' first credits, having come to Who from her first major gig on the first series of The Liver Birds, starring Pauline Collins. After Who she was the costumer on an episode of Out of the Unknown written by Brian Hayles, while simultaneously working on the iconic comedy, Are You Being Served?. She next did a few episodes of Terry Nation's Survivors. She worked steadily throughout the next three decades, costuming such productions as: An Englishman's Castle with Nigel Havers, Isla Blair, Philip Bond, and Rob Edwards; the children's fantasy, The Box of Delights with Patrick Troughton; the comedy Ever Decreasing Circles with Richard Briers and Penelope Wilton; and the mystery series Rosemary & Thyme starring Felicity Kendal.

She won a BAFTA TV award for her work on 1987's Fortunes of War, starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, and featuring Ronald Pickup, Vernon Dobtcheff, Anthony Calf, Barry Jackson, Clifford Rose, and Patricia Quinn.

Footnotes Edit

  1. In fairness, though, other 1960s costumers had comparable work histories, thanks to season 7's much abbreviated production schedule over previous years. Sandra Reid, for example, had done as many consecutive stories as Rawlins. And Martin Baugh had worked on a significantly greater number of continuous episodes, but they were split over season 5 and season 6.

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