Doctor Who and Bow Ties
Bow ties are cool.
–Matt Smith during his tenure as the 11th Doctor
Here’s an interesting fact… Doctor Who jefe Steven Moffat (also of Sherlock fame) didn’t want Smith to wear a bow tie as part of his character’s outfit. According to RadioTimes, Moffat said:
Matt said ‘I should be a boffin, I think I need to go with the bow tie’ and I said ‘No, absolutely not, you’re not wearing a bow tie – that’s a cartoon idea of what Doctor Who is… Oh, you are going to wear a bow tie – you look incredible in it.
And from that moment on he suddenly came to life, and he put the tweed jacket on and suddenly he’s leaping round the room with a biro pen and that was it – he was the Doctor.
He’s likely glad that he let Smith prevail with his insistence to have the Doctor sport bow ties. In fact, men’s fashion retailers are as well as sales surged after the Doctor sported them.
The 11th Doctor isn’t the only Doctor to wear bow ties. Patrick Troughton’s 2nd Doctor did, too. Jon Pertwee’s 3rd Doctor and David Tennant’s 10th Doctor also wore them sometimes. In related neckwear history, William Hartnell’s 1st Doctor and Colin Baker’s 6th Doctor wore long ties and cravats tied in bows.
Thus, bow ties and Doctor Who are “tied” together, and fan art is one source of evidence for this connection. Fan art is awesome as it allows fans of a franchise to enrich the characters, story lines, and other elements that inspire them, and the media companies don’t seem to mind that much. Georgetown Law professor and former US Supreme Court clerk Rebecca Tushnet told Reason, “Big content companies largely recognize that fan activities are really good for them because they engage people.”*
The Doctor Who fan community is a passionate and vibrant one, and it certainly has a large corpus of fan art. Since bow ties are an integral part of the franchise, they play a prominent role in the fandom. So, without further ado, here’s a collection of bow ties in the fan art. Some of this art includes drawings, graphic designs, nail polish designs, dolls, and franchise mashups. Stay tuned, this Pinterest board will likely grow over time.
*However, that doesn’t mean media companies don’t sometimes seek legal action against fan artists and authors, and Tushnet helps the Organization for Transformative Works defend fans that face such legal action.