At the end of Heaven Sent, the Doctor

is wearing his purple velvet outfit and inside his confession dial there was another purple wet one.

So why, at the very beginning of Hell Bent,

is he wearing a black suit that doesn't look like it fits?
He couldn't have gotten it on Gallifrey, as they don't dress like that and he's wearing it in the first scene before he can find anything or anyone.
In my opinion he is not wearing the velvet one because of Clara, and him wanting revenge he's sort of half Doctor half War Doctor because he's angry...

But is that a continuity error or purposefully done ?

  • 1
    i just assumed that what he was "wearing" inside the Confession Dial was all an illusion / trick of how the dial worked but I dunno.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 2, 2016 at 16:00
  • you could be right and i was kinda thinking along the same lines but he was teleported to the confession dial straight from trap street and in the trap street he was wearing the velvet outfit unless he was not teleported straight to the confession dial and was put there via somewhere else......which would be a hell of a long winded thing to do lol
    – daniel
    Jan 2, 2016 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


He got the suit in the Gallifreyan barn, when he made his plan of action.

I wondered about exactly the same thing. The only possible solution is that he got the black coat on Gallifrey. And I've made a sizeable collection of screenshots to pinpoint the time when he gets it: while he's 'sulking' in the barn on Gallifrey.

In Face the Raven, he's wearing the same velvet outfit as in Heaven Sent:

Face the Raven Heaven Sent

And he's still wearing it after he emerges from the confession dial onto Gallifrey at the end of Heaven Sent:

Heaven Sent Gallifrey

In Hell Bent, he still has the velvet jacket when he's lying on a bunk inside the barn with that grim look on his face:

Hell Bent velvet

He gets up in his shirtsleeves to see the General with a platoon of soldiers, and immediately goes back inside. While the General reports back to Rassilon, we see a shot of the Doctor dressing himself in the black jacket for the first time:

Hell Bent black 1 Hell Bent black 2

He's wearing it when the Gallifreyan bigwigs with their silly hats bow to him, and still wearing it when he goes out to meet Rassilon.

As for why he changes his coat, he answers that question himself during Hell Bent:

CLARA: What happened to your coat? The velvety coat. I liked that one, it was it was very Doctor-y.
DOCTOR: I changed it.
DOCTOR: Well, I can't be the Doctor all the time.

Presumably he decided on this black coat and put it on when he decided on his plan of action. Seizing control of Gallifrey in a military coup, murdering the man who helped him do so, and venturing back into the dreaded Cloisters was a very cool, very dark, and very un-Doctory way to proceed, and he wanted to look the part.

  • thank you i have just watched back and your right for a second i thought that when he is walking to the barn in galifrey and his coat is over his shoulder that is the black one but i stand corrected and as for why that was what i was thinking he was going back in a way to the warrior but obviously not entirely so the doctors coat was not needed........also just watched back and as he stands in the barn and turns the red silk lining of the jacket is showing
    – daniel
    Jan 3, 2016 at 14:01
  • 1
    Presumably this was also symbolic in a sense, since he was in that barn the last time he decided to un-Doctor himself, too. Putting the jacket on was equivalent to donning Cass's ammo belt for the first time. Jan 3, 2016 at 18:12

I might be very wrong but I just noticed that the Master's coat in The Sound Of Drums looks pretty similar to the Doctor's. I'm not that good with theories but that might just mean something.

  • 1
    Someone else noticed this as well. That said, you don't really answer the question, unless you could elaborate on the symbolism or the practical purpose of Doctor's outfit and its resemblance to Master's. Apr 11, 2017 at 18:00
  • You could also argue that the Masters costume was similar to the opera jacket and cape the Third Doctor stole at the start of his regeneration.
    – Sarriesfan
    Apr 11, 2017 at 19:55
  • I'm not sure but I could imagine this is to underline that he isn't totally doctory here. Clara wanted him to wear his other coat because it looked more like the Doctor to her. But in that episode he killed a person(a bit) and did anything to save Clara and that isn't how the Doctor normaly is, it's more like the Master to kill an inocent person. Another idea would be that it is revenge for the Masters fate. Rassilon did plant the rythm inside his head and drove him insane with that.
    – Hanna
    Apr 13, 2017 at 20:34

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