The Doctor is switching things up this year. She's coming for a visit on New Year's Day, instead of going with the traditional Doctor Who Christmas cracker. This will take an adjustment for sure, but thankfully she's bringing an updated version of an old friend along for the adventure.
We've already seen Jodie Whittaker's Doctor give a fashion nod to Matt Smith's 11th Doctor — in the episode "Kerblam!" she received a fez in a box, and when wearing it she asked if it still suited her. Of course it did — fezes are cool.
The upcoming New Year's Special is going to kick the wardrobe references up a bit, with the first promo image for the special features Whittaker sporting this look:
If that scarf looks a bit familiar, it should — though it's certainly been updated a bit, it is highly evocative of the trademark scarf worn by Tom Baker's 4th Doctor. His multi-colored rainbow scarf was absurdly long, and he used it in all manner of ways. We've seen it revisited on the show before — David Tennant's 10th Doctor briefly tried it on in "The Christmas Invasion" before discarding it, and Osgood proudly wore an exact replica in "The Day of the Doctor" before switching it out for a bowtie (bowties are cool) in her subsequent appearance in "Death in Heaven."
In case you've forgotten (or are new to Who) here's an example of what Baker's scarf looked like:
The rainbow stripes on the new scarf are vertical and not the broad horizontal squares that were present on Baker's scarf, but come on — it's another rainbow scarf, and 13th's 4 is definitely showing. Unlike the 4th Doctor, 13 might actually be using it for warmth related reasons...but still. Whittaker's now iconic t-shirt look bears a rainbow stripe which already had us thinking of Baker — this just cements that connection even more.
If you're going to connect to a previous Doctor using fashion, you really can't go wrong with Tom Baker. Colin Baker (the 6th Doctor) on the other hand, well, now that would be a weird choice. The Doctor should (probably) never go full 6 again when it comes to costuming.
Here's a shot of the scarf (and Whittaker, alongside companions Yaz, Ryan, and Graham) from the special itself:
According to the official synopsis, the episode will deal with "a terrifying evil," which is sweeping "across the centuries of Earth's history." The Doctor and her fam (it works for us) are returning home— will they be able to deal with this threat? The episode will be written by Chris Chibnall, and directed by Wayne Yip.
Welcome back once more to Doctor Who, rainbow scarf! We're sure we'll grow to love you again as much as we love Jodie Whittaker...and we love her a great deal.