Doctor Who costume designer Alexandra Tynan to speak at Bendigo Record Comic and Toy Fair

A COSTUME designer who helped create part of Doctor Who history will be a special guest at the Bendigo Record Comic and Toy Fair.

It was the 1960s, and Alexandra Tynan was faced with a challenging brief: to create a visual representation of a scripted cyborg.

Unfortunately for her, the Cybermen co-creators Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis had described were both detailed and complex.

Ms Tynan said she was working under the constraints of a very low budget – “peanuts”, to be precise – and an even tighter time frame.

“I took the elements I could afford out of [the script] and did that,” she said.

She had no idea the villains she helped create would become such a hit.

Ms Tynan was unsure at the time whether she was creating costumes for a one-off appearance.

“They’ve followed me for 51 years now,” she said. 

Asked whether she had become accustomed to seeing people dressed in variations of the costumes she designed all those years ago, she laughingly replied, “I’m used to it”.

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She was part of the Doctor Who crew for a year in the ’60s. 

In 1968, Ms Tynan emigrated to Australia.

The Castlemaine resident was invited to the BBC to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cybermen.

Ms Tynan said she met the Doctor of the era, played by Peter Capaldi, and had a chance to see the set for the special Christmas episode.

The aesthetic of the Cybermen has evolved throughout the years.

“They get more and more ritzy every time they appear,” Ms Tynan said. 

But she said the design’s roots were evident even in the most recent form.

Watching as people walked past dressed as superheroes, Disney princesses and Harry Potter heroes, Ms Tynan had opportunity to reflect on how costume design had changed.

“There are a lot more fabrics available now and things that weren’t even thought about in the ’60s and ’70s,” she said.

“It’s a whole different approach to what I had.”

Ms Tynan will be accompanied by original designs and illustrations when she appears at the Bendigo Record Comic and Toy Fair from 12.15pm – 1pm on Sunday.

Other guest speakers include The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies extra Helly Pearson-Smith and cosplay co-ordinator Kara Harris.

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Get set for cosplay

STAR Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and Transformers fans will be among those visiting the city on Sunday. 

Bendigo Record Comic and Toy Fair organiser Peter Pascoe expected cosplayers would be “out in force” for the event at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds.

Members of the Bendigo Chapter of Swordcraft are scheduled to give a demonstration of their skills, while there will be zones dedicated to the talents of the Bendigo Bricks and Lego group and Bendigo Gaming Group respectively.

The fair is renowned for its cosplay contest, which serves as a fundraiser for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

Mr Pascoe expected an auction to further boost the amount of money raised for the charity.

Four pieces of original art or limited prints will go under the hammer. Attendees will also be able to buy limited edition postcards of each image.

The Bendigo Record Comic and Toy Fair runs from 10am – 4pm.

General admission to the fair costs $5 per person. Early bird entry, from 9am, is priced at $10. 

Entry in the Bendigo Cosplay Contest costs $5.