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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: tweed jacket controversy!

he wears tweed now. tweed is cool.

I thought it was half distressing, half hilarious enough when I read on UGO that very soon, you too would be able to own a very rare tweed jacket — complete with leather elbows! — just like the one Matt Smith wears on Doctor Who.

That was sarcasm, see, because leather-elbowed tweed jackets aren’t actually that hard to find, and you certainly wouldn’t need to spend an unconscionable $309.99 to own one. But of course, this is an “officially licensed replica blazer,” not a boring ol’ actual tweed blazer, as seen on many a university campus in the Anglo-Saxon-flavored world.

But it gets better. Turns out the tweed people are pissed. From DailyRecord.co.uk:

FURIOUS Harris Tweed makers have hit out after BBC bosses ditched Doctor Who’s trademark jacket for a Chinese fake.

Matt Smith had worn a 1960s vintage jacket made from the traditional Hebridean hand-woven material.

But when the 11th Time Lord’s latest series began, makers were disappointed to see he had ditched the luxury pure wool.

Their upset turned to anger when a Sunday Mail probe discovered the Beeb had dressed him in a Chinese rip-off that is 20 per cent acrylic.

And they have struck a deal to sell the “officially licensed replica blazer” for £360.

The islands’ furious MP, fashion experts and Harris Tweed industry bosses have slammed the greedy BBC.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, who will write to director general Mark Thompson, said: “I’m appalled and outraged. What the BBC are doing is stealing Scotland’s heritage. It is a kick in the teeth to one of our most iconic industries.”

Smith wore Harris Tweed in his first series as the Doctor but it was swapped for the fake in the new BBC One series.

This is fairly awesome (also from DailyRecord.co.uk):

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The tweed changed because they needed a warmer jacket for outside filming.”

Because wool? It’s just not that warm. Everyone knows that. Also, you can’t wear anything under wool to make it warmer.

And this, from the Daily Mail:

[Lydia Walton, a spokesman for Harris Tweed Scotland] said, ‘I find it very odd that they would use a replica costing £360 when our genuine Harris Tweed jackets retail at £250. Why pay more for a replica than have the original?’

Perhaps the takeaway from all of this is: If British fans want to buy a part-acrylic Chinese knockoff tweed jacket, they should buy it from the U.S., where $309.99 is only £194 or so, at current exchange rates.

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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