While it may not seem obvious that the classic Doctor Who and the superhero films of the 2000s have something in common, the cult classics actually had a secret connection with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. In addition to the fact that both immersed themselves in the genres of science fiction and fantasy, special personnel features and creative choices connected these two stories both through time and across the ocean. In particular, the long-standing connection between the two franchises was traced in the second Spider-Man film, Spider-Man 2, and in seasons 12-18 of Doctor Who during the reign of the fourth Doctor.
“Spider-Man 2” by Raimi is the second part of the journey of Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, as the hero of Spider-Man, in which he encountered his mentor after the latter turned to crime after a disastrous experiment. The second film in the Raimi series debuted one of Spider-Man’s iconic villains, the infamous Doctor Octopus or, for short, Doc Ok, and also explores Peter’s struggle between his personal life and superhero career when he seemed to be losing his powers. Meanwhile, the Fourth Doctor, portrayed by Tom Baker from 1974 to 1981, faced an already familiar squad of villains and friends, including the Time Lords, The Master, Zygons, K9 and Sarah Jane Smith. The Fourth Doctor was one of the most famous iterations of the character for his quirkiness, sometimes thoughtfulness and righteous anger, not to mention his distinctive silhouette and signature scarf.
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Although both of these franchises have classic, recognizable heroes and villains, it’s not the characters themselves that secretly link Doctor Who and Spider-Man Raimi. This honor went to the suits they wore. James Acheson, a British costume designer born in 1946, worked on both series and created both the iconic image of Tom Baker and the arachnoid appearance of Doc Oka. Acheson’s work has received recognition in many production circles, and he is especially known for his artistry in the films “The Man in the Iron Mask”, “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Last Emperor”, which earned him an Oscar in 1988.
James Acheson’s Doctor Who connection with Spider-Man Explained
In particular, Acheson left his mark on Spider-Man 2 by working on Spider-Man and Doc Oka costumes. For the first, Acheson made the Spider costume even bolder and a little more elegant in its lines and spider emblem, and also increased its mobility. He put the same effort into Doc Oka’s costume that actor Alfred Molina, who played the villain in the film, described in an interview (via Daily Variety):
“… a brilliant design that looked unusual in the drawings. But he also worked very closely with me in terms of comfort and practicality. It doesn’t look like a costume, but is an integral part of the character’s physical body. presence.”
Acheson used this creativity and attention to the abilities of the actor, playing on the side of the monster much earlier in his career, while working on the classic “Doctor Who”. Acheson’s use of unorthodox materials such as fiberglass, latex rubber, and molded plastic to create monsters, credited with creating the trademark of the Fourth Doctor and many of the series’ alien villains, allowed him to explore not so much the costumes as the design process. and artistic. This experience later influenced his work in superhero films such as Spider-Man 2. But when it came to heroes, Acheson’s process was just as unique. Presumably, the Doctor’s scarf was as happy as the Doctor himself. Acheson said that while choosing the unique wool colors for the scarf, he had no idea how long it would last since he asked a friend to tie it up as a favor.
Whether he creates heroes or villains, monsters or aliens, Acheson’s secret connection between the classic Doctor Who and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 influenced his growth as a designer and the work he does today. After he finished working on Spider-Man films, he continued working on superhero films. Among his latest projects are “Man of Steel” and “Absolutely Everything”, which further allowed him to unleash his creative potential and please the audience. Meanwhile, Sam Raimi also directed the recently released Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.