This lion Doctor Who mask was originally seen in the serial The Masque of Mandragora featuring the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. The original mask was worn as a masquerade mask, during one of the Doctor’s adventures.
Many times props and costumes are created to only last until the end of filming, so they are not always made out of the most durable material. This is why proper support and protection of the props are so important, to extend the life of this bits of TV and film history. This mask was no exception, once its original shape was restored, and some minor patching was done, we created a custom insert and stand to help support it over time. Some careful “hair replacement” was also necessary, as the lion mask arrived to us a bit bald on top. We pulled loose “petals” from the lower back of the head to fill in the missing petals on top and help the mask display more strongly.
Normally when we restore original props we prefer to keep repainting to a bare minimum, so that we leave as much of the original material as untouched as possible. In the case of this lion mask, where all of the original coloration appeared to have been stripped away, it was our client’s wish the entire mask repainted. With the drastic change in look that had occurred over the years, they wanted the mask prop to be fully brought back to its original golden finish.
To properly finish off the display and make it so there was no question where the prop was originally from, we created a stepped wooden display base in the style of top bit from the Fourth Doctor’s TARDIS. This beautiful bit of Who history came to us via our friends at Prop Masters. And if you’re a fan of the show and cats, check out this Doctor Who Cat Puppet Restoration from several years ago!
Have an original movie or television prop in need of a unique or themed display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!