The Doctor’s TT Type 40 capsule, or his “frankly magnificent timeship”, is as central to the show as the Time Lord himself.
Disguised as a Police Box, but containing a myriad of wonders inside, she has travelled all over the universe and often saved the day. Despite being a safe refuge for the Time Lord and his endless roster of companions, she has also suffered countless indignities too, such as falling off a cliff, being painted pink and even being referred to as a ‘snog box’!
Over the years we have enjoyed regular updates to her console room, but sometimes we have been gone past those interior doors and seen some of the cavernous interior within. Often, that has remained limited to looks through an open door or endless corridor shots. On the main occasion we saw more, the TARDIS interiors rather failed to impress as filming on ‘The Invasion of Time’ was relocated to a disused hospital due to industrial action at the BBC.
Here CultBox takes a look at some great TARDIS moments…
‘The Doctor’s Wife’
After years of the Doctor treating his ship as a living thing, we finally got a glimpse of the consciousness of the ship when it was channelled into the body of a woman and the machine itself was stolen. After a period of disbelief, the Doctor and the TARDIS go after the machine, cobbling together a ‘junk TARDIS’ from the remnants of others that had been lured to the bubble universe of the House entity.
In a wonderfully dark tale from Neil Gaiman, we learned that the ship archives its versions of the console room in the thrillingly incongruous moment when Amy and Rory are led to the console room last seen exploding around the Tenth Doctor. Gaiman also introduces the wonderful notion that ship was complicit in its own theft from Gallifrey, deftly turning nearly fifty years of fan thinking neatly on its head.
‘The Parting of the Ways’
The Ninth Doctor’s final story saw him take the TARDIS in battle to rescue Rose Tyler from the heart of the Dalek fleet. Dodging missiles in flight, he materialised around his companion and a Dalek, bringing one of the creatures inside for the first time.
The TARDIS is also used to trick Rose, taking her home to safety in the present day where she is expected to abandon it to be forgotten. Of course, the superbly defiant companion does no such thing, cracking open the console and channelling the power of the time vortex to return and save the day.
The Fourth Doctor’s desire to fix the TARDIS chameleon circuit ends up with him losing his life, but that’s not before we are introduced to the Cloister Room and its ominous bell, which sounds at moments of the direst emergency. The ship also become a deadly trap at one point in the tale, when an error creeps into the calculations and it starts shrinking with the Doctor still inside.
As the story continues in the Fifth Doctor’s debut ‘Castrovalva’ we are treated to further revelations with the introduction of the Zero Room, an isolation bay for recuperating Time Lords, and endure dangerous moment where Tegan plays Russian roulette with the internal dimensions, splitting off a quarter of the ship’s mass to escape the Master’s trap.
Gloriously writing himself into a corner, Russell T Davies provides us with the ultimate Deus ex machina as the TARDIS console flips open and the light of the time Vortex shines out.
Saving Rose and regressing ‘Margaret’ Slitheen back to an egg, the ship gives us a taste of the awesome energies at its disposal and hints at what is to come in the upcoming season finale.
More on Page 2…