Feeds

The TARDIS through the ages

Talkin' about My Girl

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The TT Type 40, Mark 3 – it sounds like a motorbike made by BSA. But it is, as any fan will tell you, it is the model of the Doctor’s TARDIS, in which he departed without permission from Time Lord homeworld Gallifrey between 700 and 900 years ago – though we space-and-science-fiction nerks only got to start tuning in in 1963.

Like Bruce Wayne’s Bat Cave, or Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street opium den, you couldn’t have Doctor Who without his Time-And-Relative-Dimension-In-Space trans-temporal runabout with its roundel’d control room, hexagonal console and optional hat stands.

Quite apart from the dramatic necessities of getting from A to B, think of all those enduring USPs: the priceless initial reactions of mind-blown earthling companions, the none-more-evocative time travelling sound of housekeys scraped down the strings of a knackered piano, the unique frisson of seeing actual corridors, the TARDIS swimming pool and the portable Zero Room from Castrovalva. Or when the Doctor called it “Old Girl".

The classic wooden control room

For years, the programme simply stated the obvious. It was stuck looking like a police box, bigger on the inside, travels in time and space, indestructible, erratic - and drip-fed the mindwarpery. Appearances were deceptive, however.

The first time the TARDIS dematerialises in debut episode An Unearthly Child is when the refreshingly narky First Doctor effectively kidnaps nosey parker teachers Ian and Barbara, who both pass out during the over-amped takeoff.

Nine episodes later, in one of the original all-time mad stories, cheapo two-parter The Edge Of Destruction, was when the first mention of the TARDIS's sentience was made. Here the TARDIS itself seems to turn against its passengers, who become disorientated, paranoid and can’t recognise each other; clocks melt, the water dispenser breaks down and Time-Granddaughter Susan freaks out and threatens Ian with some scissors. Having sustained a headwound, the Doctor suspects them of deliberate sabotage. Imagine the Tenth Doctor, Mickey, Rose and Donna doing that. And of course, it was all because a single spring on the ‘Fast Return Switch’ (the name’s written on the console in pen, look) was busted!

Hand-written Fast Return Switch

It wasn’t until the Beatle-mopped Second Doctor’s farewell The War Games in 1969 that we actually found out where he and the TARDIS came from, whereupon the Time Lords exiled the Doctor to Earth in 1970. Conveniently, the TARDIS came too, albeit in decommissioned form.

The Third Doctor was Earthbound and trying to repair it until early 1973, except for the odd jaunt elsewhere like 1970’s brilliantly weird Inferno, wherein the Doctor makes it onto a parallel Earth using just the TARDIS console stored in a shed. There he finds Britain has become a Fascist state, the Brigadier’s got a scar and an eyepatch and they’re about to drill into the earth’s crust and release energy source ‘Stahlman’s Gas’, but first find a green slime-virus that turns its victims into blue-faced, homicidal "Primords".

“I’m not wild about computers myself,” says the Doctor at one point, always ahead of the game, “but they are a tool.” Word.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.