Feeds

The TARDIS through the ages

Talkin' about My Girl

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
Ex-Apple man Sam Sung - for it is he - sticks namebadge on eBay
Stump up via tat bazaar, do a good thing for ill kids
Check your Clungene, Irish women warned
Have a quick shufti, you may not be pregnant after all
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.