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The TARDISGenerally, TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) is written in all upper case letters—this convention was popularised by the Target
Target Books
Target Books was a British publishing imprint, established in 1973 by Universal-Tandem Publishing Co Ltd, a paperback publishing company. The imprint was established as a children's imprint to complement the adult Tandem imprint, and became well known for their highly successful range of...

 novelisations of the 1970s. However, the use of Tardis is equally correct and consistent with current British press style, in which acronym
Acronym and initialism
Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. These components may be individual letters or parts of words . There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of the various terms , nor on written usage...

s which form a pronounceable word are spelled with only the first letter capitalised (for example, Bafta), while initialism
Acronym and initialism
Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. These components may be individual letters or parts of words . There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of the various terms , nor on written usage...

s which require each letter to be read out are capitalised in their entirety (for example, BBC). Many examples of the form Tardis are found in media and, occasionally, licensed publications (in the 2005 series episode "World War Three
World War Three (Doctor Who)
"World War Three" is the fifth episode of the first series in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who that was first broadcast on 23 April 2005. It is the second of a two-part story. The first part, "Aliens of London", was broadcast on 16 April...

", the caller ID
Caller ID
Caller ID , also called calling line identification or calling number identification or Calling Line Identification Presentation , is a telephone service, available in analog and digital phone systems and most Voice over Internet Protocol applications, that transmits a caller's number to...

 of the TARDIS is displayed on Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

's mobile phone as "Tardis calling"—this capitalisation of only the initial letter being the default setting for Nokia
Nokia
Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational communications corporation that is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki...

 mobile phones). The OED
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

has the word "Tardis" capitalised as such with a first appearance from the Times in 1969.
(UK: ˈ, US: ) (Time and Relative Dimension in Space)There is some disagreement over whether the "D" in the name stands for "dimension" or "dimensions"; both have been used in various episodes. The very first story, An Unearthly Child
An Unearthly Child
The serial that became An Unearthly Child was originally commissioned from writer Anthony Coburn in June 1963, when it was intended to run as the second Doctor Who serial. At this stage, it was planned that the series would open with a serial entitled The Giants, to be written by BBC staff...

(1963), used the singular "Dimension" and other episodes followed suit for the next couple of years. The 1964 novelisation Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks
The Daleks
The Daleks is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in seven weekly parts from 21 December 1963 to 1 February 1964...

used the plural "Dimensions" for the first time and the 1965 serial The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 3 July to 24 July 1965...

(1965) introduced it to the television series. Since then both versions have been used on different occasions; for example, it is singular again when mentioned in Frontios
Frontios
Frontios is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 26 January to 3 February 1984.-Synopsis:...

(1984). In "Rose
Rose (Doctor Who)
"Rose" is the first episode of Series One of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Russell T Davies and directed by Keith Boak, the episode was first broadcast on 26 March 2005....

" (2005), the Doctor uses the singular form (although this was a decision of the actor Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston is an English stage, film and television actor. His films include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Others, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra...

—the line was scripted in the plural). Likewise, the Tenth Doctor keeps the word firmly singular in "Smith and Jones
Smith and Jones (Doctor Who)
"Smith and Jones" is the first episode of the third series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 31 March 2007. It sees the debut of Freema Agyeman as new companion Martha Jones...

" (2007). The plaque set on the TARDIS console in the current design also uses the singular form. The 2011 episode "The Doctor's Wife" further establishes the singular as definitive by having the TARDIS herself use "Dimension" when uttering the full meaning of the acronym.
is a time machine
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

 and spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 in the British science fiction television
Science fiction on television
Science fiction first appeared on a television program during the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Special effects and other production techniques allow creators to present a living visual image of an imaginary world not limited by the constraints of reality; this makes television an excellent medium...

 programme Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

and its associated spin-offs.

A TARDIS is a product of the advanced technology of the Time Lord
Time Lord
The Time Lords are an ancient extraterrestrial race and civilization of humanoids in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, of which the series' eponymous protagonist, the Doctor, is a member...

s, an extraterrestrial civilization to which the programme's central character, the Doctor
Doctor (Doctor Who)
The Doctor is the central character in the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who, and has also featured in two cinema feature films, a vast range of spin-off novels, audio dramas and comic strips connected to the series....

, belongs. A properly maintained and piloted TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and any place in the universe. The interior of a TARDIS is much larger than its exterior, which can blend in with its surroundings using the ship's "chameleon circuit".

In the series, the Doctor pilots an unreliable, obsolete TT Type 40, Mark 3 TARDIS. Its chameleon circuit is faulty, leaving it locked in the shape of a 1960s-style London police box
Police box
A police box is a British telephone kiosk or callbox located in a public place for the use of members of the police, or for members of the public to contact the police...

 after a visit to London in 1963. The Doctor's TARDIS was for most of the franchise's history said to have been stolen from the Time Lords' home planet, Gallifrey
Gallifrey
Gallifrey is a fictional planet in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who and is the homeworld of the Doctor and the Time Lords...

, where it was old, decommissioned and derelict (and, in fact, in a museum). The TARDIS herself later revealed in "The Doctor's Wife" (during a brief period in which the vessel's consciousness inhabited a humanoid body and could talk directly to the Doctor) that, far from being stolen, she left of her own free will and actually considers herself to have "stolen" the Doctor (although she does also refer to him as her "thief" in this same episode).
The unpredictability of the TARDIS's short-range guidance (short relative to the size of the Universe) has often been a plot point in the Doctor's travels; in "The Doctor's Wife", the TARDIS revealed that much of this "unpredictability" was actually intentional on her part in order to get the Doctor "where [he] needed to go" as opposed to where he "wanted to go".

Although "TARDIS" is a type of craft, rather than a specific one, the Doctor's TARDIS is usually referred to as "the" TARDIS or, in some of the earlier serials, just as "the ship", "the blue box", "the capsule" or even "the police box".In the two 1960s Dalek films
Dr. Who (Dalek films)
Dr. Who is a character based on the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. Although based upon the character of the Doctor from the television series, the character is fundamentally different, most notably in being human....

, the craft was referred to as Tardis, without the definite article.


Doctor Who has become so much a part of British popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

 that not only has the shape of the police box become more immediately associated with the TARDIS than with its real-world inspiration, the word "TARDIS" has been used to describe anything that seems to be bigger on the inside than on the outside. The name TARDIS is a registered trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 of the British Broadcasting Corporation
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

.

Conceptual history



When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box
Police box
A police box is a British telephone kiosk or callbox located in a public place for the use of members of the police, or for members of the public to contact the police...

. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon
Chameleon
Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait, the possession by many of a...

 circuit", a mechanism
Cloaking device
Cloaking devices are advanced stealth technologies still in development that will cause objects, such as spaceships or individuals, to be partially or wholly invisible to parts of the electromagnetic spectrum...

 which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor
Ninth Doctor
The Ninth Doctor is the ninth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by Christopher Eccleston....

 explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth
Plinth
In architecture, a plinth is the base or platform upon which a column, pedestal, statue, monument or structure rests. Gottfried Semper's The Four Elements of Architecture posited that the plinth, the hearth, the roof, and the wall make up all of architectural theory. The plinth usually rests...

. The First Doctor
First Doctor
The First Doctor is the initial incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor William Hartnell from 1963 to 1966. Hartnell reprised the role in the tenth anniversary story The Three Doctors in 1973 - albeit in a...

 explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah
Howdah
A howdah, or houdah, also known as hathi howdah, is a carriage which is positioned on the back of an elephant, or occasionally some other animal, used most often in the past to carry wealthy people or for use in hunting or warfare...

 (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 staff writer Anthony Coburn
Anthony Coburn
Anthony Coburn was an Australian television writer and producer, who spent much of his professional career living and working in the United Kingdom. He moved to the UK in the 1950s, where he joined the staff of BBC Television...

, who rewrote the programme's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber
C. E. Webber
Cecil Edwin Webber was a British television writer and playwright. He is best remembered for his contribution to the creation of the famous science-fiction series Doctor Who while working as a staff writer for the BBC in the early 1960s...

. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child
An Unearthly Child
The serial that became An Unearthly Child was originally commissioned from writer Anthony Coburn in June 1963, when it was intended to run as the second Doctor Who serial. At this stage, it was planned that the series would open with a serial entitled The Giants, to be written by BBC staff...

, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard; it subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child
The Empty Child
"The Empty Child" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 21 May 2005. It is the first of a two-part story. The concluding episode, "The Doctor Dances", was broadcast on 28 May...

" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis
Logopolis
Logopolis is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 28 February to 21 March 1981. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Doctor and marks the first appearance of Peter Davison in the role...

(1981), the Master
Master (Doctor Who)
The Master is a recurring character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is a renegade Time Lord and the archenemy of the Doctor....

 materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke
In-joke
An in-joke, also known as an inside joke or in joke, is a joke whose humour is clear only to people who are in a particular social group, occupation, or other community of common understanding...

 genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism
Anachronism
An anachronism—from the Greek ανά and χρόνος — is an inconsistency in some chronological arrangement, especially a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other...

 has become more pronounced, since there have been very few police boxes of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink
Blink (Doctor Who)
"Blink" is the 10th episode of the third series of the new production of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 9 June 2007, and is the only episode in the 2007 series written by Steven Moffat; the episode is based on a previous short story written by...

" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size." Steven Moffat
Steven Moffat
Steven Moffat is a Scottish television writer and producer.Moffat's first television work was the teen drama series Press Gang. His first sitcom, Joking Apart, was inspired by the breakdown of his first marriage; conversely, his later sitcom Coupling was based upon the development of his...

 confirmed that this line was an in-joke
In-joke
An in-joke, also known as an inside joke or in joke, is a joke whose humour is clear only to people who are in a particular social group, occupation, or other community of common understanding...

 aimed at the Outpost Gallifrey
Outpost Gallifrey
Outpost Gallifrey was a fan website for the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was active as a complete fan site from 1995 until 2007, then existing solely as a portal to the still-active parts of the site, including its news page and forums Outpost Gallifrey was a fan website...

 forum.



The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising
Teleportation
Teleportation is the fictional or imagined process by which matter is instantaneously transferred from one place to another.Teleportation may also refer to:*Quantum teleportation, a method of transmitting quantum data...

 at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
BBC Radiophonic Workshop
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, one of the sound effects units of the BBC, was created in 1958 to produce effects and new music for radio, and was closed in March 1998, although much of its traditional work had already been outsourced by 1995. It was based in the BBC's Maida Vale Studios in Delaware...

 by Brian Hodgson
Brian Hodgson
Brian Hodgson is a British television composer and sound technician. Born in Liverpool in 1938, Hodgson joined the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1962 where he became the original sound effects creator for the science fiction programme Doctor Who...

. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine
Doctor Who Magazine
Doctor Who Magazine is a magazine devoted to the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song
River Song (Doctor Who)
River Song is a fictional character played primarily by Alex Kingston in the British science-fiction series Doctor Who. River Song was introduced to the series as an experienced future companion of series protagonist the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time in his TARDIS...

 informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels
The Time of Angels
"The Time of Angels" is the fourth episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast on 24 April 2010 on BBC One. It is the first episode of a two-part story written by showrunner Steven Moffat and directed by Adam Smith; the second episode was...

that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise.

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

, who felt that they owned the rights
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise
Doctor Who merchandise
The long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has since its beginnings in the 1960s generated many hundreds of products related to the show, from toys and games to picture cards and postage stamps. This article is not an exhaustive list of merchandise but attempts to present...

 based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

Precursor in fiction


One of the earliest time-travel stories, Seeker of To-morrow by Eric Frank Russell
Eric Frank Russell
Eric Frank Russell was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales, and...

 and Leslie J. Johnson, features "an air-tight time-travel room" which is described as "looking like a very large telephone kiosk". The story was first published in the July 1937 issue of Astounding Stories, and the cover of that magazine depicts an object which looks very much like the later TARDIS.

General characteristics



TARDISes are grown
Bioship
A bioship is a type of spacecraft or starship described in science fiction. Bioships differ from other types of spacecraft in that they are composed, either predominantly or totally, of biological components, rather than being constructed from manufactured materials...

, not made ("The Impossible Planet
The Impossible Planet
"The Impossible Planet" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the first part of a two-part story, followed by "The Satan Pit". The TARDIS lands in a base on a planet orbiting a black hole, an allegedly impossible situation that stumps even the Doctor...

"). They draw their power from several sources, but primarily from the singularity of an artificial black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

, known as the Eye of Harmony
Eye of Harmony
The Eye of Harmony is an artificial black hole created by the Time Lords to provide energy for their home world of Gallifrey and their time travel technology in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-First appearances:...

. In The Edge of Destruction
The Edge of Destruction
The Edge of Destruction is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts on February 8 and February 15, 1964. The serial is distinguished as a rare "bottle episode", in that the entire story is shot on a single set, with just...

(1964), the power source of the TARDIS (referred to as the "heart of the TARDIS") is said to be beneath the central column of the console. They are also said to draw power from the entire universe as revealed in the episode "Rise of the Cybermen
Rise of the Cybermen
"Rise of the Cybermen" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The episode features the return of Cybermen, where they are created on Earth itself. It is the first part of a two-part story, the concluding part being "The Age of Steel"...

", in which the TARDIS is brought to a parallel universe and cannot function without the use of a crystal power source from within the TARDIS, charged by the Doctor's life force.

Other elements needed for the proper functioning of the TARDIS and requiring occasional replenishment include mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 (used in its fluid links), the rare ore Zeiton 7 (Vengeance on Varos
Vengeance on Varos
Vengeance on Varos is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from 19–26 January 1985.-Synopsis:...

, 1985), a trachoid time crystal (The Hand of Fear
The Hand of Fear
The Hand of Fear is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 2 October to 23 October 1976...

, 1976) and "artron energy". The latter is a form of temporal energy, generated by Time Lord minds, which is also said to help power TARDISes (The Deadly Assassin
The Deadly Assassin
The Deadly Assassin is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 30 October to 20 November 1976...

, 1976; Four to Doomsday
Four to Doomsday
*The working title for this story was Days Of Wrath.*Although Castrovalva was the first story aired which featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, this story was the first in the season to be produced....

, 1982, The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

, 2011). Another form of energy, "huon energy", is found in the heart of the TARDIS and (apart from the activities of the Torchwood Institute
Torchwood Institute
The Torchwood Institute is a fictional secret organization from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spin-off series Torchwood. It was established in 1879 by Queen Victoria after the events of "Tooth and Claw". Its prime directive, is to defend the earth against...

) nowhere else in the universe ("The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

").

Before a TARDIS becomes fully functional, it must be primed with the biological imprint of a Time Lord, normally done by simply having a Time Lord operate the TARDIS for the first time. This imprint comes from the Rassilon Imprimatur
Rassilon
Rassilon is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. In the backstory of the programme, he was the founder of Time Lord society on the planet Gallifrey...

, part of the biological make-up of Time Lords, which gives them both a symbiotic
Symbiosis
Symbiosis is close and often long-term interaction between different biological species. In 1877 Bennett used the word symbiosis to describe the mutualistic relationship in lichens...

 link to their TARDISes and the ability to withstand the physical stresses of time travel (The Two Doctors
The Two Doctors
The Two Doctors is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in three weekly parts from 16 February to 2 March 1985. It starred Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Sixth Doctor and his companion Peri, respectively...

, 1985).

Without the Imprimatur, molecular disintegration would result; this serves as a safeguard against misuse of time travel even if the TARDIS technology were copied. Once a time machine is properly primed, however, with the imprint stored on a device called a "briode nebuliser", it can be used safely by any species.The Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
The Sixth Doctor is the sixth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Colin Baker...

 states this in The Two Doctors
The Two Doctors
The Two Doctors is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in three weekly parts from 16 February to 2 March 1985. It starred Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Sixth Doctor and his companion Peri, respectively...

(1985). However, the Doctor later states that he had made some things up to confuse the Sontaran
Sontaran
The Sontarans are a fictional extraterrestrial race of humanoids from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and also seen in spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. They were created by writer Robert Holmes.-Culture:...

s, who were trying to duplicate the Imprimatur to prime their own time vessel.
According to Time Lord law, unauthorised use of a TARDIS carries "only one penalty", implied to be death (The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 4 February to 11 March 1978...

).

A TARDIS usually travels by dematerialising in one spot, traversing the time vortex
Time vortex (Doctor Who)
In the science fiction television series Doctor Who, the time vortex is the medium that the TARDIS and other time machines travel through...

, and then rematerialising at its destination, without physically travelling through the intervening space. However, the Doctor's TARDIS has been seen to be able to fly through physical space, first in Fury from the Deep
Fury from the Deep
Fury from the Deep is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 16 March to 20 April 1968...

(1968) and at repeated times throughout the revived series, most notably in "The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

" (2006), in which the TARDIS is shown launching into space (most previous incidents show the TARDIS flying only after it has dematerialised from a location). In "The Runaway Bride", extended flight of this nature puts a strain on the TARDIS's systems. While a TARDIS can materialise inside another, if both TARDISes occupy exactly the same space and time, a Time Ram will occur, resulting in their mutual annihilation (The Time Monster
The Time Monster
The Time Monster is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 20 May to 24 June 1972.- Synopsis :...

). In Logopolis, the Master tricked the Doctor into materialising his TARDIS around the Master's, creating a dimensionally recursive
Recursion
Recursion is the process of repeating items in a self-similar way. For instance, when the surfaces of two mirrors are exactly parallel with each other the nested images that occur are a form of infinite recursion. The term has a variety of meanings specific to a variety of disciplines ranging from...

 loop, each TARDIS appearing inside the other's console room. In the mini-episodes Space and Time
Space and Time (Doctor Who)
"Space" and "Time" are two mini-episodes of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. They were broadcast on 18 March 2011 as part of BBC One's Red Nose Day telethon for the charity Comic Relief...

 (2011), an accident results in the TARDIS automatically materializing in "the safest spot available," which turns out to be inside its own control room. The Eleventh Doctor
Eleventh Doctor
The Eleventh Doctor is the eleventh incarnation of the protagonist of the BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. Matt Smith plays this incarnation, replacing David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in the 2010 episode "The End of Time, Part Two"...

 describes this as "worse than a time loop - a space loop. Nothing can enter or leave this ship ever again." However, a version of Amy Pond
Amy Pond
Amelia Jessica 'Amy' Pond is a fictional character portrayed by Karen Gillan in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

 from seconds in the future appears as soon as he says this, proving the Doctor wrong and allowing him to rectify the problem.

Apart from the ability to travel in space and time (and, on occasion, to other dimensions), the most remarkable characteristic of a TARDIS is that its interior is much larger than it appears from the outside. The explanation is that a TARDIS is "dimensionally transcendental", meaning that its exterior and interior exist in separate dimensions. In The Robots of Death
The Robots of Death
The Robots of Death is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 29 January to 19 February 1977.-Synopsis:...

(1977), the Fourth Doctor
Fourth Doctor
The Fourth Doctor is the fourth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC British television science-fiction series Doctor Who....

 tried to explain this to his companion
Companion (Doctor Who)
In the long-running BBC television science fiction programme Doctor Who and related works, the term "companion" refers to a character who travels with, and shares the adventures of the Doctor. In most Doctor Who stories, the primary companion acts as both deuteragonist and audience surrogate...

 Leela
Leela (Doctor Who)
Leela is a fictional character played by Louise Jameson in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Leela was a companion of the Fourth Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1977 to 1978...

, using the analogy
Analogy
Analogy is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject to another particular subject , and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process...

 of how a larger cube can appear to be able to fit inside a smaller one if the larger cube is farther away, yet immediately accessible at the same time (see Tesseract
Tesseract
In geometry, the tesseract, also called an 8-cell or regular octachoron or cubic prism, is the four-dimensional analog of the cube. The tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of 6 square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of 8...

). According to the Doctor, transdimensional engineering was "a key Time Lord discovery". To those unfamiliar with this aspect of a TARDIS, stepping inside the ship for the first time usually results in a reaction of shocked disbelief as they see the interior dimensions.

Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The granddaughter and original companion of the First Doctor, she was played by actress Carole Ann Ford from 1963 to 1964, in the show's first season and the first two stories of the second season...

, the Doctor's granddaughter, claimed to have coined the name TARDIS: "I made [it] up from the initials". The word TARDIS is used to describe other Time Lords' travel capsules as well. The Discontinuity Guide
The Discontinuity Guide
The Discontinuity Guide, by Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping, is a humorous guidebook to the serials of the original run of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who. It was first published in 1995 by Virgin Books, which at the time also published licensed Doctor Who...

by Paul Cornell
Paul Cornell
Paul Cornell is a British writer best known for his work in television drama as well as Doctor Who fiction, and as the creator of one of the Doctor's spin-off companions, Bernice Summerfield....

, Keith Topping
Keith Topping
Keith Andrew Topping , is an author, journalist and broadcaster most closely associated with his work relating to the BBC Television series Doctor Who and for writing numerous official and unofficial guide books to a wide variety of television and film series, specifically Buffy the Vampire...

 and Martin Day
Martin Day
Martin Day is a screenwriter and novelist best known for his work on various spin-offs related to the BBC Television series Doctor Who, and many episodes of the daytime soaps Doctors and Family Affairs.-Work:...

 suggests that "[she] was a precocious young Time Lady, and her name for travel capsules caught on." The Virgin New Adventures
Virgin New Adventures
The Virgin New Adventures were a series of novels from Virgin Publishing based on the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who...

 novel Lungbarrow
Lungbarrow
Lungbarrow is an original novel written by Marc Platt and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

by Marc Platt
Marc Platt
Marc Platt is a British writer. He is most known for his work with the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.After studying catering at a technical college, Platt worked first for Trust House Forte, and then in administration for the BBC...

 records Susan telling the First Doctor
First Doctor
The First Doctor is the initial incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor William Hartnell from 1963 to 1966. Hartnell reprised the role in the tenth anniversary story The Three Doctors in 1973 - albeit in a...

 that she gave him the idea when he was, implicitly, the "Other
Other (Doctor Who)
The Other is a fictional character in the expanded universe of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A legendary figure in Time Lord history, the Other does not appear in the television series itself, but is mentioned several times in the spin-off media based on the...

". However, it should be noted that, on screen in the episode "An Unearthly Child", Susan only takes credit for coining the acronym, not the actual full name itself.

As seen in The Trial of a Time Lord
The Trial of a Time Lord
The Trial of a Time Lord is a fourteen-part British science fiction serial of the long running BBC series Doctor Who. The serial, produced as the twenty-third season of the Doctor Who television series, aired in weekly episodes from 6 September to 6 December 1986...

(1986), the experiences of the TARDIS and its crew can be recorded and played back from the Matrix, the Time Lord computer network that is the repository of all their knowledge, as well as the memories and experiences of deceased Time Lords. The Doctor implies in this serial, with his protestations of being "bugged", that the TARDIS is not normally connected to the Matrix in this manner.

The TARDIS has been shown to be incredibly rugged, withstanding gunfire (the 1996 television movie, Doctor Who; "The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

"), temperatures of 3000 degrees without even scorching ("42
42 (Doctor Who)
"42" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 19 May 2007, and is the seventh episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series....

"), atmospheric re-entry ("Voyage of the Damned
Voyage of the Damned (Doctor Who)
"Voyage of the Damned" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. First broadcast on 25 December 2007, it is 72 minutes long and the third Christmas special since the show's revival in 2005...

"), and falls of several miles ("The Satan Pit
The Satan Pit
"The Satan Pit" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the second part of a two-part story, following "The Impossible Planet". With the TARDIS seemingly lost, Rose and the remaining humans are trapped on the base with the possessed Ood, while the planet...

"). In The Curse of Peladon
The Curse of Peladon
The Curse of Peladon is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 29 January to 19 February 1972.-Synopsis:...

, after the TARDIS falls down the side of a cliff, the Third Doctor
Third Doctor
The Third Doctor is the third incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by actor Jon Pertwee....

 remarks that it "may have its faults, but it is indestructible." This doesn't apply when facing certain extremely advanced weaponry, often created after the Doctor's Type 40 TARDIS, such as Dalek missiles ("The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

"), for which the TARDIS requires additional shielding. Another piece of advanced Dalek technology which comes near to destroying the TARDIS is the power source of the Crucible in "Journey's End
Journey's End (Doctor Who)
"Journey's End" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who first broadcast on BBC One on 5 July 2008. It is the second episode of a two-part crossover story featuring the characters of spin-off shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane...

" (2008). In Frontios
Frontios
Frontios is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 26 January to 3 February 1984.-Synopsis:...

(1984), the Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor is the fifth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Peter Davison....

 believes the TARDIS to have been destroyed in a meteorite bombardment, apparently contradicting the earlier claim of indestructibility. It explodes in the Mind Robber and the crew end up "out of the time space dimension. Out of reality."
In 2007's Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned
Voyage of the Damned (Doctor Who)
"Voyage of the Damned" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. First broadcast on 25 December 2007, it is 72 minutes long and the third Christmas special since the show's revival in 2005...

", the TARDIS is hit in mid-flight, creating a large hole in the interior wall, although its shields are down at the time. The Doctor later activates some controls and the TARDIS again becomes able to withstand an atmospheric re-entry.

The Doctor's TARDIS


In the programme, the Doctor's TARDIS is an obsolete "Type 40 TT capsule" that he unofficially "borrowed" when he departed his home planet of Gallifrey
Gallifrey
Gallifrey is a fictional planet in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who and is the homeworld of the Doctor and the Time Lords...

. According to the Eighth Doctor Adventures
Eighth Doctor Adventures
The Eighth Doctor Adventures are a series of spin off novels based on the long running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and published under the BBC Books imprint. 73 books were published overall...

 novel The Gallifrey Chronicles
The Gallifrey Chronicles (2005 novel)
For the John Peel book of the same name, see: The Gallifrey Chronicles The Gallifrey Chronicles is a BBC Books original novel written by Lance Parkin and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

by Lance Parkin
Lance Parkin
Lance Parkin is a British author, best known for writing fiction and reference books for television series, in particular Doctor Who and Emmerdale...

, it previously belonged to a Time Lord named Marnal, who was, like the Doctor, something of a renegade. By the time of The Pirate Planet
The Pirate Planet
The Pirate Planet is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 30 September to 21 October 1978. It forms the second serial of The Key to Time...

, the Doctor had been travelling onboard in time and space for 523 years. By the time of "The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

", he had been travelling in it for 700 years.

There were originally 305 registered Type 40s, but all the others had been decommissioned and replaced by new, improved models. However, the changing appearance of the primary console room over the years and the Second Doctor
Second Doctor
The Second Doctor is the second incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by character actor Patrick Troughton....

's statement in 1972's The Three Doctors – "Ah! I can see you've been doing the TARDIS up a bit. I don't like it." – suggests that the Doctor does upgrade the TARDIS's systems on occasion. The ship has also shown the ability to rebuild and reconfigure itself. In "The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (Doctor Who)
"The Eleventh Hour" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 3 April 2010....

" the TARDIS completely changes after crashing, and the Doctor's comment "What have you got for me this time?" implies it is not the first time the TARDIS had undergone repairs of its own doing. In the 2007 Children in Need
Children in Need
Children in Need is an annual British charity appeal organised by the BBC. Since 1980 it has raised over £500 million. The highlight of the Children in Need appeal is an annual telethon, held in November. A teddy bear named "Pudsey Bear" fronts the campaign, while Terry Wogan is a long...

special "Time Crash
Time Crash
"Time Crash" is a mini-episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on 16 November 2007, as part of the BBC One telethon for the children's charity Children in Need...

" the Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor is the fifth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Peter Davison....

 complains to the Tenth Doctor
Tenth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor is the tenth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by David Tennant, who appears in three series, as well as eight specials...

 that he had "changed the desktop theme
Desktop environment
In graphical computing, a desktop environment commonly refers to a style of graphical user interface derived from the desktop metaphor that is seen on most modern personal computers. These GUIs help the user in easily accessing, configuring, and modifying many important and frequently accessed...

!" The later episode "The Doctor's Wife" again refers to the desktop being changed, establishing that the Doctor has changed this theme "a dozen" times as of the events of that episode, although the TARDIS then states that he is destined to do so at least 30 times (since she is able to archive desktop versions that haven't been initiated yet).

The TARDIS was already old when the Doctor first took it, but its actual age is not specified. The spin-off media
Doctor Who spin-offs
Doctor Who spin-offs refers to material created outside of, but related to, the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who....

 have, on a number of occasions, had the TARDIS wait around for the Doctor for decades and even centuries in relative time. In "The Empty Child
The Empty Child
"The Empty Child" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 21 May 2005. It is the first of a two-part story. The concluding episode, "The Doctor Dances", was broadcast on 28 May...

" (2005), the Ninth Doctor claimed that he has had "900 years of phone box travel", although "The Doctor's Wife" contradicts this by saying they've been travelling together for only 700 years. In the unfinished TV serial Shada
Shada
Shada is an unaired serial of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was intended to be the final serial of the 1979-80 season , but was never completed due to a strike at the BBC during filming...

, fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis said that the Type 40 models came out when he was a boy, which showed how old it was considering that he was on his final incarnation.

In the 2010 episode "Amy's Choice
Amy's Choice (Doctor Who)
"Amy's Choice" is the seventh episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast on BBC One on 15 May 2010...

", the Doctor is seen to take various items out of a box, including an egg whisk and a corkscrew, to make a generator in the TARDIS, which is labelled:
TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimension in Space, Build Site: Gallifrey Blackhole Shipyard, Type 40 Build Date: 1963, Authorised for use by qualified Time Lords only by the Shadow Proclamation, Misuse or Theft of any TARDIS will result in extreme penalties and possible exile. (It is not possible as yet to confirm whether this is a genuine indicator of the TARDIS' date of manufacture, etc., as it may have been something created by the Doctor, given the label's reference to "possible exile", referring to events that befell the Third Doctor
Third Doctor
The Third Doctor is the third incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by actor Jon Pertwee....

.)


The 2011 episode "The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

" provided an unprecedented insight into the TARDIS. The "soul" of the ship is transferred into the body of a humanoid female called Idris, and this enables the Doctor to have a conversation with his craft. The TARDIS reveals that she deliberately allowed the Doctor to "steal" her, as she wanted to see the universe itself; in a reversal of traditional series mythology, the TARDIS claims to have stolen the Doctor. When the Doctor accuses the TARDIS of being unreliable, she defends herself by saying that she has always taken him where he needed to go, if not where he wanted. When the Doctor asks if she has a name, she chooses the name "Sexy", based upon what the Doctor would call her when they were alone. At the end of the episode, the TARDIS' soul is returned to the ship's systems; the Doctor is thus no longer able to converse with her. Prior to this, however, they conduct one final conversation, in which the TARDIS, speaking one last time through Idris, expresses a desire to simply say "Hello" to the Time Lord, and as Idris' body burns up the words "I love you" are heard. Later, the Doctor is unsure as to whether the TARDIS is still able to hear him, but in a mark of understanding, she pilots herself when he tells it to go "to the Eye of Orion or wherever we need to go."

In a later episode, Let's Kill Hitler
Let's Kill Hitler
"Let's Kill Hitler" is the eighth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was first broadcast on BBC One, Space and BBC America on 27 August 2011. It is the second episode of a two-part story, continuing stories from "A Good Man Goes to War"...

, the Doctor again speaks to the TARDIS by way of a voice/visual interface. In this instance, after providing options including Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

, Martha Jones
Martha Jones
Martha Jones is a fictional character played by Freema Agyeman in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. She is a companion of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, replacing Rose Tyler...

 and Donna Noble
Donna Noble
Donna Noble is a fictional character played by Catherine Tate in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A secretary from Chiswick, London, she is a companion of the Tenth Doctor, appearing in one scene at the end of the final episode of the 2006 series,...

, the TARDIS manifests as an image of Amy Pond
Amy Pond
Amelia Jessica 'Amy' Pond is a fictional character portrayed by Karen Gillan in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

 as a child. It is indicated, however, that the Doctor is only speaking to the "computer" controlling the TARDIS rather than the "soul" he interacted with earlier.

Exterior



Although a TARDIS is supposed to blend inconspicuously into whatever environment it turns up in, the Doctor's TARDIS retains the shape of a police box
Police box
A police box is a British telephone kiosk or callbox located in a public place for the use of members of the police, or for members of the public to contact the police...

 because of a systems fault which occurred in the first Doctor Who episode, "An Unearthly Child
An Unearthly Child
The serial that became An Unearthly Child was originally commissioned from writer Anthony Coburn in June 1963, when it was intended to run as the second Doctor Who serial. At this stage, it was planned that the series would open with a serial entitled The Giants, to be written by BBC staff...

", when the TARDIS landed in London in 1963. The ability to alter its appearance was first mentioned in the second episode of the series, where the First Doctor and Susan
Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The granddaughter and original companion of the First Doctor, she was played by actress Carole Ann Ford from 1963 to 1964, in the show's first season and the first two stories of the second season...

 noted the unit was malfunctioning. It was first given a general term of a "camouflage unit" in The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 3 July to 24 July 1965...

(1965). The name "chameleon circuit" was first used in the 1975 Target Books
Target Books
Target Books was a British publishing imprint, established in 1973 by Universal-Tandem Publishing Co Ltd, a paperback publishing company. The imprint was established as a children's imprint to complement the adult Tandem imprint, and became well known for their highly successful range of...

 novelisation of Terror of the Autons
Terror of the Autons
Terror of the Autons is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, broadcast in four weekly parts from 2 to 23 January 1971...

, eventually mentioned on screen in Logopolis
Logopolis
Logopolis is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 28 February to 21 March 1981. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Doctor and marks the first appearance of Peter Davison in the role...

(1981). The circuit was called a "cloaking device
Cloaking device
Cloaking devices are advanced stealth technologies still in development that will cause objects, such as spaceships or individuals, to be partially or wholly invisible to parts of the electromagnetic spectrum...

" by the Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
The Eighth Doctor is the eighth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Paul McGann...

 in the Doctor Who television movie, and again a "chameleon circuit" in the 2005 series episode "Boom Town
Boom Town (Doctor Who)
"Boom Town" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 4 June 2005. The Doctor, Rose and Jack travel to modern-day Cardiff and meet up with Rose's boyfriend, Mickey...

".

The Doctor attempts to repair the circuit in Logopolis
Logopolis
Logopolis is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 28 February to 21 March 1981. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Doctor and marks the first appearance of Peter Davison in the role...

and Attack of the Cybermen
Attack of the Cybermen
Attack of the Cybermen is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from 5 January to 12 January 1985. It opened Season 22 of the series...

, but the successful transformation of the TARDIS into the shapes of a pipe organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

, a painted Welsh dresser
Welsh dresser
A Welsh dresser or a china hutch and sometimes known as a kitchen dresser or pewter cupboard, is a piece of wooden furniture consisting of drawers and cupboards in the lower part, and shelves on top...

 (much to the amusement of Peri
Peri Brown
Peri Brown, full name Perpugilliam Brown, is a fictional character played by Nicola Bryant in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who....

 and the Sixth Doctor's annoyance) and an elaborate gateway in the latter serial was followed by a return to the police box shape. The circuit was also repaired during the Virgin New Adventures
Virgin New Adventures
The Virgin New Adventures were a series of novels from Virgin Publishing based on the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who...

 novels, but again the TARDIS's shape was eventually set back to a police box shape. In "Boom Town" (2005), the Ninth Doctor implied that he had stopped trying to fix the circuit quite some time ago because he'd become rather fond of the police box shape – a claim the Eighth Doctor made in the 1996 television movie.

Cosmetically, the police box exterior of the TARDIS has remained virtually unchanged, although there have been slight modifications over the years. For example, the sign on the door concealing the police telephone has been black letters on a white background (An Unearthly Child), white on blue (The Seeds of Death) and white on black (The Curse of Peladon). Other modifications include different wordings on the phone panel; for example, "Urgent Calls" (An Unearthly Child) as opposed to "All Calls" (Castrovalva publicity photos). The "POLICE BOX" sign was wider from Season 18 (1980) onwards and for the 2005 series, but not for the television movie. From An Unearthly Child
An Unearthly Child
The serial that became An Unearthly Child was originally commissioned from writer Anthony Coburn in June 1963, when it was intended to run as the second Doctor Who serial. At this stage, it was planned that the series would open with a serial entitled The Giants, to be written by BBC staff...

(1963) to The War Machines
The War Machines
The War Machines is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in 4 weekly parts from 25 June to 16 July 1966...

(1966), the TARDIS also had a St. John Ambulance
St. John Ambulance
St John Ambulance, branded as St John in some territories, is a common name used by a number of affiliated organisations in different countries dedicated to the teaching and practice of medical first aid and the provision of ambulance services, all of which derive their origins from the St John...

 badge on the main doors, as did real police boxes; this has been reinstated and the window frame colour has been changed to white for Matt Smith's first season as the Doctor, shown in 2010. As the TARDIS does not have a second set of inner doors in the revived series, the interior side of the police box doors – complete with the police telephone mounted on the inside of the cupboard door – are seen from the control room. "The Empty Child
The Empty Child
"The Empty Child" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 21 May 2005. It is the first of a two-part story. The concluding episode, "The Doctor Dances", was broadcast on 28 May...

" revealed that the cupboard could be opened and the telephone accessed from the exterior, but that this device is non-functional because it is not connected to any telephone line
Telephone line
A telephone line or telephone circuit is a single-user circuit on a telephone communication system...

s. In the 1996 television movie, the Eighth Doctor revealed that he hid a secret key in a cubbyhole above the 'P' in the 'POLICE BOX' sign.

Despite the anachronistic police box shape, the TARDIS's presence is rarely questioned when it materialises in the present-day United Kingdom. In "Boom Town", the Doctor simply noted that humans do not notice odd things like the TARDIS, echoing a similar sentiment expressed by the Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
The Seventh Doctor is the seventh incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor Sylvester McCoy....

 in Remembrance of the Daleks
Remembrance of the Daleks
Remembrance of the Daleks is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 5 October to 26 October 1988....

(1988), that humans have an "amazing capacity for self-deception
Self-deception
Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument...

". Various episodes, notably "The Sound of Drums
The Sound of Drums
"The Sound of Drums" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 23 June 2007, and is the twelfth episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series...

", also note that the TARDIS generates a perception filter to reinforce the idea that it is perfectly ordinary.

Doors and lock


For most of the series run, the exterior doors of the police box operated separately from the heavier interior doors, although sometimes the two sets could open simultaneously to allow the ship's passengers to look directly outside and vice versa. The revived series' TARDIS features no such secondary doors; the police box doors open directly into the console room. The entrance to the TARDIS is capable of being locked and unlocked from the outside with a key, which the Doctor keeps on his person and occasionally gives copies of to his companions. In the 1996 television movie, the Eighth Doctor (and the Seventh before him) kept a spare key "in a cubbyhole behind the 'P'" (of the POLICE BOX sign). In The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 4 February to 11 March 1978...

, a Citadel Guard on Gallifrey is initially baffled by the archaic lock when attempting to open the Doctor's TARDIS. Newer TARDIS models apparently have more advanced locking mechanisms that are touch-sensitive or may be operated by remote control.

The Doctor always almost opens the doors inwards, despite the fact that real police boxes open outwards; in "The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

", it is revealed the TARDIS is aware of this and finds it annoying. (Otherwise, however, her opinion of the actual police box appearance is left unrevealed.) After crash-landing on its back in Amelia Pond's garden in "The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (Doctor Who)
"The Eleventh Hour" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 3 April 2010....

", the doors uncharacteristically open outward; additionally, the left door opens in tandem with the usual right door.

In the 2005 series, the keys are also remotely linked to the TARDIS, capable of signalling its presence or impending arrival by heating up and glowing. The TARDIS keys have varied in design from an ordinary Yale key
Pin tumbler lock
The pin tumbler lock is a lock mechanism that uses pins of varying lengths to prevent the lock from opening without the correct key...

 to an ankh
Ankh
The ankh , also known as key of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata, was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read "eternal life", a triliteral sign for the consonants ʻ-n-ḫ...

-like key embossed with an alien pattern (identified in Terrance Dicks
Terrance Dicks
Terrance Dicks is an English writer, best known for his work in television and for writing a large number of popular children's books during the 1970s and 80s.- Early career :...

 and Malcolm Hulke
Malcolm Hulke
Malcolm Hulke was a British television writer and author of the industry "bible" Writing for Television in the 70s...

's 1972 book The Making of Doctor Who as the constellation of Kasterborous, Gallifrey's home system) from seasons 11 to 13, after which it reverted to the Yale key design. The ankh-like key was also used in the 1996 television movie. In Ghost Light
Ghost Light (Doctor Who)
-Pre-production:Working titles for this story included The Bestiary and Life-Cycle. As revealed in the production notes for the DVD release, the story was renamed Das Haus der tausend Schrecken upon translation into German.The story evolved out of an earlier, rejected script entitled Lungbarrow...

and Survival
Survival (Doctor Who)
-Writing:Writer Rona Munro approached script editor Andrew Cartmel at a BBC scriptwriting workshop and said that she'd "kill to write for Doctor Who." The story Munro developed incorporated themes including the morals of hunting...

, a different design, featuring the Seal of Rassilon
Rassilon
Rassilon is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. In the backstory of the programme, he was the founder of Time Lord society on the planet Gallifrey...

 was used. The revived series uses the Yale
Pin tumbler lock
The pin tumbler lock is a lock mechanism that uses pins of varying lengths to prevent the lock from opening without the correct key...

 key version, most notably shown in "Blink
Blink (Doctor Who)
"Blink" is the 10th episode of the third series of the new production of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 9 June 2007, and is the only episode in the 2007 series written by Steven Moffat; the episode is based on a previous short story written by...

" (2007), when the Weeping Angels
Weeping Angels
The Weeping Angels are a fictional ancient race of aliens from the Doctor Who television series, featured in the Tenth Doctor episode "Blink", and the Eleventh Doctor episodes "The Time of Angels", "Flesh and Stone" and in a cameo appearance in Series 6's "The God Complex"...

 attempt to gain access to the TARDIS using a stolen key.

The key is also able to repair temporal anomalies and paradoxes, including death aversion through its link to the TARDIS.

The TARDIS lock's security level has varied from story to story. Originally, it was said to have 21 different "combinations" and would melt if the key was placed in the wrong one (The Daleks
The Daleks
The Daleks is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in seven weekly parts from 21 December 1963 to 1 February 1964...

, 1963). The First Doctor
First Doctor
The First Doctor is the initial incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor William Hartnell from 1963 to 1966. Hartnell reprised the role in the tenth anniversary story The Three Doctors in 1973 - albeit in a...

 was also able to unlock it with his ring (The Web Planet
The Web Planet
The Web Planet is the fifth serial in the second season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 13 February 1965 to 20 March 1965...

, 1965) and repair it by using the light of an alien sun refracted through the ring's jewel (The Daleks' Master Plan
The Daleks' Master Plan
The Daleks' Master Plan is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The twelve episodes were aired from 13 November 1965 to 29 January 1966...

). In "Utopia
Utopia (Doctor Who)
"Utopia" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 16 June 2007 and is the eleventh episode of series three of the revived Doctor Who series...

" (2007), and in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Dalek Invasion of Earth is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from November 21 to December 26, 1964....

" (1964), the TARDIS was shown to have an internal deadlock; once thrown, it would prevent entry even for authorised users with authorised keys. In "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", this was known as 'Double-Locking'. In The Sensorites
The Sensorites
The Sensorites is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from June 20 to August 1, 1964. The story is notable for its early demonstration of Susan's telepathy and references to the Doctor and her home planet.-Plot:The...

(1964), the entire lock mechanism was removed from the TARDIS door via a hand-held Sensorite device.

The changing design of the TARDIS keys also suggests that the Doctor changes the lock system every now and then, and that it does not always work the same way. In Spearhead from Space
Spearhead from Space
Spearhead from Space is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 3 January to 24 January 1970. The serial opened Series 7 of the show and was the first to be produced in colour. The serial introduced Jon Pertwee as the...

(1970), the Third Doctor said that the lock had a metabolism detector, so that even if an unauthorised person had a key, the doors would remain locked. This security measure was also seen in the New Series Adventures
New Series Adventures (Doctor Who)
The New Series Adventures are a series of novels relating to the long-running BBC science fiction television series, Doctor Who. The 'NSAs', as they are often referred to, are published by BBC Books, and are regularly published in the spring and autumn of each year. Beginning and concluding with...

 novel Only Human by Gareth Roberts
Gareth Roberts (writer)
Gareth John Pritchard Roberts is a British television screenwriter and novelist, best known for his work related to the science-fiction television series Doctor Who...

, which called it an "advanced meson
Meson
In particle physics, mesons are subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark, bound together by the strong interaction. Because mesons are composed of sub-particles, they have a physical size, with a radius roughly one femtometer: 10−15 m, which is about the size of a proton...

 recognition system." The Ninth Doctor claimed that when the doors were shut, even "the assembled hordes of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

" could not enter ("believe me, they've tried") ("Rose
Rose (Doctor Who)
"Rose" is the first episode of Series One of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Russell T Davies and directed by Keith Boak, the episode was first broadcast on 26 March 2005....

"). In "Doomsday
Doomsday (Doctor Who)
"Doomsday" is the thirteenth and final episode in the second series of the revival of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 8 July 2006 and is the conclusion of a two-part story; the first part, "Army of Ghosts", was broadcast on 1 July 2006...

", when the TARDIS is confiscated, the Doctor claims, "You'll never get inside it." Several people have managed to just wander into the TARDIS without any problem over the years, including some who became companions; since the TARDIS uses keys, it could easily have been left unlocked. Despite the TARDIS's apparent infallibility in its security, some of the instruments inside or the interior itself have been breached and remote-controlled. In the serial The War Games
The War Games
The War Games is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in ten weekly parts from 19 April to 21 June 1969. It was the last regular appearance of Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, and of Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines as companions Zoe...

, the Time Lords manage to breach the inside of the TARDIS while in mid-flight and landing in order to erect something similar to a force field. In "Utopia
Utopia (Doctor Who)
"Utopia" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 16 June 2007 and is the eleventh episode of series three of the revived Doctor Who series...

", the Doctor was able to lock the TARDIS to the coordinates it had previously visited from outside using the sonic screwdriver
Sonic screwdriver
The sonic screwdriver is a fictional tool in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spinoffs. It is a multifunctional tool used by The Doctor. Its most common function is that of a lockpick, but can be used to perform other operations such as performing medical scans,...

.

In the 2008 episode
Doctor Who (series 4)
The fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 25 December 2007 with the Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned". Following the special, a regular series of thirteen episodes aired, starting with "Partners in Crime" on 5 April 2008 and ending with "Journey's End"...

 "Forest of the Dead
Forest of the Dead
"Forest of the Dead" is the ninth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast by BBC One on 7 June 2008...

", the character River Song
River Song (Doctor Who)
River Song is a fictional character played primarily by Alex Kingston in the British science-fiction series Doctor Who. River Song was introduced to the series as an experienced future companion of series protagonist the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time in his TARDIS...

 (an apparent future companion of the Doctor) says to the Doctor that she knows he would be able to open the TARDIS doors with a snap of his fingers. Although the Doctor dismisses this as impossible, at the conclusion of the episode, he opens and closes the doors by doing just that, eschewing the need for a key. The Eleventh Doctor
Eleventh Doctor
The Eleventh Doctor is the eleventh incarnation of the protagonist of the BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. Matt Smith plays this incarnation, replacing David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in the 2010 episode "The End of Time, Part Two"...

 also does this at the end of "The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (Doctor Who)
"The Eleventh Hour" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 3 April 2010....

", when revealing the newly regenerated TARDIS interior to Amy Pond
Amy Pond
Amelia Jessica 'Amy' Pond is a fictional character portrayed by Karen Gillan in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

; he then does it again in "Day of the Moon
Day of the Moon
"Day of the Moon" is the second episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 30 April 2011 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on BBC America in the...

". In the 2011 episode, "The Doctor's Wife", he tries to open it by snapping his fingers, but the door is locked by the mysterious entity, "House". This ability seems to be unique to the Doctor, though, as he said Time Lords can't do that. The fact that he can is another indication of the TARDIS' affinity to him.

In the Christmas 2009 episode "The End of Time, Part One
The End of Time
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe, also sold with the alternate subtitle The Next Revolution in Physics, is a 1999 science book in which the author Julian Barbour argues that time exists merely as an illusion.-Auto-biography:The book begins by describing how...

", the Doctor uses a remote locking system to lock the TARDIS, similar to the remote-control locking system used on modern cars. Upon pointing his key fob at the TARDIS, the TARDIS makes a distinctive chirp and the light on top of the TARDIS flashes. Later in the same episode, the key fob, when again used by the Doctor, shifts the TARDIS "just a second out of sync", rendering it invisible and so hiding it from the Master
Master (Doctor Who)
The Master is a recurring character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is a renegade Time Lord and the archenemy of the Doctor....

.

The doors are supposed to be closed while materialising; in Planet of Giants
Planet of Giants
*An early draft of this story – by C.E. Webber and entitled The Giants – was originally meant to be the first story of the first season.-Episode 4:*This story was originally four episodes in length...

(1964), the opening of the doors during a materialisation sequence caused the ship and its occupants to shrink to doll size. In The Enemy of the World
The Enemy of the World
The Enemy of the World is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 23 December 1967 to 27 January 1968...

(1967), taking off while the doors were still open resulted in rapid decompression, with the villain
Villain
A villain is an "evil" character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. The villain usually is the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters...

ous Salamander being sucked out of the TARDIS. The Second Doctor and his companions managed to cling to the console, and the crisis passed when Jamie
Jamie McCrimmon
James Robert "Jamie" McCrimmon is a fictional character played by Frazer Hines in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A piper of the Clan McLaren who lived in 18th century Scotland, he was a companion of the Second Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1966...

 managed to shut the doors. In Warriors' Gate
Warriors' Gate
Warriors' Gate is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was written by the English author Stephen Gallagher and first broadcast in four weekly parts from 3 January to 24 January 1981...

(1981), the doors open during flight between two universes, admitting a Tharil named Biroc, and allowing the time winds to burn the Doctor's hand and seriously damage K-9
K-9 (Doctor Who)
K-9, or K9, is the name of several fictional robotic canines in the long-running British science fiction television series, Doctor Who, first appearing in 1977...

. In "The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

" (December 2006), "The Stolen Earth
The Stolen Earth
"The Stolen Earth" is the twelfth episode of the fourth series and the 750th overall episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The episode was written by show runner and head writer Russell T Davies and is the first of a two-part crossover story; the concluding episode is...

" (2008), and "The Beast Below
The Beast Below
"The Beast Below" is the second episode of the fifth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was written by showrunner Steven Moffat and broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 10 April 2010....

 (2010)", however, the doors can be opened safely while the ship is in vacuum, as the TARDIS protects its occupants (see the "Defences" section below).

There is evidence that objects clinging to the outside of the TARDIS may be carried with it as it dematerialises. In Silver Nemesis
Silver Nemesis
Silver Nemesis was the 25th anniversary serial of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast in the UK in three weekly parts from 23 November 1988, to 7 December 1988....

(1988), an arrow is fired at the TARDIS and is embedded in its door. The arrow remains in the door throughout the serial and through several dematerialisations before being removed at the story's conclusion; this is repeated in "The Shakespeare Code
The Shakespeare Code
"The Shakespeare Code" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 7 April 2007, and is the second episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series. According to the BARB figures this episode was seen by 7.23 million viewers and was...

" (2007), and the arrow is removed in the following episode
Gridlock (Doctor Who)
"Gridlock" is the third episode from the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who which aired on 14 April 2007. The Doctor returns to a much grittier New Earth with Martha Jones and meets the Face of Boe one final time. But as New New York becomes a deadly...

. "Utopia" presented, for the first time on-screen, a circumstance in which a character travels on the exterior of the TARDIS during a flight, when Jack Harkness
Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness is a fictional character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. He first appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Empty Child" and reappeared in the remaining episodes of the 2005 series as a companion of the ninth incarnation of the...

 was somehow able to grab hold of the TARDIS as it began to dematerialise and hold on to its destination; the episode does establish, however, that a normal person would not have survived the trip, as Harkness is "killed" by the experience, but due to his immortality, soon revives. In "Vincent and the Doctor
Vincent and the Doctor
"Vincent and the Doctor" is the 10th episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 5 June 2010...

" (2010), some advertisements are attached to the TARDIS. After materialisation, they are shown to be burning.

In the Seventh Doctor audio drama Colditz
Colditz (Doctor Who audio)
Colditz is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-Plot:The Seventh Doctor and Ace are caught intruding in Colditz Castle in October 1944...

, a character was killed by being halfway inside the TARDIS when it dematerialised. As usual for Doctor Who, the canonicity
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

 of non-television stories is unclear.

Exterior Influence


The Time Lords are able to divert the TARDIS's flight path (The Ribos Operation
The Ribos Operation
The Ribos Operation is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from September 2 to September 23, 1978. This serial introduces Mary Tamm as the companion Romana. After finishing his first year as producer of Doctor Who,...

(1978)), or have the ability to totally override and recall any TARDIS by the order of the Council (Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 3 January to 12 January 1983...

(1983)). Alien influences have also, for example, trapped the Doctor's TARDIS and drained its power in The Web Planet
The Web Planet
The Web Planet is the fifth serial in the second season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 13 February 1965 to 20 March 1965...

(1965) and Death to the Daleks
Death to the Daleks
Death to the Daleks is a four-part serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. First broadcast from February 23 to March 16, 1974, it comprises four 25-minute episodes. The narrative begins as the TARDIS suffers an energy drain and crash-lands on the planet Exxilon...

(1974), while its course has been diverted by The Keeper of Traken
The Keeper of Traken
-Cast notes:Denis Carey, who plays the Keeper, also played Professor Chronotis in the uncompleted Fourth Doctor serial Shada, and the Old Man in the Sixth Doctor story Timelash....

(1981), the Mandragora Helix (1976) and by the Daleks' "time corridor" in Resurrection of the Daleks
Resurrection of the Daleks
Resurrection of the Daleks is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts between 8 February and 15 February 1984...

(1984). In The Mark of the Rani
The Mark of the Rani
The Mark of The Rani is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from 2 February to 9 February 1985...

(1985), the Rani used a Stattenheim remote control
Remote control
A remote control is a component of an electronics device, most commonly a television set, used for operating the television device wirelessly from a short line-of-sight distance.The remote control is usually contracted to remote...

 to summon her TARDIS. In The Two Doctors
The Two Doctors
The Two Doctors is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in three weekly parts from 16 February to 2 March 1985. It starred Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Sixth Doctor and his companion Peri, respectively...

(1985), the Second Doctor
Second Doctor
The Second Doctor is the second incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by character actor Patrick Troughton....

 also used a portable Stattenheim. The Doctor
Ninth Doctor
The Ninth Doctor is the ninth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by Christopher Eccleston....

 used his sonic screwdriver to trigger remotely "Emergency Programme One", sending his human companion Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

 to safety, while he stayed behind for a battle against the Dalek
Dalek
The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Within the series, Daleks are cyborgs from the planet Skaro, created by the scientist Davros during the final years of a thousand-year war against the Thals...

s (The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

(2005)). The Doctor
Tenth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor is the tenth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by David Tennant, who appears in three series, as well as eight specials...

 also manipulated the TARDIS by utilising the self-attracting nature of huon particles, causing the TARDIS to materialise around both Donna Noble and himself, in order to escape into the past. However, this trick was used in turn by the Empress of the Racnoss, which pulled the TARDIS from the creation of the Earth to only a few minutes after its initial departure.

In The Pandorica Opens
The Pandorica Opens
"The Pandorica Opens" is the twelfth episode, and first in a two-part story, in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, broadcast on 19 June 2010. The Doctor's friends send him a warning; he deals with a message on a cliff, a mysterious box and a love story that...

(2010), the TARDIS is drawn to a specific date, 26 June 2010, and then caused to explode by an outside influence.

The exterior dimensions can be severed from the interior dimensions under extraordinary circumstances. In Frontios
Frontios
Frontios is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 26 January to 3 February 1984.-Synopsis:...

(1984), when the TARDIS was destroyed in a Tractator-induced meteor storm
Meteor shower
A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories. Most meteors are smaller...

, the interior ended up outside the police box shell with various bits embedded in the surrounding rock. The Doctor eventually tricked the Gravis, leader of the Tractators, into reassembling the ship. In Father's Day
Father's Day (Doctor Who)
"Father's Day" is the eighth episode in series one of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The episode was first broadcast on 14 May 2005...

(2005), a temporal paradox
Temporal paradox
Temporal paradox is a theoretical paradoxical situation that happens because of time travel. A time traveler goes to the past, and does something that would prevent him from time travel in the first place...

 resulting in a wound in time threw the interior of the ship out of the wound, leaving the TARDIS an empty shell of a police box. The Doctor attempted to use the TARDIS key in conjunction with a small electrical charge to recover the ship, but the process was interrupted and the TARDIS was only restored after the paradox was resolved.

In Turn Left
Turn Left (Doctor Who)
"Turn Left" is the eleventh episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was written by showrunner Russell T Davies and broadcast on BBC One on 21 June 2008....

(2008), the "Police Box" sign and all other text on the TARDIS is shown as replaced with the words "Bad Wolf", as is all text in the universe; this is interpreted by the Doctor as an urgent warning concerning the end of the universe. The words "Bad Wolf" have also been spray-painted on and around the TARDIS in previous episodes.
The TARDIS has the ability to turn invisible, allowing it to avoid the detection by President Nixon, Canton Everet Delaware 3 and area 51 operatives (The Impossible Astronaut
The Impossible Astronaut
"The Impossible Astronaut" is the first episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 23 April 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States...

, Day of the Moon
Day of the Moon
"Day of the Moon" is the second episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 30 April 2011 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on BBC America in the...

(2011)).

Interior


The TARDIS interior has a vast number of rooms and corridors. The exact dimensions of the interior have not been specified, but apart from living quarters, the interior includes an ancillary power station disguised as an art gallery, a well-organised study (TARDIS, 2010), a greenhouse, bathroom, a library, a swimming pool, a medical bay, several squash courts, and several brick-walled storage areas (The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 4 February to 11 March 1978...

(1978)). There is also a secondary control room with ornate wood panels. Old (and future) control rooms can be "archived" by the TARDIS without the Doctor's knowledge, as seen in The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

. Portions of the TARDIS can also be isolated or reconfigured; the Doctor was able to jettison 25% of the TARDIS's structure in Castrovalva to provide additional "thrust". In The Doctor's Wife, this process is referred to as "deleting" rooms and is used to enable travel between universes. A fail-safe prevents living creatures from being "deleted"; they are instead transferred to the main control room. Rooms within the TARDIS can be re-arranged to suit the Doctor's needs, as when the Eleventh Doctor hastily moved the swimming pool beneath the TARDIS entrance in order to catch River Song in Day of the Moon
Day of the Moon
"Day of the Moon" is the second episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 30 April 2011 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on BBC America in the...

.

Despite a widespread assumption that the interior of the TARDIS is infinite, there are indications that it is not. In Full Circle
Full Circle (Doctor Who)
Full Circle is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 25 October to 15 November 1980...

(1980), Romana
Romana
Romana, short for Romanadvoratrelundar, is a fictional character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

 stated that the weight of the TARDIS was 5 × 106 kilogram
Kilogram
The kilogram or kilogramme , also known as the kilo, is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units and is defined as being equal to the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram , which is almost exactly equal to the mass of one liter of water...

s in Alzarius's Earth-like gravity (about 5 × 107 Newtons, or the weight of 5,000 tonnes). It has been speculated that this was a mistake by the character and referred to its internal weight, as the external part of the TARDIS is at other times light enough for it to be lifted or otherwise moved with relative ease (although most real police boxes were concrete and hence quite difficult to move): several men lift it up in Marco Polo
Marco Polo (Doctor Who)
-CD and DVD releases:*In 2003, a three-CD set of the audio soundtrack was released, as part of Doctor Who's 40th anniversary. This CD set is unique in containing a map of Cathay as represented during the period of the Doctor's visit to China, and also explaining historical inaccuracies...

, it requires a fork-lift truck in Time-Flight
Time-Flight
Time-Flight is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 22 March to 30 March 1982...

, a group of small blue maintenance workers on Platform One push it along the ground in "The End of the World
The End of the World (Doctor Who)
"The End of the World" is the second episode of Series One of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn, the episode was first broadcast on 2 April 2005....

", and a quartet of Weeping Angels
Weeping Angels
The Weeping Angels are a fictional ancient race of aliens from the Doctor Who television series, featured in the Tenth Doctor episode "Blink", and the Eleventh Doctor episodes "The Time of Angels", "Flesh and Stone" and in a cameo appearance in Series 6's "The God Complex"...

 are able to rock it back and forth in "Blink
Blink (Doctor Who)
"Blink" is the 10th episode of the third series of the new production of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 9 June 2007, and is the only episode in the 2007 series written by Steven Moffat; the episode is based on a previous short story written by...

", to name a few. The TARDIS floats in Fury from the Deep
Fury from the Deep
Fury from the Deep is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 16 March to 20 April 1968...

. If the solid exterior of the TARDIS is moved or shaken after materialisation, the movement is usually transmitted to its interior, although there is a manual control to separate the internal gravity from the exterior's orientation (Time-Flight
Time-Flight
Time-Flight is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 22 March to 30 March 1982...

, 1982).

In the tie-in novels, the interior of the TARDIS has been known to contain an entire city (Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible
Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible
Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible is an original novel written by Marc Platt and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor and Ace.-Plot:...

), used to encompass an entire parallel Earth (Blood Heat
Blood Heat
Blood Heat is an original novel written by Jim Mortimore and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice. A prelude to the novel, also penned by Mortimore, appeared in Doctor Who Magazine #205...

), and is big enough to dwarf Gallifrey itself when turned inside out (The Ancestor Cell
The Ancestor Cell
The Ancestor Cell is a novel by Peter Anghelides and Stephen Cole, based on the science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor, Fitz Kreiner, Compassion and Romana III- as well as a brief appearance of the Third Doctor in a ghost-like state due to the Faction's...

). It is also seen to exist in multiple timelines.

A distinctive architectural feature of the TARDIS interior is the "roundel
Roundel
A roundel in heraldry is a disc; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours.-Heraldry:...

". In the context of the TARDIS, a roundel is a circular decoration that adorns the walls of the rooms and corridors of the TARDIS, including the console room. Some roundels conceal TARDIS circuitry and devices, as seen in the serials The Wheel in Space
The Wheel in Space
The Wheel in Space is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 27 April to 1 June 1968...

(1968), Logopolis
Logopolis
Logopolis is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 28 February to 21 March 1981. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Doctor and marks the first appearance of Peter Davison in the role...

, Castrovalva (1981), Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 3 January to 12 January 1983...

(1983), Terminus
Terminus (Doctor Who)
Terminus is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was originally broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 15 to 23 February 1983...

(1983), and Attack of the Cybermen
Attack of the Cybermen
Attack of the Cybermen is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from 5 January to 12 January 1985. It opened Season 22 of the series...

(1985). The design of the roundels has varied throughout the show's history, from a basic circular cut-out with black background to a photographic image printed on wall board, to translucent illuminated discs in later serials. In the secondary console room, most of the roundels were executed in recessed wood panelling, with a few decorative ones in what appeared to be stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

. In the TARDIS design from 2005 – January 2010, the roundels are built into hexagonal recesses in the walls. After the TARDIS was regenerated at the beginning of the 2010 series, there are a range of different roundel designs around the control room. These include circular holes that are recessed deep into the walls, hexagonal holes that are lit from behind each face, round indents with brass rings around the outside, and a glass centre that is illuminated blue.

Other rooms seen include living quarters for many of the Doctor's companions, although the Doctor's own bedroom has never been seen. The TARDIS also had a "Zero Room", a chamber that was shielded from the rest of the universe and provided a restful environment for the Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor is the fifth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Peter Davison....

 to recover from his regeneration in Castrovalva (which was among the 25% jettisoned). However, the Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
The Seventh Doctor is the seventh incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor Sylvester McCoy....

 spin-off novel Deceit
Deceit (Doctor Who)
Deceit is an original novel written by Peter Darvill-Evans and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice. Also included is Doctor Who Magazine comic character Abslom Daak, in his first appearance outside of DWM...

indicated that the Doctor rebuilt the Zero Room shortly before the events of that novel. In some of the First Doctor
First Doctor
The First Doctor is the initial incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor William Hartnell from 1963 to 1966. Hartnell reprised the role in the tenth anniversary story The Three Doctors in 1973 - albeit in a...

 serials, a nearby room contains a machine that dispenses food or nutrition bars to the Doctor and his companions. This machine disappears after the first few serials, although mention is occasionally made of the TARDIS kitchen. In The One Doctor
The One Doctor
The One Doctor is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.- Plot :The Sixth Doctor and Mel come up against an impostor Doctor and his companion Sally-Anne....

, Mel mentions that the Doctor used the TARDIS's laundromat.

Although the interior corridors were not initially seen in the 2005 series, the fact that they still exist was established in "The Unquiet Dead
The Unquiet Dead
"The Unquiet Dead" is an episode in the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who that was first broadcast on 9 April 2005 and is the first episode of the revival to be set in the past. In Victorian Cardiff, the dead are walking, and creatures made of gas are on the loose...

", when the Doctor gives Rose some very complicated directions to the TARDIS wardrobe. The wardrobe is mentioned several times in the original series and spin-off fiction, and seen in The Androids of Tara
The Androids of Tara
The Androids of Tara is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 25 November to 16 December 1978...

(1978), The Twin Dilemma
The Twin Dilemma
The Twin Dilemma is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 22 March to 30 March 1984, the first to star Colin Baker in the title role.-Synopsis:...

(1984) and Time and the Rani
Time and the Rani
Time and the Rani is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 7 September to 28 September 1987. This story was the first to feature Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. It also features the last appearance of the Sixth...

(1987). The redesigned version, from which the Tenth Doctor
Tenth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor is the tenth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by David Tennant, who appears in three series, as well as eight specials...

 chooses his new clothes, was seen in "The Christmas Invasion
The Christmas Invasion
"The Christmas Invasion" is a 60-minute special episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is Christmas, but there is little cause for celebration as planet Earth is invaded by aliens known as the Sycorax...

" (2005) as a large multi-levelled room with a helical staircase. Designer Ed Thomas has suggested that more rooms may be seen in coming episodes. The corridors were eventually seen in the episode The Doctor's Wife, and are currently standing sets for use in future episodes. The Doctor also mentions in "The Shakespeare Code
The Shakespeare Code
"The Shakespeare Code" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 7 April 2007, and is the second episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series. According to the BARB figures this episode was seen by 7.23 million viewers and was...

" that the TARDIS has an attic
Attic
An attic is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building . Attic is generally the American/Canadian reference to it...

.

In The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (Doctor Who)
"The Eleventh Hour" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 3 April 2010....

, the Doctor mentions that the TARDIS has a library and a swimming pool. He tells Captain Avery that there are several bathrooms available in The Curse of the Black Spot
The Curse of the Black Spot
"The Curse of the Black Spot" is the third episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by Stephen Thompson, and directed by Jeremy Webb, the episode was first broadcast on 7 May 2011 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on BBC America in the...

(2011). The swimming pool has been seen on-screen in The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time
The Invasion of Time is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 4 February to 11 March 1978...

(1978), and the Doctor later used it to catch River Song
River Song
"River Song" may refer to:* "River Song" , the opening track of Dennis Wilson's 1977 album Pacific Ocean Blue* River Song , a recurring character in the Doctor Who TV series...

 as she plummeted from a skyscraper. The swimming pool, the scullery, squash court 7, the archived Ninth and Tenth Doctor's console room, and Amy and Rory's quarters were ejected in the episode The Doctor's Wife. The Doctor reconstructed Amy and Rory's bedroom but replaced the bunk beds with a normal bed at their insistence.

Console room



The most often-seen room of the TARDIS is its console room, where its flight controls are housed. The console room was designed by Peter Brachacki
Peter Brachacki
Peter Brachacki was a production designer who worked for BBC Television in the 1960s. Although he worked on several programmes, he is best remembered as the first production designer for Doctor Who in 1963, making him responsible for the iconic design of the TARDIS interior.-Doctor Who:Brachacki...

 and was the only set he designed for the show. It was built on a shoestring budget and a tight schedule, which led to Brachacki leaving the show due to disagreements with the production team and possibly a feeling that he had been given an impossible task. Despite his leaving the show and mixed reactions as to how the set looked (producer Verity Lambert
Verity Lambert
Verity Ann Lambert, OBE was an English television and film producer. She is best known as the founding producer of the science-fiction series Doctor Who, a programme which has become a part of British popular culture, and for her association with Thames Television...

 liked it but director Waris Hussein
Waris Hussein
Waris Hussein is a British-Indian television director and film director best known for his many productions for British television....

 did not), the basic design of the hexagonal console and wall roundels has persisted to the present day.

The TARDIS has at least two console rooms: the primary, white-walled, futuristic one most used throughout the programme's history; and the secondary console room used during Season 14 in 1976/77, which has wood panelling and a more antique feel to it. The cavernous, steampunk
Steampunk
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain or "Wild West"-era United...

-inspired console room of the television movie may have been a reconfiguration of either of the previously mentioned console rooms (as first suggested in New Adventures novels and later in the Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces books and audio plays based, primarily, on cult British science fiction properties...

 audio plays
Radio drama
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

), a different desktop, or an additional console room.

In the Third Doctor serial The Time Monster
The Time Monster
The Time Monster is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 20 May to 24 June 1972.- Synopsis :...

(1972), the console room of the TARDIS was dramatically altered, including the wall roundels. This new set, designed by Tim Gleeson, was disliked by producer Barry Letts, who felt that the new roundels resembled washing-up bowls stuck to the wall. As it turned out, the set was damaged in storage between production blocks and had to be rebuilt, so this particular design only saw service in the one serial.

In the 2005 series, the console room became a dome-shaped chamber with organic-looking support columns, and the interior doors were removed. The change in configuration is explained in "Time Crash
Time Crash
"Time Crash" is a mini-episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on 16 November 2007, as part of the BBC One telethon for the children's charity Children in Need...

" by the Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor is the fifth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Peter Davison....

 as a mere changing of "the desktop theme
Theme (computing)
In computing, a theme is a preset package containing graphical appearance details, used to customize the look and feel of an operating system, widget set or window manager....

" to "Coral" (he also indicates that a "Leopard Skin" theme is also available, but he dislikes it). Other preceding theories involve the fact that the TARDIS interior was severely damaged by a cold fusion
Cold fusion
Cold fusion, also called low-energy nuclear reaction , refers to the hypothesis that nuclear fusion might explain the results of a group of experiments conducted at ordinary temperatures . Both the experimental results and the hypothesis are disputed...

 explosion in The Gallifrey Chronicles. Several episodes of the revived series, such as "Army of Ghosts
Army of Ghosts
"Army of Ghosts" is the twelfth and penultimate episode in the second series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who which was first broadcast on 1 July 2006...

" and the end of "The Unicorn and the Wasp
The Unicorn and the Wasp
"The Unicorn and the Wasp" is the 7th episode in the revised fourth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was aired by BBC One on 17 May 2008 at 19:00. Perhaps due to its later broadcast, it received an overnight audience rating of 7.7 million, making it the...

", reveal that there is a storeroom of some sort directly underneath the console room, as the Doctor is shown periodically obtaining equipment from this area, accessing it via a panel in the floor. The 2005 console room was destroyed by the regeneration
Regeneration (Doctor Who)
Regeneration, in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, is a biological ability exhibited by Time Lords, a race of fictional humanoids originating on the planet Gallifrey. This process allows a Time Lord who is old or mortally wounded to undergo a transformation into a new...

 energy of the Tenth Doctor
Tenth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor is the tenth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by David Tennant, who appears in three series, as well as eight specials...

 in the final scene of The End of Time
The End of Time
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe, also sold with the alternate subtitle The Next Revolution in Physics, is a 1999 science book in which the author Julian Barbour argues that time exists merely as an illusion.-Auto-biography:The book begins by describing how...

, although it made a reappearance in the 2011 episode "The Doctor's Wife". A new console room, along with a new police box exterior, made its debut in the Eleventh Doctor's first episode
The Eleventh Hour (Doctor Who)
"The Eleventh Hour" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 3 April 2010....

, which aired on 3 April 2010. It was revealed in "The Doctor's Wife" that the older TARDIS interior designs are not destroyed or remodelled, but 'archived' off the official schematic without the Doctor's knowledge. The TARDIS reveals that she has around 30 console rooms archived, even those that the Doctor has yet to use. These archived console rooms are still capable of controling TARDIS functions as shown when Amy and Rory are able to lower the TARDIS shields from an archived control room.

The Virgin novels introduced a tertiary console room, which was described as resembling a Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 (Nightshade
Nightshade (Doctor Who)
Nightshade is an original novel written by Mark Gatiss and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor and Ace. A prelude to the novel, also penned by Gatiss, appeared in Doctor Who Magazine #190.-Synopsis:The Doctor and Ace end up...

by Mark Gatiss
Mark Gatiss
Mark Gatiss is an English actor, screenwriter and novelist. He is best known as a member of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen, and has both written for and acted in the TV series Doctor Who and Sherlock....

). Another novel (Death and Diplomacy
Death and Diplomacy
Death and Diplomacy is an original novel written by Dave Stone and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor, Bernice, Chris, Roz and the first appearance of Jason....

by Dave Stone
Dave Stone
-Biography:Stone has written many spin off novels based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and Judge Dredd.Stone also contributed a number of comic series to 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine, focusing on the Dreddverse...

) suggested that the "native" configuration is so complex and irrational that most non-Time Lords who witness it are driven mad from the experience.

The "active" console room at a given time will be the one "connected" to the exterior doors for ingress and egress. It also appears that the active console room is always within a reasonable distance of the most-used interior rooms such as the bedrooms, wardrobe and sickbay.

Throughout the programme's history there have been various attempts at humanising the console room by adding various accoutrements. For example, a hatstand has often been located somewhere in the room, and the first episodes featured an ormolu
Ormolu
Ormolu is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-karat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze. The mercury is driven off in a kiln...

 clock. In The Androids of Tara
The Androids of Tara
The Androids of Tara is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 25 November to 16 December 1978...

(1978) a cupboard containing fishing gear is shown nearby. Most recently, in "The Rebel Flesh
The Rebel Flesh
"The Rebel Flesh" is the fifth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 21 May 2011 on BBC One and on BBC America in the United States...

" (2011), a dartboard is seen installed in the console room, and it is revealed that the console is capable of playing recorded music.

TARDIS console


The main feature of the console rooms, in any of the known configurations, is the TARDIS console that holds the instruments that control the ship's functions. The appearance of the primary TARDIS consoles has varied widely but shares common details: hexagonal pedestals with controls around the periphery, and a moveable column (or time rotor as it has been called in the original series and the 2011 episode The Doctor's Wife) in the centre that bobs rhythmically up and down when the TARDIS is in flight, like a pump or a piston.

The arrangement of the controls implies that the console was designed to be manned by more than one person. One piece of fan continuity
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

, used in the spin-off media, and also mentioned by the current production team, is that the intended number of operators is somewhere between three and six. In "Journey's End
Journey's End (Doctor Who)
"Journey's End" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who first broadcast on BBC One on 5 July 2008. It is the second episode of a two-part crossover story featuring the characters of spin-off shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane...

", the Doctor confirms that the intended number is six; Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

, Martha Jones
Martha Jones
Martha Jones is a fictional character played by Freema Agyeman in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. She is a companion of the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, replacing Rose Tyler...

, Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith is a fictional character played by Elisabeth Sladen in the long-running British BBC Television science-fiction series Doctor Who and its spin-offs K-9 and Company and The Sarah Jane Adventures....

, Mickey Smith
Mickey Smith
Mickey Smith is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, played by Noel Clarke.Mickey is introduced as the boyfriend of the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's companion Rose Tyler, and a recurring character on the programme...

, Jack Harkness
Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness is a fictional character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. He first appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Empty Child" and reappeared in the remaining episodes of the 2005 series as a companion of the ninth incarnation of the...

 and the Doctor man the controls, and the TARDIS runs far more smoothly during that brief period than it normally does. This also explains why the Doctor tends to do a lot of manic running around the console while he is piloting the TARDIS, as well as the occasional difficulty he has in controlling it, although Romana
Romana
Romana, short for Romanadvoratrelundar, is a fictional character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

, the Doctor's one-time Time Lord companion, is able to pilot the TARDIS successfully by herself. Professor River Song was also shown to pilot the TARDIS smoothly and easily without help, and even landed without making its signature noise (she revealed that the noise is made when the handbrake is left on. However other TARDISes make the classic noise which are piloted by other time lords, such as The Master's and The Rani's, and even when Romana piloted the Doctor's TARDIS the ship made the same noise when materialising (The Pirate Planet). Given the nature of their relationship, it is possible, even likely, that River Song was teasing the Doctor. ).

The console can be operated independently of the TARDIS. During the Third Doctor's era, he occasionally detaches the console from the TARDIS to perform repairs on it. In Inferno
Inferno (Doctor Who)
Don Houghton came to Terrence Dicks with an idea for the story based on the real life Project Mohole. A smaller budget for the serial drove the idea of a parallel world, where the studio could use the same actors in multiple roles...

(1970) the Doctor rides a detached console into a parallel universe.
The central column is often referred to as the "time rotor", although when the term was first used in The Chase
The Chase (Doctor Who)
The Chase is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 22 May to 26 June 1965. The story is set on multiple locations including the Mary Celeste, the Empire State Building, and the planet Aridius...

(1965) it referred to a different instrument on the TARDIS console. However, the use of this term to describe the central column was common in fan literature, and was finally used on screen to refer to the central column in Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 3 January to 12 January 1983...

(1983) and Terminus
Terminus (Doctor Who)
Terminus is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was originally broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 15 to 23 February 1983...

(1983). The current production team uses the term in the same way. It was also referred to as the "time column" in Logopolis
Logopolis
Logopolis is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 28 February to 21 March 1981. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Doctor and marks the first appearance of Peter Davison in the role...

(1981).

The secondary console was smaller, with the controls hidden behind wooden panels, and had no central column. The 1996 television movie console also appeared to be made of wood and the central column connected to the ceiling of the console room. The new series' console is circular in shape and divided into six segments, with both the control panels and the central column glowing green, the latter once again connected to the ceiling.

The 2005 console has a much more thrown-together appearance than previous consoles, with bits of junk from various eras substituting as makeshift controls, including a glass paperweight, a locomotive style water sight glass
Sight glass
A sight glass or water gauge is a transparent tube through which the operator of a tank or boiler can observe the level of liquid contained within.-Liquid in tanks:...

 and protector, a small bell, and a bicycle pump, the latter identified in the Tenth Doctor interactive mini-episode "Attack of the Graske
Attack of the Graske
"Attack of the Graske" is an interactive mini-episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who that was first broadcast on the BBC Red Button service on 25 December 2005. It is now available as an online game on the official Doctor Who website.-Synopsis:The human race is in...

" as the vortex loop control. Three other controls—the dimensional stabiliser, vector tracker, and the handbrake—were also identified, but although the stabiliser had been mentioned before in the series, the canonicity of the mini-episode is also unclear. As seen in "World War Three
World War Three (Doctor Who)
"World War Three" is the fifth episode of the first series in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who that was first broadcast on 23 April 2005. It is the second of a two-part story. The first part, "Aliens of London", was broadcast on 16 April...

", there is also a working telephone attached to the console. In the 2010 series, the new console includes items such as a washer-fluid bottle from a car and a typewriter keyboard.

Precisely how much control the Doctor has in directing the TARDIS has varied over the course of the series. The First Doctor did not initially seem to be able to steer it accurately, making only one intended landing to the planet Kembel in The Daleks' Master Plan
The Daleks' Master Plan
The Daleks' Master Plan is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The twelve episodes were aired from 13 November 1965 to 29 January 1966...

(1965–6) by using the directional unit taken from another TARDIS before the unit burns out. During the Third Doctor
Third Doctor
The Third Doctor is the third incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by actor Jon Pertwee....

's exile on Earth, the TARDIS's course is shown as controlled successfully by the Time Lords, and from the point the Time Lords unblock his memory of time-travel mechanics in The Three Doctors (1972–3), the Doctor seems able to navigate correctly when needed.

Over time the Doctor seemed to be able to pilot the TARDIS with more precision. In The Seeds of Death
The Seeds of Death
The Seeds of Death is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 25 January to 1 March 1969...

, the Second Doctor
Second Doctor
The Second Doctor is the second incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by character actor Patrick Troughton....

 explains to Zoe
Zoe Heriot
Zoe Heriot , or simply Zoe, is a fictional character played by Wendy Padbury in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

 that it wouldn't be possible to use the TARDIS to fly from Earth to the Moon because it would likely "overshoot by a few million years, or a few million miles". However, in Logopolis
Logopolis
Logopolis is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 28 February to 21 March 1981. It was Tom Baker's last story as the Doctor and marks the first appearance of Peter Davison in the role...

, the Fourth Doctor
Fourth Doctor
The Fourth Doctor is the fourth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC British television science-fiction series Doctor Who....

 is able to make a "short hop" to the exact coordinates when he initially lands the TARDIS 1.6 metres off target. The Tenth Doctor also turned the TARDIS 90 degrees after landing with the doors against a wall in "Fear Her
Fear Her
"Fear Her" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 24 June 2006.The episode takes part on the day of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, almost exclusively on a fictitious cul-de-sac named after the British athlete...

" (2006). However, writers continue to use the plot device
Plot device
A plot device is an object or character in a story whose sole purpose is to advance the plot of the story, or alternatively to overcome some difficulty in the plot....

 of having the TARDIS randomly land somewhere, or imply that the TARDIS is "temperamental" in its courses through time and space. In "The Shakespeare Code
The Shakespeare Code
"The Shakespeare Code" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 7 April 2007, and is the second episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series. According to the BARB figures this episode was seen by 7.23 million viewers and was...

" (2007) the Doctor confessed he failed a test to "fly" the TARDIS. The Tenth Doctor managed to pilot the TARDIS with such precision in "The Lazarus Experiment
The Lazarus Experiment
"The Lazarus Experiment" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 5 May 2007 and is the sixth episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series. It stars David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones as his companion, played...

" (2007) as to have it land inside Martha's bedroom the morning after he had originally picked her up. Such is the Doctor's skill that he was even able to remotely use a robot to access the TARDIS from a distance, set the controls, and have it travel from one part of Mars to the portion of the nearby base in which he and the surviving members of the crew were trapped in "The Waters of Mars
The Waters of Mars
"The Waters of Mars" is the second 2009 special of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, broadcast on BBC One on 15 November 2009. It aired on BBC America on 19 December 2009 and was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on 11 January 2010 and in the US on 2 February 2010...

" (2009). In "The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

" the Doctor is able to pilot the TARDIS sufficiently accurately to fly it down a road alongside Donna's taxi in order to rescue her.

Following the Key to Time season (1978–79), the Doctor installed a randomiser to the console which prevented the Doctor (and by extension the evil and powerful Black Guardian
Black Guardian
The Black Guardian is a character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was played by Valentine Dyall....

) from knowing where the TARDIS would land next. This device was eventually removed in The Leisure Hive
The Leisure Hive
The Leisure Hive is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 30 August to 20 September 1980.-Plot:...

(1980). In the 2005 and later series, the Doctor is shown piloting the TARDIS at will, although he still makes the occasional error, such as missing his intended mark by a century (1879 instead of 1979) in "Tooth and Claw
Tooth and Claw (Doctor Who)
"Tooth and Claw" is the second episode in the second series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and was first broadcast on 22 April 2006. In 1879 Scotland, the Doctor and Rose meet Queen Victoria...

" (2006), making the mistake of 12 months instead of 12 hours in "Aliens of London
Aliens of London
"Aliens of London" is the fourth episode of the first series of the British science fiction television show Doctor Who that was first broadcast on 16 April 2005. The Doctor takes Rose back to 21st century London, just in time to witness a spaceship crashing into the River Thames, triggering a...

" (2005), or getting the correct time but landing on the wrong continent (London instead of New York) in "The Idiot's Lantern
The Idiot's Lantern
"The Idiot's Lantern" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 27 May 2006.-Plot:...

" (2006). He can also choose to "set the controls to random" as in "Planet of the Ood
Planet of the Ood
"Planet of the Ood" is the third episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 19 April 2008. It features the return of the Ood, who appeared in the second series episodes "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit".The episode...

" (2008). Again, in "The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (Doctor Who)
"The Eleventh Hour" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD on 3 April 2010....

" The Doctor
Eleventh Doctor
The Eleventh Doctor is the eleventh incarnation of the protagonist of the BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. Matt Smith plays this incarnation, replacing David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in the 2010 episode "The End of Time, Part Two"...

 is shown as unable to control the exact time he arrives at, first promising a young Amelia
Amy Pond
Amelia Jessica 'Amy' Pond is a fictional character portrayed by Karen Gillan in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

 that he'd be gone for only five minutes, but taking 12 years to return, and again when he intended to leave Amy for a short while to give the newly regenerated TARDIS a brief shakedown cruise
Shakedown cruise
Shakedown cruise is a nautical term in which the performance of a ship is tested. Shakedown cruises are also used to familiarize the ship's crew with operation of the craft....

, and ends up returning another two years in the future. However this may have had to do with the fact that the TARDIS had just repaired itself. In "The Doctor's Wife" the reason why the Doctor seems to lack control over the TARDIS at times is explained: the TARDIS' soul in the body of a humaniod named Idris explained that while the TARDIS doesn't always take the Doctor where he wants to go, it always takes him where he needs to go.

In "Boom Town", a portion of the TARDIS console opens to reveal a luminescent vapour within, described by the Doctor as the "heart of the TARDIS", harking back to the description in The Edge of Destruction. In "The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

" (2005) it was shown that this is connected to the powerful energies of the time vortex
Time vortex (Doctor Who)
In the science fiction television series Doctor Who, the time vortex is the medium that the TARDIS and other time machines travel through...

.

The 1996 television movie was the first appearance of the central column being attached to the ceiling. However, a new design for the TARDIS console room was conceived after season 26, which featured the console being suspended from the ceiling via the central column; this design was never built, because the show was cancelled before a 27th season was produced; however, the set was used in a Doctor Who night presented by Sylvester McCoy
Sylvester McCoy
Sylvester McCoy is a Scottish actor. As a comic act and busker he appeared regularly on stage and on BBC Children's television in the 1970s and 80s, but is best known for playing the seventh incarnation of the Doctor in the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who from 1987 to...

, where a miniature was built and McCoy was superimposed into it.

TARDIS systems



Due to the age of the TARDIS, it is inclined to break down. The Doctor is often seen with his head stuck in a panel carrying out maintenance of some kind or another, and he occasionally has to give it "percussive maintenance" (a good thump on the console) to get it to start working properly. Efforts to repair, control, and maintain the TARDIS have been frequent plot devices throughout the show's run, creating the amusing irony of a highly advanced time machine which, at the same time, is an obsolete and unreliable piece of junk. Additionally, the TARDIS was designed to be flown by six experienced Time Lords, as opposed to the one Doctor piloting (and, often, not very well.)

Controls


The TARDIS possesses telepathic circuits, although the Doctor prefers to pilot it manually. In Pyramids of Mars
Pyramids of Mars
Pyramids of Mars is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 25 October to 15 November 1975.-Synopsis:...

(1975), the Fourth Doctor told Sutekh that the TARDIS controls were "isomorphic
Isomorphism
In abstract algebra, an isomorphism is a mapping between objects that shows a relationship between two properties or operations.  If there exists an isomorphism between two structures, the two structures are said to be isomorphic.  In a certain sense, isomorphic structures are...

", meaning only the Doctor could operate them. However, this characteristic seems to appear and disappear when dramatically convenient, and various companions have been seen to be able to operate the TARDIS and even fly it. In "Blink
Blink (Doctor Who)
"Blink" is the 10th episode of the third series of the new production of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 9 June 2007, and is the only episode in the 2007 series written by Steven Moffat; the episode is based on a previous short story written by...

", the TARDIS was 'pre-programmed' to travel to a specific time (1969) and place by inserting a DVD into the console. The DVD was one of the 17 owned by Sally Sparrow on which the Doctor appeared as an 'Easter egg
Easter egg (media)
Image:Carl Oswald Rostosky - Zwei Kaninchen und ein Igel 1861.jpg|250px|thumb|right|Example of Easter egg hidden within imagerect 467 383 539 434 desc none...

'. In this situation, however, the TARDIS dematerialised without transporting its occupants. Despite the changes in the layout of the console controls, the Doctor seems to have no difficulty in operating the ship. In "Time Crash
Time Crash
"Time Crash" is a mini-episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on 16 November 2007, as part of the BBC One telethon for the children's charity Children in Need...

", the Fifth Doctor was able to fly the TARDIS even though the console was radically different from the one he was used to, at first without even noticing that the machine had changed. In the episode "Utopia" the TARDIS was taken by the Master and the Doctor was only able to use his sonic screwdriver
Sonic screwdriver
The sonic screwdriver is a fictional tool in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spinoffs. It is a multifunctional tool used by The Doctor. Its most common function is that of a lockpick, but can be used to perform other operations such as performing medical scans,...

 to restrict the destination times to the last two previous selected destinations.
It has been theorised that either the Doctor was lying to Sutekh or the isomorphic feature is a security feature that the Doctor can activate and deactivate when convenient. The Eighth Doctor does just this in the Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces books and audio plays based, primarily, on cult British science fiction properties...

 audio play Other Lives
Other Lives
Other Lives is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-Plot:...

(2005) to allow his companion C'rizz
C'rizz
C'rizz is a fictional character played by Conrad Westmaas in a series of audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A Eutermesan from the planet Bortresoye, which exists in a parallel universe, he is a companion of...

 to operate the console. In "Utopia
Utopia (Doctor Who)
"Utopia" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 16 June 2007 and is the eleventh episode of series three of the revived Doctor Who series...

", the Master
Master (Doctor Who)
The Master is a recurring character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is a renegade Time Lord and the archenemy of the Doctor....

 has little trouble stealing the Doctor's TARDIS, which is most likely due to him being a Time Lord, although the Doctor "fuses the coordinates" of the TARDIS so that it can only travel between its two most recent journeys – the year 100 Trillion on Malcassairo, and England in the 21st century (with about eighteen months' leeway due to the TARDIS's unpredictable nature).

Apart from the sound that accompanies dematerialisation, in The Web of Fear
The Web of Fear
The Web of Fear is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 3 February to 9 March 1968. This serial — which marks the return of the Yeti, the Great Intelligence, and Professor Travers — is the sequel to The Abominable...

(1968), the TARDIS console was also seen to have a light that winked on and off during landing, although the more usual indicator of flight is the movement of the central column. The TARDIS also possesses a scanner so that its crew may examine the exterior environment before exiting the ship. In the 2005 series the scanner display is attached to the console and is able to display television signals as well as various computing functions and occasionally what the production team has stated are Gallifreyan numbers and text.

The 2005 series also sees the addition of the tribophysical waveform macro kinetic extrapolator to the TARDIS in the episode "Boom Town
Boom Town (Doctor Who)
"Boom Town" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 4 June 2005. The Doctor, Rose and Jack travel to modern-day Cardiff and meet up with Rose's boyfriend, Mickey...

". This control was originally a pan-dimensional 'surf board' taken from the Slitheen
Slitheen
The Slitheen are a family of massive, bipedal extraterrestrials from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and they are adversaries of the Doctor. They first appeared in the 2005 series episodes "Aliens of London" and "World War Three", and subsequently recur in later episodes of...

. In the 2005 episode "The Parting of the Ways", Captain Jack Harkness uses it to rig up a force field that defends the ship from Dalek missiles. The Doctor uses it again in the Christmas 2006 episode "The Runaway Bride", to jar it a few hundred metres off course when being dragged back to the Empress of Racnoss, in a similar manoeuvre to one he used in The Web of Fear with another extra device he plugged into the console. In the last appearance, the TARDIS coral has begun to grow over the extrapolator.

In the television movie, access to the Eye of Harmony is controlled by means of a device that requires a human eye
Retinal scan
A retinal scan is a biometric technique that uses the unique patterns on a person's retina to identify them. It is not to be confused with another ocular-based technology, iris recognition.-Introduction:...

 to open. Why the Doctor would program such a requirement is retroactively explained in the Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces books and audio plays based, primarily, on cult British science fiction properties...

 audio play The Apocalypse Element
The Apocalypse Element
The Apocalypse Element is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It forms the second serial in the Dalek Empire arc, following on from events in The Genocide Machine...

, where a Dalek
Dalek
The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Within the series, Daleks are cyborgs from the planet Skaro, created by the scientist Davros during the final years of a thousand-year war against the Thals...

 invasion of Gallifrey prompts the Time Lords to code their security locks to the retina
Retina
The vertebrate retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical...

l patterns of the Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
The Sixth Doctor is the sixth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Colin Baker...

's companion Evelyn Smythe
Evelyn Smythe
Dr. Evelyn Smythe is a fictional character played by Maggie Stables in a series of audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A professor of history from the 20th century with a fondness for chocolate, she is a...

.

The TARDIS came with an instruction manual that the Sixth Doctor claims to have started reading but never finished. (Vengeance on Varos
Vengeance on Varos
Vengeance on Varos is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from 19–26 January 1985.-Synopsis:...

) Tegan Jovanka
Tegan Jovanka
Tegan Jovanka is a fictional character played by Janet Fielding in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. An Australian airline stewardess and a native of Brisbane who was a companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, she was a regular in the programme from 1981 to...

 could not make sense of its contents, and Peri Brown
Peri Brown
Peri Brown, full name Perpugilliam Brown, is a fictional character played by Nicola Bryant in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who....

 later found it propping open a vent. The usual function of the manual is to hold up a short leg on the Doctor's hat rack, though "Amy's Choice
Amy's Choice (Doctor Who)
"Amy's Choice" is the seventh episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast on BBC One on 15 May 2010...

" featured the Doctor revealing he'd thrown it into a supernova, ostensibly because he disagreed with it. Despite its complexity, some companions with exceptional intelligence, such as Nyssa, or familiarity with technology, such as Turlough
Vislor Turlough
Vislor Turlough is a fictional character played by Mark Strickson in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was a companion of the Fifth Doctor, being a regular in the programme from 1983 to 1984.-Character history:...

 and Jack Harkness
Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness is a fictional character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. He first appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Empty Child" and reappeared in the remaining episodes of the 2005 series as a companion of the ninth incarnation of the...

, have been depicted as assisting the Doctor with TARDIS operations. In "The Sontaran Stratagem
The Sontaran Stratagem
"The Sontaran Stratagem" is the fourth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 26 April 2008...

", Donna Noble
Donna Noble
Donna Noble is a fictional character played by Catherine Tate in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A secretary from Chiswick, London, she is a companion of the Tenth Doctor, appearing in one scene at the end of the final episode of the 2006 series,...

 displayed an aptitude for piloting the TARDIS under the Doctor's guidance, much to the Doctor's apparent surprise.

In "Journey's End
Journey's End (Doctor Who)
"Journey's End" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who first broadcast on BBC One on 5 July 2008. It is the second episode of a two-part crossover story featuring the characters of spin-off shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane...

", the TARDIS is shown to ideally require six pilots positioned at various stations around the central console to be piloted properly. On that occasion, the six pilots were Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey Smith, Jack Harkness and the Doctor. However, the ending of the 2011 episode "The Doctor's Wife" reveals the TARDIS is actually capable of manipulating the controls herself.

In "The Time of Angels
The Time of Angels
"The Time of Angels" is the fourth episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast on 24 April 2010 on BBC One. It is the first episode of a two-part story written by showrunner Steven Moffat and directed by Adam Smith; the second episode was...

", River Song reveals that the TARDIS has a "stabilisation" and "brake" option. The "stabilisation" keeps the TARDIS from moving violently in flight and the "brake", when left on, is the cause of the (de)materialisation noise. However other TARDISes have made the same sound when dematerialising and materialising, and the consciousness of the Doctor's TARDIS, when briefly transposed into the body of a humanoid woman in the episode "The Doctor's Wife", makes the sound in order to identify herself to the Doctor (the episode also uses the sound effect when the TARDIS consciousness is first inserted into the woman, and later when it departs her body).

Defences


If required, the TARDIS can become temporarily invisible, but this is a significant power drain, as in "The Impossible Astronaut
The Impossible Astronaut
"The Impossible Astronaut" is the first episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 23 April 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States...

", when the Doctor lands in the middle of the Oval Office at the White House.

Despite its outside appearance, the TARDIS seems to be virtually impenetrable. Once, when being chased by a monster, the Doctor reassured his companion, Rose Tyler, that "the assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn't break through those doors, and believe me, they've tried."

When fully active, the TARDIS's outer defences are (nearly) impenetrable, though in Journey's End
Journey's End
Journey's End is a 1928 drama, the seventh of English playwright R. C. Sherriff. It was first performed at the Apollo Theatre in London by the Incorporated Stage Society on 9 December 1928, starring a young Laurence Olivier, and soon moved to other West End theatres for a two-year run...

 the Tenth Doctor says of the Dalek Empire "they're experts at fighting Tardises, they can do anything, right now that wooden door is only wood." This is demonstrated in the last episode of "The Armageddon Factor
The Armageddon Factor
The Armageddon Factor is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 20 January to 24 February 1979...

". In this episode, the Black Guardian
Black Guardian
The Black Guardian is a character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was played by Valentine Dyall....

 is unable to enter the TARDIS after the Doctor activates "...all of the TARDIS's defences..." Clearly, the TARDIS has multiple defences that are capable of preventing one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the universe from entering it. The result is that the Black Guardian
Black Guardian
The Black Guardian is a character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was played by Valentine Dyall....

 is unable to obtain the much-desired Key to Time.

Some of the TARDIS's other functions include a force field and the Hostile Action Displacement System (HADS), which can teleport
Teleportation
Teleportation is the fictional or imagined process by which matter is instantaneously transferred from one place to another.Teleportation may also refer to:*Quantum teleportation, a method of transmitting quantum data...

 the ship away if it is attacked (The Krotons
The Krotons
The Krotons is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from December 28, 1968 to January 18, 1969...

, 1968). The force field is still on the TARDIS, as seen in The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

, when the Tenth Doctor and the Bride, Donna Noble
Donna Noble
Donna Noble is a fictional character played by Catherine Tate in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A secretary from Chiswick, London, she is a companion of the Tenth Doctor, appearing in one scene at the end of the final episode of the 2006 series,...

, are trying to escape the Empress of the Racnoss. In Journey's End
Journey's End (Doctor Who)
"Journey's End" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who first broadcast on BBC One on 5 July 2008. It is the second episode of a two-part crossover story featuring the characters of spin-off shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane...

, the Doctor states that the Daleks created and led by Davros would have no problem breaching the TARDIS defences. Another device, a tribophysical waveform macro kinetic extrapolator, is installed to generate a force field in the episode "Boom Town
Boom Town (Doctor Who)
"Boom Town" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 4 June 2005. The Doctor, Rose and Jack travel to modern-day Cardiff and meet up with Rose's boyfriend, Mickey...

" and to protect the ship from Dalek missiles in "The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

".

The TARDIS's Cloister Bell is a signal used in the event of "wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations" (Logopolis).

The interior of the TARDIS was once in a state of "temporal grace" (The Hand of Fear
The Hand of Fear
The Hand of Fear is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 2 October to 23 October 1976...

, 1976). The Fourth Doctor explains that, in a sense, things do not exist while inside the TARDIS. This had the practical effect of ensuring that no weapon
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s can be used inside its environs. Unfortunately for the Doctor and his companions, the system that ensured the TARDIS' "temporal grace" ceased working some years ago. Since then weapons have been fired in the console room in Attack of the Cybermen, Earthshock
Earthshock
Earthshock is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 8 March to 16 March 1982...

(1982), "The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

" and "Last of the Time Lords
Last of the Time Lords
"Last of the Time Lords" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 30 June 2007, and is the thirteenth and final episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series...

", among others. When confronted by Nyssa on this contradiction in Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity
Arc of Infinity is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from 3 January to 12 January 1983...

, the Doctor responded, "Yes, well, nobody's perfect." In The Invasion of Time, a guard's patrol staser will not function, even though K9's nose laser does. The Doctor explains on this occasion that the staser will not work within a relative dimensional stabiliser's field (such as that found in the TARDIS), perhaps explaining the inconsistent nature of weapon usage within the ship. In the audio story Human Resources
Human Resources (Doctor Who audio)
Human Resources is an audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. This audio drama was produced by Big Finish Productions and was broadcast in two parts on BBC 7 on 11 February and 18 February 2007 and was the last to use David Arnold's arrangement of...

, when a character mentions the temporal grace function, the Eighth Doctor says that his TARDIS "hasn't done that in years". In "Let's Kill Hitler" the Doctor tells the "Mels" incarnation of River Song
River Song
"River Song" may refer to:* "River Song" , the opening track of Dennis Wilson's 1977 album Pacific Ocean Blue* River Song , a recurring character in the Doctor Who TV series...

 about the temporal grace system and she shoots something in the TARDIS as a result, causing it to crash. The Doctor then admits that temporal grace is actually just a "clever lie."

The TARDIS also has another shield which keeps it from interacting with other objects in the time vortex, namely other TARDISes. When the Doctor forgets to restore these shields after the events of "Last of the Time Lords
Last of the Time Lords
"Last of the Time Lords" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 30 June 2007, and is the thirteenth and final episode of Series 3 of the revived Doctor Who series...

", he ends up merging his TARDIS with that of his fifth incarnation
Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor is the fifth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Peter Davison....

 in the mini-episode "Time Crash
Time Crash
"Time Crash" is a mini-episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on 16 November 2007, as part of the BBC One telethon for the children's charity Children in Need...

". After successfully separating the two, the bow of the alien spaceship called Titanic, designed to look like the ship of the same name, smashes through the inside wall of the TARDIS before he can raise it again. The damage is repaired, however, when the Doctor reverses time, pulling the Titanic back so the breach never occurred. Despite the shield being designed to keep the TARDIS from interacting with itself, its own interior is considered the safest place, and the ship will thus effect an emergency materialisation within itself under certain circumstances. This occurred in the mini-episodes "Space
Space and Time (Doctor Who)
"Space" and "Time" are two mini-episodes of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. They were broadcast on 18 March 2011 as part of BBC One's Red Nose Day telethon for the charity Comic Relief...

" and "Time
Space and Time (Doctor Who)
"Space" and "Time" are two mini-episodes of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. They were broadcast on 18 March 2011 as part of BBC One's Red Nose Day telethon for the charity Comic Relief...

", when Rory Williams
Rory Williams
Rory Williams is a fictional character portrayed by Arthur Darvill in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Having been introduced at the start of the 5th series, Rory joins the Eleventh Doctor as a companion in the middle of Series 5...

' accidental dropping of a thermal coupling prompts the TARDIS' exterior to materialise within its own interior, thereby trapping the ship and its occupants in an endless loop. In "The Doctor's Wife", the Doctor`s makeshift TARDIS materializes within the Doctor`s own TARDIS, but only after Idris telepathically instructs the Doctor's companions, trapped aboard by the House entity, to deactivate the TARDIS's defences from an "archived" control room.

Programming


The TARDIS can be programmed to execute automatic functions based on certain conditions. It was programmed to return to the Doctor upon the insertion of one of Sally Sparrow's DVDs in "Blink
Blink (Doctor Who)
"Blink" is the 10th episode of the third series of the new production of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 9 June 2007, and is the only episode in the 2007 series written by Steven Moffat; the episode is based on a previous short story written by...

". "Emergency Program One" will send Donna Noble
Donna Noble
Donna Noble is a fictional character played by Catherine Tate in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A secretary from Chiswick, London, she is a companion of the Tenth Doctor, appearing in one scene at the end of the final episode of the 2006 series,...

 back to her own time period if she is left alone in the TARDIS for more than five hours, which will send a signal to his sonic screwdriver. Originally, the Ninth Doctor
Ninth Doctor
The Ninth Doctor is the ninth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by Christopher Eccleston....

 used Emergency Program One to send Rose home in "The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

", although he triggered the program manually by using his sonic screwdriver. In "Voyage of the Damned
Voyage of the Damned (Doctor Who)
"Voyage of the Damned" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. First broadcast on 25 December 2007, it is 72 minutes long and the third Christmas special since the show's revival in 2005...

", the TARDIS will lock on to the nearest planetary body to land there when it becomes adrift in space. The TARDIS automatically repairs after too much damage.

Other systems


The TARDIS also grants its passengers the ability to understand and speak other languages. This was previously described in The Masque of Mandragora
The Masque of Mandragora
The Masque of Mandragora is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 4 September to 25 September 1976. It opened Season 14 of the series.-Synopsis:...

(1976) as a "Time Lord gift [I allow you to share]" which the Doctor shared with his companions, but was ultimately attributed to the TARDIS's telepathic field in "The End of the World
The End of the World (Doctor Who)
"The End of the World" is the second episode of Series One of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn, the episode was first broadcast on 2 April 2005....

" (2005). In "The Christmas Invasion", it was revealed that the Doctor himself is an integral element of this capability. Rose
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

 is unable to understand the alien Sycorax whilst the Doctor is in a regenerative crisis. In "The Impossible Planet
The Impossible Planet
"The Impossible Planet" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the first part of a two-part story, followed by "The Satan Pit". The TARDIS lands in a base on a planet orbiting a black hole, an allegedly impossible situation that stumps even the Doctor...

" (2006), it is said that the TARDIS normally even translates writing; in that episode, the TARDIS is unable to translate an alien script, which the Doctor claims makes the language "impossibly old". However, the TARDIS does not translate Gallifreyan, as seen in "Utopia", when the Doctor was reading Gallifreyan numbers from the console monitor to tell where the TARDIS was going, and again in "A Good Man Goes to War
A Good Man Goes to War
"A Good Man Goes to War" is the seventh episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was first broadcast on BBC One on 4 June 2011...

", in which the Gallifreyan script on the Doctor's crib remains unintelligible to the audience and the Ponds. River Song
River Song (Doctor Who)
River Song is a fictional character played primarily by Alex Kingston in the British science-fiction series Doctor Who. River Song was introduced to the series as an experienced future companion of series protagonist the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time in his TARDIS...

 also explains in "A Good Man Goes to War" that the TARDIS' translation matrix can take "a while to kick in" for the written word, actually coming into effect after the departure of the Doctor and the TARDIS. In the Ninth Doctor Adventures novel Only Human, the telepathic field includes a filter that replaces foul or undesirable language with more acceptable terms. In "The Fires of Pompeii
The Fires of Pompeii
"The Fires of Pompeii" is the second episode of the fourth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 12 April 2008....

", it is shown that if a TARDIS traveller uses words which are foreign to their own language, the translation circuit renders these words appropriately as foreign to the listener's ear (for example, if an English-speaking TARDIS traveller speaks Latin to an ancient Roman, the Roman hears that Latin as "Celtic
Brythonic languages
The Brythonic or Brittonic languages form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family, the other being Goidelic. The name Brythonic was derived by Welsh Celticist John Rhys from the Welsh word Brython, meaning an indigenous Briton as opposed to an Anglo-Saxon or Gael...

" or Welsh). It also affects the translation of accents: in Vincent and the Doctor
Vincent and the Doctor
"Vincent and the Doctor" is the 10th episode in the fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 5 June 2010...

, a translated Scottish accent is heard by a Dutchman and understood as a Dutch accent (though that accent-translation was also an outside reference to the speaker and hearer both being played by actors whose native accent was Scottish). The Translation Circuit does not always function, even for the Doctor. In Four to Doomsday
Four to Doomsday
*The working title for this story was Days Of Wrath.*Although Castrovalva was the first story aired which featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, this story was the first in the season to be produced....

, the Doctor is unable to understand the Aboriginal
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

 dialect spoken by a tribesman and the Doctor's companion Tegan.

The TARDIS is able to tow other objects (a neutron star in the "The Creature from the Pit
The Creature from the Pit
The Creature from the Pit is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 27 October to 17 November 1979.-Synopsis:On the planet Chloris, metal is scarce....

, 1979; a ship in "The Satan Pit
The Satan Pit
"The Satan Pit" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the second part of a two-part story, following "The Impossible Planet". With the TARDIS seemingly lost, Rose and the remaining humans are trapped on the base with the possessed Ood, while the planet...

", 2006); or follow a ship or a transmission through space and time ("The Empty Child
The Empty Child
"The Empty Child" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 21 May 2005. It is the first of a two-part story. The concluding episode, "The Doctor Dances", was broadcast on 28 May...

", 2005; and "The Stolen Earth
The Stolen Earth
"The Stolen Earth" is the twelfth episode of the fourth series and the 750th overall episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The episode was written by show runner and head writer Russell T Davies and is the first of a two-part crossover story; the concluding episode is...

", 2008). In "Journey's End
Journey's End (Doctor Who)
"Journey's End" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who first broadcast on BBC One on 5 July 2008. It is the second episode of a two-part crossover story featuring the characters of spin-off shows Torchwood and The Sarah Jane...

", the TARDIS (assisted by the Rift Manipulator situated at Torchwood Three in Cardiff and the supercomputer Mr Smith
Mr Smith (The Sarah Jane Adventures)
Mr Smith is a fictional extraterrestrial computer voiced by Alexander Armstrong which appears in the British children's science fiction television series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, with further minor appearances in the final two episodes of the fourth series of Doctor Who...

) is able to tow the Earth across space.

At times the TARDIS is shown to have a mind of its own. It is heavily implied in the television series that the TARDIS is "alive" and intelligent to a degree (first in The Edge of Destruction), and shares a bond with those who travel in it; in the television movie, the Doctor calls the TARDIS "sentimental". In "The Parting of the Ways
The Parting of the Ways
"The Parting of the Ways" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 18 June 2005. It was the second episode of the two-part story that featured Christopher Eccleston making his last appearance as the Ninth Doctor...

", the Doctor leaves a message for Rose
Rose Tyler
Rose Marion Tyler is a fictional character portrayed by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was created by series producer Russell T Davies...

 when he believes he will never return, asking her to let the TARDIS die. In the same episode, Rose claims that the TARDIS is alive, echoing the Doctor's earlier statement in "Boom Town". The Doctor's TARDIS is also explicitly said to have died in the episode "Rise of the Cybermen
Rise of the Cybermen
"Rise of the Cybermen" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The episode features the return of Cybermen, where they are created on Earth itself. It is the first part of a two-part story, the concluding part being "The Age of Steel"...

", though the Doctor is able to revive it by giving up some of his life energy (reducing his life expectancy by a decade in the process). Other abilities the TARDIS displays include creating snow via "atmospheric excitation" ("The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor...

") and, through a "chameleon arch", engineering an almost witness protection
Witness protection
Witness protection is protection of a threatened witness or any person involved in the justice system, including defendants and other clients, before, during and after a trial, usually by police...

-style relocation by making its Time Lord another species and placing him/her in a newly fabricated identity with new memories somewhere else in space and time ("Human Nature
Human Nature (Doctor Who episode)
"Human Nature" is the eighth episode of the third series of the revived British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is the first episode of a two-part story written by Paul Cornell adapted from his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature...

", "The Family of Blood
The Family of Blood
"The Family of Blood" is the ninth episode of Series 3 of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Preceded by "Human Nature", it is the second episode of a two-part story written by Paul Cornell adapted from his 1995 Doctor Who novel Human Nature...

", "Utopia
Utopia (Doctor Who)
"Utopia" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 16 June 2007 and is the eleventh episode of series three of the revived Doctor Who series...

"). In The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

, the TARDIS's intelligence is temporarily transferred to a humanoid body, during which time it is shown to possess a degree of precognition
Precognition
In parapsychology, precognition , also called future sight, and second sight, is a type of extrasensory perception that would involve the acquisition or effect of future information that cannot be deduced from presently available and normally acquired sense-based information or laws of physics...

 as well as limited telepathic abilities and a genuine fondness for the Doctor and his companions. This episode also demonstrates that certain capabilities of the physical TARDIS are operable independently of its intelligence, in particular the physical TARDIS's internal password security system (which is language-independent, relying on meanings rather than the words themselves) and ability to travel between "bubble universes".

In the novels, a portion of the TARDIS could be separated and used for independent travel. This was featured in two Virgin novels, Iceberg
Iceberg (Doctor Who)
Iceberg is an original novel written by David Banks and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was number 18 in the Virgin New Adventures range and featured the Cybermen, being a sequel to the serials The Invasion and The Tenth Planet. The events of the...

by Davis Banks and Sanctuary
Sanctuary (Doctor Who)
Sanctuary is an original novel written by David A. McIntee and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Seventh Doctor and Bernice. A prelude to the novel, also penned by McIntee, appeared in Doctor Who Magazine #225...

by David A. McIntee
David A. McIntee
-Biography:McIntee has written many spin-off novels based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, as well as one each based on Final Destination and Space: 1999. He has also written a non-fiction book on Star Trek: Voyager and one jointly on the Alien and Predator movie franchises...

. This subset of the TARDIS, resembling a small pagoda
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

 fashioned out of jade
Jade
Jade is an ornamental stone.The term jade is applied to two different metamorphic rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals:...

, had limited range and functionality, but was used occasionally when the main TARDIS was incapacitated. The sentient characteristics of the TARDIS have been made more explicit in the spin-off novels and audio plays
Radio drama
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

. In the Big Finish audio play Omega
Omega (Doctor Who audio)
Omega is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-Plot:Jolly Chronolidays is offering sight-seeing tours of the "Sector of Forgotten Souls", the place where in ancient times the Time Lord Omega detonated a star that enabled...

, the Doctor meets a TARDIS which "dies" after its Time Lord master's demise.

Other TARDISi



Other TARDISi have appeared in the television series. The first was that of the Meddling Monk
Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk, or simply The Monk, was a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Played by the British comic actor Peter Butterworth, the character appeared in two stories: as an adversary of the First Doctor.Other than the...

, another Time Lord, in the 1965 serial The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 3 July to 24 July 1965...

. The Master
Master (Doctor Who)
The Master is a recurring character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is a renegade Time Lord and the archenemy of the Doctor....

 had at least two TARDISi of his own, each a more advanced model than the Doctor's. The chameleon circuits on these were fully functional, and his TARDISi have been seen in various forms, including a fully functional spacecraft, a Concorde
Concorde
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

 aircraft, a grandfather clock
Longcase clock
A longcase clock, also tall-case clock, floor clock, or grandfather clock, is a tall, freestanding, weight-driven pendulum clock with the pendulum held inside the tower, or waist of the case. Clocks of this style are commonly 1.8–2.4 metres tall...

, a fireplace
Fireplace
A fireplace is an architectural structure to contain a fire for heating and, especially historically, for cooking. A fire is contained in a firebox or firepit; a chimney or other flue allows gas and particulate exhaust to escape...

, a Doric pillar
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

, a lorry, a statue (able to move and walk around), a laurel tree, and an iron maiden
Iron maiden (torture device)
An iron maiden is a torture device, consisting of an iron cabinet, with a hinged front, sufficiently tall to enclose a human being. It usually has a small closeable opening so that the torturer can interrogate the victim and torture or kill a person by piercing the body with sharp objects , while...

. In the reconstructed Shada
Shada
Shada is an unaired serial of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was intended to be the final serial of the 1979-80 season , but was never completed due to a strike at the BBC during filming...

, the Time Lord known as Professor Chronotis
Professor Chronotis
Professor Urban Chronotis is a fictional character created by Douglas Adams. He was originally created for the 1979 Doctor Who serial Shada, starring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward. However, the filming of the serial was never completed due to a strike...

 has a TARDIS disguised as his quarters at Cambridge University.

Another renegade Time Lord, The Rani
Rani (Doctor Who)
The Rani is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. She was played by Kate O'Mara. The word "Rani" means "queen" in the Urdu and Hindi languages and "The Rani" follows the naming convention for other renegade timelords, "The Doctor," "The Monk," "The War...

, appears with her TARDIS. In The Armageddon Factor
The Armageddon Factor
The Armageddon Factor is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from 20 January to 24 February 1979...

, the Time Lord Drax has a TARDIS, but it is in need of repair. The War Chief provided dimensionally transcendent time machines named SIDRATs to the alien race known as the "War Lords". In the script for The Chase, Dalek time machines are known as DARDISes.

In the spin-off media, Gallifreyan Battle TARDISi have appeared in the comic books, novels and audio plays, which fire "time torpedoes" that freeze the target in time. The renegade Time Lady Iris Wildthyme
Iris Wildthyme
Iris Wildthyme is a fictional character created by writer Paul Magrs, who has appeared in short stories, novels and audio dramas from numerous publishers...

's own TARDIS was disguised as a No. 22 London Bus
Routemaster
The AEC Routemaster is a model of double-decker bus that was built by Associated Equipment Company in 1954 and produced until 1968. Primarily front-engined, rear open-platform buses, a small number of variants were produced with doors and/or front entrances...

, but was slightly smaller on the inside than it is on the outside. The Eighth Doctor Adventures
Eighth Doctor Adventures
The Eighth Doctor Adventures are a series of spin off novels based on the long running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and published under the BBC Books imprint. 73 books were published overall...

 novels have stated that future model Type 102 TARDISi will be fully sentient, and able to take on humanoid form The Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
The Eighth Doctor is the eighth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Paul McGann...

's companion Compassion
Compassion (Doctor Who)
Compassion is a fictional character in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels based upon the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. Compassion was originally from a people known as the Remote, a splinter group of the time travelling voodoo cult Faction Paradox...

 was the first Type 102 TARDIS, and she was seen to have enough firepower
Fire power
Firepower is the military capability to direct force at an enemy. It is not to be confused with the concept of rate of fire, which describes cycling of the firing mechanism in a weapon system. It involves the whole range of potential weapons...

 to annihilate other TARDISi. Compassion and other humanoid time-ships appear in the Faction Paradox
Faction Paradox
Faction Paradox is a fictional time travelling cult/rebel group/organized crime syndicate, originally created by the author Lawrence Miles. The Faction's belief-system as portrayed has some similarities to voodoo, and is sometimes described as such...

spin-off material.

The "unofficial" Ninth Doctor
Shalka Doctor
The Shalka Doctor is the common fan name given to the character that appeared as an alternate incarnation of the Doctor in the flash-animated serial Scream of the Shalka in 2003 and the later short story The Feast of the Stone which were based on the British science fiction television series,...

 from the 40th anniversary animated webcast Scream of the Shalka
Scream of the Shalka
Scream of the Shalka is a flash-animated series based on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was produced to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the series and was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13 November to 18 December 2003 on bbc.co.uk's Doctor Who...

had a TARDIS console room that looked similar to the Eighth Doctor's version.

In the Big Finish audio play The One Doctor
The One Doctor
The One Doctor is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.- Plot :The Sixth Doctor and Mel come up against an impostor Doctor and his companion Sally-Anne....

, confidence trick
Confidence trick
A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility,...

ster Banto Zame impersonated the Doctor. However, due to incomplete information, his copy of the TARDIS (a short range transporter
Teleportation
Teleportation is the fictional or imagined process by which matter is instantaneously transferred from one place to another.Teleportation may also refer to:*Quantum teleportation, a method of transmitting quantum data...

) was called a "Stardis", resembled a portaloo
Portable toilet
Portable toilet are simple portable enclosures containing a chemical toilet which are typically used as a temporary toilet for construction sites and large gatherings and events. Most of the portable toilets have black open-front-U-shaped toilet seat with cover...

 rather than a police box, and was not dimensionally transcendental. In Unregenerate!
Unregenerate!
Unregenerate! is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-Plot:...

, the Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
The Seventh Doctor is the seventh incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by the actor Sylvester McCoy....

 and Mel
Melanie Bush
Mel, also sometimes referred to as Melanie, is a fictional character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A computer programmer from the 20th Century who is a companion of the Sixth and Seventh Doctors, she was a regular in the programme from 1986 to 1987...

 stopped a secret Time Lord project to download TARDIS minds into bodies of various alien species. This would have created living TARDIS pilots loyal to the Time Lords and ensuring that they would have ultimate control over any use of time travel technology by other races. Those created before the project was shut down departed on their own to explore the universe.

Since the destruction of Gallifrey and the Time Lords shown in the 2005 series, the Doctor believes that his TARDIS is the last in the universe. The removal of Gallifrey — and by implication the Eye of Harmony — may also be why the TARDIS in "Boom Town" needed to refuel using radiation from a space-time rift. In "Rise of the Cybermen" the Doctor states that the TARDIS draws power from "the universe", but is unable to do so while in an alternate reality.

The 28 October 2006 Radio Times
Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

, in an image of the Torchwood Three headquarters, identified a piece of large coral
Coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

 on Captain Jack Harkness
Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness is a fictional character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. He first appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Empty Child" and reappeared in the remaining episodes of the 2005 series as a companion of the ninth incarnation of the...

's desk as the beginnings of a TARDIS. John Barrowman
John Barrowman
John Scot Barrowman is a Scottish-American singer, actor, dancer, musical theatre performer and media personality. Born in Glasgow yet growing up in Illinois after his family emigrated to the United States when he was eight years old, Barrowman was encouraged to further his love for music and...

, who plays Jack, said that "Jack's growing a TARDIS... It's probably been there for 30 years. I suppose in 500 years he'll be able to begin the carving process".

In the 2008 Christmas Special edition, The Next Doctor, Jackson Lake (David Morrissey
David Morrissey
David Mark Morrissey is an English actor and director. Morrissey grew up in the Kensington and Knotty Ash areas of Liverpool, and learned to act at the city's Everyman Youth Theatre. At the age of 18, he was cast in the television series One Summer , which won him recognition throughout the country...

), while under the delusion that he is the Doctor, has a blue hot air balloon
Hot air balloon
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is in a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first untethered manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air...

 which he identifies as his TARDIS, which he explains stands for "Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style". It is not capable of time travel.

In a deleted scene from the series 4 finale Journey's End, the Doctor gave a piece of the TARDIS to the half-human Doctor clone so that the latter could grow his own. When the clone remarked that growing a TARDIS would take hundreds of years, Donna Noble
Donna Noble
Donna Noble is a fictional character played by Catherine Tate in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A secretary from Chiswick, London, she is a companion of the Tenth Doctor, appearing in one scene at the end of the final episode of the 2006 series,...

 provided him with a method of speeding up the process.

In "The Lodger
The Lodger (Doctor Who)
"The Lodger" is the eleventh episode of the fifth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast on BBC One on 12 June 2010...

" a vessel which the Doctor identifies as a prototype TARDIS lures in unsuspecting people to pilot its controls, all of whom die due to humans being incompatible with the process. The same interior was used by the Silence in "Day of the Moon
Day of the Moon
"Day of the Moon" is the second episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by show runner Steven Moffat, and directed by Toby Haynes, the episode was first broadcast on 30 April 2011 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on BBC America in the...

", but the intended connections between the two are still mostly unknown.

In "The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife (Doctor Who)
"The Doctor's Wife" is the fourth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was broadcast on 14 May 2011 in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States...

", the doctor has to build himself a TARDIS to be able to save Rory and Amy from inside his current TARDIS. The console used for this episode was designed by the winner of a Blue Peter
Blue Peter
Blue Peter is the world's longest-running children's television show, having first aired in 1958. It is shown on CBBC, both in its BBC One programming block and on the CBBC channel. During its history there have been many presenters, often consisting of two women and two men at a time...

 competition in 2010.

Spin-offs


The sound of the Doctor's TARDIS featured in the final scene of the Torchwood
Torchwood
Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. The series is a spin-off from Davies's 2005 revival of the long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who. The show has shifted its broadcast channel each series to reflect its growing audience, moving from...

episode "End of Days
End of Days (Torchwood)
"End of Days" is the thirteenth episode and the first series finale of the British science fiction television series Torchwood. It originally aired on BBC Three on 1 January 2007, alongside the previous episode, "Captain Jack Harkness". The episode was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by...

". As Torchwood Three's hub is situated at a rift of temporal energy, the Doctor
Doctor (Doctor Who)
The Doctor is the central character in the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who, and has also featured in two cinema feature films, a vast range of spin-off novels, audio dramas and comic strips connected to the series....

 often appears on the plass
Roald Dahl Plass
Roald Dahl Plass is a public plaza in Cardiff Bay, part of Cardiff, Wales. It is named after Cardiff-born author Roald Dahl, and is located on the coast along the south of the city centre. The square is home to the Senedd and the Wales Millennium Centre, a performing arts centre...

 directly above it in order to recharge the TARDIS. In the episode, Jack Harkness
Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness is a fictional character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. He first appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Empty Child" and reappeared in the remaining episodes of the 2005 series as a companion of the ninth incarnation of the...

 hears the tell-tale sound of the engines, smiles and afterwards is nowhere to be found; the scene picks up in the cold open
Cold open
A cold open in a television program or movie is the technique of jumping directly into a story at the beginning or opening of the show, before the title sequence or opening credits are shown...

 of the Doctor Who episode "Utopia
Utopia (Doctor Who)
"Utopia" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 16 June 2007 and is the eleventh episode of series three of the revived Doctor Who series...

" in which Jack runs to and holds onto the TARDIS just before it disappears.

Former and recurring companion, Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith is a fictional character played by Elisabeth Sladen in the long-running British BBC Television science-fiction series Doctor Who and its spin-offs K-9 and Company and The Sarah Jane Adventures....

, has a diagram of the TARDIS in her attic, as shown in The Sarah Jane Adventures
The Sarah Jane Adventures
The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science fiction television series, produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies and starring Elisabeth Sladen...

episode "Invasion of the Bane
Invasion of the Bane
-Sladen and Doctor Who:Elisabeth Sladen, who previously played Sarah Jane between 1973 and 1976. In 1981, she was offered the role again to ease the transition between the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, which she declined, but agreed to star in the pilot for the spin-off series K-9 and Company, which...

". In the episode "The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith
The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith
The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith is a story of The Sarah Jane Adventures which was broadcast on CBBC on 17 and 24 November 2008. It is the fifth serial of the second series.-Part 1:...

", Sarah Jane becomes trapped in 1951 and briefly mistakes an actual police public call box for the Doctor's TARDIS (the moment is even heralded by the Doctor's musical cue, frequently used in the revived series). It makes a full appearance in "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith
The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith
The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith is a two-part story of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 29 and 30 October 2009. It is the third serial of the third series. It guest stars David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, marking the first appearance of parent programme Doctor Whos...

", in which the Doctor briefly welcomes Sarah Jane's three adolescent companions into the control room. It then serves as a backdrop for the farewell scene between Sarah Jane and the Tenth Doctor, which echoed nearly word-for-word her final exchange with the Fourth Doctor aboard the TARDIS in 1976. During the Eleventh Doctor era it reappears in "Death of the Doctor
Death of the Doctor
Death of the Doctor is a two-part story of The Sarah Jane Adventures which was broadcast on CBBC on 25 and 26 October 2010. It is the third story of the fourth series. This episode features the return of Katy Manning to the role of Jo Grant and a guest appearance by Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor...

", is stolen by the Shansheeth who try to use it as an immortality machine, and transports Sarah Jane, Jo Grant
Jo Grant
Josephine "Jo" Grant is a fictional character played by Katy Manning in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

 and three adolescent companions.

Merchandising


As one of the most recognisable images connected with Doctor Who, the TARDIS has appeared on numerous items of merchandise associated with the programme. TARDIS scale models of various sizes have been manufactured to accompany other Doctor Who dolls and action figures, some with sound effects included. Fan-built full-size models of the police box are also common. There have been TARDIS-shaped video games, play tents for children, toy boxes, cookie jars, book ends, key chains, and even a police-box-shaped bottle for a TARDIS bubble bath. The 1993 VHS release of The Trial of a Time Lord was contained in a special-edition tin shaped like the TARDIS.

With the 2005 series revival, a variety of TARDIS-shaped merchandise has been produced, including a TARDIS coin box, TARDIS figure toy set, a TARDIS that detects the ring signal from a mobile phone and flashes when an incoming call is detected, TARDIS-shaped wardrobes and DVD cabinets, and a USB hub
USB hub
A USB hub is a device that expands a single USB port into several so that there are more ports available to connect devices to a host system.USB hubs are often built into equipment such as computers, keyboards, monitors, or printers...

 in the shape of the TARDIS. The complete 2005 season DVD box set, released in November 2005, was issued in packaging that resembled the TARDIS.

One of the original-model TARDISes used in the television series' production in the 1970s was sold at auction in December 2005 for £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

10,800.

Popular culture



The TARDIS has frequently appeared or been referred to in popular culture, and sometimes high culture, outside of Doctor Who. The TARDIS has also appeared in many Doctor Who spoofs and parodies
Doctor Who spoofs
The long running science fiction television series Doctor Who has over the years been the subject of many comedy sketches and specially made comedy programmes, from Spike Milligan's "Pakistani Dalek" to the Comic Relief episode Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death...

 over the years.
  • When answering children's questions on an episode of the BBC television programme Blue Peter
    Blue Peter
    Blue Peter is the world's longest-running children's television show, having first aired in 1958. It is shown on CBBC, both in its BBC One programming block and on the CBBC channel. During its history there have been many presenters, often consisting of two women and two men at a time...

    in October 2006, the then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair
    Tony Blair
    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

     compared the interior of his official residence at 10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

     to the TARDIS when asked if it was larger on the inside than it looked from the street. "Yes. I mean a lot bigger, we call it like the TARDIS."
  • At Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

     radio stations, a "TARDIS Booth" refers to a small studio where an interviewee or reporter may participate in a radio programme in another city or timezone. It is so-called because it "'transports you to wherever the interview is."
  • The TARDIS Project is a student-run Unix
    Unix
    Unix is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs, including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna...

     computing facility established in 1987 in the Computer Science department (now Informatics
    University of Edinburgh School of Informatics
    The School of Informatics is an academic unit of the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, responsible for research, teaching, outreach and commercialisation in Informatics....

    ) of the University of Edinburgh
    University of Edinburgh
    The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

    . The name was chosen because the project's first computer was a GEC Series 63
    GEC Series 63
    The GEC Series 63 was a 32-bit minicomputer produced by GEC Computers Limited of the UK during the 1980s in conjunction with A.B. Dick in USA. During development, the computer was known as the R Project. The hardware development was done in Scottsdale, Arizona whilst the software was the...

    , a minicomputer
    Minicomputer
    A minicomputer is a class of multi-user computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems and the smallest single-user systems...

     housed in a large blue cabinet resembling the TARDIS.
  • Tardis Environmental Ltd., primarily a supplier of portable toilet
    Portable toilet
    Portable toilet are simple portable enclosures containing a chemical toilet which are typically used as a temporary toilet for construction sites and large gatherings and events. Most of the portable toilets have black open-front-U-shaped toilet seat with cover...

    s in the West Midlands
    West Midlands (county)
    The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...

    , is named after the TARDIS. Their company logo is an orange police box and their company slogan is: "Just what the Doctor ordered". A "Tardis" is a UK industry-wide nickname
    Nickname
    A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

     for a single portable toilet unit
  • "Doctorin' the Tardis" was a 1988 novelty pop single by The Timelords (better known as The KLF
    The KLF
    The KLF were one of the seminal bands of the British acid house movement during the late 1980s and early 1990s....

    ) which hit number one in the UK and had chart success worldwide. It was a reworking of several songs (principally "Rock and Roll Part 2
    Rock and Roll (Gary Glitter song)
    "Rock and Roll", also known as "The Hey Song", is a song performed by British glam rocker Gary Glitter that was released in 1972 as a single and on the album Glitter. Co-written by Glitter and Mike Leander, the song is in two parts: Part 1 is a vocal track reflecting on the history of the genre,...

    " and the Doctor Who theme music) with lyrics referencing Doctor Who, specifically the TARDIS.
  • Cover art from the band Iron Maiden
    Iron Maiden
    Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six...

     has had the Doctor's TARDIS depicted twice, one being the cover art for the single Wasted Years
    Wasted Years
    "Wasted Years" is the fourteenth single released by Iron Maiden and the first from their Somewhere in Time album. It's the only song on the album that features no synthesizers. Released in 1986, it was the first single solely written by guitarist Adrian Smith, who also sings backing vocals...

    , in which the band's mascot is chasing the Doctor along a time tunnel. The second appearance is the cover art for the album Somewhere in Time, in which a TARDIS is perched on a building in the background. Additionally, the fan club T-shirt for the Twickenham Iron Maiden tour for "Somewhere Back in Time" featured the band's mascot holding a beating heart (The Seventh Son) and the TARDIS.
  • Turner Prize
    Turner Prize
    The Turner Prize, named after the painter J. M. W. Turner, is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50. Awarding the prize is organised by the Tate gallery and staged at Tate Britain. Since its beginnings in 1984 it has become the United Kingdom's most publicised...

    -winning artist Mark Wallinger
    Mark Wallinger
    Mark Wallinger is a British artist, best known for his sculpture for the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, Ecce Homo , and State Britain , a recreation at Tate Britain of Brian Haw's protest display outside parliament. He won the Turner Prize in 2007...

     created a piece entitled Time and Relative Dimensions in Space in 2001 that is structurally a police box shape faced with mirrors. The BBC website describes it as "recent proof of [the TARDIS's] enduring legacy".
  • Tardigrades in Space, a research project to study the ability of Tardigrade
    Tardigrade
    Tardigrades form the phylum Tardigrada, part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa. They are microscopic, water-dwelling, segmented animals with eight legs. Tardigrades were first described by Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773...

    s (extremophiles found in extreme regions on Earth - commonly known as "Water Bears" - to survive in open space, was nicknamed 'TARDIS'.
  • A TARDIS can be seen in a July, 2010 strip of the webcomic Carbon and Space. Dan keeps one as a piece of memorabilia in his secret, underground lab. Whether it is in working condition or not is unknown.
  • Craig Ferguson
    Craig Ferguson
    Craig Ferguson is a Scottish American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, and producer. He is the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning late-night talk show that airs on CBS...

    's desk on the Late Late Show features a model of a TARDIS.

See also


  • Creative geography
    Creative geography
    Creative geography, or artificial landscape, is a film making technique invented by the early Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov sometime around the 1920s. It is a subset of montage, in which multiple segments shot at various locations and/or times are edited together such that they appear to all occur...

  • Somerton TARDIS
    Somerton TARDIS
    The Somerton TARDIS is a police box on Chepstow Road in the Somerton area of Newport, South Wales. The police box is the only remaining one of four that were in Newport and it is a Grade II listed building. Police boxes were deployed in the UK as a police telephone communications point prior to...

  • WABAC machine from Peabody's Improbable History

External links