Doctor Who has been going on for so long at this point that elements of its ongoing narrative have become inescapably iconic. Everyone knows what the TARDIS looks like, even if they haven’t seen a single episode of the show, but they might not know why it looks like that.


Ncuti Gatwa, the fourteenth actor to officially portray The Doctor will begin his tenure with the character in November 2022. The show will be heading into its sixtieth anniversary next year and celebrating that milestone with the first black actor in the leading role. It’s a huge moment for the franchise for several reasons, so it’s a good time to look back at its early days.

GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

RELATED: Doctor Who: The Story Behind K9

The TARDIS is the vehicle that Time Lords like The Doctor use to travel through space and time. The name is an acronym that stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. It’s often written in all caps, but some print editions of the word used “Tardis”. It’s a time machine and a spaceship, though it commonly malfunctions. Most TARDIS vessels feature a “chameleon circuit”, which allows them to innately blend in with the surrounding environment. The very few other TARDIS units depicted in the series take a form that suits the time and place they land in. Unfortunately, The Doctor’s TARDIS suffered a malfunction in the very first episode that left it in the shape of a 60s phone box.

The first episode of Doctor Who was entitled “An Unearthly Child”, and it aired in four parts throughout November and December 1963. The episode begins in 60s England, where police boxes were relatively common. As a result, the TARDIS looks right at home in its classic blue box disguise. As always, some innocent bystanders find themselves wandering in, and they’re shocked by the massive scale it holds within its tiny walls. The episode sees The Doctor and his new friends transported back to the Stone Age, but the device suffers some damage on the quest. This leaves it unable to blend in and trapped in the guise of a police box forever more. One simple mistake and the time machine is stuck in its iconic form regardless of how out of place it looks.

The Doctor has made a few attempts to fix the chameleon circuit and restore its camouflage abilities, but he’s never succeeded for long. In Tom Baker’s final appearance as The Doctor, in the 1981 episode “Logopolis,” he attempts to repair the TARDIS. His attempts are interrupted by his longtime nemesis The Master. It’s a battle between the two old enemies, and it leaves The Doctor dead, but he regenerates into a new form as always. He briefly got the circuit working in the 1985 episode “Attack of the Cybermen”, but it didn’t stick. It has taken other forms throughout media, including a pipe organ, a giant mushroom, and a Greek column. By the 2005 episode “Boom Town”, Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor explained that he’s stopped trying to fix it and that he likes the old phone box look. The Eleventh Doctor has a little joke in which he explains that the chameleon circuit still scans the environment and determines the ideal disguise, but that it still always picks a 60s phone box regardless.

Of course, the real-world explanation is that the TARDIS maintains a single primary look because the phone box is iconic. If it took a different shape every time it landed somewhere, it wouldn’t have a single distinct appearance that is instantly recognizable both in the show and on merchandise. Screenwriter Anthony Coburn is credited with the choice to make The Doctor’s time machine resemble a police telephone box. Budgetary concerns precluded the production team from making anything as extravagant as a flying saucer, so a common piece of street furniture was seen as a clever central prop. The BBC maintains that they made the box for the series’ first episode, but some claim that the TARDIS was a reused prop from a police drama. The first TARDIS prop lasted 13 years before falling apart. There have been six models over the years. Aesthetic details have changed over the years. There’s even a joke in the beloved 2007 episode “Blink” that points out the inconsistencies between its design and a real 60s phone box.

The TARDIS is one of the most iconic spaceship designs in the history of science fiction. The fact that it doesn’t look like any other cosmic vessel only serves to make it more memorable. The narrative explanation for the TARDIS’s phone box design is a fun and understandable one, but the real-world answer makes even more sense. The history of Doctor Who has been a long string of fun answers to simple sci-fi questions. The clever crew came up with a way to recast their lead character and to make their central spaceship consistent, and those choices have been key to the show’s success.

MORE: Doctor Who: The Story Behind The Iconic Theme Song



Source link
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
bottikcointo
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb
coinsbb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *