Tardis Thoughts

I enjoyed doing the Sonic Screwdriver article so much, that I thought I might do a similar one about the Tardis. Well for this particular list I will focus on the Tardis interiors rather than the Police Box design variants. Might save that for another list. Anyway here goes.

Season One to Six
The main recurring features of the Tardis control room are the roundels on the walls, the six-sided console itself, with the time rotor that moves up and down in the centre. These things are all established in this original design. It is a very clean design, and even though it only really appears in black and white, you get the feeling that it is usually a bright, shiny interior.

You can see the doors wide open and the console to the right
Notice the Fault Locator and the Scanner behind the console

Something specific to this design is the Fault Locator. It is a large computer along one of the walls. Mainly appearing in the First Doctor’s era, it assisted in locating faults with the ship (,as the name suggests).

Susan, check the Fornicator

At this point the roundels on the walls don’t have a purpose other than for decoration. Two of the walls features three-dimensional roundels, including on the doors; while the other is a drape with printed roundels. Although this was possibly a money saving tactic, it does help to keep the room feeling interesting. The interior doors made no reference to the exterior Police Box doors at all, and opened via a control on the console.
The viewscreen in this interior was just a small monitor. It first appeared to be near the Fault Locator, but its appearance and location altered throughout its use.
The console room does have doors leading into other rooms, and we do get to see what some of them are. One of them is a type of relaxation room, with a sofa and a food machine nearby. Another room that just appears in The Web Planet, is a small science lab. It joins directly onto the console room.

The Science Lab which appears to connect to the console room
The Living Room area which features…
… the Food Machine
This is a shared bedroom
And our first look at the Wardrobe
One of the miscellaneous work rooms


I like to imagine that there is some kind of lever on the console which grants you access by lifting or lowering a wall – hence its disappearance before and after. There are also corridors seen leading to other rooms, like bedrooms with fold-down beds and miscellaneous work rooms. As a final note, I feel that it would be amiss not to mention the set recreations featured in An Adventure in Space and Time drama. Take a look at them in stunning colour.

The console was a light green to appear bright in black and white
The large golden column (far left) is the actual one from the original set! 

Season Seven
Now, in Season Seven, the Third Doctor had been exiled to Earth and we didn’t see inside the Tardis. But the Doctor takes the console outside of the ship to work on it, so we see it in a couple of workshops. The console itself is the same prop but has been changed slightly with silver panels added. The Doctor ended up trying to repair the console, resulting in him travelling to a parallel universe temporarily.

What are you looking at Bessie?
The Doctor and Liz

Season Eight
By Season Eight, the Doctor was going to start Tardis travelling again, and so the set was brought out of storage. The console however, was completely remade, with added red and green lights in the time rotor and red lines connecting panels, like a circuit board.
In The Claws of Axos, we are reintroduced to the Tardis interior which now seems quite a bit smaller.

The scanner is now represented by the blackened roundel
Here we see the console covered in Axon tenticles

It appears to contain several of the old set dressings, the wooden chair and the bird book-stand. There is also a large computer desk seen in the picture above, which I believe is a new addition.

Season Nine
During this time period the console has a turbulent time. In the opening story it is back in a workshop being fixed.

The Doctor and Jo encounter another version of themselves thanks to the tampering

Then in The Curse of Peladon we see the old Tardis interior for the last time. The roundel drapes are replaced by a new design completely. It still features the same console that had been made for the previous season.

The new design featured huge bowl-shaped roundels

This design probably would have lasted if it wasn’t for the fact that after this story, the set was irretrievably damaged in storage. And so this set only features for one story.

Season Ten
Opening with the 10th Anniversary story, The Three Doctors; the Tardis set was redesigned again. It was very reminiscent of the original, with roundel walls and a wall hinting at a Fault Locator behind it.

Can’t you imagine the Fault Locator behind that wall?
Don’t touch anything Jo!

In Planet of the Daleks, we see that there are bedroom-style wardrobes in the console room. They feature pull-out beds and we even learn that there are oxygen tanks in the Tardis.

The Doctor must go to Ikea
I guessed there would be oxygen tanks, it’s just they look really small

Season Thirteen
The next time we see the Tardis, the console is a brand new model again, with a screen being placed on the 5th panel and all of it being a bit more colourful. Other than that, the design is fairly similar to previous editions. For the first time since the first console room, we get to see doors leading to other rooms. The doors look indented to make them look different to the front doors

The console does look a lot brighter
Here you can see interior doors

Unfortunately this design was only seen in two stories before we were shown deeper parts of the Tardis, including the Secondary Control Room.

Season Fourteen
Straight away this season, we get to see proper Tardis corridors. This is while Sarah has a little snoop around the extra rooms in the ship. She stumbles across the Secondary Control Room. This room is then used instead for a few stories.

Looks like a nice living room
More corridors!
The Secondary Control Room. The dusty jacket suggests the Third Doctor used this sometimes too

The Doctor also suggests that he used this control room originally. The console doesn’t have a time rotor in the middle, but a shaving mirror instead. The six compartments open up revealing buttons and possessions. There are wooden chairs similar to the one in the Hartnell control room. The scanner screen has a fixed place built into the wall. It can be opened and closed via the console.

Notice the scanner on the wall and the stain glass roundels

Season Fifteen to Nineteen
The Doctor and Leela decide to move back to the Primary Control Room at the start of this season. The console is the modified one from Season Thirteen. It has red strips between panels instead of raised borders from before. The room itself is different completely. For the first time we have columns in between wall panels. This is the first console set to be used regularly since the 1960s.

The Scanner screen is built into the wall here too

The roundels on the walls are no longer lit up; they are a permanent shade of cream.

Don’t touch anything Leela!

In The Invasion of Time, we get the opportunity to see some of the deeper parts of the Tardis. However, they were mostly filmed on location in a hospital. And so most of the rooms don’t really fit in with the themes established so far.

I suppose this is what the Tardis looks like really deep inside
Couldn’t they have just stuck paper plates on the walls for roundels or something?
Tardis workshop with bin bags on the windows
I don’t mind the Swimming Pool as much
Tardis Hospital Ward
Tardis indoor garden…thing
And the Art Gallery

We also get to have a look at a couple of rooms during the late Baker / early Davison era.

The Cloister Room
Some kind of Cricket Room
Storage rooms
Corridor where someone left cricket gear
The Zero Room
Now that’s a good Tardis corridor

Ah yes, and the roundels are now shown to have maintenance panels behind them, or at least some of them.

That really is cool

A few companion rooms are seen around this time too.

Romana’s room, complete with cool chess set
Nyssa or Tegan’s room
Adric’s room

Season Twenty
While the set remained essentially the same, the console itself was given a major upgrade. Once again, it allowed it to seem a lot more bright and colourful.

This was the last update of this console
Complex circuitry behind the roundels
Presumably Nyssa’s room
Turlough’s room, which used to be Adric’s

Season Twenty One to Twenty Six
For the show’s 20th Anniversary, the entire console room was redesigned. It featured a new console made up of mostly switches and a whole new set. Many of the console sides now had monitors on them too. This console room was used by the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors.

Sparkling new

We get another few glimpses of the Tardis Wardrobe too.

Trying on the Third Doctor’s jacket
Trying on the Fourth Doctor look
Now Ace is at it too!

This version of the console room was used for such a long time that it began falling into disrepair. It would have been due for an upgrade but the show was cancelled before it got the chance.

Not much of the set left – hence the dark lighting

Television Movie
When Doctor Who came back for one night only, the console room reflected the change in budget. Long gone were the wobbly time rotors and big red levers. It was time for the Tardis to have the biggest redesign so far.

A huge console with time rotor linked to the ceiling
The Console Room had huge bookcases and armchairs

It wasn’t just the unique console that we were treated to in the Television Movie. We also got to see the Eye of Harmony. The room was made up to look like an old cathedral.

Like a Gothic cathedral, complete with bats

The War Doctor’s Console
Chronologically for the Doctor, this is the console room that he had next. He used it during the Time War against the Daleks. It looked very similar to the Console Room to follow, but also contained the white roundels of the past.

Unfortunately it seems to ignore the Television Movie design
The War Doctor regenerating

Series One to Four
When the series came back in 2005, it came with a new Tardis and new Doctor. Story-wise the design of the Tardis looks great, since it seems to have evolved naturally from that of the War Doctor. The console is made up of six panels as always, however the console is more circular than any other previously. The actual controls on the console are mostly made of junk for example, bicycle pumps, car handbrake etc. It is a more natural and living feel than previous designs with coral-type columns and orange glowing light.

The interior doors now matched the ones on the outside

Different directors preferred different lighting. In fact the cliffhanger for the end of Doomsday was shot twice, once for the ending and once for the introduction to the next episode. This is because the two different directors preferred the Tardis lit in different ways.

Original cliffhanger with darker lighting
Next episode with warmer lighting

With this version of the Tardis interior, we only got the chance to glimpse at another interior room. The Wardrobe was now massive in comparison to other looks. It had multiple levels, spiraling staircases and racks and racks of clothing from all eras.

How many clothes do you need?

When the Tenth Doctor was regenerating, the energy was so powerful that it completely destroyed the console, in a way that nothing ever has before.

Tardis Boom

Series Five to Seven
When the Tardis rebuilt itself, it was in an even bigger design than before. Multiple levels were now visible and frequently used. The golden colour scheme remained the same, but everything else was new. The console was now more hexagonal but still made up of strange things such as a typewriter, bell, telephone and gramophone.

With multiple floors!

Different staircases were designed to lead into multiple Tardis corridors deeper into the ship. There was a lower level below the glass floor where the Doctor could work on the console, and upper levels which also let to corridors.

The Doctor working on the lower level

The aforementioned corridors were only seen in one story in which the Tardis entity is taken over. This means that the corridors are more sinister and probably more green than they would usually appear.

Creepy corridors. At least they have roundels

Just before the Eleventh Doctor stopped using this design, there was a new archway with a web-like design visible. It has never been explained what the plan with that new archway would have been.

The webbed arch was a later addition. But why?

Series Seven to Ten
After the Eleventh Doctor had lost the Ponds as companions, he decided he wanted to go for a more serious looking console room. This lead to more metallic colours and a more classic design.

It is a brilliant design

The upper level leading to other rooms and lower level for tinkering still exist, and are made better. We are also shown other rooms briefly.

A Storage room
Swimming Pool
The Eye of Harmony

When the Eleventh Doctor regenerated into the Twelfth, the Tardis stayed the same, but he made some tweaks. The console room changed from a greenish colour to a warmer orange, with bookshelves and chalkboards appearing too.

Orange is the new green apparently
Gallifreyan calculations
Ah yes, and the roundels are back

There we have it. They are all of the Doctor’s Tardis interiors so far. I will probably add to this list at some point, and even make a separate one about other Tardises appearances too. But for now that’s it. The Capaldi Tardis is currently my favourite, especially with the more homely looks and the multiple levels. I can imagine it being a very comfortable place to be while flying around all of time and space.














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