Saturday, October 21, 1989

Console Design

Having being interested with the earlier years of Doctor Who, particularly on the design side, I am inspired by the works of the designers of this era such as Peter Brachaki who designed the TARDIS console and particularly Ray Cusick who, of course is responsible for the famous design of the Dalek, I might add also that anyone who is interested in this type of thing, "The Early Years" by Jeremy Bentham is worth getting. Anyway, I'm straying from the subject of this article, so down to business.

As I said, having being interested in these original designs, a thought struck me quite recently on where Peter Brachaki got his idea for the design of the TARDIS console from. My belief (unless you have already worked this one out for yourself) is that the design of the TARDIS interior is based loosely on it's exterior, ie. the Police Box. The simplified drawings on this page are to give you an idea of what I'm going on about.

Take, for example the roof of the Police box. There are certain similarities here. ,The sloping sides bear a resemblance to the TARDIS console, Consider the light on the Police Box, This is central as it is on the console and they both illuminate. Note the bit just under the light on the police box is similar to the bit just at the base of the time rotor on the console, except on the console, the sides are at an angle. Also on the Police Box are inset panels which are similar to those on the earlier TARDIS console.

The above proves that back in the early years, the look of the exterior of' the TARDlS must have been decided or1 before its interior was designed by Peter Brachaki. Either that or it was the other way around, but the chances of designing the interior first and then finding an exterior to match are very slight. Then again, it could have all been a flook!

I can confirm, though that the exterior of the TARDIS was decided on before the interior was designed, because in an interview with Sydney Neman in the American Whovian Times, Sydney Newman stated that he had decided that the exterior of the TARDIS was to be a Metropolitan Police Box in his original conception of Doctor Who.

Do you remember all those hexagonal patterns which featured inside rooms of the TARDIS a great deal during most of the Davison era? The stuff made up most of Adric, Nyssa's ad Tegan's quarters aboard the TARDIS. Well, in case you don't know, that is the basic shape of a very strong supporting structure. It's called a Geo-detic structure and a Geo-detic structure was used as the framework of Lancaster bombers during the the second World War.

It looks like the set for the TARDIS interior has been sligntly altered again. In one of the trailers for the new season featuring a short preview on Battlefield, I noticed that the walls are much darker, like the master's TARDIS. I didn't get a look at the TARDIS console properly so I can't say anything about that. By the time this issue of Cybernetix reaches you, you will know anyway so I won't bother telling you what happened in the trailer for Battlefield because I expect you already know!


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