What could this mysterious Doctor Who machine be?

Schematics have appeared for some sort of device from series 9 - but is it a new Tardis component, a deadly doomsday clock or just a coffeemaker?

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The Doctor Who Instagram account has long been releasing teases and hints from behind-the-scenes of series 9 during filming, many of which have had us confused and excited – but one of their latest posts really has us scratching our heads. 

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Apparently showing schematics for some sort of engine, the post speculates that the diagram could be a plan for some kind of time-controlling device, or just where the Doctor gets his espresso. Both fine choices – but what could it really be?

A continuum shifter or the Doctor's new espresso machine? You decide! #DoctorWho#DrWho #BTS #BehindTheScenes #whovian #fandom

A post shared by Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) on


An obvious choice could be some sort of redesign for the Tardis, or at least a new component – could the Doctor finally be replacing the drive stacks as suggested by Perkins (Frank Skinner) in Mummy on the Orient Express? The part on the right certainly looks quite Tardis-like, almost akin to the main console. Maybe it’s even a design for another Tardis (which might have even appeared in the series 9 trailer).

We do like the idea of a continuum shifter though, whatever that is – sounds like something that might be useful in finding a planet that’s lost outside the usual continuum of time *COUGH* Gallifrey *COUGH*.

Alternatively, the plans could be for some sort of Doomsday device, or something else dangerous that the Doctor and Clara must stop in the new series. Perhaps Missy (Michelle Gomez) has a few new tricks up her sleeve…

To find out more, we had a chat with some science types who (in a very brief look) reckoned the design looked like it was for some sort of turbine, with the equations around possibly relating to fluid dynamics.

As the basic point of a turbine is to generically move air or water through something (early turbines were windmills and waterwheels), perhaps (in our inexpert opinion) it could just be a liquid (or air)-powered motor for something used in the series. Perhaps it’s even a liquid cooling system for a Tardis that has been overheating a little? The Doctor has to get his DIY kicks somewhere.

That said, you have to wonder – propelling liquid does sound like something that would be useful for a Time Lord coffee machine…

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Doctor Who series 9 begins on BBC1 on the 19th September