“You’ve redecorated…I don’t like it.”
There’s no pleasing some people, but Clara’s right. As revealed at the end of Peter Capaldi’s first episode Deep Breath, the Tardis has had a bit of a makeover. Hard to make out it all out though, wasn’t it? Don’t worry, we got to tour the new Tardis a few months ago. Here are some of the odds, ends, nooks and crannies we spotted.
Original Period Features
There may have been some changes, but if it all looks a bit familiar, that’s because you’ve seen it before. The main layout is the same control room Matt Smith has used since the beginning of series 7, with the central console surrounded by an elevated metal gangway. It’s smaller and colder than previous control rooms we have seen, especially the 11th Doctor’s copper coloured first home.
It seems this Doctor is a bit of a reader, despite some bad experiences he has had in libraries. The most obvious addition is the series of bookcases that now line the gangway and eaves of the Tardis, each stuffed with leather bound volumes. A nice touch that may not show up on TV: the crown of every bookcase has a light-up emblem in the Spirograph-like language of the Time Lords. Presumably it’s their version of the Dewey Decimal System.
Completing the professorial, Henry Higgins vibe are four or five blackboards dotted around the place. As seen in Deep Breath, this Doctor likes to work out especially knotty problems with a piece of chalk. While he was forced to use the floor in the premiere, he’s now free to draft and erase and drag his nails wherever he wants.
When we visited (during the filming of episode nine) one had “5 Days to Go” scratched across it. We thought this was very significant to the plot and started speculating wildly. Consulting our hand-written notes, the words “fish people?” seem to be underlined beside this observation. Not only were we wrong (the words were from the teaser trailer above) we’re beginning to worry there was a gas leak on board the Tardis. Fish people?
[Minor spoiler for episode 9. As in, not really a spoiler, but if you want to keep yourself as pure and unspoiled as fresh fallen snow, don’t read on. Also, don’t read the Internet.]
It’s already hinted at by the bookcases and chalkboards and greying temples, but this Doctor likes to keep things old school. Also on board the Tardis was a carpenter’s workbench (paint flecks, wood vice, coffee stains) strewn with high tech circuit boards (well, bits of a broken Dell). It was a tad incongruous sat next to the retro-futuristic control panel of the Tardis, and seemed to sum up this iteration of the Doc: battered, utilitarian but gets the job done.
The Doctor Who issue of the new Radio Times iPad and iPhone edition features an exclusive animated cover and photo galleries, a 68-page bonus magazine looking back at the 10th anniversary of Doctor Who, an interview with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s series-eight episode guide