I think that the ‘raw’ TARDIS is one of the most mythical aspects of the Doctor Who universe. Yes, the TARDIS sits within an alternate dimension enclosed within a smaller exterior shell within our perceivable dimensions, but what does the outside of the inside of the TARDIS look like? Not the shell, but the exterior to the TARDIS’ internal structure. It’s never shown, and brilliantly so. The Doctor and the show itself suggest that the internal dimension is infinite, and so too is the structure of the TARDIS’ interior. Plus, the TARDIS shape-shifts on an as-needed basis. I’ve seen some beautifully rendered ideas and it’s a fascinating concept but, it also raises another question; how does a TARDIS start out?
How does a TARDIS start out? Captain Jack’s lump of coral aside, it’s another fascinating idea with endless possibilities. As something ‘grown’ we know it isn’t infinite to start with and presumably would be machine-like. Does it start like a bulb (think the stolen circuit in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) or an egg? Does it start as that basic shell and then grow inwards, or inwards-outwards if you catch my drift (sorry, I mean inwardy-outwardy, of course). Does the inside get put into an outside? Do the life-form and machine components begin together or is one implanted into the other? There are so many ideas to play with.
Ok, a bit more context before the meatiness. I love Bill & Ted’s Excellent adventure. Particularly, I love the soundtrack and the ‘Father Time’ scene where the raw, crystallised time machine gets zapped and ‘grows’ into the time-travelling phone box. Even today, that was cool!
My idea for this build was that a TARDIS, theoretically, could store raw TARDIS’ somewhere or even grow them, effectively giving birth or replicating infinitely. Kind of how 3D printers are supposed to be able to print more 3D printers, but with a TARDIS spitting forth a whole, assembled and ready-to-go juvenile.
In the model below, Clara is busy incubating here own TARDIS core that would eventually leave it’s mooring and form both external and internal dimensions. The juvenile has no controls or internal access yet, it is just the raw machine / organism.
This is set within the Doctor’s TARDIS, so has the recognisable interior walls and door from the official set.
Clara’s control desk gives her rudimentary control over the new core, with the coordinate controls and main lever allowing de-materialisation when the TARDIS is ready. The desk also has dual displays for tracking both the host (Doctor’s) and new TARDIS’ positions. You can see the desk below.
I wanted the juvenile TARDIS to look crystalline and machine-like, without directly resembling a warp core or time rotor. It also needed to feel quite exposed and have some level of complexity to it. I have a simpler design for the Galifreyan incubation chamber (coming soon), but for this I wanted the design to be rawer and look less controlled. Adding the upward-reaching bars on top also gives the TARDIS a feeling of growing and developing.
Once developed, the new TARDIS would be piloted outside the host TARDIS, or the host TARDIS would de-materialise leaving the juvenile behind. The platform would then be bare, ready to begin the cycle anew. Below is the platform without the TARDIS core.
What does your ‘raw’ TARDIS look like? Let us know in the comments.