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Hey, You Sexy Thing!

Traveling through digital universe, I found this little gem: ‘The Background Notes for ‘Dr. Who’.

‘The Background Notes for ‘Dr. Who‘ describes the issues that the creators of the series had to solve. One concern was related to the Dr. Who Machine (TARDIS):

Thanks to the BBC Archive, now some of the original documents of this TV Serie have been published and we can read, how the characters and the elements of Dr. Who TV serie were created.

“When we consider what this looks like, we are in danger of either Science Fiction or Fairytale labelling. If it is a transparent plastic bubble we are with all the lowgrade spacefiction oand soap-opera. If we scotch this by positing something humdrum, say, passing through some common object in street such as a night-watchman’s shelter to arrive inside a marvellous contrivance of quivering electronics, then we simpi have a version of the dear old Magic Door. Therefore, we do no see the machine at all; or rather it is visible only as an absence of visibility, a shape of nothingness (Inlaid, into surrounding picture)”

On the other hand, one of the concerns of Sydney Newman was the need of a tangible symbol for Doctor Who machine. ” It can be put into an apparently empty van. Wherever they go some contemporary disguise has to be found for it. Many visual possibilities can be worked out.”

Finally, in the first episode, they decided to represent the TARDIS like a police box. In any case, the TARDIS was supposed to blend inconspicuously into whatever environment thanks to its “camouflage unit” but a Bug in the “chameleon circuit” kept the TARDIS as a police box. The Doctor attempted to repair the circuit, but the successful transformation of the TARDIS into the shapes of a pipe organ, a painted Welsh dresser and an elaborate gateway in the latter serial was followed by a return to the police box shape. The Ninth Doctor implied that he had stopped trying to fix the circuit quite some time ago because he had become rather fond of the police box shape.

Finally, the image of the TARDIS has become firmly linked to the show in the public’s consciousness. In 1996, the BBC applied for a trademark to use the TARDIS’s blue police box design in merchandising associated with Doctor Who. In 1998, the Metropolitan Police Authority filed an objection to the trademark claim; but in 2002, the Patent Office ruled in favour of the BBC.

Dr Who is absolutely right: the Tardis has its own sex appeal and it has become a cult object.

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