Friday, November 27, 2009


I think we have to reintroduce roundels to the Tardis Set. I miss them.

[Mineralogy of Maine Volume 2 By Van King 2000 Pg 142:]
U.S. Geological Survey Chemistry Laboratory group, Smithsonian Building, Washington, D.C., 1886. Back row, left to right: Frank W. Clarke, William F. Hillebrand, Thomas M. Chetard, William Hallock. Front row, left to right: Robert P. Whitfield, Frank A. Gooch, Carl Barus, Robert B. Briggs (Photo courtesy USGS Photo archives)

Why make the Tardis from Junk?

[Edward Thomas, the Doctor Who production designer, who is also on the judging panel offered up some advice: “Don’t come along with a design that’s finished and too technical – it needs to have a lot of character. It’s about being clever with what you find around the house and make sure it really feels as if the Doctor has put it together.”]

Why the limitation?

First off the whole idea of a hodgepodge Tardis Console is ridiculous. If there is an "Architectural Configuration System" and let us assume it is working properly, then every thing in the Tardis is formed from a computer program - maybe even a "Block Transfer Computation"(?) The interior design probably works in a similar fashion as the Chameleon Circuit reforms the outside of the Tardis.

Now if the Tardis was in a Time War and the Doctor had to make emergency repairs with bits and bobs of whatever was at hand, that could explain the hodgepodge console. The Doctor is lazy when it comes to rebuilding the Tardis. When the Doctor finally decides to rebuild, he goes all out. If I had to make a Console out of bits and bobs I'd probably go through some catalogs and find ideas and technologies to adapt to my needs. Maybe even have a junk room with technology from across the universe and from all throughout time.

I could see David Tennant's Doctor walking into a Guitar Center, or House of Guitars, or other musician's equipment outlet store, looking at a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation / Audio Editing Console) and going Gah for it it before discovering the price of the console. He'd then use the Tardis to follow that piece of equipment through time till it ended up on the curb and then "Bin Dive" for it. The Man is going to reconfigure it to make it compatible with the Tardis, I'm sure he can repair a few worn components and replace a few LEDs.

Who Review: The Central Column

Lets examine the 2005 Console. Well the first flaw I can see is they adopted the central column design from the 1996 Fox Movie. The 96 movie saw a break away from convention in that the column extended from the console to the ceiling support structure. It wasn't so much of a problem during McGann's time because the column is slender enough and clear enough to facilitate conversation with people on the other side of the console. The 2005 console has a larger bulkier column that isn't as clear. This limits your shots as a director. Because suddenly you have this giant monstrosity in the room that you need to shoot around. This means your companion has to be right next to you. Or worse still people can hide from you on the other side of the console.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DWM - Blue Peter - Design the TARDIS contest

[The Smithsonian, Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard]

Fans to redesign Tardis console

CBBC show Blue Peter has launched a competition to design a new Tardis console that will appear in the next series of Doctor Who.

OK does this sound like Madness?

Lets get Kids age 6 - 12 to send in their ideas of how to design the New Console room, and get Matt Smith to pick the new design from all the entries to be used in the show.

I'm 34, and have loved the show longer than these kids, and I live outside of the UK, maybe I have something to offer? Maybe the next great set designer will be in entries the kids 6-12 have sent in (or whatever the age requirements to send in an entry to Blue Peter are...) on the other hand , maybe not.

Lets pretend that anyone could send in an entry and lets not restrict it based on age or where you live.

The Tardis has an "Architectural Configuration System" or "Desktop Theme" if you will. If you had absolute choice over what your home looked like, what would you do?

I remember reading that for the 2005 series of Doctor Who the designers felt the Tardis wasn't the Doctor's home but more of a Volkswagen Bug or VW Microbus - The design team felt the Tardis was a conveyance only. I have a different view.

I think the Tardis console room should look like an Italian courtyard crossed with an atrium, maybe with a few Celtic accents.

Strong Bold solid stone doors set in an arch - a portal to the outside universe.
[Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley]

The doors interlaced with roundels. Corridors leading into distant parts of the Tardis. A second floor balcony leading out from the Doctor's room so he can look out over the courtyard. In one corner a kitchen and breakfast table. The Doctor is probably the kind of person who would really enjoy a good breakfast. The wall next to the doors should have an huge panoramic view-screen. Maybe even a water feature like a koi pond.

The console needs lots of levers and dials and probably similar controls to an editing console or a sound board. Sound boards have EQ radial potentiometers that can adjust the Q of the segment of a frequency you are concentrating on. You need that level of precision when traveling through all of time.