Monday, January 4, 2021

Doctor Who and The Silver Surfer

 


My guess us that a phone booth was first used as the exterior for Doctor Who's Tardis partly because of budgetary reasons, as those original shows were produced inexpensively.  Whatever the reason, It's always been an interesting look for the Doctor's travelling headquarters.  Now that phone booths have all but become a thing of the past, it seems even cooler that a time traveler would use such a retro design.  Doctor Who may alter his appearance every few years, but I hope the Tardis never does.

26 comments:

Shining Horsefeathers in Space said...

This out just as The Mirror in the UK said that the third season will be Jodi's last. Your timing is Silver.

Jim Ryan said...

Um, it's not really a phone booth. This is a call box for the police to use to get urgent news back to headquarters. Ones like this in the US are a lot smaller, about the size of a bread basket, where they expect the police to stand out in the open to make a report.

If it were an English phone box, it'd be red with clear panels of glass making up most of every side.

Easy mistake to make; I'd said much the same thing before friends from the UK pointed this out to me, too.

Ross said...

Ah, Makes sense. Still cool!

GusGF said...

Technicality here: -

The character's name is "The Doctor" only.

"Doctor Who" is merely the name of the TV-show!

Davejonz said...

Yes a police telephone box. I even remember that first episode - it was in black and white.
I'm surprised you haven't paired these two before. It would never have occurred to me but now I see it - Doh! - Ph.D. in the bleeding obvious!
What about a swap for the sequel? The Doctor gets the surfboard, the Surfer is left with the Doc's scarf?

Bob Greenwade said...

@Horsefeathers: I had to double-check that news about Jodie's departure, as I'd only heard about it as a rumor before today, but now some sources are reporting it as fact.

Now I suppose it's time for me to make some real noise for Andrew-Lee Potts as the 14th Doctor (which I've specifically supported since the Doctor was last sporting a bow tie).

@Jim: This is just a technicality (in this context), but an old Police Public Call Box had the phone in the outer door (as seen occasionally during the Eleventh Doctor's tenure) so the public could call for police help (though certainly the officers could, as you say, using it to contact headquarters). The box opened and locked from the outside so the bobbies (who tended to operate on foot at the time) could use them as temporary holding cells of sorts until transportation could arrive.

Showrunner Steven Moffat actually once noted the irony that, when the show started, it was an effective disguise for a time machine, but today it's a design that most people (albeit mainly those in the real world) recognize only as a time machine.

But yeah -- for time travel in a phone booth, we'd have to turn to Bill & Ted (who I'm surprised to see haven't yet teamed with The Doctor!).

Kid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isaac said...

Maybe tomorrow?

Ken said...

Sweet! You used Tom Baker.

det_Tobor said...

@BG: no team up, but on #382 they shared a cover.

The actors playing the Dr have limited themselves to 3 seasons each since David Tennant. Type casting is still a legit concern of theirs - done by production staff, NOT by the public. This was not a surprise.

Ross, your cover was a RADD idea!

Carycomic said...

@Ken and GusGF: he's the only Doctor "Who" matters.

;-D

ShadowWing Tronix said...

The use of the Police Box was indeed due to budget. The TARDIS has a "chameleon circuit" that's supposed to allow it to blend in but they didn't have the budget to get a new external prop every time they landed someplace else. (The Police Box was a prop from a cop show.) So in the second episode they note something is wrong with the ship and outside of the occasional attempt to fix the circuit it's always been a Police Box.

Wasn't the British Box also able to hold criminals until the paddy wagon came to collect them? I thought I read that somewhere.

Richard said...

Consider other common, mundane objects that are roughly the size and shape of a police box....

I note that in the Big Finish audio drama "The One Doctor", the sound effect representing the dematerialization of "The Doctor's" ship is the sound of an old toilet flushing....

Dr. OTR said...

The BBC produced a long-running police show called "Dixon of Dock Green", and as a result they had a prop police call box sitting around. Perfect for the Doctor's "bigger on the inside" space/time machine.

An actual red phone booth, with its see-through glass panels, wouldn't have worked at all!

Have you ever thought having Superman duck into the Tardis to change clothes, mistaking it for a phone booth?

Ross said...

OTR, see STF #2935

Kid said...

GusGF, actually 'The Doctor' was called Dr. Who to begin with in the show's credits, and that lasted for quite a while. I think this may also have happened when the new series with Christopher Eccleston first began, but I'd have to check first to be sure. Also, in the authorised novels and annuals of the '60s, he was very often referred to as Dr. Who, so like it or not, there's an official precedent for calling him Dr. (or Doctor) Who.

Ross said...

Besides, this is the Earth-STF Dr. Who, so it all makes sense.

Jim Ryan said...

@Bob: Good points, those. Thanks for taking a second on these.

As for everyone asking about a proper UK phone booth being a time machine: Anyone else remember INSPECTOR SPACETIME...?

Carycomic said...

Can't say as I do. :-(

Fishing in the Timestream said...

@Jim, his show was on Earth 2.
Equipped with a "Quantum Spanner" device. They travelled in a spaceship/time machine known as the "X-7 Dimensionizer". Its appearance is that of a red telephone box, an item closely associated with the show's country of origin. Over the years, the Inspector and his Constable have encountered a host of opponents including the Inspector's most infamous foes, the race of cyborgs known as the "Blorgons".

Jim Ryan said...

@Fishung: Ah, good times...

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see the Daleks go up against the Borg.

dreibel said...

a few years ago a new Police Box was put up in London, around one of the entrances to Earls Court tube station - and this one they went to the design of the old blue police boxes. So it was quite a surprise to go by that station in a bus and see the TARDIS standing there!

ShadowWing Tronix said...

@dreibel I found video for the rest of us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kC7q91D54

Bob Buethe said...

Anon@4:46: The Borg fought the Cybermen (but not the Daleks) in the actual Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic that was published in 2012.

Brother Kellymatthew said...

The Daleks (Terry Nation) VS The Wheelies (Baum). The Judoon VS Udon Noodles in Brown Sauce with SAKE on the side hold the wasabi (Between Your Legs then give me the toast and you haven't broken any rules, Nick Nick Tang. Hocus Pocus.).

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