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police box

Monday 13th July 2009

It's only right that the Police Box was built by a real policeman. Well, Stephen was a policeman before his career in the media beckoned. But that's another story!

 

In the true tradition of Devious we were all invited round to Stephen's one evening for a small party - and what did we find? - a finished police box sitting out in the back garden. Like Ashley he built it to surprise the rest of the team. or more precisely he fancied building one anyway and wasn't sure whether we'd need it in the filming - after all we had already filmed the beach scene where we intended to use cgi and hadn't intended to use it again.

Then of course the "archers" scene was shot when we returned to our favourite quarry in West Sussex and we duly carried the police box panels down a mile-long path to complete the scenes. Not easy.

 

Stephen is of course the best person to write this piece explaining how he built the TARDIS exterior, and at some point this page will doubtless be rewritten. Suffice to say we all think the quality of the build with its deliberate weathering is just perfect - and so do the BBC as it was borrowed a number of times for features.

Stephen had originally built a box when he was a teenager with friend Chris (also now a valued member of the team) and used mainly cardboard and thinner wood. The base of that TARDIS was used again for the current model, and now needs some replacement sugery in places.

 

The box itself has had the (Two-and-a-Halfth), Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctor actors emerge from it over the years at conventions, Devious filming and other odd things, so it has a pedigree, and was recently given a valuation by the BBC 20th Century Antiques experts when it visited Goonhilly Down for the recent show. That provenance of course gives the value and its no surprise Stephen keeps the prop secured.

One of the best things is the really authentic noise when the door shuts or slams - the yale lock is fully functional and the key must never be lost else the box can never again be entered or dismantled!!! Believe me we've come close to that scenario over the years....