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tardis console

Monday 18th July 2005

Our full-sized TARDIS console was built in 1995 to replace our original which had fallen apart and perished - but then it was only small - a foot or so across in size in fact.


This model, along with our cardboard walls (with photocopied roundels) was how we were going to realise the TARDIS scenes. The shot below is not focussed right but gives the idea. The plan involved filming with enough light to ensure the right depth of field as the model console was kept near the camera.

The actors rested on fake panels accordingly as shown below... This worked well and the results weren't bad for the time. From the number of requests we get about our console from budding film-makers who like us are lacking funds, it can be seen that something can be achieved this way - especially if TARDIS scenes aren't the focus of that film!
So that was the plan to use models until we realised we were going to be able to have Jon Pertwee in one of our scenes. The ball game was raised, and Stephen and Ashley built a new a set of walls (7 to start with) and the console itself.
The image above shows one half of the top showing how it is simply a frame of timber with hardboard panels. The two panels are clipped together and their weight pull against each other and rest quite happily on the base. The base - shown below - has the rather extraordinary motor mechanism made by Stephen and Chris. This used a washing machine engine powered via a transformer which powers a circular cam wheel (which was weighted with sheet lead) which powers a piston which pushes the time rotor up and down. The time rotor is super lightweight to give the thing a chance of movement.
Here's the console with only some of the knobs and switches which Ashley made out of wood, plastic, ping pong balls, fibreglass, metal and enough glue to hold the moon down...
the console as assembled for first version of Third Tardis set - ultimately this set wasn't used...
The finished effect as used at Pinewood for Comic Relief ...