The Doctor's TARDIS


This is the New TARDIS in 'The Eleventh Hour'.

The Doctor's TARDIS, frequently called simply "the TARDIS" — often called "the Ship" by the First Doctor — was an obsolete Type 40 and/or Mark I TARDIS used by the Doctoras his primary means of transport. Capable, like all TARDISes, of travelling through space and time, the Doctor travelled in his vessel from the beginning of the universe itself shortly after the Big Bang (DW: Term

inus, Castrovalva, BBCR: Slipback) to the death of the universe, a hundred trillion years later. (DW:Utopia)In his first incarnation, the Doctor implied that he had built his TARDIS himself. (DW: The Chase) However, many other accounts indirectly implied or directly insisted that he had, in fact, stolen it, although he had intended to give it back. (DW:The War Games, Planet of the Dead, The Big Bang, The Doctor's Wife) One account claimed that he had stolen the TARDIS from the Time Lord Marnal (EDA: The Gallifrey Chronicles) whilst others implied he had stolen it from the general, government-controlled "stockpile" of TARDISes, after the model had been officially decommissioned. (DW: The Deadly Assassin, ST: The Exiles)

None of these accounts precluded the possibility that he had somehow been responsible for its creation, however. Indeed, another account found compromise between theft and creatio

n, claiming that while the Doctor had not completely built the TARDIS, he had substantially modified/r

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The Old TARDIS belongs the Ninth and the Tenth Doctors

ebuilt it. The net effect of his tinkering, according to this view, was that he achieved control of the TARDIS without having a mental link with it. This allowed him to bypass the feature on most TARDISes which sent a tracking signal to the Time Lords. (EDA: The Taking of Planet 5)

This notion of the Doctor bypassing a mental link with the TARDIS was somewhat muddied by other accounts, which showed the Doctor having a significant mental link with the TARD

IS. For instance, the TARDIS assisted him with his own regeneration (DW: The Tenth Planet) and triggered a physical response in the Doctor when it was near destruction (DW: Journey's End)

All these accounts notwithstanding, the most direct commentary on the Doctor's acquisition of the TARDIS came from the TARDIS herself. (DW: The Doctor's Wife) When House transferred the soul of the TARDIS into Idris, the TARDIS was able to give her side of the story for the first time. Like other accounts, she confirmed that she was out of commission, a "museum piece", when the First Doctor met her. She also confirmed most other accounts by contending that the Doctor had stolen her, going so far as to explicitly deny the Eleventh Doctor's attempt to characterise the action as mere "borrowing". Moreover, she insisted that she also stole him. She was unlocked, and had deliberately let him steal her because she wanted to go exploring the universe and sensed that he would be an ideal match. According to the TARDIS, the Doctor's first words to her, some 700 years before, were that the TARDIS was:

The precise model number of the Doctor's TARDIS was a matter of some confusion, especially when the Doctor's TARDIS was compared to that of other Time Lords. For instance, the Monk claimed to have a Mark IV TARDIS, while the Doctor had a Mark I. (DW: The Time Meddler) Also, the dematerialisation circuit ofthe Master's TARDIS was a Mark II compared to the Doctor's Mark I. (DW: Terror of the Autons) However, it was unclear whether this meant that the Master's TARDIS, as a whole, was a Mark II. During a visit by theFourth Doctor to Gallifrey, however, the Doctor's TARDIS was unambiguously called a "Type 40". At that time, it was made clear that all other Type 40s had long since been officially decommissioned and replaced by newer, improved models. The fact that the Doctor's TARDIS was a type 40 was not common knowledge, even to the Castellan. (DW: The Deadly Assassin) This designation was used with greater frequency afterward, and was even used by the Eleventh Doctor as an excuse to Winston Churchill for his belated response to Churchill's summons. (DW: Victory of the Daleks) When the TARDIS had the opportunity to speak to the Eleventh Doctor through the body of Idris, she called herself simply a "Type 40". (DW: The Doctor's Wife)Almost all TARDISes were able to blend in with their surroundings because of a mechanism called the "chameleon circuit", or "camouflage unit". Some later models seemed to regularly allow the pilot to choose a desired exterior, overriding what would have been "natural" for the surroundings. (DW: Time and the Rani, Time-Flight)

In fact, the Doctor's TARDIS seemed to have both abilities, were the chameleon circuit operational. Long before he met Ian and Barbara, theFirst Doctor landed on Iwa, where the TARDIS quite easily posed as a boulder in that planet's desert. (TN: Frayed) Likewise, on Quinnis, the Doctor was unhappy when the TARDIS landed in a bazaar and she decided to turn into a market stall, complete with a striped awning. (CC: Quinnis) However, the Fourth Doctor showed Adric how the TARDIS could be changed to the shape of an Egyptian pyramid, implying that he could override the chameleon circuit's "automatic" functionality. (DW:Logopolis)

In any case, the defining characteristic of the Doctor's TARDIS was that its chameleon circuit had broken after assuming the shape of a police boxin 1963 London. It had been working up until it landed in I.M. Foreman's junkyard. The Doctor's granddaughter stated that the TARDIS had previously appeared as a sedan chairand an ionic column, and both she and the Doctor expressed surprise that it had not changed form when they traveled to a new destination. (DW: "The Cave of Skulls")

By the time of his eleventh self, the Doctor had begun to tell his companions that the chameleon circuitwas working, but in a peculiar way: