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BBC Design Plans

Started by liz79, Aug 14, 2010, 02:22 pm

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Rassilons Rod

haha :)

Its also almost the full "four walls" too :)
In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.

liz79

QuoteHow interesting to note that the console is in the centre of the room! Who'da thought...


I think it only looks like the centre because the fourth wall is on the plan. It was quite unusual for the fourth wall to be there. In fact, does anyone remember it being actually visible during The King's Demons? It may well have been removed to allow the cameras to film.

geminitimelord

Yes I agree, welcome to the forum and Nice Guns Blazing for your entrance.

You mention you are going to build a TARDIS as well? Have you started? IF so what box are you planning on building?

liz79

QuoteYou mention you are going to build a TARDIS as well? Have you started? IF so what box are you planning on building?


Actually, no. I'm afraid that's a typo. I'd LOVE to have my own TARDIS but even if I had the time and know-how to make one, I'd have nowhere to put it!! Maybe a project for my retirement!

DoctorWho8

'Allo Liz.  I've seen these TARDIS plans before.  Back in the mid-90's, producer Philip Segal got a set for the TV Movie with Paul McGann.  He auctioned one print off at Visions '96 in Chicago.  I got video footage of it and made screen caps.  What you have posted must be the master copy of the plans.

As far as the prop that was supposed to be made from these plans, I don't think it quite happened. The first fiberglass TARDIS was used almost exclusively through Colin Baker's first full season.  The second fiberglass prop wasn't introduced until 1986, and essentially was a recast of the original prop, with some minor alterations.  If they were planning to make a new prop for the show, it didn't happen in 1984 like they originally wanted.  So maybe these plans were for a prop that never happened?

The first TYJ Prop is in the hands of Andrew Beech and was fixed up.  The Second prop is with the BBC.  It was repaired 7 years ago, but it has since gone into a bad state again.  It's currently somewhere in the bowels of the BBC.

But thanks for bringing all these to the forefront.  I know the studio plans will come in handing for the chap making the Season 20 console room in 3D.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

hb88banzai

Aug 16, 2010, 05:02 pm #20 Last Edit: Aug 18, 2010, 11:15 pm by hb88banzai
Quote from: DoctorWho8 on Aug 16, 2010, 03:42 pm
'Allo Liz.  I've seen these TARDIS plans before.  Back in the mid-90's, producer Philip Segal got a set for the TV Movie with Paul McGann.  He auctioned one print off at Visions '96 in Chicago.  I got video footage of it and made screen caps.  What you have posted must be the master copy of the plans.

As far as the prop that was supposed to be made from these plans, I don't think it quite happened. The first fiberglass TARDIS was used almost exclusively through Colin Baker's first full season.  The second fiberglass prop wasn't introduced until 1986, and essentially was a recast of the original prop, with some minor alterations.  If they were planning to make a new prop for the show, it didn't happen in 1984 like they originally wanted.  So maybe these plans were for a prop that never happened?

The first TYJ Prop is in the hands of Andrew Beech and was fixed up.  The Second prop is with the BBC.  It was repaired 7 years ago, but it has since gone into a bad state again.  It's currently somewhere in the bowels of the BBC.

But thanks for bringing all these to the forefront.  I know the studio plans will come in handing for the chap making the Season 20 console room in 3D.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


Very interesting. It would appear Mr. Segal auctioned off more than one of these, as another set was auctioned off by him at Gallifrey One Across the Eighth Dimension in February of 1997. It should be noted, however, that the Gallifrey set was significantly different than Liz's, dating from late February 1980 and actually drafted by Tom Yardley-Jones. IIRC it is also a tiny bit different and of later revision date than another set I've seen on the web of the 1980 version, I believe posted at the old TARDIS Rebuilders site at one point or another - I don't know if that was the Visions one or not.

The Gallifrey set was also claimed by Philip Segal to be "the one" sent to him by the BBC and not just a copy, but since we now know that there are several different versions going around it is possible he was sent more than one.

It is interesting to note that the Gallifrey set was obviously drafted by a different hand throughout than that of Liz's 1983 set even though it is essentially the same set of plans with only a few differences of detail. Everything has been redrafted and rewritten, making the 1983 version essentially a cleaned up copy. In the Yardley-Jones original you can even see where he has redrawn some lines on the plans, not fully erasing the previous ones.

Here is a snap of them so you can see the differences:

Yardley-Jones_1980_Plans.jpg

EDIT: Note that the above image is much more detailed than it appears here - right click to "View Image" then click the image to see the full resolution. Also note that the date on these, both in the drawing and on one of the acceptance stamps, is 25 February 1980 for a Zero Date of 14 March, giving them at most 17 days to complete the build, including painting, and deliver the prop a mere 6 days before shooting was set to begin on the 20th.


liz79

How interesting! It would not be unusual for series sets to be redrawn for refurbishments. The design assistant for the drawing I have probably traced over the earlier version (hence the identical layout), particularly if she was working from a print rather than the original (it would need to be on the semi-clear paper to allow multiple copies to be printed on the machines that were available at the time).

Interesting to read that Philip Segal was sent the design drawings for the TARDIS. I wonder where they came from? They can't have come from the Design Department because, by 1996, the department had been closed down. Also, any old design drawings had long since been destroyed even before I left the deparment in 1992 (aside from the ones I was able to save). It's possible that another fan had a copy or the designers themselves had kept hold of their drawings or copies of them. But my drawing is the original, so if that's what Segal had, it must have come from a print.

It's entirely possible that the Planet of Fire lightweight TARDIS refurb was abandoned. Although I have the drawing, this was shortly before I joined the department, so I have no personal knowledge of it. Malcolm Thornton might remember though.


Rassilons Rod

Its certainly very interesting that the doors were apparently meant to open outwards on this version xD
In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.

karsthotep

Fascinating provenance on these sheets liz.  Whether they were used or not to produce an actual Police box for the show the history on it is invaluable on its face.  Thank for sharing this history with us. 
I want notes, lists and answers by the time I finish this here Juicy-a-Box! WARNING: I am Thirst-ay! And it is Fruit Punch! And it is Delicious!"

hb88banzai

Quote from: liz79 on Aug 16, 2010, 08:10 pm
Interesting to read that Philip Segal was sent the design drawings for the TARDIS. I wonder where they came from? They can't have come from the Design Department because, by 1996, the department had been closed down. Also, any old design drawings had long since been destroyed even before I left the deparment in 1992 (aside from the ones I was able to save). It's possible that another fan had a copy or the designers themselves had kept hold of their drawings or copies of them. But my drawing is the original, so if that's what Segal had, it must have come from a print.



I have no idea what department of the BBC sent it to him, but he was very clear that it came direct from the BBC proper (this would have been 1995 during pre-production) and was told it was all they had. In fact he and his design team were quite stunned that this was apparently all they had for such an iconic part of BBC history. It (or they) must have been "in the archives" somewhere as they are the original Yardley-Jones prints and not the later ones done for Planet of Fire you've been so generous to share.

Wonderful stuff, regardless, and a very interesting window on the design's history.

exleo

Aug 17, 2010, 12:28 am #25 Last Edit: Aug 20, 2010, 12:24 am by exleo
The Studio floorplan is very interesting, but sorry to shatter any illusions about fourth walls, but as I read it (I've read a lot of studio plans), what is being mistaken for a fourth wall is infact the adjoining Tardis corridor set for this episode, (and what is being seen as the fourth wall) if you look, the curve of the pillars is facing outwards into the corridor and the undecorated back of the Tardis flats would have been facing into the console set. This wall would probably have been 'Wild' so that it could be removed by the scene crew during filming to allow the cameras access to the console set. If you watch various episodes with tardis corridor sets the joins are quite often a bit temporary looking and in the case of romanas bedroom in Full Circle there is a large gap between the wall and the pillar that you can just see the studio light through. Wild walls allow a tempory blocking off of one set while filming takes place on another directly infront to make the most of the studio room available, and Kings Demons had a lot of room taken by the large castle sets that would have left little room in studio :)

DoctorWho8

I talked to our good friend Purple, and he did confirm the schematics were copied from the original TYJ blueprints.  He said he wasn't sure, but he thought the the reason why they made a fresh set with intention of building another prop, like Liz mentioned, for travel.  He knows that they were intending to take a model TARDIS instead of the full prop to Lanzarote, but in the end they took the original prop.

I pointed out that when the prop was transported back to the UK, one of the doors cracked in the top corner.  This may have prompted them to revisit the prop plans with the intention of making a new prop, but perhaps due to budget and time constraints, they couldn't do it.  So instead the used the original prop and had everyone come in and out of the left sign door.  You notice this damage near the later part of the episode when the TARDIS lands on the planet where The Master is trapped in his shrunk box controlling Kamelion.  By Cavs of Androzani, the door had been fixed.

Maybe when they made the TYJ MK2 Box, they revisited these plans to make the new box for Season 23 two years later.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

hb88banzai

Aug 17, 2010, 03:22 am #27 Last Edit: Aug 17, 2010, 06:43 pm by Scarfwearer
In revisiting these old plans it brings a couple things to mind.

<snip>

Back on topic, it's interesting to see (or rather speculate) how some of the details of what became the Season 18 prop possibly came about, with reverberations right on to this day. Perhaps what amounts to a drafting ambiguity might have resulted in the the change from the more traditional flanked framing of the Top Signs to the now standard uniform outline framing of the flat expanse of Perspex. It almost looks like Yardley-Jones tried to hint at the underlying construction for the sign boxes in the outline of the signs (perhaps also to emphasize them on the elevation plan), even though clearly showing that there was a second outline around the words. I think it quite possible that when it came time to actually construct the boxes that the builders misinterpreted all this and just went with a monolithic sheet of Perspex (or Cobex, whatever kind of plastic that is) for the front surface and then covered the join line with a frame as suggested in the plans, possibly even starting to glue on a second frame around the words before Yardley-Jones caught site of it, by which time it was too late to do anything about it considering the time constraints of the build. Stranger things have happened.

It's also interesting to see that during construction the walls were brought out from the designed approx. 2" inset from the surface of the pillars (and 1" in from the inner edge of the pillar corner moulding detail) to only a little in from the moulding detail, resulting in the addition of a step to the roof line at the level of the tops of the main part of the pillars. This seems just about as likely to be a result of the discovery of the need for reinforcing the attachment points of the rather flimsy fiberglass walls to the pillars as it is due to any conscious design decision. Again, with no time to correct the structural problems in a different way. End result is we get a shallower TARDIS with wonky Top Signs right on through to today (Hudolin aside). Sigh.

All in all, Yardley-Jones' original plans seem a bit closer to the stated intent of evoking the Hartnell box (and by extension original Police Boxes) than the eventual result.

EDIT: I removed an off topic comment which triggered many off-topic followups... apologies, Crispin

Teletran

I just noticed that the fourth wall of the console room is probably, not the fourth wall of the console room!

If you look at the angle of the columns it sugests that those walls are part of an external corridor and not part of the console room itself. Pity.
(http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/1360/omni02g.jpg)

mordrogyn

Quote from: Teletran on Aug 18, 2010, 02:57 pm
I just noticed that the fourth wall of the console room is probably, not the fourth wall of the console room!

If you look at the angle of the columns it sugests that those walls are part of an external corridor and not part of the console room itself. Pity.


Well. yes.... but why would they have a wall finished on a side they never film?
And should they need it I am sure it could simply have been reversed, so to that end it still gives an idea of the shape of of the console room, or at least 1 configuration of it.
(http://i50.tinypic.com/20kan9v.jpg)