Mar 01, 2021, 10:18 am


New, New TardisBuilders!

Pilot Episode Console

Started by moomin, Sep 17, 2009, 04:22 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


Sep 17, 2009, 04:22 pm Last Edit: Feb 09, 2010, 08:05 pm by Scarfwearer
Some images of the pilot episode console  -  which can be identified in part by the console layout & controls -
transparent switches / levers and Susan's Silver tabard.

Image6-1.jpg 01x00-ThePilot01.jpg 01x00-ThePilot02.jpg Image3-3.jpg

Image2-2.jpg Image4-2.jpg 01x00-ThePilot04.jpg tardis-pilot-console-room.gif01x00-ThePilot03.jpg


I did find a few of these pics on TR2 & TBF.
Apologies if and where applicable (!)



Sep 18, 2009, 02:44 am #1 Last Edit: Jan 26, 2010, 10:12 am by scarfwearer
You missed one where Hartnell breaks off the middle switch of the row of 5 clear ones.  His hand comes down right at the beginning of the takeoff sequence and hits the switch in the process.
Bill Rudloff

type 83

Woo. Thanks
I'm undecided as to whether it's better or worse but I guess I'm just used to the normal one.

Wish they were a bit bigger.


Quote from: type 83 on Aug 25, 2010, 07:29 pm
Woo. Thanks
I'm undecided as to whether it's better or worse but I guess I'm just used to the normal one.

Wish they were a bit bigger.

The Normal one?  Watch it,  we old timers grew up on the original us that IS the normal one.
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!"

type 83

Quote from: karsthotep on Aug 25, 2010, 08:25 pm
Quote from: type 83 on Aug 25, 2010, 07:29 pm
Woo. Thanks
I'm undecided as to whether it's better or worse but I guess I'm just used to the normal one.

Wish they were a bit bigger.

The Normal one?  Watch it,  we old timers grew up on the original us that IS the normal one.

I meant the normal Hartnell console.


Is there a layout plan for the Pilot controls?
TrixieTiger1995, the infrequent builder and frequent forumer.

Cardinal Hordriss

I only noticed recently in another thread just how much that panel in the promo pic changed. I wonder why...
I speak to you from the final days of Gallifrey. I am the past you have forgotten. You are the future I will not live to see...


Apr 18, 2017, 05:39 am #7 Last Edit: Apr 18, 2017, 05:55 am by galacticprobe
Hazarding a guess and going by other pilots, those extra details are kept to a minimum. After all, with a pilot you're only trying to sell the studio or network on the idea of a series. You don't want to pour any more money into something that you're not sure is going to sell. Once you get the green light, then you refine your props and set details.

When 'Star Trek' went before the network back in 1964, look at how sparse the Enterprise bridge was with its detail: monochrome, only two ways down to the lower level - one behind the captain's chair and one in front of the main viewer. Even the captain's chair didn't have the raised platform under it; it sat on the same platform as the helm; its armrest controls were also minimal. Each station's control panels has minimal lights, with most being recycled aircraft indicator buttons (many of the rectangular kind that are found on the "Five Doctors" console). The main viewer was very bland with nothing around it but blank walls. No "Red Alert" light near the lift. Even the costumes look thrown together; in some shots the breast badge on some crewmen is almost sideways. The sleeve stripes were ordinary gold, ribbed ribbon (which you can still find in fabric stores) and everyone had only one stripe, even the captain. And the helm console, raised on a higher pedestal, doubled for the transporter console.

When the second pilot was ordered, since the set was already built, they added more detail: the red-orange paint to the railing, helm console, and lift door, as well as the trim around the consoles' edges and the overhead rim. The lift alcove got its "Red Alert" light. The Main Viewer got some blinking lights above it. The uniforms got proper breast patches that were properly sewn on, and while they used the same ribbon for the sleeve stripes, the captain got a second stripe. The captain's chair, while its controls were still minimal, got its raised platform. Two more sets of steps to the lower lever were also added. The overhead monitors were even altered to be bright and colorful. But the helm still doubled for the transporter console.

Once the series got the green light we saw the extra details that went into the bridge: the new main viewer with all of the little control panels around it, and its blinking chase lights. The overhead monitors got a brighter background panel. Under the consoles they installed vents with colored lights inside, and the overhead above the consoles got colored light panels. The helm panel got some extra black trim and the captain's chair got more controls added. Even the uniforms got more, and fancier stripes added to the sleeves. And the transporter console was a new build.

At least in the US, the producer hoping to sell his pilot is responsible for finding funding for building sets and props. Once the green light goes, then the studio starts putting money into the production which allows the producer to add all of the nice "bells and whistles" that he had to leave out in the pilot.

As Tony's research has shown, the original Brachacki TARDIS set cost 4,000 GBP, which was the cost of a decent house back in 1963. That was a lot of money to throw into a pilot, so they may have held back a little on the console's details seeing as to how it wasn't the main focus for that pilot. Once the series got its green light, then they would have gotten more funding and the refinements came and more detail was added, knowing that now the console would be playing a central part in the series as the actors would be spending more time around it as the Doctor tried piloting his TARDIS.

This was a bit long-winded, I know, but I hope it explains a little of why the pilot console was so different from the production console.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


I wonder if Tony will create a pilot version of the controls, as I want to recreate it.
TrixieTiger1995, the infrequent builder and frequent forumer.

tony farrell

Apr 18, 2017, 04:56 pm #9 Last Edit: Apr 18, 2017, 05:00 pm by Tony Farrell
Well, you've already got the basic construction and the central column (all you need to do with that is remove the black triangles). As regards the control panels, it wasn't on-screen long enough to see more than a couple of them. So, unfortunately, there isn't enough information available (though fairly obviously, a great many of the controls, lamps, etc were simply moved around between the pilot and transmitted first episode - the other major change being a repaint when the Console was changed from silver-grey to pale green).

This rather beautifully cleaned-up picture might help with one of the panels but, beyond that, I'm afraid your guess is as good as mine:

Photo 18-04-2017, 01 23 29.jpg

The picture is very large and is therefore best viewed in a separate tab with the 'magnifying glass'!



Apr 19, 2017, 05:18 am #10 Last Edit: Apr 19, 2017, 05:18 am by galacticprobe
One thing I noticed on that panel, where Susan has her hands it looks like there are two of the Secondary Levers side by side. (Her hand is hiding one of the lever's housings, but you can clearly see two red(?) knobs sticking up.) Those two small levers would give way for the larger Primary Lever on the production console. And those two (presumably corrugated) rubber strips on either side of those two levers would give way to make room for the two Symbolic Indicators on the production console.

I'm thinking the best way of getting a look at what's visible for controls on the pilot console would be to watch the pilot on "The Beginnings" DVD Box Set, and use that PAUSE button so you can make a sketch of what panels and controls you can see. As Tony says, that console really doesn't have much screen time in the pilot.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Rassilons Rod

Quote from: galacticprobe on Apr 19, 2017, 05:18 am
One thing I noticed on that panel, where Susan has her hands it looks like there are two of the Secondary Levers side by side.

Actually mate, I think it's one with two levers jammed in....
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.


Apr 19, 2017, 06:51 am #12 Last Edit: Apr 19, 2017, 06:52 am by galacticprobe
I just took another look at it and I think you're right about there being only one lever housing... but the placement of the second lever looks off. One is certainly in the housing. The other? Seeing as this looks like a publicity photo, I'm starting to wonder if that other oddly-placed lever is just a loose one that Susan is holding in her hand, and it's next to the housing, and not attached to the console at all.

(This is when a nice screen grab of that panel would come in handy.)

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


When is a pilot not a pilot.....
Just going back to Dino's earlier post (yesterday) where he gave us the background to the changes that took effect during the various Pilot episodes of Star Trek to the Bridge Set....
Back in 1963, "the Pilot" episode of "An Unearthly Child" was actually, simply, An Unearthly Child. Or to put it another way, episode one of their new serial, Doctor Who.
The BBC didn't at that time follow the pattern of filming a pilot and then refine it once a programme was commissioned. They simply commissioned shows, filmed them, and scheduled them for screening.
An Unearthly Child was always going to be the first episode, and theres a long and well documented history surrounding this - seek out the Virgin Books "Doctor Who: The Handbook: The First Doctor" for an exhaustive look at the creation of Dr Who.
The Console Room set itself (including the console) was hugely expensive, and the budgets were only ever signed off on its creation because Verity Lambert worked out that rather than look at it as a one off up front spend (which would never have been signed off) that she would spread the cost in equal amounts across the first years worth of stories, and therefore bringing the show in on its meagre weekly budget.
(Interestingly it also nullifies the populist belief that the show was only supposed to run for 14 weeks - it was commissioned to run for a full year - seek the book out, its bloody brilliant!)
So back to An Unearthly Child. With a vested interest in the programme, Sidney Newman (Head of Drama and one of the team who created the show) was unhappy with various elements in the show, and ordered the first episode be re-shot. To be fair, the first episode is very ropey in places, but any other show and one where he wasn't so involved would have simply been scheduled and aired. 
The episode was only referred to as The Pilot in the 1980's, by fans who need such labels, but as such, its a complete misnomer. The show had already been commissioned. There was no pilot episode as such.
Isn't history wonderful.
An Unearthly Child: Version One. An Uneartly Child: Unbroadcast Version. But the pilot? No. Brit TV didn't do pilots at that point.


Mark D

(Next week, Mark will be getting on his soap box and moaning about how the phrase Theme Song has crept into common usage, when the correct terminology is "Signature Tune, and why do "Lifestyle Programmes| insist on referring to each show as an episode? Its not a drama! Its an "edition" -  please, dear god no. I'll get my coat!)

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.