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Console panel descriptions?

Started by 12thdoctor, Sep 07, 2010, 11:42 pm

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12thdoctor

Sep 07, 2010, 11:42 pm Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 08:45 am by Scarfwearer
Anyone know if there's a diagram or description out there of what function each panel on the console performs?

exleo


Scarfwearer

There have been many versions of the TARDIS console over the years, and generally the actors have flicked switches and pulled levers seemingly at random to pilot the TARDIS.
The Doctor Who Technical Manual has some suggestions for what the controls on the later Baker era/eraly Davison era console may have done, but these are essentially fictional: I didn't see any evidence that either actor had read the same manual! Presumably the feeling was when making the show that the TARDIS was supposed to be incomprehensible, and that tying the actors and directors down to particular functions would simply get in the way of telling the story.

Crispin

starcross

I'm fairly confident that Matt Smith had a Tardis flight control diagram while he was learning to pilot the Tardis. Evidence is one of the early Series 5 Confidentials where it literally shows him with labeled diagram in hand. I do believe he remarks that "they even marked what everything is supposed to do!".

I'm afraid I have no screenshots to back this up, but it shouldn't be too hard to turn up. It's likely the first or second episode of confidential.

Cheers,

~Starcross

galacticprobe

Sep 08, 2010, 06:30 am #4 Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 06:31 am by galacticprobe
I seem to remember one of the early Doctor Who Weekly mags (I want to say it #10, but don't quote me on that - I do remember it had William Hartnell on the cover, almost full length in profile and holding a hand fan), and that issue concentrated on the Hartnell/Troughton console. The article went panel by panel, control by control, explaining what each light, switch, lever, etc. did. According to them, they based their findings on watching every available episode of Hartnell and Troughton, and said that both actors seemed to use the same controls for the same purpose.

Occasionally, when a control coincided with the Pertwee era (before the console's big revamp) they explained what Pertwee's Doctor used it for, such as the Emergency Switch that helped Jo get him out of the vortex after Kronos had "swallowed him up" as Jo put it. Most of those controls and their functions changed once Pertwee's Doctor started messing about with the console trying to get the TARDIS working again, which is probably why in "The Three Doctors" he was using those three small levers to try dematerializing the TARDIS, rather than the one big black knobbed lever that was in the middle of the panel with the five small levers near the top and the three lights down each side, which according to the article, is what Hartnell and Troughton used almost exclusively as the demat lever. (I think there is a clear scene at the beginning of "The Daleks" where Hartnell uses that lever to demat the TARDIS before the sabotaged fluid link causes a breakdown.)

Those are, I think, the only consistent explanations of the controls until the Matt Smith console came along. From Pertwee to McCoy's last TV episode I think every Doctor operated a different control to do the same thing, the exception being the large red knobbed lever that became the door control until the Season 20 "The Five Doctors" console came along, and from there forget about it! So many buttons and switches, who could tell which did what?

I'm not overly fond of the Matt Smith console (yet, if ever), but at least it has diagrams detailing some of the multitude of controls on it. (One that has me curious... just what in the blazes does the Quantum Foam Manipulator do? I mean, it obviously manipulates "quantum foam", but what the heck is quantum foam?!)

And speaking of controls, I watched some of BBC America's "Torchwood" mini marathon today, and in the second episode (the one with the orgasmic-seeking gas that possesses the girl), when the girl is trying to escape from the Hub, while she and Jack are dancing on opposite sides of the table, I noticed what would eventually become the "Atom Accelerator" from the Matt Smith console sitting on the table:

21TC2010.jpg

Did anyone else notice this?

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

rocket

Quote from: starcross on Sep 08, 2010, 01:37 am
I'm fairly confident that Matt Smith had a Tardis flight control diagram while he was learning to pilot the Tardis. Evidence is one of the early Series 5 Confidentials where it literally shows him with labeled diagram in hand. I do believe he remarks that "they even marked what everything is supposed to do!".

I'm afraid I have no screenshots to back this up, but it shouldn't be too hard to turn up. It's likely the first or second episode of confidential.

Cheers,

~Starcross


It's the first episode, I watched it online today after reading your post.  ;)
Farewell Sarah Jane, you will be missed.

chriskingbees

Quote: "What the heck is quantum foam?"

Easy, it's the bubbles you get from a Tardis bubble bath  ::)

KB

Scarfwearer

Sep 08, 2010, 11:36 am #7 Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 11:39 am by Scarfwearer
Quote from: chriskingbees on Sep 08, 2010, 09:53 am
Quote: "What the heck is quantum foam?"

Easy, it's the bubbles you get from a Tardis bubble bath  ::)

KB


LOL! The term for this is "technobabble", or perhaps in this case "technobubble"...

I'll get my coat....

Crispin

P.S. Having said that, there is a real physics concept of quantum foam - google it!

the doctor who2

Sep 08, 2010, 03:51 pm #8 Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 03:54 pm by the doctor who2
Quote from: galacticprobe on Sep 08, 2010, 06:30 am
I seem to remember one of the early Doctor Who Weekly mags (I want to say it #10, but don't quote me on that - I do remember it had William Hartnell on the cover, almost full length in profile and holding a hand fan), and that issue concentrated on the Hartnell/Troughton console. The article went panel by panel, control by control, explaining what each light, switch, lever, etc. did. According to them, they based their findings on watching every available episode of Hartnell and Troughton, and said that both actors seemed to use the same controls for the same purpose.


If it had William Hartnell on the cover that would have been issue 15, which had the 'Inside the TARDIS' feature inside it. i have found an article from one of the Doctor Who Mags on the internet I'm not entirely sure if it is from issue 15 or a later one, but it lists all the buttons and switches, what they do and where they are on the console for the Hartnell/Troughton era. i really can't remember which site it was on (i was just having a look around for reference material and came across them) but i did save the images to my computer, if u would like me to upload them i can do.

Also if your interested in the Matt Smith TARDIS console i have a copy of the new TARDIS Handbook which has photos of all six panels with notes on what each component is for, but not to any sort of detail unfortunately. Again i can scan them in if your interested.  :)
"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

exleo

Quote from: galacticprobe on Sep 08, 2010, 06:30 am


And speaking of controls, I watched some of BBC America's "Torchwood" mini marathon today, and in the second episode (the one with the orgasmic-seeking gas that possesses the girl), when the girl is trying to escape from the Hub, while she and Jack are dancing on opposite sides of the table, I noticed what would eventually become the "Atom Accelerator" from the Matt Smith console sitting on the table:

21TC2010.jpg

Did anyone else notice this?

Dino.


OOOOOH well spotted Dino ;D

cap031.jpg

type 83

Sep 08, 2010, 07:15 pm #10 Last Edit: Sep 30, 2010, 12:10 pm by Scarfwearer
Quote from: the doctor who2 on Sep 08, 2010, 03:51 pm
Quote from: galacticprobe on Sep 08, 2010, 06:30 am
I seem to remember one of the early Doctor Who Weekly mags (I want to say it #10, but don't quote me on that - I do remember it had William Hartnell on the cover, almost full length in profile and holding a hand fan), and that issue concentrated on the Hartnell/Troughton console. The article went panel by panel, control by control, explaining what each light, switch, lever, etc. did. According to them, they based their findings on watching every available episode of Hartnell and Troughton, and said that both actors seemed to use the same controls for the same purpose.


If it had William Hartnell on the cover that would have been issue 15, which had the 'Inside the TARDIS' feature inside it. i have found an article from one of the Doctor Who Mags on the internet I'm not entirely sure if it is from issue 15 or a later one, but it lists all the buttons and switches, what they do and where they are on the console for the Hartnell/Troughton era. i really can't remember which site it was on (i was just having a look around for reference material and came across them) but i did save the images to my computer, if u would like me to upload them i can do.



Please upload them, in that console's reference section.


chriskingbees

Sep 08, 2010, 08:24 pm #11 Last Edit: Sep 08, 2010, 10:14 pm by Scarfwearer
Quote from: Scarfwearer on Sep 08, 2010, 11:36 am
Quote from: chriskingbees on Sep 08, 2010, 09:53 am
Quote: "What the heck is quantum foam?"

Easy, it's the bubbles you get from a Tardis bubble bath  ::)

KB


LOL! The term for this is "technobabble", or perhaps in this case "technobubble"...

I'll get my coat....
Crispin


Better get mine while you're there, Crispin

KB

celation

When I started building my Hartnell era console, I did - for a while - start going through the episodes in order to work out exactly what was used for what. Needless to say, it didn't last too long.

From what I did find out, Hartnell was fairly consistent. He often seemed to use the single big grey lever for dematerialising, and the two big ones for materialising. (Troughton also seemed to pick up on this - it's nice to think that maybe Hartnell briefed him on the controls during the hand-over...  :) ) Sometimes he'd work his way around the console flicking pretty much everything to kick it into action, including the metal panel with the flashing lights, which DWM once referred to as the flight computer, which would make sense.

I got the chance to ask Peter Purves about this (who knows what he must have thought - he must be used to such questions by now, as he was very pleasant) but he refuted the idea that Hartnell would have chosen particular controls for particular functions. He felt that it wouldn't have been possible to favour certain controls during a studio situation.

The door switch seems to be the most inconsistent, though he often seemed to use one of the five red/yellows above the dematerialising control. "Number four switch" I think he says to Barbara in The Rescue (though she doesn't seem to hit the fourth one). He also uses one of these in Tenth Planet 1, as I remember.

Incidentally, as Troughton flicks four of these switches in order in Web of Fear, he names various functions: gravity; power; control; flight. I think this may have been mentioned in DWM previously as being the power switches.

I've mentioned in another thread that I've worked out what most of the meters read. In order, starting with the RADIATION meter from The Daleks, they continue: TEMPERATURE (a guess this one); PRESSURE; WATER VAPOUR and OXYGEN.

Another interesting factoid is that in Tenth Planet 4, Hartnell places his hands on the two red lenses either side of the Demat control - seemingly to trigger the regeneration. In Planet of the Daleks, Pertwee does something very similar with the "telepathic circuits". (which are of course indicated in Sensorites as showing that the ship is still moving even though they have landed.

Anyway - I could go on... (and have)  ;)

C.



DoctorWho8

I've always though the controls on the consoles pre-5 Doctors were multifunction.  You hit a switch in one area, and the controls on that panel would provide a different function.  So that would mean a limited number of controls could have different function applied to them depending on what switch or set of switches were engaged.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

galacticprobe

Sep 09, 2010, 12:52 am #14 Last Edit: Sep 09, 2010, 12:56 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: celation on Sep 08, 2010, 11:23 pm

I got the chance to ask Peter Purves about this (who knows what he must have thought - he must be used to such questions by now, as he was very pleasant) but he refuted the idea that Hartnell would have chosen particular controls for particular functions. He felt that it wouldn't have been possible to favour certain controls during a studio situation.
C.



Not to argue with what Peter Purves said, as he did star in several Hartnell stories, but I've seen other places where it was said that Hartnell used the same controls consistently for the same function. I also saw a televised interview with Verity Lambert back in the late '80s during one of the local PBS pledge drives. She told of how serious William Hartnell had taken the role. During one episode rehearsal, the director indicated that after a line was spoken, the Doctor walked to the console and flipped a switch, which the director indicated. Lambert said that Hartnell shouted at the director "No! You can't do that with that switch!" and proceeded to not only tell what horrible event would befall the TARDIS, but he then went into a long explanation of what each control on the console was for, and how they interacted with each other.

If only someone had a tape recorder going; that would be great to listen to. (Too bad camcorders were almost two decades away at the time.)

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