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De-mat Levers?

Started by The14thDr, Aug 31, 2014, 01:40 pm

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So as the description would suggest, I'm looking for photos of all the demat levers that have ever appeared on a TARDIS console throughout Doctor Who's history. This also includes the Master's and the Rani's consoles, if possible.
In particular I'm looking for a good photos of the Five Doctor's demat lever and the Baker/Davison demat lever.

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Was there actually a demat lever on the Five Doctors console?  The only real level I recall was the one for opening and closing the internal doors.


Sep 01, 2014, 04:50 am #2 Last Edit: Sep 01, 2014, 08:50 am by galacticprobe
Well, this is a tricky one (in some instances), but here goes (and I'll also get to Kingpin's question while I'm at it):

"The original, you might say!"
In 1963 with the first TARDIS console designed by Peter Brachacki, levers abounded! William Hartnell as the 1st Doctor took it upon himself to get very familiar with the console (as sufficiently portrayed by David Bradley in "An Adventure In Space And Time", in that scene concerning 'Hartnell' correcting the director about 'the door switch' being on the wrong side of the console from the Doctor). The Demat Lever on that console was on the panel circled in yellow above...
...and here it is (highlighted by the yellow arrow) in a rare color publicity photo of Hartnell at the console. Interesting to note that on this console there were three such levers, but only this one had the red center disc. Both Hartnell and Troughton used this lever as the dedicated Dematerialisation Lever; they both also used the other two as the two-stage Materialisation Levers.

Moving ahead into the early 1970s with the 3rd Doctor, Jon Pertwee, we have the Doctor tinkering so much with the Console that bits and pieces get replaced almost within the same story. This could also have to do with the fact that Brachacki's original console had taken so much of a beating by this time that it needed a bit of refurbishing. And while I couldn't find a good image of Pertwee's (first refurbished?) console, I did find a model that someone made with some very exacting detail:
(If anyone recognizes this console model, please let me know so the builder can get the proper credit.)
The red arrows pointing to those three little levers (like the smaller levers above the Hartnell Demat Lever) are what Pertwee used (at least in "The Three Doctors", the 10th Anniversary Story) as the Demat Levers (yes, plural; he pulled all three at once).
Here is another view of the Pertwee levers. One might surmise that it was the 3rd Doctor's constant tinkering and rewiring the console in an attempt to escape his exile on Earth as the blame for the Demat Lever changing. It's interesting to note that throughout Pertwee's 5-year run as the Doctor, he rarely used the same control(s) as the Demat Lever twice. It's also interesting to note that during this time the two "Materialisation Levers" went by the wayside.

Moving forward in time once again to the later 1970s, with Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor we eventually saw a totally overhauled console:
This is the best shot of the late '70s Tom Baker console: a rare overhead shot taken during a rehearsal. Like Pertwee before him, Tom Baker rarely used the same control to Dematerialise the TARDIS throughout his 7-year run. (Pretty much, for these two consoles and Doctors, pick a button of lever, or series thereof, and you can take-off if you get the combination right! ;))

NOTE: I'm missing out the Season 14 little wooden console as that one has no levers, only buttons, and we never got a close-up of Tom Baker's hands as he Dematerialised the TARDIS: only once or twice did we get close-ups, and those were just him powering up the console, or lights, and he just pressed one button.

Further ahead into the early 1980s we saw the "Tom Baker" console get more refurbishing when Peter Davison took over as the 5th Doctor:
Here's one half of the console...
...and from what we could ever get to see of the other half. There are loads more photos of this console here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=1105.0. Note on these latest renditions of the console (Pertwee, and especially through to and including Davison) the panels moved around the console (http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=2489.0). Like his two predecessors, Davison used different controls - or combinations thereof - to initiate Dematerialisation. (Sometimes Materialisation took place on its own, without the Doctor's intervention. Even during the time Romana (I and II) was with the Doctor and she operated the console, in spite of having read through the ridiculously thick Manual (which I wish someone would recreate from the actual studio prop!), she also never used the same controls each time. The only consistent control used for anything (and by anyone in the TARDIS) was the large lever with the red ball knob on it to open and close the main doors.

Now, advancing that Helmic Regulator so it takes us into the later 1980s, with "The Five Doctors" 20th Anniversary special, we saw a totally new, redesigned console:
(Screen grab from "The Five Doctors" with Turlough and the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan, at the console.)
The panel that directly faced the main doors (the first panel you saw upon entering the TARDIS) had both the Door Lever and the Dematerialisation "Slider" on it. Here's a nice shot of that panel (with some of the console's internal framework behind) cropped from its assembly I believe for the Doctor Who Experience:
The RED arrow is pointing to that Main Door Lever (and that should answer Kingpin's question about levers on this console, and I believe this was the only lever on it). The BLUE hockey puck-looking thing is the "slider" control that the 5th Doctor uses to Dematerialise the TARDIS near the end of "The Five Doctors". This console was used from "The Five Doctors" through to the end of the Classic Series' TV episodes, and it's very difficult to say if Davison, Colin Baker (the 6th Doctor) or Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor) used this "slider" as the Dematerialisation control, at least in the same consistent fashion as Hartnell and Troughton did with their Demat Lever.

Jumping ahead to 1996 and the 'Doctor Who Series Revival Pilot Movie' (a.k.a. The TVM), we were once again greeted with a magnificent new design for the console:
(The best overhead screen cap I have of this beauty, but if you want to see more of this lovely in seriously gory detail, then please check out the Article, http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=3413.msg37434#msg37434, for gobs and gobs of intimate images of the actual screen-used prop as she's restored to her better-than-TV glory! We know the panel directly in front of us in this photo is where the "coordinates" are dialed up, and it also has the Brake to bring the TARDIS to a screeching halt when things go horribly wrong. All throughout this Telemovie, I don't think we'd ever actually seen the 8th Doctor use a specific control to dematerialise the TARDIS. And since this telemovie was a one-off, for this one we would have to rely on "semi" reliable sources like the Telemovie's novelization, and unreliable sources such as comics, role-playing guides, etc. (Me, personally, when one considers just how much power should have to run through the Demat Lever, I would think it was a large lever as on the Hartnell console - in this case what most people call the "Scanner Lever": the side-to-side lever with the four big rectangular lights above and below it, and it has that large detailed knob on it, which we now know was made from an actual "red bronze" doorknob; but that's just me. As I said, I don't think we ever got to see the Doctor actually use any of the controls for Demat purposes.)

Jumping ahead again, way into the future, we come to the New Series in 2005 with a console that pretty much blew everyone away:
This console lasted for the 9th and 10th Doctors' runs. And while it underwent some alterations between the 9th and 10th Doctors, the console stayed pretty much the same, and both Doctors used this lever for both Dematerialisation and Materialisation (depending on which position the lever was in - the 10th Doctor was great at exaggerating that):
The Lever's right side - the side we almost never got to see on screen;
a nice 'head-on' shot, again something we rarely if ever saw on screen;
and the most commonly used angle of the Lever for us viewers. This one we've figured out is/was a boat throttle, although I'm not quite sure that we've ever figured out exactly what model of throttle it is.

Now after the 10th Doctor's explosive regeneration and the TARDIS rebuilding herself in "The Eleventh Hour", we were once again stunned with a completely redesigned console and room:
seen here in "most" of her glory - I had to crop the image or it would have filled everything. Of course I could always post that images if people want, but I think we've got enough of those in the http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?board=102.0 Reference Section. Anyway, after some conjecture concerning the re-tipped levers on the "Fabrication Panel" (ones labeled "Materialise/Dematerialise Fabrication") it was decided that, after watching the episodes these were only for materialising (and dematerialising - "recycling"?) items needed, such as the torches/flashlights that drop out of the dispensing tray below the Fabrication Panel, or possibly a new sonic screwdriver. As seen throughout the 11th Doctor's use of this console, this is what appears to be the Dematerialisation/Materialisation Lever:
first, a close-up of the Panel, or rib/framework it sits on (and since those red knobbie thingies in the center of this panel are labeled as the "Steering Mechanism", it only follows suit that this large lever with the yellow lights on it is the Mat/Demat Lever;
a full-on side view of the Mat/Demat Lever. The Doctor, and River Song used this lever for the purpose. Even the TARDIS, herself, used this lever to initiate Dematerialisation in the final scene of "The Doctor's Wife". (Note: At some point those two handles were joined by a bit of metal tubing to make them "one" lever.)
One final look at this Mat/Demat Lever with an extreme close-up of the writing on the side. This is another boat throttle from an Italian maker, or at the very least used on an Italian boat/ship as evidenced by the Italian words embossed on its side; and for the curious, even though this is posted elsewhere but so no one has to dig for it - including myself - "AVANTI"=AHEAD; "FOLLE" (usually as "In Folle")=NEUTRAL (or "In Neutral", a.k.a. STOP); "INDIETRO"=BEHIND (a.k.a. ASTERN). (NOTE: "Folle" has several meanings, mostly having to do with "crazy", "insane", "mad", "madman/madwoman" when used alone, which is why it is usually accompanied by "In"; however, when you think about the 11th Doctor saying that he was a "madman with a box", it makes one wonder if this was intentional - knowing the script beforehand - or one of those serendipitous happenstances... I'm for the latter!)

Moving forward in time once again to 2013, and after a hundred or so years of sulking, the 11th Doctor treated us to yet another totally redesigned console and room:
"Ooh, you've redecorated. I don't like it." -10th Doctor ("The Day of the Doctor")
On this console we have a custom-made Dematerialisation/Materialisation Lever:
This baby (highlighted in the yellow circle) is a custom job: no off-the-peg/off-the-shelf throttle this time. Like the Hartnell lever before it over 50 years ago, this one was built for the purpose. (Yeah; you're not going to find one of these on eBay or in any second-hand/antique shop. If you want one, you'll have to build it.) The 11th Doctor used this for that purpose for all of Series 7b.

And aside from a little "minor" color redecorating, the 12th Doctor is still using the same console and console room, and he seems to be using the same lever to initiate TARDIS Dematerialisation/Materialisation. And that brings us up to date in 2014.

<Gasp! Pant! Heave!>

I hope that had answered this small-yet-still enormous question about the Doctor's Dematerialisation Lever from 23rd November 1963 until, well, last Saturday!

As for the Master's TARDIS, well, in the Classic Series, his TARDIS console looked very much like the Doctor's, with some changes to the Central Column and its innards (at least during the Roger Delgado's Master days). And like the 3rd Doctor he constantly confounded, I don't remember him ever using the same control twice to Dematerialise his TARDIS. Then again, we very rarely got to see the inside of his TARDIS. ("The Time Monster" is the only story I can think of where we got to see the Master's console room, so there was very limited time spent with him working the controls, and thus little material to study to see how he operated his TARDIS. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, please.)
The Master's TARDIS console (and room) from "The Time Monster".

With Mr. Delgado's untimely passing, the next time we see the Master is in the 4th Doctor story "The Deadly Assassin" (really, as if there is any other kind of assassin ;)). There he's basically a husk of a body with a skeletal face (played by Peter Pratt in really heavy make-up and rubber mask). All we get to see at the end is the outside of his TARDIS (looking like a grandfather clock as he dematerialises it); we never get to see the inside.

The next time we see inside the Master's TARDIS is in the next-to-last 4th Doctor story, "The Keeper of Traken". In this one the Master is played by Geoffrey Beevers, and he's still rather, well, charred-looking, though his make-up didn't include a mask and we could see his blackened face. (Apparently he'd gotten some rejuvenation from energy he released from the Eye of Harmony near the end of "Deadly Assassin".) This time we do get to see the inside of his TARDIS, only it looks more like the control panel of a one-man spaceship, and we can barely see much of it because it's so dark inside, and the Master is the main focus.
Inside the Geoffrey Beevers "Master" TARDIS; see the simple controls behind him. It's all we got, and he never dematerialised that TARDIS once during the story.

This time the Doctor's hand-to-hand battle destroys the Master's TARDIS in flames, and as the story ends we learn that the Master had another TARDIS hiding away (or, maybe, his TARDIS repaired itself like the Doctor's did in "The Eleventh Hour"). In either case, a working TARDIS awaited him as he stole the body of Nyssa's father (no, not me; the other Nyssa - of Traken's - father). Again the TARDIS looked like a grandfather clock, but we never got to see inside that one.

Now in his stolen body (played to the end of the Classic Series by the late Anthony Ainley) the Master's TARDIS appears - in various guises - throughout the 5th Doctor's run, but the only time we get a really good look at the inside of it is in "Planet of Fire", where the console room looks exactly like the Doctor's, only with black walls and floor, but with lighted roundels. The console is also identical to the Doctors, so presumable his "slider" also is the Dematerialisation control. (His door control is the same, so why not the Demat Slider?) And this is the last time we see the inside of the Master's TARDIS.
The Master's Console Room from "Planet of Fire": his console is identical to the Doctor's, with a little black trim added to the rim and the hexagons on the plinth. Notice him operating the same lever for the Main Door Control.

The rest of the Masters (Gordon Tipple/Eric Roberts in The TVM, Sir Derek Jacobi/John Sim in "Utopia/The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Timelords", "The End of Time Parts 1 & 2" never had a TARDIS.)

On to The Rani... Not much to go by here. We only really see a proper console room in "The Mark of the Rani", and that console - while it seemed to impress the 6th Doctor - had very sparse controls. Most of the operation of that console looked like it was done by her waving her hands over the control surfaces rather than moving sliders or pressing buttons.
The Rani's console from "Mark of the Rani": no real levers, only things that look like 'touch-pads' and various bumpy things (and large speakers). We never get to see her operate the controls much, so it's very difficult to say which pad does what. More on that console here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=2282.

In her last Series appearance, "Time And The Rani", the only glimpse of her TARDIS interior we get is near the very end:
I think she was in the TARDIS briefly earlier on in the episode, but we didn't get to see much more (just no Tetraps hanging about). So no console to see, and no idea what her Demat control looked like.

Fast-forward to 1993 and the 'awful-but-a-nice-effort' 30th Anniversary Children In Need Special "Dimensions In Time", we see the inside of the Rani's TARDIS. This time it's lit with red lights, and has a black "Five Doctors" console:
I know this isn't the best image of the console, and judging from the lack of actual controls on it I'm guessing this was the rehearsal console that's been redressed. (Again someone correct me if I'm wrong.) This time her TARDIS is already in flight, and she's only controlling it, not trying to materialise it, so we never get to see her try to dematerialise it. So I guess this puts the Rani's console's Demat control in limbo until someone, somewhere, comes across some definitive drawings that show what the Demat control is, and for which console (since she's used at least two versions).

<again... le gasp, le pant, le heave! :P>

I'm pretty much tapped out for this one at the moment. (I've been here for hours putting this one together.) I'd like to hit the rest of the Forum quickly before I collapse (and I'd like to get some sleep).

I hope this just about covers all of the questions regarding the Doctor's, the Master's, and the Rani's Demat stuff.

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


You can't decide? I'd say "thanks" to Dino first! :p

Wow Dino, what a post.  You sir, are too kind. Maybe we can turn this one into an article instead :)


Sep 01, 2014, 09:05 am #4 Last Edit: Sep 01, 2014, 09:06 am by galacticprobe
Yes, please?! (But I'll ask one of the Mods to "article-ize" this for me. It's 5 AM where I am, and I've been at that reply since midnight! I am so knackered you might not see me on the Forum tomorrow - erm - make that later tonight! I'm about to literally pass out into the bed! :P :P :P :P :P) And I have a feeling that The14thDr made that post before I'd finished my creation (why do I have this urge to laugh maniacally?) and post it. So thank you, David, for telling him to (literally) "read up"! ;)

And thank you, again for the other comment! That means a lot to me.

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


Quote from: davidnagel on Sep 01, 2014, 08:52 am

Wow Dino, what a post.  You sir, are too kind. Maybe we can turn this one into an article instead :)

bravo, epic answer Dino!!  I agree, would be good to record all that info now that you've done the hard yards and put it together.  I don't know how but no doubt another mod will have done it when I wake up tmrw... :)      But, Bravo!  Starts slow clap for the forums most generous and consistent answerer...  


The Two Doctors I believe has the 2nd Doctor dematerialise using the old Tom Baker/Davison console. He struggles to push the levers upon lift off, or touch down, I cannot recall off hand.


Sorry Dino, I posted that before you finished your own post. At the moment I'm leaning towards the Pertwee lever, or maybe the 2013 lever, but the latter really depends on how much space I have on my console (each panel is only about 40cm long). Again, I apologise for the misunderstanding regarding the posts.

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Sep 03, 2014, 04:39 am #8 Last Edit: Sep 03, 2014, 07:12 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: davidnagel on Sep 01, 2014, 12:43 pm
The Two Doctors I believe has the 2nd Doctor dematerialise using the old Tom Baker/Davison console. He struggles to push the levers upon lift off, or touch down, I cannot recall off hand.

Right, David: take-off (after finding the Timelord-installed Stattenheim Remote Control in the console, and shouting into the air something about the Timelords acting as if he'd never flown solo). That console was the last rendition of the console Davison used before "The Five Doctors", and at that time the lever you mention didn't exist, at least not on that panel, or looking like it did (with no actual lever, but one of the original Hartnell-style knobs on it). That console was thrown together for the brief Troughton in-TARDIS scene, and you can really tell especially when you look at the size of the plinth, which is why I left that one out.

And on that note, I also left out the War Doctor's console because we never saw him actually dematerialize his TARDIS. But, knowing this was the predecessor of the 2005 console, and with the 11th Doctor giving the Old Girl a hand trying to stabilize herself with three Doctors from three time zones in the console room, he grabs what we know will eventually be the 2005 Demat Lever and pulls it. After the flash and everyone is in the 11th Doctor's console room (the Old Girl stabilized), we see the 11th Doctor with his hand on his Demat Lever. So for the War Doctor's console, I would guess the Demat Lever is the same as for the 2005 console.

Quote from: kiwidoc on Sep 01, 2014, 10:47 am
bravo, epic answer Dino!!  I agree, would be good to record all that info now that you've done the hard yards and put it together.  I don't know how but no doubt another mod will have done it when I wake up tmrw... :)      But, Bravo!  Starts slow clap for the forums most generous and consistent answerer...

Thanks, Glen! I sincerely try to do my best to help everyone. Since my physical condition is making it next to impossible for me to built my TARDIS (not to mention the finances until that fracking V. A. comes through with my disability - retroactive to Feb 2011 no less!), and life keeps throwing me curves that set my console build back again and again (I swear Murphy has a special thing for me!), the least I can do is help those trying to build their "Old Girls" and consoles. (I'm still picking up some great ideas from reading people's diaries, though, so when the right time comes, I'll be ready for mine.)

I doubt I'll ever be able to fill Purple's shoes (I think he knows more about all things 'Who' than even the prop-makers - or dare I say, the producers? ;)), but I will try my best to find answers for people. I've also got some great help from the likes of Bill "The Doctor" Rudloff - and my brain just went blank! I had about three other names I was going to mention, so my most humble apologies go out to those whose names just slipped out of that thing in my head that's like something you strain rice with! :-[ :P

Since this is an actual Thread in the Console Workshop section I think the info will be around as long as TARDIS Builders is (which is hopefully until at least the 100th Anniversary Special!). But once I get my full wits about me - or as near as they're likely to get - I'll poke around and see if I can figure out how to "article-ize" this one, like was done when I made the post on the TVM Console Restoration.

Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 01, 2014, 04:28 pm
Sorry Dino, I posted that before you finished your own post.

You must learn patience, young padawan.
Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 01, 2014, 04:28 pm
At the moment I'm leaning towards the Pertwee lever...

Remember, he used three of the smaller type at the same time, not just one. (Watch "The Three Doctors", streamable on Netflix if you don't have the DVD.)
Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 01, 2014, 04:28 pm
...or maybe the 2013 lever...

And I thought my console was having an identity crisis!
Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 01, 2014, 04:28 pm
...but the latter really depends on how much space I have on my console (each panel is only about 40cm long).

Yep... it's all about space available. Of course some pieces can always be scaled down some, or you can do a version known in Japanese as "Chibi": a sort of cute-yet-distorted version where normal-sized things are combined with scaled-down things:
Dalek.jpg   ChibiDalek.jpg
(i.e. Dalek,                                                      and Chibi Dalek ...still a "Dalek" - you get the idea).
Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 01, 2014, 04:28 pm
Again, I apologise for the misunderstanding regarding the posts.
Kind regards, The14thDr :D

Just remember, Padawan... patience. ;)


EDIT: I just got finished poking around to see how to turn this into an Article as davidnagel suggested, but I don't think I can since I'm not the one that started the thread, so a Moderator would definitely have to make that change. Sorry.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Quote from: galacticprobe on Sep 03, 2014, 04:39 am
Yep... it's all about space available. Of course some pieces can always be scaled down some, or you can do a version known in Japanese as "Chibi"

My last 2013-style demat lever took up an entire panel on my last console, but this time I'm having slightly larger panels, so I could do what whovian_almighty did and have the big lever as the centrepiece of the panel, with lights and stuff around it.
Also, how do you propose I scale the lever down whilst at the same time being able to fit my hand on it?

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Sep 04, 2014, 05:10 am #10 Last Edit: Sep 04, 2014, 05:36 am by galacticprobe
Well, there's no rule that says your hand must fit inside the uprights of the lever. Start by measuring your fist from index finger knuckle to pinky knuckle. (I would do this with one of those nice, still metal tape measures or old-fashioned foot-long ruler while you're grabbing hold of a broom handle to simulate your grip on the Demat Lever handle.)

Once you've got that measurement, if you have to scale down the lever that much, make the handle part so it's just as wide as your fist, or a little narrower if needed, and then adjust the rest of the Lever assembly from there. You'll still be able to get your hand to grip the lever well enough that it won't look strange.

Also, don't worry about the Lever being the centerpiece of your panel if the Lever is still a little large. Remember that huge lever the War Doctor throws as he calls out "Gallifrey Stands!" That was pretty much something like you're describing: the only thing on that panel with a few small "bits" around it (which coincidentally is just how the 2005 console appeared on some of the BBC Concept art:)
The Lever as it appears in one of the concept art sketches (cropped to show relevant bit)...

...and the panel (yellow circle) with lever in question (red arrow), and how it appeared on the War Doctor's console panel.

So using the 2013 Demat Lever on your console and having it take up the main part of the console panel could work out just fine, especially if you're leaning a bit on the "Chibi" side that I mentioned: that mix of full-size and scaled-down bits on a scaled-down completed unit.

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