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Season 14 Time Rotor?

Started by grimusaur, Dec 14, 2016, 08:44 pm

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Been thinking about a Season 14 console build for a long while, but I'd love for it to include a time rotor as (I believe) Mr. Newbery had originally intended. While I think a Brachacki time rotor would look quite at home along with the wooden console, (perhaps done in gold to keep with the wood and brass theme?) and it'd give me an excuse to build a Brachacki time rotor, I'm very curious if any known documentation exists of what Barry Newbery had in mind, or at the least speculation so I can get some concepts drawn up.


Dec 14, 2016, 11:31 pm #1 Last Edit: Dec 14, 2016, 11:36 pm by Vale
If I recall correctly the original idea was for a "navigational instrument" to rise out of the console in flight and retract back inside when the TARDIS had materialised, but not necessarily for it to rise up and down in a traditional time rotor style - the time rotor mechanisms on earlier console props were famously unreliable.

Interestingly this matches Brachacki's original concept of the time rotor rising when the TARDIS dematerialised, then rotating in place, and only retracting when the TARDIS materialised, instead of rising and falling continually.

I've never seen any concept art of this time rotor idea, but I believe the circular panel in the top of the console prop was originally intended to house an iris-style opening through which the time rotor/navigational instrument would rise would rise. One of the novels* gave this console a time rotor that "looked like a miniature orrery", which would be in keeping both with the room's style and the navigational instrument idea.

Alternatively, something like the gyroscope time rotor on the Rani's console would work quite well, in gold/brass of course. I've always thought that the Rani's console room was very evocative of the season 14 room - smallish console on a raised dais, the position of the main doors, that lighting thing over the console looking like the light over the doors, the general room layout. Wonder if that was actually her TARDIS's secondary console room.

*Not canonical of course, but what the hell.


Dec 15, 2016, 06:59 am #2 Last Edit: Dec 15, 2016, 07:20 am by galacticprobe
Somewhere in the http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?board=54.0 (renamed from the "Season 14 Wooden Console") Reference Section there is some discussion of the intended iris opening in the top of this console, and some "central column" that was supposed to rise out of it when the TARDIS was in flight. Unless I'm wrong, this turned out to be too expensive and complex at the time and the idea was abandoned, but not before the hole was cut in the top of the console, hence that round disc on top (to cover up the hole). I don't think there was ever any concept art for what that "column" was supposed to look like. The design stage may not even have gotten that far once the expense was realized. (An iris-type opening might not have been the easiest thing for the props builders back then either.)

A few of our members had some interesting, original concepts for what might go (have gone) well with this little console. They start with this post, http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=589.msg6357#msg6357, and move further down the page. (The complex one near the bottom looks like it would really fit in well with that "navigational instrument" idea, if the gizmo in the photo was small enough.)

Anyway, there are some ideas already floating around the Boards that may provide inspiration.

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


Thanks, interesting stuff! ;D


Dec 15, 2016, 07:28 pm #4 Last Edit: Jul 03, 2019, 04:50 am by warmcanofcoke
I would love to build this console one day. I have a thread where I show my 3D reconstruction of the season 14 console room. My idea for the central column is more of a steam punk kind of design. Here is what I thought:




Dec 15, 2016, 07:40 pm #5 Last Edit: Dec 15, 2016, 07:42 pm by handofomega
The original concept for the center of this console was to have a mechanical iris that opened to have a glass dome rise out of the console.   Inside the dome was supposed to be some sort of brass instrumentation to help the Doctor plot his course through space/time.   It did NOT look, from what I have read, anything like the cylindrical version pictured above.   But it seems that the cost was to prohibitive for the iris so they nixed the whole thing by putting a cover over the whole they had made for the iris to go in.   I have one of the old Doctor WHO In-Vision magazines with the story about it in it.

Sorry Vale, I only read your post after I made mine.  I realize that I sound like I am parroting what you said, sorry about that.

Cardinal Hordriss

Maybe go with the dome idea and something like an armillary sphere inside.


That could look really cool.
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...


Dec 15, 2016, 11:54 pm #7 Last Edit: Dec 16, 2016, 12:27 am by douglas442
Cardinal Hordriss said: "Maybe go with the dome idea and something like an armillary sphere inside."

armillary sphere_2.jpg

That's a beautiful piece! Would I ever love to have something like that to set on my desktop!

Another source of inspiration that I've always thought would adapt well to S14-TR is this classic bit of Renaissance clockwork... The Astrarium, an astronomical clock built by Giovanni de' Dondi in the mid 1300s:


... largely because of the seven planetary-cycle faces ( one for each of the planets that were known at the time ). Something like those ( though, as a larger arrangement ) would look so much better than the static-symbol whirly-gig that they've got now... if only the BBC had more money to blow on the props budget!

"Time can paint the Treetops with Colors of the Rainbow... but you cannot find the End, no matter how you try." -Kate Wolf

"... and I find myself on the Mountainside, where the Rivers change direction, across The Great Divide." -Kate Wolf


I actually have an armillary sphere, just not as fancy as the one you show here.  In fact I bought it with the express idea to place it under a dome in a secondary console...   Plan on using a wee bit of brass facing from a ceiling fan to round out the design and maybe place some lights...  I would love to have an iris mechanism as well as a way to raise the dome...

Cardinal Hordriss

I got that armillary on Amazon, it was about £40 I think.

That sounds like a great idea, I would have probably liked that console design a lot more if it had a device like that incorporated into the centre.
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...