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Sign box observation/question?

Started by zbigniev hamson, Sep 29, 2008, 06:59 pm

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zbigniev hamson

Sep 29, 2008, 06:59 pm Last Edit: Feb 04, 2010, 08:49 am by Scarfwearer
I've just been looking at a few videos of old stories to check a few TARDIS details, and I've noticed something I don't think I've seen mentioned before.

It looks as though the side signboxes (or rather the signs inside them) might have been replaced late on in the life of the Brachacki box. I noticed, as the TARDIS materialises at the beginning of The Ark in Space, the internal light switches on and the signbox is illuminated. It normally looks like white writing on a black background, but the internal light shines through the background and not the letters so it inverts.

In The Pyramids of Mars the TARDIS materialises on Mars in part 4 also with the internal light on, and looking at the same side of the TARDIS. This time the sign seems completely opaque and doesn't look backlit at all (although it does seem to be reflecting a bit of light from the studio), and it also looks incredibly clean and neat. I can get some screen grabs of both of these incidents if it would help.

So is it possible these were changed to different signs, possibly at the same time the prop was repainted? The windows appear to have been blanked off in the Ark In Space as they don't light up, whereas they do in Pyramids of Mars. Perhaps the signbox was blanked off in the latter? Or maybe there were TWO internal lights, one for the signboxes and one for main interior? Although other shots seem to show that the insides of the signboxes are perfectly visible from the doors, so that seems to suggest there was only one internal light.


Sep 29, 2008, 07:32 pm #1 Last Edit: Jan 24, 2010, 10:38 am by scarfwearer
You're kind of on the right track, but the sign graphics are the same.  During the final overhaul, the fronts of the boxes were clad in a laminate to patch up the rot and damage, and the reverse of the sign boxes (on the inside) were covered over in a piece of black painted ply... not sure if the front box had this, but the others did.  As to why this was done, I can only assume that it was a stengthening measure.

Speaking of the graphics, I have a theory which does work and does make sense, but I reckon that the graphics on the sides of the box post 1966 were actually meant to be on the front and rear, while those on the front and rear were intended for the sides, but somehow they got mixed up.  Look at them, one set is too small for the opening, the other is too big.  Swap them around and they allign properly.

Grabs made a long time ago to illustrate windows and graphics.

The Ark in Space

Pyramids of Mars