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TARDIS Prime Control FINAL by Phaeton99 TARDIS Prime Control FINAL by Phaeton99

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Final version (as much as the term can have any meaning — now with the missing text block restored)

(Download the PDF version for full resolution)

Obviously, this is not the Doctor's battered old Type 40's control room of any period.

Rather, this plan is intended to represent a look back toward the glory days of the Time Lords, when they still sent expeditions out to the far corners of the universe, and were establishing a name for themselves. TARDIS design like this was probably long past-tense before the Doctor was even born 900+ years ago.

The real challenge for this project was to avoid Star Trek layout conventions — not an easy thing to do while still attempting to suggest functionality.

The key lay in recognizing that a TARDIS technically has no fore or aft, or even a clear directional orientation — eliminating any reason to mimic a conventional, linear set-up of bridge or cockpit stations — and there was no reason to accommodate the naval and aerospace underpinning of most sci-fi starship operations, allowing me to completely rethink how the command crew would interact with and within the space.

Likewise it helped to deliberately incorporate an air of architectural grandeur suitable to the play of pomp and ceremony, arranging things for maximum drama, even at the expense of efficiency.

And all the while, I was attempting to keep some of the key design cues established by the multitudinous control rooms (and glimpses of Gallifrey) featured on Doctor Who over the decades.

I do believe I have succeeded.

(And I suspect that a given TARDIS' Prime Historian had a more common title in the vernacular of that august age — peers and crewman alike would simply call him, "The Doctor"...) ;)


A Few Words on the Concept of "Omnilifts"
Omnilifts are dedicated transpatial chambers that can link on demand to any compatible, preestablished omnilift access station within a given TARDIS. Although operating in practice not unlike a "turbolift", the term "omnilift" is something of a misnomer as transfer chambers of this type do not, in fact, move at all. Rather, each chamber is a discrete space within the TARDIS that may connect its portal to any one of many corresponding points therein: the chamber door shifts relative location, not the omnilift itself.

Personnel omnilifts are typically around 2m in diameter, but can be of any size, shape, or configuration so long at its doors are compatible with those of the access stations.

"Cargo" omnilifts do exist and are accordingly larger in volume and apertures to accommodate their typical burdens, and tend to operate on separate, dedicated networks of specialized access stations. However, such types can access the general network if they equipped with a properly sized aperture (which may in addition to the primary one), and may themselves be a destination for the personnel omnilift system.

Specialized transpatial chambers, such as the mobile "TARDIS Stores", are technically a form of onmilift, though these are usually strictly limited in both points of access and operation, unconnected to the ominift networks.

"Shuttle" omnilifts that may travel between TARDIS craft also exist, and can be configured to operate seamlessly in multiple craft networks. More commonly, such have limited, dedicated access stations for security reasons.

Updated Poster Version

"Doctor Who" and related materials are Registered Trademarks of the British Broadcasting Corporation
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Quarteon01 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You sir, had literally taken my breath away. I could simply imagine what it would look like by just looking at this schematics. This is definitely, truly, an amazing work!
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, but that is an incomplete plan.  You may wish to take a look at this... if you have not already.  ;)
Golden Age TARDIS Poster by Phaeton99  
karishad571232 Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
My work for a REAL TARDIS would explain more
Lamnia Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
I like the ideas behind the design.
Getting a idea of a layout of a Tardis has been a project of mine when I started watching Dr Who in the 70's.

Eventually I found a way to do one as a Tesseract. The idea actually came from a Dragon Magazine dealing with a unique trap that was near impossible to get out of by folding a room in on itself within the 4th dimension. It got rather complex.

Were as I was complex, your layout is beautiful and detailed.
JonathanBluestone Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a thing of true beauty ... my hat is off, sir, my hat is very definitely OFF to you for this piece, and for much of what I have spent the last hour looking at in your gallery. Damned good show.
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you — though the cutaway version is actually more accurate in detail, even if it is still unfinished... like so many other personal projects... ^^;
N-spired-Void Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010
im not sure what you did, but the final version, is quite possibly the most malfunctory of pdfs on my end, the final results being a ring of disconnected rectangles, with a scale bar set lower right, and nothing else.
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Despite some effort, I have been unable to reproduce the PDF problem on tis or the other file. WHat viewer and version thereof are you using (so I can test it in it)?
supersaiyanz10 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010
wow dam thats detailed...alot of effort was put into it I can see.

keep it coming :)
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Less work than has gone into the cross section of it [link] , by far — and that isn't even done yet.
chiscringle Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009  Professional Writer
Would you mind if I used this and the other cross-section (properly cited, naturally) in my Temporal Mechanics Manual? It's currently up on my page, if you'd like to look. I keep forgetting to ask in advance, but it's of course no problem for me to remove the pics if you don't want them elsewhere.
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
You might want to wait until it is actually finished.
(Granted, that may be a while since I am preoccupied with other things at the moment...[link]) ;)
CuzzaCurry Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Wow! You're amazing at making these kinds of concepts! Wow just wow!
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I was trained in this sort of design — I'm just trying to keep my skills fresh. ;)
Ranisath Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2009
Well, I don’t have the critique feature so I’ll just give my thoughts as a comment!

I find it hard to find ways this could be improved. It is seriously praiseworthy. I’ll give a rundown of features I found interesting, but primarily the thing that strikes me about this is how it opens up a whole vista into the world of Gallifrey as it’s rarely been imagined. In the TV show, what we mostly saw was Time Lords embattled by crises that astonished them, and needing the Doctor to save them, which, while it’s dramatic, I don’t think really does their society justice.

The only time we ever really see them in their normal operations is in ‘The War Games’ where they give off a very different impression to their comparative incompetence in later serials. Having only recently seen that in full myself, they’re rather glorious in that; the cover of the VHS at least, calls them ‘all powerful’ and so forth. With this style and write-up, that is practically believable.

I can easily imagine this Time Lords, in varying degrees of paraphernalia (as an aside, a random detail I picked up on and liked from ‘The Sound of Drums,’ was that it had the young Master dressed in the black-and-white robes from The War Games) on this vessel. The first thing I imagined when reading this was some kind of elaborate boarding ceremony not unlike a university’s convocation, embarking for some great expedition to chart the distant reaches of space and time.

I think, looking at this, variously of gold (golden age, after all), and pure white marble, rather than the ‘;plastic’ look of most of the later console rooms.

Among the details I noticed is the foyer control; is this intended to be something similar to the one in fourth Doctor’s ‘original’ control room, as used in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and therefore allowing a single occupant to control the ship for such mundane tasks as simple movement?

Does the presence of three exterior doors indicate that it can be ‘landed’ in three places/times at once? Or are they simply additional doors?

Are the rows of objects opposite the Castellan’s and Historian’s consoles seats? They look something like bucket chairs, perhaps for the vessel’s guards?

About the only detail that I actually don’t like, is the secondary command pedestal; it seems a bit odd, to me, for it to not be an equilateral hexagon.

Are you perhaps familiar with the cutaway of the new series’ TARDIS in ‘Doctor Who the Visual Dictionary? I ask because the shape of the central room in the cross section – especially below the floor, seems somewhat similar to its ‘Time Sceptre’ arrangement.

One thought that strikes me about this, is that even though it represents a glorious age of Gallifrey’s past, given that the interior of TARDISes can be reconfigured, it’s likely that the later type 40 can produce this environment if desired.

If you plan to do more TARDIS console rooms, I’ve always imagined the console rooms of the ‘battle TARDISes’ mentioned in some of the Big Finish audio plays and such, to be somewhat like this in scope. Perhaps as a central console surrounded by lesser stations dedicated to detecting hostile activity and controlling whatever passes for weapons on such a ship. Something like that might make an interesting counterpoint; the opposite end of Time Lord history. Of course, I like to imagine the Time Lords of the Time War as finally having shed their ossified ways, and resembling, to a degree, the Doctor.
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
It would seen that it provides the proper impression: pomp, gilt, and the aura of a society at the height of its power. The corridor outside the Control Room is specifically laid out for ceremony, officiated by the Lord Commander from his Pulpit.

As for the particulars:

Foyer control is strictly foyer control: no access to other TARDIS functions and manned by a dedicated guard when the craft is "landed". It is likely that its operations can be directly overridden by the main control room.

As for the triple access arches: it is conceivable that multiple simultaneous portals are possible, but all in the same era (I have seen no precedent for a TARDIS sitting astride multiple time periods), and simply exit to different points of the materialized exterior (dependent upon its form). There is somewhat of a precedent for this in distinctly separate (if essentially unseen) "garage" exit used by the 3rd Doctor. A more elaborate TARDIS such as this one might have quite a number of apertures that it can open to transit crew, materials, and whatnot.

The only seating in the Prime Control Room proper are those indicated for the Lord Commander and Senior Officers. Guards and junior crewmen would be required to stand. The "Courtesy Seating" in the entry forum is unassigned, but protocol would likely limit who uses it and when.

The secondary control pedestal is essentially an engineering station and its shape is the result of the rather narrow space. And equilateral hexagon either ended up too small or too large. This was the compromise to fit it into the already laid-out space. Its deviation from symmetry would likely be far less noticeable when viewed in context.

I have not seen the Visual Dictionary's cutaways and have little interest in them, based upon what I have heard of them, canon or not. ;)

I envision the internal layout of a TARDIS thusly: [link]

I see no reason that a type 40 could not adopt such a control room plan, though I have my doubts such a model was intended to carry as large a crew complement as this one and would thus have little justification for it. Bear in mind that this particular plan would be considered utilitarian in its day. A truly opulent one might be like the interior of the Pantheon or a grand Gothic cathedral, and normally manned by dozens of practical and ceremonial officers.

I can't even imagine what a "War TARDIS" control would look like at this point — not knowing enough about how they would be operated to speculate on layout requirements — though I suspect such would trade much of the architectural grandeur of the past for martial frugality and purely functional stations, and thus resemble more conventional starship bridge plans.
spirit-of-the-fire Featured By Owner May 30, 2009
Hello :) This piece has been featured in today's issue of Spreading the Words
PatronZero Featured By Owner May 29, 2009
Awesome ! Many thanks for sharing this wonderful illustration.
barbarossarotbart Featured By Owner May 26, 2009
This is clearly based on the original design of the TARDIS interior, but I think that you got just one minor detail wrong. If I remember right, the door into the TARDIS lead directly into the control room.
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner May 26, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
It is not incorrect. That is simply not the Doctor's TARDIS by any stretch. The "Artist's Comments" above and contextual notes should clarify what this plan represents.
Ranisath Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2009
Actually, the TARDIS of the TV movie - with probably the largest and grandest of the console rooms - had an atrium between the exterior doors and the main room. Unfortunately, it was apparently too small to fit a camera crew inside.

And this design is simply awe inspiring. I think I may have to comment in more detail later. Too much right now...
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I don't recall that one — but I make no claims of having seen every Doctor Who Production ever aired. ;)
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Submitted on
May 26, 2009
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