I hold on to the fun stuff. There are parts of my childhood that I refuse to let go of. There’s The Greatest American Hero. There’s Star Trek. There’s the wonderful world of professional wrestling.
And there’s sure as shit Doctor Who.
I started watching the show when I was about 13, maybe even younger. I’ve looked back and tried to see exactly what it was that drew my in. A big part of it is The Doctor himself: an action hero with great humor who – even with the odds against him – was able to save the Universe time and time again. But one “character” that I was even more fascinated with than The Doctor was the TARDIS. This is the ship that transported The Doctor through time and space. As mentioned in a previous post, the outside is “disguised” as an ordinary 1960′s police box, but the inside is huge – some say infinite. And the most important part of the TARDIS for me was the console. This is where The Doctor piloted his craft. The TARDIS console makes everything happen.
I’ve always wanted a TARDIS. When I was a kid I tried making my own consoles. They were very poorly and crudely done. I would take apart telephones and various electronic gadgets found in the garage to get the buttons needed to make my time and space machine … on a card table. In fact the very first time I met one of my lifelong friends Jake, another friend had led him into my bedroom where I was alone dressed in my overcoat and 16 foot Doctor Who scarf and I was TRAVELING THROUGH TIME AND SPACE at my TARDIS console. That was the first image he had of me. I’m still surprised he decided to hang out with me.
Even as recently as about four years ago, Rick helped me out with my passion and photoshopped me very well as the Ninth Doctor at the TARDIS console from 2005:
In 1996, FOX put out a TV movie that was meant to reboot the series in America (shot in Vancouver). Part of this reboot was making a new TARDIS console and interior (they kept the Police Box, it’s pretty iconic and us nerds would have rioted if they changed it). It also had the 7th Doctor regenerate into the 8th Doctor. Sadly the movie didn’t do so well ratings-wise and a new show never materialized. Through a ridiculous set of circumstances that I don’t completely comprehend, a SAINT of a man named Paul was able to get a hold of the TARDIS console from the movie. He got it shipped from Vancouver to where he lives in Burbank.
Burbank is just down the road from me.
Good ole Bob Mitsch made connections and arranged to have us visit this piece of history. Along with Bob and I came Justin (who makes a pretty darned great 8th Doctor) and Scott, who is a friend and photographer. Scott took a lot of great shots of Justin recreating shots of the movie with the console, and I was able to get several done as well. It was a pretty sweet frickin’ day. It was just thrilling to be at the ACTUAL console, flipping through controls on the same device that the 7th and 8th Doctors did on camera.
All photos are courtesy of Scott Sebring. Most of them can also be viewed in their original size (they are so tiny here!) at my Flickr page:
I was able to take a small amount of video as well. Short and corny, but fun. Hopefully you can feel the very real joy that I was experiencing at this time. Frustratingly, the video is rather washed out on my face but the idea is there.
Oh, and because fandom demanded it, here’s a clip of the Tenth Doctor (me) playing the guitar solo to Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” while the Eighth Doctor (Justin) calmly pilots the TARDIS. You are welcome, world. However, I’m not really a guitar player and it shows. Sorry.
Many, MANY thanks to Paul, Bob and Justin for making this day a seriously memorable one.
Sooooo… we have access to a Police Box, a TARDIS console, and a couple of guys who could play a couple of Doctors. We may have to write and shoot something. It’s just a waste to have a REAL TARDIS console hanging out in a garage. That’s gotta’ be SHOWCASED!
In the last month I’ve performed at the Comedy Store in Hollywood and operated a real TARDIS console. I’m just going to put it out to the Universe that I would like to meet Bill Murray.
No wacky tagline this time. Just… thankful and happy!