AN INTRODUCTION TO THE TARDIS
The acronym TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. As the name suggests, it is more than a time machine. The TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in space-time, to any planet in the universe and to any time in its history. One of the ways the TARDIS differs from normal spacecraft is in the method of travel. Whereas most craft travel in the normal universe, the TARDIS travels through the space-time vortex, a complex dimension where time and space are one. To the outside observer, when the TARDIS starts its journey it simply vanishes. In fact, it has made a jump to another dimension, the space-time vortex, and it will travel to its destination there. The actual method of 'steering' is by entering a coordinate and a flight path for the destination.
The TARDIS is in essence a time-machine, or more accurately, a time-space machine. The ability of 'time travel' or temporal displacement is what makes the TARDIS supreme. Other ships can travel through space, or even hyperspace, but none can rival the TARDIS's mastery of the dual dimensions of time and space.
The timeship has been designed such that once the pilot has primed the system by use of a system that detects the Rassilon Imprimature contained within his genes, a quasi-symbiotic link is set up between the TARDIS and the pilot. One of the immediate consequences of this bond is that only the pilot should be able to control the TARDIS. The physical instruments and switches will become isomorphically linked to the pilot, and no-one else will be able to operate the TARDIS with any degree of success. For details of the priming procedure, refer to Section 4.1.
The TARDIS is piloted and controlled via a six-sided central console panel, each of which has a name: the Dematerialisation Panel, the Master Control Panel, the Exterior Monitor Panel, the Navigational Control Panel, Auxiliary Systems Panel, and the Informational Controls Panel. Each panel's controls mainly deal with one aspect, which relates to its name. Located at the centre of the control console is the time rotor. This is a transparent cylindrical column containing various instruments. It rises and falls during each flight providing a visual indication on the status of the power drive. Above the control console is the power octagon. This large device can be lifted out of view if desired. The power octagon is the TARDIS's link with its power sources. Behind the control console is the scanner. The scanner offers a view of the landscape outside the TARDIS, showing images from the real world.
The TARDIS is completely self contained and has many halls, corridors, laboratories, storage areas and dormitories. It is this vast area inside the TARDIS that enables many rooms to be fitted within the TARDIS. This effect is achieved by the interior existing in one dimension and the exterior existing in another; the real world, the universe as we know it. Among the many rooms inside the TARDIS is a wardrobe room where, supplied free, is a fine selection of clothing to suit many different times and places.
Due to the complexity and design of the TARDIS systems, it can be said that the TARDIS is alive in a bio-electronic empathic fashion. The system creates what is named a semi-sentient intelligent entity (SSIE). One of the prime factors which creates the sentience is the use of artron energy . Artron energy naturally occurs in small amounts within most humanoid minds. It is the unusual abundance of artron energy in humanoid minds which gives some empathic or even telepathic powers. A flow of artron energy to central TARDIS systems is fundamental to keep the SSIE operational. The system is the very heart of the TARDIS and can reach out telepathically to the TARDIS pilot, and can even empathically communicate with any other occupants of the TARDIS.
USES FOR THE TARDIS
The TARDIS is a versatile machine with many uses. Here we list some of the tasks which can be accomplished by using a TARDIS.
•Transportation of goods and personnel. The TARDIS is of enormous proportions and it can serve well to transport people and luggage. The many dormitories and recreational areas which exist inside the TARDIS are of great value when transporting people. The TARDIS's extra-dimensional interior makes transportation light work. In addition, the TARDIS only weighs as much as its outer-shell, so no matter how much the TARDIS is loaded, it will naturally weigh the same on the outside.
•Sight-seeing or touring the universe. The ability to travel quickly between many different worlds and star systems is one of the TARDIS's most important attributes. The powerful scanner facility enables the occupants of the TARDIS to view worlds within the safety of the ship without actually setting foot upon the land, which in any case could be dangerous.
•Observing universal events. The TARDIS has many instruments and computer banks that can measure the environment outside the TARDIS, by using the dimensional bridge. The bridge allows instruments to monitor the outside world from within the TARDIS. The molecular structure of the exterior shell is designed so that no energy waves in the vortex or particles in real space will harm the TARDIS or its occupants.
•A power source for experiments. The TARDIS power systems can generate around 60 kilowatts of power, some of which can be utilised to power external equipment.
•Visiting future or past worlds. The unique time travelling feature of the TARDIS enables its passengers to visit and view ancient worlds and also to glimpse into the future. There is almost no limit on the range of time travel, although one must strictly limit their actions in past worlds so not to alter history. Remember that when visiting worlds of past-events,i.e. history, Resolution 214: Sections A, B and D must be complied with. See also Appendices D and F.
•Conducting scientific research. The professionally equipped TARDIS laboratories are ideal for conducting various scientific research, be it in chemistry, physics or biology. With the TARDIS's space travel facility, it is easy to collect samples for experiments.The TARDIS also has many scientific instruments allowing varied readings to be taken from outside events. The mark II Exterior Sample Collector enables water, air or ground samples to be taken from the outside environment, which may well be hostile and unable to support life. This process is done from within the safety of the TARDIS. The mark III has an advanced sample collector similar in design to the mark II device.
THE HISTORY OF THE TARDIS
The Time Lords discovered the technique of time travel early in history, and their first attempt to utilise their knowledge came in the form of the time scaphe. This inferior timeship used raw artron energy from the pilot's minds. The artron energy was then channelled and formed into temporal displacement vectors. Later, spatial displacement was also achieved using a similar method. Although not a TARDIS, this was the first step Gallifrey made towards time travel.
The great Time Lord Rassilon realised that if time travel was possible, it would place extreme stresses on both vehicle and personnel. He saw that the only feasible solution was to have the interior dimension of the timeship separated from the exterior dimension, thereby saving the occupants from the stresses of time travel. At this point Rassilon had little idea how he was to create this dimension.
Rassilon, with the help of Omega, experimented with electromagnetic fields which had the inherent ability to shift warp the space placed within the field. At first, they succeeded in causing only local time distortion, however, years later, the breakthrough came. Omega had finally created a temporary alternative artificial dimension, which was recorded to exist for 3.724 nanoseconds. The efficiency of the process was later greatly improved and existence times of around 0.75 seconds were recorded.
Many years later, a permanent artificial dimension was created, existing for around 7 seconds. Later, figures such as 12s, 33s, 120s and 339s were common for existence times. Unfortunately, even with dimension stabilising circuitry controlling the process, permanent dimension existence was confined to around 366 seconds. Two years later, a circuit by the name of the void locker was developed, which homed into the natural frequency of the new dimension created. Almost immediately the dimension life was extended to a virtual infinite value.
A prototype machine was quickly built with the interior of the ship existing in a permanent artificial alternative dimension (PAAD). The machine, a SIDRAT, was powered by Zyton-7 crystals, imbedded within the master control rods. These control rods allowed a crude access to the space-time vortex. The rods also made limited time travel possible, and spatial displacement was possible as well. However, the range of the SIDRAT was limited, as it relied greatly on operators guiding the crafthe via remote control, hence Spatial Inter-Dimensional Restricted Access to Time.
Many Time Lords were displeased with the SIDRAT, believing the answer to time travel lied with artron powering. Other Time Lords stressed that the SIDRAT had no defensive functions, and all were hoping for a greater operating range than that which was possible by use of Zyton-7 control rods. The Zyton-7 control rods needed to be replaced when exhausted, which seemed to be more often then expected. On top of that, the controls that allowed the pilot to operate the SIDRAT were absurdly simplistic. The engineers effectively scrapped the SIDRAT, and many thought that this was the end of the age of time travel.
However, the Time Lords quickly commenced on a new project. Their vision was to create a machine that could explore time and its relative dimension. Soon, the machine was named TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimension In Space. At this stage the TARDIS was nothing more than designer's theories and blueprints. The theoretical machine the original blueprints described was named a TARDIS type 1.
The Gallifreyian president devoted large sums of money to the research projects and investigations. Many revisions were made in an attempt to perfect the TARDIS, and to avoid the problems the SIDRAT suffered. At the third blueprint revision, theoretical model TARDIS type 4, the subject of power requirements was considered. Instead of using energy crystals of a finite lifetime, the idea was to create a transcendental link between the TARDIS's power systems and the most powerful interstellar object that exists: a black hole. From the Veil Nebula the Eye of Harmony was created, an entity which contained and harnessed the vast energies of a black hole. At the centre of the black hole, the eye, all was calm. Raw artron energy taken from the Eye of Harmony could now be accessed by remote energy systems.
Several advanced time scaphes were built at this stage, which were powered by the Eye of Harmony. Although many people were satisfied with the resultant vehicle, it was later understood that the scaphes were built only as an aside, and that research and development of the TARDIS was still continuing.
Soon more problems arose with the machine the engineers now called a type 30. By now the timeship has almost perfect space-time travel, by use of two circuits that made proper access to the space-time vortex possible, the dematerialisation circuit and the time dimension tracker. However, the PAAD control had been transferred to Eye of Harmony powering, and disaster struck.
The problem was that the PAAD could not be held in place, even with a void locker and dimensional control operating. In a desperate attempt, several prototype (physical) models was built into apartments, and instead of using the PAAD for protection from time travel, Rassilon decided to use a technique called vortex shielding. Although the project was a success the time travelling elements could not function correctly, as a result the range of time travel was decreased. It was realised that a return to PAAD was necessary.
Finally, research showed that the artron powering was disrupting the work of the void locker and dimensional control. The artron power systems were re-built with greater shielding of the artron linkages, and the void locker and dimensional control were modified to mask the artron fields produced.
Type 39 was fitted with a chameleon circuit, however, this did not work. The controls were not isomorphically operated and the control console was not fully developed. At this stage the Rassilon Imprimature scan was added, which bonded the pilot to the TARDIS is an empathic fashion.
Type 40 was the first official release of a Gallifreyian timeship, with 305 produced and distributed. However, some minor flaws were later discovered in the type 40 design, small faults with the directional unit and chameleon circuit. The type 40 was renamed type 40 mark one, and several revisions were made to the type 40 in an attempt to perfect the design. Refer to the Preface for information on the differing type 40 models: type one, two, three and four.
PRIMARY FEATURES OF THE TARDIS
•The ability to travel through any dimension the user requires. The TARDIS can travel through the three dimensions of space, pass through physical matter and traverse the dimension of time. It can travel to and through hyperspace and access the space-time vortex, and even exit the space-time dimension
•One of the most powerful energy sources in the universe. With the TARDIS's power generators, an enormous amount of energy can be produced. Just imagine the energy of a black hole channelled to a TARDIS: approximately 10 power 4 J! Unfortunately, because of the vast reaches of space-time the energy is channelled across, and the energy transfer method used, the maximum power output is rated at 60 kilowatts (6x10 power 4 W) of power.
•A vast range of controls to help pilot the TARDIS. These controls include large computer banks to aid the operator in piloting the TARDIS.
•A simple console panel where all important and some not so important controls are found -- no rushing around the ship to turn on a light! It is in the console room where the TARDIS is piloted and controlled. The ship has been designed such that only one pilot is needed to pilot the craft.
•The unique chameleon circuit system. The TARDIS will blend in with its surroundings -- disguising the ship as rock, tree or even a building! Alternatively, the circuit can be switched off and the TARDIS will appear as a greyish coloured booth with a sliding door for an entrance.
•The strongest outer hull ever devised. The TARDIS's outer hull has a strength such that in most circumstances the TARDIS can be considered indestructible!
•A mechanism that allows access to the fifth dimension; in other words, the craft is bigger in the inside than it appears to be on the out!
•A diversity of other features, too numerous to list in this section. (Refer to Section 5.1 for a list of console panel features.)
TARDIS: THEORY OF OPERATION
The TARDIS operates by using a system similar to that used by transmat devices, although the TARDIS is far more than just a temporal matter-transmitter. Unlike a transmat the TARDIS does not instantaneously arrive at its destination; for the pilot the journey can take anything from 30 seconds to many hours. The TARDIS is not flown as such, instead coordinates and flight paths are used to mark out routes and the destination. One of the most important aspects of the TARDIS is the SSIE. This constantly monitors all activity in the TARDIS and has the ability to override all TARDIS systems if needed.
A TARDIS draws its power from the Eye of Harmony, a remote power source situated on Gallifrey, which supplies TARDISes with energy for a theoretical infinite life-time. The TARDIS is fitted with an energy absorber to collect and utilise the raw energy from the Eye of Harmony. Connected via an energy converter to the power bank, this can channel energy across the time-space dimension to the TARDIS. The channel is unlikely to be interrupted because of a dimensional stabiliser which is connected in parallel to the dematerialisation circuit, which is also connected directly to the energy absorber. A triple resister chip with sideways gain ensures that there are no uncontrolled energy surges.
The exterior of the TARDIS exists in the 'real' world, but the interior exists in a relative world. The dimensional shifter circuit creates the interior dimension and the dimensional integrator and void locker provide an interface between these two worlds. The dimensional shifter needs a large potential gain in order to create a voltage to disrupt the fabric of space-time (called limbo) and shift the dimensions. A serial booster is fitted to aid the dimensional shifter. Inside the dimensional shifter, two electrodes create a condensed electromagnetic field in reverse polarity. A surge in current alters the electromagnetic field. This pushes the limbo coordinates further away therefore changing the existing dimensional coordinates. Then the flux automatic charger (FAC) operates, applying a potential difference of 7*10 power 6 V across the dimensional shifter. This completely alters the dimensional coordinates and shifts the entire interior dimensional space within the electrical field into another dimension, an extra dimensional space dubbed the fifth dimension. The void locker is responsible for fine tuning the interior space into the natural position of the fifth dimension. The actual process of keeping the interior of the TARDIS in its artificial dimension is taken up by the dimensional control circuit. This complicated but fast process creates a Permanent Alternative Artificial Dimension (PAAD).
The gateway between the real world and the PAAD is created by shifting the limbo in that particular part of space. The space beyond the interior door has a selected limbo, i.e. the limbo between the 5th and 3rd, 5th and 2nd, and 5th and 1st dimensions have been removed to create a bridge between the real world and the interior dimension. The only way the interior can be destroyed is by exposure to a very large blast of energy, this could be caused by a very serious disruption in the fabric of space-time, for example, two TARDISes colliding during flight.
The actual size of the interior is controlled by the dimensional control. The more efficient the dimensional control, the larger the interior. Beyond the limit of the interior is the exterior wall, which resembles Terran Victorian brickwork.
The TARDIS travels in the space-time vortex, also called the time vortex. When the TARDIS starts to travel, the exterior atoms dissolve from the real world and re-appear in the space-time vortex. The exterior is transmatted to another dimension, although the space-time vortex is not strictly a separate dimension but a merge of space-time, the point at which space and time meet. When the whole craft has dematerialised the 'engines' are switched on, and two circuits work in parallel to provide movement in the vortex. The circuits, the time vector generator (TVG) and the space displacement creator (SDC), work together to shape and mould artron energy into movement vectors (See 7.2). The movement vectors can provide four dimensional displacement in a vortex pattern, the vortex pattern is what gives the space-time vortex its name.
The first step in the construction of the TARDIS is to manufacture the circuits and build up the control console. At this stage all systems will be run off auxiliary power from the construction station power circuit. The program for the creation of the outer-shell is ran into a Energy to Matter (E/M) converter, which creates the base cabinet with the sliding door. The cabinet has an outer-shell made from a special type of matter and an inner-hull made from another complex material. The material resembles brickwork and is extremely strong
Once this vehicle is created, and the dimensional integrator circuit put in place, the interior dimension is opened up by means of visually linking the dimensional integrator circuits through a temporary linkage. This creates a temporary stabilised interior dimension. At this stage the control console is fitted, as are the power and environment systems. All wiring and linkages are installed and the TARDIS central computer is fitted in and started up. The computer bank alcove is also outfitted at this stage, as is the permanent artificial dimension
Once all this has finished, the door locking mechanism is fitted and interior furniture is placed in appropriate positions. Finally, the chameleon circuit is run, changing the appearance of the exterior shell. The TARDIS is now ready for its first journey, which is usually to a showroom or storage area.