When the TARDIS is opened for the first time, the power will be switched off and the power systems will be operating in the no power mode (NPM). A certain low level of ambient light may well be present, generated by the solar lamp. It may be necessary to use a lightstick to provide additional illumination if the solar lamp does not generate enough light .Before the TARDIS is powered up it is wise to check that controls such as the dematerialisation switch are switched off.
The most important step in configuring the TARDIS is to prime the systems. The process will set up a quasi-symbiotic link between the ship and the pilot. Once primed, the risk of molecular destabilisation is greatly reduced and the isomorphic control mode may be operated if so desired. The TARDIS is primed by the use of two detectors situated on the control console. The pilot simply places his hands on the detector and waits for the panel lights to flash. If the lights do not flash, then the system cannot detect the Rassilon Imprimature, and the ship will not power up. The configuration procedure has been designed such that the TARDIS cannot be primed unless the system can detect the Rassilon Imprimature within the pilot. Assuming the priming was successful, the procedure needs only be repeated when there is a change of pilot.
The benefits of this bonding between the pilot and the TARDIS are many. First of all, many security functions are geared to either ignore the pilot or to affect the pilot less. This includes the isomorphic control mode, a feature which only the pilot may take advantage of. In addition, the metabolism detector lock mode works in tandem with the mind of the pilot. Last but by no means least, the ship may communicate on an empathic level with the pilot, either to provide warnings of an imminent catastrophe, or to bias the coordinate locking procedure.
To power-up the ship's systems, the master power control switch must be activated. This will trigger the start of the powering-up procedure. The result of the procedure will be a transition from the no power mode to the auxiliary power mode (APM). The ship's lighting will be activated, as will the control console, the computer systems and the environment systems. If a Mark III TARDIS cannot be started at this stage then the use of the push-to-start switch may help. The control may be released once the TARDIS is fully powered up.
Devices such as the food machine and the key-cutter do not need to be switched on, these will operate automatically as long as the ship's power systems are operable. The computer banks and environment systems do not need to be switched on; the systems will start-up and initialise automatically. The digital time orientation unit needs to be configured before use, refer to Appendix C for details.
The TARDIS is now fully configured. The pilot will now have quasi-symbiotic control of the TARDIS and all systems should be operating. The power should be kept on at all times, only in rare circumstances should it be turned off.However, it is desirable to keep power on as without it there is no heating and lighting, nor is there any protection from the environmental extremes outside the ship.
SECURITY & DEFENCE ISSUES
General Security Precautions
The TARDIS has a number of security measures to protect itself and its inhabitants against hostile environments and malevolent entities. The door itself has a number of security features
One of the more useful security functions is the isomorphic control mode. With this mode operational, in theory only the pilot can operate the TARDIS. However, there are a number of drawbacks in using the mode. Firstly, there are intentional `holes' in the isomorphic control mapping: certain key controls such as the door control and dematerialisation control can be operated by anyone, for safety considerations. In addition, in the presence of the pilot, anybody can operate the controls unless the pilot condemns the action mentally.
The hostile action displacement system (HADS) is a very useful security function, although like most others, it does have it drawbacks. HADS will dematerialise the TARDIS if the exterior is attacked, and rematerialise it close by, but out of danger. It works by sensing an imminent release of energy -- such as an explosion or gun fire -- by use of the time scanner, and will automatically override the TARDIS systems and dematerialise. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, this `trick' could convince a hostile entity that it has just destroyed the TARDIS, therefore it would not consider it a threat any more. Obviously this can be very useful. Secondly, if the cause of the energy release was not intentionally meant to harm the TARDIS, but nevertheless may cause damage, then this process will take the TARDIS away from the dangerous area to a position which is safer.
For added security the automatic defense network (ADN) system may be acvtivated. The device will provide visual warnings via the scanner if the vicinity of the ship presents any immediate danger, again by use of the time scanner. If indeed a danger is calculated to exist, the scanner will activate, showing emotional images from the occupants of the TARDIS. This is an attempt to lure the occupants of the ship away from whatever dangers lurk outside. The system is primarily geared to work with the pilot, and displays its mental images with the use of the thought pattern emitter.
In the event of the TARDIS being hijacked, the stun lights can be employed to allow the pilot time to make an appropriate action. The switch flashes the ship's lights very brightly, and also mentally assaults the intruders. The activating control is the lights switch, however, the stun lights will only be activated when the defense mechanism detects hostile beings in the vicinity of the TARDIS. The stun lights should have a lesser effect on the pilot who may also determine other occupants of the ship who are to be excluded from the mental attack.
As a last resort, the electrify controls switch can be used to deter use of the TARDIS. When activated, all the controls and the panel itself will become electrically live and will conduct current. This affects neither the symbiotic operator nor the electrify controls switch. As soon as a non-insulated conductor contacts the panel, such as a thief hand touching the dematerialisation lever, the current will flow through the conductor to the ground -- the TARDIS floor -- which will accept the current flow back into the power systems. The current through the poor soul who touches a control is naturally variable, but is usually only enough to cause shock and brief pain, and does not cause any permanent damage.
The Defence Mechanism
Part of the TARDIS's sentience -- the defence mechanism -- is geared towards providing a form of automatic defence to protect its inhabitants, and more importantly, to protect itself. This process is generally referred to as the defence mechanism. The system is built into the very heart of the TARDIS, and cannot be overridden, although some of the controls which rely on the defence mechanism can indeed be switched off. The defence mechanism usually draws heavily from the predictive powers of the time scanner system. Note that the defence mechanism should not be confused with the defensive shield mechanism, which is the unit that produces shielded areas over the door-locking mechanism and the dimensional bridge opening (DBO). The energy shield is very powerful and in most scenarios will protect the door-lock and the DBO entirely from hostile environments and energy attacks. Incidentally, both the defence and defensive shield mechanisms are power backed-up by the power rod in case of the event of a power failure.
The ship has an automated danger signal, which sounds similar to a loud klaxon siren. The fault locator produces the noise upon massive failure of the ship's systems, or if a catastrophic event is predicted by the time scanner system. The defence mechanism effectively controls the sounding of the alarm. Indeed, the defence mechanism may also take other actions to secure the safety of the TARDIS. As mentioned earlier, the stun lights mentally and visually assault intruders. In addition, the defence mechanism may automatically activate a minor artron intrusion -- a mental invasion on the smaller scale -- to either deter creatures from entering the ship, or to produce images and thoughts in the mind of the pilot and his/her companions, in attempt to communicate vital information. In addition, the defence mechanism may elect to electrify the console, in an attempt to deter use.
More drastically, the defence mechanism may also cut power to the power drive, and in extreme circumstances, cut out all of the ship's electrical power. This would only be done to deter use of the ship, or in an attempt to indicate an imminent disaster of some kind. In such situations, the defence mechanism may activate intense artron bursts which may cause actual physical damage to objects inside the TARDIS, in order to attract the attention of the pilot. It is very rare for this to happen.
The Mark II/III models have an additional alarm bell which may be activated manually from the central console. Upon activation an eighty decibel alarm noise will resound throughout the ship. The alarm sound is distinct from the ship's danger signal. Also considered part of the defence mechanism is the door locking mechanism.
The Chameleon Circuitry System
One of the most remarkable circuits the TARDIS possesses is the chameleon circuit, which enables the ship's exterior to resemble virtually any object. Practically, the circuit is used to enable the TARDIS to blend in with its surroundings, in order to remain inconspicuous. Several modes exist which offer a fair degree of flexibility in defining the shape of the exterior.
The circuit may be disabled, in that case, the TARDIS's exterior will revert back to the base cabinet -- the default appearance of a TARDIS; it's basically a featureless dull grey cabinet, with a sliding door. Assuming the circuit is enabled, one of the following modes may be selected:
In addition, there exists a mode to create an exterior model from scratch; a basic 3-D model is created by using the appropriate controls, and then the thought pattern emitter is used to project image maps onto the basic model. The current lock-mode can also be set when modifying the exterior model.
The chameleon process executes in three basic stages:
The ship's exterior, the outer-plasmic shell, can be metamorphosed under the influence of a unique artron field. In the final stage of the chameleon process, the chameleon circuit generates the artron field which will mould the shell into the shape held within its memory -- the mathematical model.
A few comments on this process; firstly, the mimicked object is not functional in any way, apart from the implementation of the beacon -- for example, this may appear as a working lamp. However, if the outer-plasmic shell was in the form of a vehicle, it would not be possible to use the vehicle in its normal fashion. The mass of the ship is not directly related to the appearance of the outer-plasmic shell; however, by default the outer weight of the ship is limited to the original weight of the scanned object. The size of a valid exterior is also limited; the chameleon circuit will remodel any scanned object which is of an incompatible size.
The scanner provides a colour motion-camera image of the immediate surroundings outside the ship, as well as being used for other purposes, such as display the visual output from the astral map, and displaying mental images, either via the ADN or by use of the thought pattern emitter. The scanner's image may be affected by a strong magnetic field or by an unsuppressed motor, from either inside or outside the ship.
The scanner can be used manually, in which case controls may be use to select the viewing angle and to adjust the focus, exposure and zoom depth. Alternatively, on the auto-scanning mode, the scanner will sweep back and forth across the landscape, providing a quick idea of the layout of the surroundings. The scanner can also make an audio scan, in this case the same controls may be used, but they affect the scope of sound picked up as well as the image. An extra switch controls the volume level of the sound replay inside the ship. Additional controls include a power booster for low light levels or low circuit power, and an infra-scan controller for adjusting the heat- sensitivity of the scanner eye. A set of two switches are used to set the view position: front ( ), side 1 ( ), side 2, ( ), rear ( ).
When the scanner is showing images from the astral map, most of the scanner control switches are functional, such as the zoom, auto-scan, and viewing angle controls. The power-booster switch activates a crosshair; the coordinates of the location under the centre of this are displayed on the astral map unit. This may be used a crude form of coordinate selection.
The scanner does not offer an outside view during flight, although just after dematerialisation and prior to landing real-world images may be transmitted. Apart from this, the scanner should remain blank during flight.
An advanced use of the scanner is the time scanner mode. The time scanner is normally used by the defence mechanism in conjunction with the time-stream visualisation mode. The time scanner can show images from the past or present, although it is not very reliable. Once the time scanner mode is activated, a control is used to indicate a bias towards viewing past, present or future events. Be warned! The more one knows about the unknown, the less one can do to change it.
The TARDIS has a number of exterior monitoring systems, a majority of the read-outs being found on the exterior monitor panel. On most panels there is one information window which acts as a read-out for certain instruments, although not all of the windows convey exterior environment information.
The ship has a variety of sensor pallets, containing delicate instruments for measuring and recording various sorts of data. The instruments have been miniturised and are located on the exterior, adjacent to the oxygen intake feed. Most sensors have a very wide range of operation, typically around 1 light-hour. A few are very long range, and can receive data instantly within a radius of 1K light-years.
The seven information windows on the control console display read-outs from a variety of sensors. These are named scientific instruments I, scientific instruments II, local gravity gauge, the digital time orientation read-out, dimensional analyser display, the exterior atmospheric scan and the relative engine movement scan.
Scientific Instruments I displays from information from a variety of sensors. There is a 360o electromagnetic radiation scan, a quark particle analyser, high-energy particle mapper, graviton counter, virtual particle scan, wide-range continuum stress gauge, tachyon activity check, gamma ray imaging display, thermal camera reading, artronimeter, magnetometer and gravitational wave measurer.
Scientific Instruments II has readouts from the quasar viewer, neutrino scanner, radio telescope, anti-particle population counter, space-time density gauge, plasma analysis sensor, high-resolution flux sensor, cosmic ray collector, photon wave mapper and the gaseous matter analyser. It also carries out a survey of the exterior environment and returns details of the surrounding area, including the ten most abundant elements and compounds.
The local gravity gauge indicates the local acceleration due to gravity outside the ship. In addition, it indicates the strength of the interior gravity, and displays an alert message if the interior gravity will fail or fluctuate. The window also displays the catalogue entry for the mass producing the gravitation
The digital time orientation (DTO) read-out, informally known as the yearometer, gives details on the time period of the planet on which the TARDIS has landed, if properly set-up.
The dimensional analyser display gives an indication, through various readings, of the geometric and dimensional structure of long-range space-time in the vicinity of the TARDIS. From this, interstellar entities such as black-holes, white-holes, quasars, pulsars, neutron stars and naked singularities can be mapped out. Holes in the fabric of space-time, entrances to other universes and whatnot will also readily be discernible from the display.
One of the most important read-outs is the exterior atmospheric scan, an information window which displays a break-down on the content of the exterior atmosphere. There are readings on the levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, sulphurous acid vapour, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide, argon, helium, hydrogen, pure oxygen and pure nitrogen. In addition, several general readings exist, including an air pollution monitor and a general poison analyser.
The relative engine-movement scan provides a simulated display of the TARDIS's movement within the space-time vortex. Once the TARDIS has rematerialised, it will switch to showing the TARDIS's movement relative to the nearest significant celestial body:
In addition there are meter readings on exterior temperature and radiation levels, and there is also an exterior air pressure meter, which doubles as an altimeter during hovermode operations. The mark two has an exterior gravity meter on the control console, other models have the exterior gravity reading on the gravity environment bank.
A collection of meters exist to give readings on the stability and condition of the space-time vortex. The time continuum stability (TCS) meter measures the mean imaginary distance to the centre of the nearest disruption in the space-time vortex. The time flux continuum (TFC) meter compliments the TCS meter by measuring the sum of the strengths of local disturbances. Disturbance within the space-time vortex can be caused by any number of events, including the existence of real-space black holes, time eddys, random artron waves, other TARDISes, and also natural phenomena such as time winds.
Read-Outs & Meters
METERS Meter Code Description Scale relocity 4F ``relative velocity'' C telocity 4G ``temporal velocity'' hs-1 artron lvl 2B measures artron intensity nopiques UHL target stage 2C indicates stage of journey ???power bank reserves ???energy left in power bank MJ current out ???total flow of current from power bank A???
The navigational systems indicator (NSI) lights have several functions. Whilst setting coordinates, the lights indicate what coordinate levels have been set. During flight, the bulbs sequentially light from left to right to indicate acceleration, and from right to left to indicate deceleration. The rate of the `light-changing' represents the magnitude of the acceleration. One can deduce that steady lights indicate a steady cruise velocity. After flight, the lights indicate the progress of the resetting and orientation of the navigational and guidance computer systems (NAGCS).
The Time Path Indicator registers when another time-ship is travelling on the same course as the TARDIS. In a universe of infinite possibilities, the chance that this is a coincidence is virtually nil, therefore this device will function when the TARDIS is being followed. It flashes and sounds an audio alarm with a frequency which is proportional to the mean dimensional distance between the TARDIS and the following time-ship.
The velocity phasor meter indicates the angular velocity of the rotational frame of reference which was chosen for landing. If either the landing reference frame was non-rotational, or the ship lands directly on a rotational body -- such as a rotating planet -- then the meter will read zero.
Last but by no means least is the time-rotor, which provides an indication of the relative strength of the power drive. In addition, its rotary movement whilst landed indicates the ship is in the process of scanning the exterior environment. The rotor itself contains several instruments which are connected to the sensor pallets.
An extra meter found on the Mark III is the warp field strength meter. This indicates the strength of the negative warp field, measured as a percent as the maximum obtainable with full power to the warp field.
One of the key processes in piloting the TARDIS is to set coordinates. Coordinates are the quintessence of celestial navigation; quite simply, without coordinates, one cannot direct the ship to its destination. However, as one may appreciate, a universal coordinate system, that is to say, a coordinate system which allows one to specify a point anywhere in the universe, and for that matter, at any time period at that point, presents vast difficulties in implementation, and at the very best, the end-user is left to remember coordinates of 72 digit sizes. The TARDIS's navigational system implements a vast range of intelligent coordinate protocols, including sophisticated error correction algorithms.
The following subsections illustrate the break-down of a coordinate into its constituent components, and will enlighten the reader on the methods used to implement and use a working four-dimensional universal coordinate system.
Navigating With Coordinates
Coordinates are a set of numbers intended to map out a point in space. There are many different methods of representing a point in space using coordinates, and the most common method is by representing each point in space by a set of three numbers usually represented as (x,y,z) . This, of course, defines a point in three dimensional space.
There are many problems with mapping out the universe using this style of reference. For example, a coordinate system must have an origin. Where does one place the origin of the universe? There may be no definite `centre' of our universe. Then there is dynamic motion to consider. All of the celestial bodies are in fact moving. Not only is the entire universe expanding outwards, but many bodies also orbit a centre of mass. Planets themselves may be rotating as well as orbiting a star, and the star may belong to a star cluster which revolves around the centre of the galaxy. In addition, the galaxies themselves may be rotating around some point, and so on.
At this point it may sound like there is no hope of a usable static coordinate system, that is, a system which assigns bodies a constant coordinate, which can be used again and again to facilitate travel to that body. In a way, this is true: there is no coordinate system which lends itself to providing a static representation of mobile bodies. However, there is a way to map out the location of mobile bodies which effectively creates a quasi-static coordinate system.
The three key points of this static coordinate systems are as follows:
With this is mind, a static coordinate system has been developed. There are several differing methods of establishing a point in space, such as using a spherical coordinate, a rectangular coordinate, etc. Each coordinate mode has a differing way of setting the origin and establishing the orientation of the axes. Indeed, some modes do not rely on a coordinate system but use tables or list of parameters to specify positions.
Now, the ship's navigational systems provide 9 levels of coordinates, each within its own frame of reference. Most coordinate levels corresponds to a level in the universal hierarchy.
UHL TableCoordinate Lvl Reference Frame Mobile Bodies 8 Universe super-clusters expanding 7 Super-cluster Galactic clusters expanding 6 Galactic cluster Galaxies, moving towards CM 5 Stellar cluster Stellar Clusters 5 Galactic space Lone star systems 4 Galactic sector arbitrary local star systems 3 Local star systems individual star systems 2 Star system orbiting planets 1 Planet/Satellite Rotating planets, Orbiting satellites 0 Terrain No movement
At each UHL coordinate level a different coordinate entry method may be selected. The table below summarises the choice of coordinate entry modes.
Coordinate Entry ModesNum Position Specifying Method Applicable UHL lvls 0 no point specified all 1 1,2,3D rectangular all 2 1,2,3D spherical all 3 orbital elements 1,2,5 4 orbital radius 1,2 5 catalogue modes 1-8 6 flight recorder data all
The Nature of TARDIS Coordinates
The full coordinate is composed thus: (type, origin, axes, x, y, z, timestamp). The individual components are detailed below:
Specifies the type of coordinate being used
Specifies the location of the origin.
Specifies the nature of the axes
Specifies the three-dimensional point.
Specifies the timestamp of the coordinate.
Below the ten varying coordinate entry modes are explained, along with explanations on how components such as the coordinate origins are established and how the axes are set.
This mode simply informs the system that there is no mapped out point for the current coordinate. This mode is usually activated in combination with one of the error correcting object-locking protocols,
Spherical Coordinates (1D, 2D, 3D)
Spherical coordinates are specified by giving a longitude l , between 0 and 360o , a latitude b between 0 and plus/minus 90o , and a distance d along the line specified by b and l . In the one-dimensional mode of the coordinate, with ACM, it acts as an orbital radius selector.
Rectangular Coordinates (1D, 2D, 3D)
A rectangular coordinate system is represented mathematically as the horizontal matrix thus: (x,y,z) , and is the standard method of specifying a point. Within the correct stationary reference frame, this system provides an adequate way to measure the location of bodies. Often a condensed two dimensional coordinate system (x,y) is used which is often sufficient to uniquely identify bodies in flat-like structures, such as our Milky Way galaxy.
The ship's instruments will survey its surroundings upon landing. Not only is the local environment scanned, but the local celestial bodies are located, identified, and assigned a coordinate. Then, all this data is sent to the astral map which stores all the data in a relational database -- a catalogue of sorts. There are three catalogues maintained by the astral map, namely the mass cat, the age cat and the class-cat.
Alternatively a destination may be set by specifying the orbital elements of the orbital body. Note that this mode may only be used when the current destination is a celestial entity with an orbit recognised by the navigational systems.
There are six orbital elements (a, e, i, &Omega, &omega, t) . a specifies the semi-major axis of the elliptical orbit, e specifies the eccentricity of the ellipse, i specifies the angle between the orbital plane and the ecliptic, &Omega specifies the longtitude of the ascending node, &omega specifies the argument of the perihelion, and t is the last orbital element.
A somewhat redundant coordinate mode, as it can be emulated by a one-dimensional spherical coordinate with automatic mass lock. However, the user may want to active a locking mode other than AML. In that case, the method mentioned above can no longer be implented. In the case of the pilot wishing to enter an orbital radius coordinate and activate whatever locking-mode he chooses, this coordinate mode should be used.
Instead of the pilot having to enter a coordinate, a coordinate from the flight recorder may be inputted. The flight recorder has a database of all previous coordinates ???.
Origins, Axes & Units
Automatic Coordinate Mapping
Defining The Point
Error Correction & Locking
Although coordinates define a `point', the size of this point varies considerably, and may contain many celestial bodies. Although the level of coordinate accuracy may be set, often inaccurate coordinates are corrected by the error correction algorithms, which usually set the target coordinates precisely. The table below lists all of the available error correction modes.
Error Correction TableNum Name Description 0 automatic mass lock (AML) default mode 1 intelligent life lock (ILL) locks onto life-signs 2 small mass lock (SML) locks onto space-craft-like mass 3 large life lock (LML) largest mass at UHL lvl 4 LML &rarr ILL two stage, LML is prioritised 5 SML &rarrILL two stage, SML is priotitised 6 homing signal lock (HSL) multiple protocols recognised 7 HSL &rarr ILL two stage, HSL prioritised 8 visited before lock (VBL) self-explanatory 9 geostationary orbit lock (GOL) self-explanatory
Navigating Through Time
The Nature Of Temporal Coordinates
There are nine different methods of controlling time travel with the TARDIS. A relative or absolute time segment/band/preference can be entered, although this method is somewhat clumsy. A relative or absolute Digital Time Orientation method can be used, or a time track/sector/preference can be used, again this can be a relative or absolute instruction. A telocity selector method can also be utilised. Optionally, temporal coordinates can be omitted if the pilot wished to remain in the current event wave.
Telocity selection is a very simple way to set temporal coordinates. In fact, it is not even a coordinate as such, rather a telocity limit setting. The telocity selector is entered by the four analogue potentiometers, with a telocity inputted at (exterior) years per (interior) second/ minute/ hour/ year, depending on the slowspeed mode setting. With slow speed off, the default is (exterior) years per (interior) second. The actual units (1 to 9999) represent the magnitude of the telocity.
Automatic Time Scaling
Digital Time Orientation
This is perhaps the simplest method of temporal coordinate entry. Digital Time Orientation is a procedure which requires some initialisation before use (See: X.X.). Once initialised the TARDIS will be able to travel to any specified time zone in one particular planet. The DTO unit is usually configured to planetary revolution cycles, commonly called years. An arbitrary zero year is placed within a certain revolution (DTO coordinate 0000.) Once the planet reaches the position zeroed again, a year is incremented. This year is called year 1, and the DTO coordinate would be 0001. Once the planet revolved to the zero point again, any time that year would come under DTO coordinate 0002. Note that the maximum absolute setting is year 9999 corresponding to DTO coordinate 9999. The minimum absolute value is 0000 corresponding to the zero-year. The actual time period within the year cannot accurately be determined but a bias can be applied by using the time segment controller. When setting an absolute coordinate, use the positive side. The negative side is not used with absolute DTO.
The above method of DTO coordinate entering is absolute. A relative entering procedure exists, only a setting of 0001 would NOT move the TARDIS back to year one but would move the TARDIS forward/backward one year, depending on the time segment controller setting. Negative bias (-1 to -50) results in negative displacement whilst positive bias (+1 to +50) results in positive displacement. No bias or sign (0) results in forward travel of a non-biased nature.
The Entire Space-Time Coordinate
Omitting Temporal Coordinates
Omitting Spatial Coordinates
Formal Coordinate Entry
Quick Coordinate Entry
The ship sports several general purpose utility functions; by their very nature these features are not essential and serve only to make the pilot's life easier. The advanced models feature most of the functions in this section, including the Mark III's useful night-phase mode; the Mark I has the exterior decontanimation function, the antifluxsource delimiter, and the lighting control switch.
The external decontanimation function (EDF) will destroy all microscopic organic life which is attached to the outer-plasmic shell, and in addition will repel all dust and dirt; basically, the function cleans the ship's outer-hull. Whist in operation, the function will electrostatically charge the ship's exterior with positive and negative charge, which may cause some local radio interference.
The antifluxsource delimiter is a useful feature intended to help reduce sources of electromagnetic interference. When activated the delimiter reflects waves of energy interference back towards their source, not only protecting the TARDIS but hopefully negating the source of interference altogether. As well as working with electromagnetic radiation the system also works with gravitational waves, as well as with the more exotic energies found within the space-time vortex. Naturally, the function will operate whilst landed as well as during flight.
The lighting control toggles the status of the lighting systems. When the lights are switched off, the ship's interior is still dimly lit from the auxiliary lighting which remains on whilst power is being generated. In addition, this switch will operate the stun lights,
The bulb illumination control can alter the brightness of the indicator bulbs on the console, to take in account to different lighting conditions. The Mark III and Mark IV models have this utility.
A useful function available to Mark III and IV owners is the automatic drift control. Remaining `stationary' in outer-space is no simple task. The circuit chooses a frame of reference such that the TARDIS remains stationary with respect to the movement of the nearest threat object, i.e. an object which has a significant probability of colliding with the TARDIS. This `safe' frame of reference may change as time passes. The function allows the TARDIS to be suspended in space with the utmost security.
Mark III pilots have the option to activate the anti-field distortion drive, a feature which cancels out electromagnetic field distortion at the loss of a little speed. This distortion is undesirable because of the amount of static interference which is generated.
The Mark III and Mark IV models both have an exterior sample collector, the Mark III has a more advanced version but the basic operation remains the same. The Mark IV exterior sample collector gathers either a soil, air or water sample which will appear behind a hidden roundel. Upon opening the roundel, one can observe the sample though a glass screen. To touch the sample, open the roundel above. To select what type of sample is to be taken, the exterior sample collector switch can be set to its upper position, earth, its middle position, air, or its lower position, water. The water sample is taken from water vapour and moisture from the air.
The Mark III has three different collector levers for the three collections listed above, plus a life-from collector function, which captures a sample of microscopic animal life.
For the lazy pilot the Mark III has what has been called nourishment controls. Three switches activate the production of either a drink, a pre-set food or a hot flannel. All items must be stocked in base form and are loaded underneath the control panel. Whatever is selected, a part of the edge of the control console will slide back to reveal a hidden dispenser.
The Mark III has several interior doors which can be activated via the central control console. Both the computer-bank alcove shutter and interior fire doors can be operated from the control room. The shutter, normally concealed, descends from the ceiling and prevents access to the computer bank area. The fire doors, on the other hand, are made of translucent aluminium, and will open and close when approached. The function of these doors is only to prevent the spread of toxic smoke and fire through the ship.
Night Phase Mode
One major addition to the environment controls is the night phase mode, which is fitted to the Mark III TARDIS. Put simply, the night phase function allows the pilot to specify an interior night-time, a time at which oxygen regeneration can be cut down, lights can be dimmed, etc. There are eight switches which control this process, they are detailed below.
One of the options during night phase is to activate the special night lights. Night phase lighting changes the lighting from the normal bright white to a soft dull light and finally to a dim red glow. Also, during night phase the oxygen supply can be reduced as less activity dictates less oxygen used.
There are also a number of security considerations which come into play during night phase. There is a night phase alarm, which will sound if any abnormal readings are registered by any of the instruments. Another security function is the night patrol scan, the mode causes the scanner to monitor activity outside the TARDIS and will sound an alarm if the TARDIS is attacked or moved. The alarm can also be set to sound if a subspace distress call is picked up during the night.
A log of all unusual events during the night is kept and can be displayed by activating the night report. This brings up records of instrument readings, environment status and the reason for any alarms going off during the night. The times of all events are shown along with other relevant data. The report is displayed in the information window.
To calibrate the night phase controller, several utility switches exist. There is a standby night function, which can activate the night phase at any time. There is also a time selector which is used to indicate whether night phase turns on with the exterior night, interior time or biological time, i.e. whenever the pilots body expects a sleeping period. A night indicator light will show when the night phase is operating.
The TARDIS has few communications devices by default: the Mark I is provided with with the telepathic circuit link unit, the scanner microphone control, which enables the pilot to project his voice outside the TARDIS, and the astral map, which has an electromagnetic scanner.
The telepathic circuit link (TCL) device is separate from the central console, residing behind one of the storage roundels. Shaped as a small, hollow cube, its function is to open up a telepathic network between the operator and Capitol City, Gallifrey; it will then amplify and transmit the thoughts of the pilot. The process requires considerable concentration and is quite exhausting, its use recommended only in an emergency.
A useful device supplied with models Mark II and above is the thought pattern collector. This comes in two parts, a headset which is provided with the TARDIS, and the thought pattern emitter (TPE) -- the circuit which receives the thought patterns channelled from the headset. The circuit translates the artron impulses into electrical impulses, which are then sent to the scanner. Whenever the scanner is sent images from the TPE, it will automatically switch from whatever is was showing before and display the TPE images. The scanner will return to displaying its previous images when the TPE has stopped transmitting its pictures. The device will work with any willing mind showing still and moving images. The device is not a mind probe, as it causes no pain and does not delve deeply into the user's mind.
The lack of communications equipment was partly rectified in the making of the mark III model. A telepathic circuit indicator was added to visually confirm the process of establishing a mental link. The exterior announcements were now made through a high quality graphite-diamond pickup, and an interior announcement microphone was installed along with an activating switch. This can be used a primitive public address (PA) system. The Mark IV also has a version of this PA system.
Although the Mark III cannot transmit any subspace radio signals, it can monitor them. An audio transducer is mounted on the control console for audio subspace translations, and a subspace network-ID read-out display panel was fitted, which displays information on the current signal being received such as coordinate of signal origin, type of signal, distortion, signal strength, network protocol used, etc.
SYSTEM & PAAD CONTROL
These controls are not vitally important, but as improper use can be dangerous, they are detailed here.
The power-octagon controller can be utilised to lift the power-octagon out of view, so that only the emitter at the bottom of the power-octagon is visible. The power-octagon contains amongst other components the artron disperser, and these function more effectively when the unit is lowered. For mainly aesthetic reasons the power-octagon may be raised out of view.
One of the major improvements of the Mark III is the redesigned fluid link architecture. Following complaints about the original fragile and temperamental fluid links, engineers completely redesigned the system. The Mark III has a mercury supply low light, which will illuminate when the mercury systems need refilling. To refill the links, one need only press the mercury reservoir store switch, doing so reveals a hidden panel with a mercury refill pipe.
The only fluid link control which is available to all TARDIS models is the fluid link boost. Correct discipline must be applied when using this control as the fluid links may overload if the switch is left on for a long period of time. The booster works by increasing the temperature of the mercury to lower its resistance, therefore increasing the available current in the system to do work.
Another technical addition to the myriad of Mark III controls is the crystal cell charge switch. This allows the pilot to disable the crystal cell recharge cycle for whatever reason. Left on, and the cell will charge up to full capacity as normal.
To act as a kind of simple fault indicator, the bulb check mode will flash all bulbs as a bulb check. Any bulb that does not light is faulty. This utility was built into the Mark III and Mark IV models.
The permanent artificial alternative dimension, once created, does not need any external maintenance on the part of the pilot. However, two specialist functions are provided on the Mark III and Mark IV advanced models. They are provided for use in emergencies and do not play any role in the process of piloting the TARDIS.
The first, relative dimensions cut-down, closes down up to half the size of the interior dimension by erasing space that has no matter occupation. This is useful as it releases a lot of power which can be utilised by other TARDIS systems.
The other function is called the interior dimension boost. The facility re-tunes the interior dimension into its natural position, then locks onto this new frequency. This can be useful after experiencing magnetic influx storms, although it is very rare for this to happen.
Although there should be little difficulty in safely piloting the TARDIS, malfunctions, computer errors and general dilemmas do occur. The most common of these are mentioned below, with some advise of the most appropriate action necessary to remedy the situation.
If there is any major problem whilst in flight, simply rematerialise, activating the stabilise materialisation phase function if needed. Mark III owners can activate the quick materialisation phase mode, which will quickly dematerialise the TARDIS from the space-time vortex to the relative exterior world. The TARDIS can dematerialise even if the dematerialisation circuit is damaged, by automatically initiating the emergency rematerialisation routine (ERR). See 7.X.
The TARDIS has only one door which leads both in and out of the ship, and one emergency door which to exit from the ship only. If for some reason the main door is blocked, preventing egress, the emergency exit may be used. If both doors are blocked, several options are viable to remedy the situation. Help may be called for using the microphone, the ship may be dematerialised, the chameleon circuitry may be activated or, failing all this, help may be summoned from Gallifrey via the telepathic circuit link.
The process of evacuating the ship may use either exit. If the TARDIS is being left without an immediate intention of return it is advisable for the power to be shut-off and for the ship to be locked. Gallifrey should be informed of an abandoned TARDIS.
If a fluid links cracks, or is somehow deplete of mercury, it must be replaced swiftly. This cannot be done during flight. Beware of mercury fumes as any spilled mercury will vaporise immediately. If a fluid link is empty, but not damaged, then perhaps the end may of unscrewed itself and the supply of mercury ran out. Simply refilling the link with mercury will fix the component.
The navigational systems take around twelve minutes to reset and orientate, and if this waiting period is not fully observed, it could lead to navigational inaccuracy. Although this is not a technical error as such, the aforementioned waiting period should be observed to ensure accurate navigation.
External instrumentation, such as the scanner eye, may sometimes malfunction or even sustain damage. If this occurs then the components may need to be replaced, this is done whilst landed. Whilst the ship's door is unlocked the patch normally covering the dimensional bridge opening may be lifted granting access to the components stored here.
Issuing a may-day call is done via the scanner
microphone for short-range transmissions, or by the telepathic circuit link, for
contacting Gallifrey. There are no other methods of transmitting a message.
The space-time vortex is a dangerous world, as to is the real universe in which we live. On occasion it may prove necessary to quickly dematerialise from real-world dangers, or perhaps to swiftly materialise the TARDIS from the space-time vortex. Due to either power-loss or damaged circuitry, it may be impossible for the ship to engage the dematerialisation circuit. In this case, the emergency exit unit may be utilised. The circuit manoeuvres the ship out of the space-time dimension. It is dangerous to stay out of space-time longer than a certain period; hence three alarm sirens will activate, giving three warnings. The white void outside the space-time dimension is a strange world where the only reality is the occupants of the void itself and the virtual realities that they create with their own minds. On the third alarm, fiction -- or virtual reality -- will become a reality and the void the TARDIS occupies will have become very dangerous indeed.
To exit the space-time dimension, first cancel all pre-set coordinates. This is not necessary but it is desirable. Next, insert the emergency exit unit into the circuit port -- a connector which enables new components to be temporally connected to the TARDIS's circuitry. After a brief materialisation phase the TARDIS will arrive in a random white void. To return to reality, simply remove the circuit and dematerialise.
Life Support Problems
In the event of an absence of exterior oxygen the automatic oxygen supply will supply oxygen instead. The storage tank can hold 48 hours of oxygen for the whole ship. The automatic oxygen supply will refill itself when programmed to do so, the adjustments must be made to the environmental systems computer bank. The tank will then replenish its air supply from the exterior atmosphere, using the dimensional bridge, filtering out any undesirable elements. The tanks replenish in a duration of 90 minutes.
In the event of a complete lack of oxygen from both outside and from the ship's air tanks, an oxygen cylinder is provided for personal delivery of oxygen. The cylinder has three masks which may be used, each featuring an environment filter enabling any residue oxygen inside the ship to be used. The cylinder will supply enough oxygen for one person for approximately three hours.
The ship's power systems may occasionally present problems such as overloading, power-loss, or a complete power-cut. In the event of a power surge, the main circuit breaker will usually trip, hopefully preventing any damage to the ship's circuitry. If this circuit breaker does not trip, it can be manually activated to shut-down the power and initiate the no power mode. Often a power-spike can damage the triple resistor micro-chip, the result of which is a complete power loss. In that scenario, a simple replacement will remedy the power loss.
Perhaps more common than a power surge is a power-loss. A loss of power can be compensated for by the several power-boosting options available, such as the power booster unit, the fluid link boost and the influx power boost. A power-loss may be a temporary condition caused by the surrounding environment, or it may indicate a failure of a certain component. Sometimes prolong use of the full power mode may drain the ship's power banks; the power-loss is only temporary and the power bank will soon be replenished.
In the event of a complete power-cut, either the main circuit breaker has tripped, in which case, a simple reset will restore power; the energy absorber or energy converter have failed; or the energy distributor has malfunctioned, which will force the TARDIS into the no power mode. If the power-cut is due to a stoppage of incoming artron energy to the ship's systems, a temporary reprieve may be found by activating the auxiliary power bank.
If per chance all electrical systems are dead but the artron systems such as the power drive are working normally, then the suspect component is the energy converter. A simple replacement of the unit will nearly always fix this problem.
The TARDIS can be of some assistance during regeneration, especially if the pilot is experiencing his first regeneration. Help comes in the form of artron energy, which is channelled to the pilot from the artron disperser. For this to be effective, the power-octagon must be lowered. Upon the start of the regeneration process, the TARDIS will channel artron energy into the transforming Time-Lord, to give the healing process a boost. A large amount of artron energy may be channelled into the pilot; the TARDIS's power-drive and power-systems may fire-up to full output capacity. The excess amount of artron energy will permeate through to the ambient atmosphere; this may have unforeseen side-effects.