The Fourth Dimension
This is the first Adventure Game not to be written by Phil Ford. TARDIS was penned by James Moran, best known for his work on Torchwood and the Tenth Doctor story, The Fires of Pompeii. James has revealed that one of the highlights of writing TARDIS was deciding the functions of various console controls. 'I spent ages on that,' he admitted, adding he took extra care because '...my obsessive inner geek would be furious if I played a game and it didn't feel right!'
In early discussions for TARDIS's storyline, a number of original locations were considered. An incredible gallery was mooted, where pictures acted as portals to far flung places and another idea was for the time machine to house a Georgian hedge maze. These concepts were ultimately dropped in favour of the Doctor's drawing room although the notion of the Doctor's gallery survived in a different form and can be found in Amy's History Hunt.
So far, this is the only Adventure Game to have its own prologue - a short, scripted story called Wish You Were Here, written by James Moran. This mini prequel was written after the game was completed and leads directly into the action that kicks off TARDIS.
This isn't the first adventure to be set almost entirely within the TARDIS. In the 1964 two-parter, The Edge of Destruction, the Doctor and his companions remain onboard the time machine until the closing moments of the story and most of the drama occurs within the console room.
Although it's not stated categorically, when the Doctor recalls visiting Brighton and mentions that it 'didn't end well', he's probably referring to an incident in The Leisure Hive. In that story, the Fourth Doctor was relaxing on Brighton beach before K-9 trundled into the ocean, following a ball thrown by Romana. The seawater reacted badly with K-9's circuitry and the metal dog exploded!
The Cloister Bell was first heard in the 1980 story, Logopolis. In that adventure the Doctor told Adric, 'It's a sort of communications device reserved for wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations.' In practice the Cloister Bell warns of impending or immediate danger and was later heard in Castrovalva, Resurrection of the Daleks and more recently it tolled in The Sound of Drums and Turn Left.
The Doctor isn't the first person who's been thrown from the TARDIS. In the 1967/68 story, The Enemy of the World, the evil Salamander tricked his way into the time machine and tinkered with the controls. The TARDIS dematerialised with the doors still open and Salamander was sucked into the time vortex and lost. In recent adventures, such as The Runaway Bride, we've seen that opening the TARDIS doors whilst the craft is in 'normal' space is not necessarily calamitous. Amy even floats outside the TARDIS with no ill effects in The Beast Below.
The phrase 'Mostly harmless', used in TARDIS, is most closely associated with Earth. In The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy our planet is designated 'Mostly harmless' and the description became the title for the fifth book in the Hitch-Hiker's series. The saga was, of course, written by Douglas Adams, one-time script editor on Doctor Who.
The familiar exterior of the TARDIS was closely based on real-life police boxes and was designed by Peter Brachacki in 1963. He also designed the original console room and many aspects of his creation, such as the roundels, have become enduring motifs and used in various versions of the ship's interior. The current console room, and the one featured in the eras of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, were designed by Edward Thomas.
Most people know the basic capabilities and properties of the TARDIS: it's a time machine that can travel through space and it's bigger on the inside than the outside. But lesser known facts include:
Removing the dimensional control of a TARDIS leaves its exterior unaffected but shrinks the interior, leaving the console room the size of a doll's house.
The Doctor's TARDIS includes a HADS - a defence mechanism standing for hostile action displacement system. If engaged, it means that when the ship is facing an attack on its exterior, it dematerialises and lands in a nearby, but safer location.
The Doctor sometimes conceals a spare TARDIS key on the ledge about the words Police Public Call Box.
The Doctor has removed the console (the central control instrumentation unit) from the TARDIS on at least one occasion. However, using the console alone he was still able to achieve some sort of inter-dimensional travel.
If the Doctor needs to boost the TARDIS he's able to jettison some of the ship's chambers. The trouble is, he can't designate or predict which section or sections will be jettisoned meaning he could end up sending himself spinning into space!
The Doctor keeps a sign which reads 'Out of Order'. When he's landed in 20th century England he's been known to hang it on the outside door of the TARDIS, deterring anyone who might naturally assume it was a normal police box.