Friday, July 12, 2013

Interlude: At the TARDIS Factory; How I Learned to Love Doctor Who

The Naked TARDIS

"All of time and space, everywhere and anywhere.  Every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"  The Doctor

(all photos by DCF)

Prior to its “modern” incarnation a dozen years ago, I had avoided Doctor Who like the plague.  Some clunky sci-fi TV crap from England?  No thanks.  I was exposed to a few of the newer shows in the mid-oughts, and actually liked them okay, but never really pursued the series, mainly due to a huge lack of time for ANY TV I wasn’t already watching, ya know, the good, quality, non-sci-fi TV, like The Wire and Deadwood and The Daily Show.

Then a few months ago, my son Nick came home from his job at Camellia City Millwork (CCM) and said he had been tasked with helping construct something called a “TARDIS” for this year’s State Fair and had we ever heard of it?  Well, unlike me, DCF IS a Doctor Who fan (Christopher Eccleston’s her favorite), and of course I at least knew what a TARDIS was, and so we were both ecstatic!  “You’re going to make a Time And Relative Dimension In Space machine?!  Is there going to be a Doctor Who exhibit at the fair this year?  When do you have to make it?  Is it going to open up to a huge larger control room like on the TV show?”  Yeah, we were geeked out. 

CCM Owner Angelo B
Okay, for those of you who don’t know: a TARDIS looks like a 1963 (when the series first aired) London Police Box (think American telephone booth, except more square-ish) and is what The Doctor and his companions travel around time and space in.  To research the TARDIS (for Nick’s benefit, of course), we decided to watch a couple of Who episodes.  We stuck with the last few years, and that couple turned into several and several turned into a half dozen and we were off!  I’m now a convert: it’s a quality show and I’d recommend it to anybody.  (Well, I guess I gotta admit, it probably helps if you like sci-fi).  I don’t always know exactly what’s going on, but that’s never been a problem for me anyway, and the pathways the writers take are extraordinary in their imaginative twists and turns.  (If you’ve never heard of the Weeping Angels and you onlywatch one Doctor Who episode, check out “Blink” from 2007.)   

So yesterday DCF and I were invited to the TARDIS factory shortly before it was transported to the fair (which opened today).  CCM did an incredible job; I hope the accompanying pictures give a little glimpse of the superb craftsmanship.  It turns out there is a “Hall of Heroes” at the fair this year, featuring, I suppose(?), Batman, Spiderman, the Doctor, etc, and the entrance into the hall will be through the TARDIS!  Sounds like a great idea; I may have to actually go to the fair this year for the first time in a LONG time.  And it also turns out that the final touches on the TARDIS, i.e, the lettering/signage, etc. will be applied at the fair by Drew, the guy who was one of the leads in the first “Sci-Fi Hotel”!  (SFH is an original musical we wrote and staged many years ago, but that is another story.)

Next up, a return to Westercon, Day 3, where among other things, we attend a panel on Doctor Who Through the Ages.  Seeya at the fair!

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