The TARDIS: The Doctor’s One True Love
Guest contributor Vincent van Onna examines how the Doctor really views his ship.
I always found the relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS peculiar. How does the Doctor really view his ship? In this article I will investigate how their relationship has changed over the years.
The First Doctor, played by the magnificent William Hartnell, had a different view on the TARDIS at first. In his third serial, entitled ‘The Edge of Destruction’, he does not think of her as a living being. He thinks of her as just a machine. During the episode, the TARDIS eventually malfunctions and causes the Doctor and his companions to hallucinate, this was an effort by the TARDIS to warn the Doctor of the malfunction. Eventually companion Barbara Wright figured out the hallucinations were the work of the TARDIS. This was the first ever episode to introduce the idea of the TARDIS being a living being, rather than a mindless machine.
Before the Tenth Doctor regenerated, he was holding in his regeneration energy and visited his old companions to see how he changed their lives forever. When he finished his farewell tour, he walked into the TARDIS. This shows that he sees the TARDIS as a safe place, he trusts her. You might think: ’well of course he trusts her’ but I find it quite special. The TARDIS might be the only ‘person’ that the Doctor trusts with all of his secrets. She has seen everything.
In the episode ‘The Eleventh Hour,’ The Doctor receives a new sonic screwdriver from the TARDIS. His response was: ‘Oh a new one, thanks dear.’ This might seem like just a bit of random dialogue, but out of this I can conclude that the Doctor cares about the TARDIS, and considers her very much alive. Unlike the First Doctor, who at first did not even know the TARDIS was alive. The relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS has really progressed over the years. The TARDIS is now so much more to him than just a machine. She is alive.
One episode I bet you all expected to get mentioned was, of course, ‘The Doctor’s Wife’. This episode truly explored the TARDIS like never before. The TARDIS and the Doctor finally had a chance to talk in this episode, as the very soul of the TARDIS was transferred into a human body. The Doctor and the TARDIS bickered quite a bit, but you could just see on their faces they really love each other’s company. There was also some flirting, as the Doctor finally asks the TARDIS her name, and she wants the Doctor to call her ‘Sexy’.
The TARDIS had a bit of a different version of how they met though. The Doctor always seemed to think he stole the TARDIS from the Time Lords. The TARDIS viewed it the other way around. From her point of view, she stole the Doctor from the Time Lords. She wanted to explore the universe with him.
And then there was the goodbye scene. As the TARDIS returns to normal, she has one final conversation together with the Doctor.
‘Idris: “I’ve been looking for a word. A big complicated word but so sad. I’ve found it now”‘
The Doctor: “What word?”
Idris: “Alive. I’m alive”‘
At the end of the conversation, she tells the Doctor: ‘I love you’
This was, to me, one of the most powerful moments in television. It was truly a unique moment in fiction. It shows that there is so much more to the TARDIS than meets the eye. The goodbye alone was enough to make ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ an instant classic. I recommend it to any Whovian, this is a must see episode.
In ‘The Name of the Doctor’, it can be seen that the TARDIS is near the Doctor’s grave. This is clear evidence that the Doctor and the TARDIS never parted ways. The TARDIS and the Doctor have been together forever since they have met. One could say the TARDIS is the Doctor’s true wife. One could also say she is his oldest companion; she was always there for him and she always will be. She might not have always taken the Doctor where he wanted to go, but she always took him where he needed to go.
To round this all up, I have one more quote from ‘The Doctor’s Wife’, by Amelia Pond.
‘It’s always you and her isn’t it? Long after the rest of us have gone.’
This one sentence, sums up the relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS. Companions come and go, but they will always be together.
Even after we, the current fans are long gone, the Doctor will still be out there somewhere in time and space, with his girl, the TARDIS. And whatever love he may feel for her, I think it is safe to say, he shares that love for her with all of the fans.
Thank you TARDIS, for saving the Doctor for the past 50 years.