TARDIS Technical Index

Desktop Theme

(aka Environmental Metaphor)

A TARDIS interior micro-universe is created using Transcendental Equations that don't interface with Normal Space in a traditional way. The Default State of a TARDIS interior includes a Psychosculpture Environmental Metaphor. The three dimensional form of the Pedestrian Infrastructure is created by the Hynoleptic Interface and driven by a device similar to a Chameleon Circuit. The Imagery Enhancer Systems fine tune the process. Without the illusion of the Environmental Metaphor the interior TARDIS would be seen as a multidimensional bioentity. Thanks to their time brain, Time Lords are able to function in this environment without significant problems. But the multi-dimensional psychic nature of the interior will drive lesser species mad with visions of sinuous and churning monstrosities. Non-sentient beings (i.e. entities without proper biodata) will only be mildly nauseous when viewing the interior without the Metaphor.

The interior has about as much possibility for variation as the exterior does. The Wallpaper Controls are used to alter the Environmental Metaphor's Desktop Theme. The colour for the default interior is off-white. Since six is a very important number in Gallifreyan culture the hexagonal form is a common structural shape in Gallifreyan architecture. Hexagons can be found in the shape of many consoles and control rooms, and are often used to decorate the walls. However, individual rooms (and perhaps the entire interior) can be remodelled by changing the Desktop Theme. Default-white, Coral, Leopard-Skin, Wood-Panelled, and Gothic are just some of the many standard options. Depending on the complexity of the upgrades it can take anywhere from less then a day to several months for the TARDIS to redecorate its console room. During this time the TARDIS will place a sign on the door to that room that says "Closed for refurbishment". The TARDIS key will glow to indicate that the redecorations are complete. Normally all storage rooms and corridors follow the control room's theme, but systems faults can result in some areas retaining older disused themes. Some renegade timeships have been known to secretly archive old control rooms (and sometimes even new themes that haven't been selected yet). Since it is designed to function as something of a Safe Mode, the Secondary Control Room desk-top theme can't be altered from default.

A TARDIS can automatically redecorate various parts of its interior. In theory these redecorations are done in a manner that will be pleasing to the TARDIS's operator, but sometimes they are due to random dimensional feedback. Minor alterations to the architecture can also occur when a TARDIS diverts Artron Energy to assist in a Time Lord's regeneration.

Some types of customization can be implemented instantly. For example, the hardness of the floors and walls are adjusted for the comfort of the crew. The interior lighting is controlled from a switch on the console and can be raised to painful brightness. Operators who decide to paint the inside of the TARDIS should be careful as paint can easily jam a TARDIS's systems. During the Time War the matter used for the internal structure of a TARDIS can withstand a full-on thermonuclear blast.

NOTE: For information and pictures of the various Marks of Refits available for use in the Secondary Control Room see the Chapter on Refits and Upgrades.


Wood-paneled console roomWood-paneled console


Bumps console roomBumps console


Leopard Skin Console


Crystal Console


Gothic Light Console


Suspend Console RoomSuspend Console


Gothic Console RoomGothic Console
Diagram of console layout for the Gothic theme
Panel 1: Navigation

Panel 2: Diagnostic and Internal Ship Systems

Panel 3: Mechanical and Master Control

Panel 4: Communications and Exterior Monitor

Panel 5: Helm and Dematerialization Systems

Panel 6: Fabrication and Information Systems


Steam Console RoomSteam Console


Coral Console RoomCoral Console
Diagram of the layout for a Coral themed console
Panel 1: Mechanical and Master Control

Panel 2: Diagnostic and Internal Ship Systems

Panel 3: Fabrication and Information Systems

Panel 4: Navigation

Panel 5: Helm and Dematerialization Systems

Panel 6: Communications and Exterior Monitor


Brass and Glass Console RoomBrass and Glass Console
Diagram of the layout for a Brass and Glass console
Panel 1: Helm and Dematerialization Systems

Panel 2: Mechanical and Master Control

Panel 3: Fabrication and Information Systems

Panel 4: Communications and Exterior Monitor

Panel 5: Diagnostic and Internal Ship Systems

Panel 6: Navigation

Color Key

The following color code is used:

  • Black: For information from the TV Series, including Dimensions in Time, and 1996 TV Movie.
  • Blue: For information from the Novels and Audios including Target, Virgin, BCC, and Big Finish.
  • Green: For information from 'licensed' reference sources such as the Technical Manual, Doctor Who Magazine, and the Role Playing Games.
  • Red: For information from unofficial sources -The Faction Paradox series, behind the scenes interviews, author's speculation, and popular fan belief.
  • The TARDIS Technical Index is copyright Will B Swift.

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