Since a TARDIS isn't even constructed of real matter and is,
in fact, a complex space time event rather then an object it was inevitable that the Time Lords would develop a version of a Time Travel Capsule that could be worn by a Time Lord. This was the concept behind the Time Ring.
Functioning much like a Vortex Manipulator (without the unhealthy side-effects to one's reality quotient), the Time Ring uses technology first developed for the Time Scoop in the early days of the Time Program.
When activated, this device will transport anyone who is in contact with it to a preprogrammed Time Zone. Using Transmission of Matter Through Interstitial Time (a purely muon based temporal drive) the Time Scoop creates Interstitial Motive Bridges that transport the user through space and time. A pocket dimension of Vortex Shields which, combined with the Rassilon Imprimatur, protects the traveller This time bubble would also slow the passage of time for the operator so that travel time seems to be only a few minutes. Like the Time Scoop, the Ring was powered by Taranium. And like the Time Scoop, the Time Ring relied on its operator's own artron energy to guide it through the Vortex.
Time Rings have seal on them that appears to be a spiral galaxy with three arms (the Milky Way has two.) A Time Ring can store the coordinates for two space-time jumps. All the navigation and drive systems are tucked out of sight in their own micro-universe, leaving only the Ring itself for the operator to interact with. The external bracelet exists only as a locator and control device. Due to the limited controls, guidance and operation of the Time Ring is accomplished telepathically. A Time Ring is equipped with a PAST and can expand its materialization field to transport more then one person. But every traveller must be in physical contact with the Ring at the moment of dematerialization. This requirement tends to limit capacity to three to four people. The Ring contains a fail-safe based on the Emergency Emergency Systems that will engage automatically if travellers become separated.
The first prototypes were produced by the Temporal Development Center less then a century before the Doctor's exile to Sol III. But the Time Lords would spend more then 300 years try to perfect the technology. Even then they were prone to molecular short circuits that would result in spatial or temporal displacement. If the Time Ring suffers a molecular short circuit while trying to get the user back to his TARDIS the operator will find himself a the right spatial the spatial coordinates will be off by several thousand years. A safety system in the Time Ring will trigger the TARDIS's temporal drift function to bring the TARDIS to operator's time-zone.
A Time Vector Coordinator is responsible for programming Time Rings for the CIA and other Time Lords before every journey. This is done using special Protyon Units attached to the Matrix which are called Block-Transfer Relays. Most time rings store coordinates for two space-time jumps. A Time Ring can be programmed to disintegrate itself, once its programmed space-time jumps are completed.
Users of Time Rings are cautioned that almost all of their systems are automatic, with no manual override options. Something as simple as a harmless field of strange tachyons and charmed anti-quarks will automatically trigger dematerialization and a random space-time jump.
- Time Rings lack all but the most essential of the systems that are found on a standard TARDIS.
- Time Rings possess Emergency Emergency Systems
- Most time rings store coordinates for two space-time jumps.
- Because of rarity of Taranium, most Time Rings are given only enough fuel to complete their planned journey.
- When the power supply has been expended, an abandoned Time Ring will shimmer and vanish.
- To reduce the chance of theft the Rings have a powerful self-destruct, capable of shattering Dalek casings.
- One of the prototypes was stolen by the Master and cloned several times.
- Despite not minor flaws, they were in use by members of the High Council 50 years after the first prototypes.
- They were also used under full field conditions during the Deliavatsud Intervention to prevent the creation of the Daleks. Two of the three rings suffered miss-jumps.
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.