A Spotter’s Guide To The TARDIS in London

Doctor Who’s TARDIS is a design classic. The iconic time machine was based on the once-familiar police call boxes, from a more innocent time when the words ‘police’ and ‘phone’ weren’t used in the same sentences as ‘News of the World’ and ‘tapping’.

For a fictional device, there are quite a few TARDI about town. Here’s a roundup.

Earl’s Court Station

Image by Tezzer57 in the Londonist Flickr pool.

What, at first, appears to be an original police call box can be found outside the eastern entrance to the Tube station. It’s not all that old, though. The lantern-topped facility was installed in 1997 as a local security experiment. More info here. Suggestions about what the hell the guy in the photo is doing are welcome.

Television Centre, Wood Lane

Image by Ariedana under Creative Commons licence.

We’ve little information about this TARDIS, which appears to have materialised in the BBC’s televisual home of Doctor Who. Is it permanent? Is it shifting up to Manchester with half the Beeb’s staffers? Let us know if you have more info.

Sci-fi Exhibition, British Library

Image by M@.

This one’s not hanging around for long. This temporary TARDIS forms part of the BL’s free Out of This World exhibition, which ends on 25 September.

Winston Churchill’s Britain At War Experience, Tooley Street

Image by M@.

Apologies for the ropey photo. It was dark, and there were Nazis after us. The little-known Britain at War Experience is a pricey, slightly touristy attraction, but holds some interest…especially for WHO fans, because of this battered up police box model in the final Blitz exhibit.

Doctor Who Experience, Olympia

Image by M@.

The Doctor Who Experience, as you might expect, contains a fair few TARDIS models, including several interiors and this version from the filming set. You’ve got until November to catch this exhibition (which is actually pretty good, once the cheesy bit is out of the way).

Hendon Police Training College

Image by Luigi Rosa under Creative Commons licence.

This original police box can be glimpsed near Hendon from Northern Line trains. It appears to be used as a sentry box for traffic coming into the police training campus.

There are also a few slimline TARDISs around town, such as this one. Complete geeks might also seek out other work by the police box’s architect Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. He designed this rather impressive block of flats in Finsbury, for example.

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  • Harry Sinker

    A pedant writes: the plural is surely TARDISes (not TARDISs and not ever ever TARDI, where the hell did that come from?!)

    • Anonymous

      Because I enjoy pedant bating.

    • Anonymous

      Because I enjoy pedant bating.

    • ME!:)

      mmmm I noticed that.  However to be massively pedantic, the plural of words ending in an S and becoming a plural quite offen just end in ‘  ie status’ (opposed to statuses).  Therefore I believe the plural for TARDIS is TARDIS’ although, really who cares but agree that the writer either doesn’t know what TARDIS is an acronym for or it was a typo… 

  • http://twitter.com/clouddancefest Cloud Dance Festival

    We need one in Finsbury Park – there’s a dalek in the shop window opposite The Factory Gym on Hornsey Road!

  • http://twitter.com/silentjon Jon Cooper

    The BBC TARDIS was a permanent fixture for the two years I was working there. 

    • Martin Deutsch

      The one at TV Centre is a popular part of the TV Centre Tours – so I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. 

  • http://twitter.com/pminsider Pottermore Insider

    nice

  • http://twitter.com/pminsider Pottermore Insider

    nice

  • http://twitter.com/fastchicken Nic Wise

    There is another one in BBC Media Center (near TV Center, Wood Lane). It’s in a meeting room which is totally Dr Who themed – even has some original Dr Who stuff like a cyberman head from 1970′s.

    There is also a top hear room, complete with Stig. He had fun at the christmas party….

  • http://twitter.com/KT_KIT_KAT Kathryn White

    Isn’t there one in  Westminster, opposite the abbey?

  • Dsiler

    There is also one in Edinburgh, Scotland, royal mile near Cannongate.

  • Gzthomas

    Tardii

  • Marc

    Is there still a slimline one in Piccadilly Circus on the same pavement as the entrance to (showing age here) what used to be Tower Records?

  • Marc

    Is there still a slimline one in Piccadilly Circus on the same pavement as the entrance to (showing age here) what used to be Tower Records?

  • http://www.fehrtrade.com melissa

    The tardis in the back lot of BBC TV Centre has been there at least since 2003. I know because I’ve got a great photo of us peering out from inside it which I’ve taken to amaze my DR Who obsessed nephew! Unfortunately we only had our mobile phone cameras with us at the time…

    Photo here: https://picasaweb.google.com/squirrellypoo/VariousPhotos#4979851948724518930

  • http://www.fehrtrade.com melissa

    The tardis in the back lot of BBC TV Centre has been there at least since 2003. I know because I’ve got a great photo of us peering out from inside it which I’ve taken to amaze my DR Who obsessed nephew! Unfortunately we only had our mobile phone cameras with us at the time…

    Photo here: https://picasaweb.google.com/squirrellypoo/VariousPhotos#4979851948724518930

  • http://twitter.com/bully_thelsb Bully

    Suggestions about what the hell the guy in the [Earl's Court] photo is doing are welcome.

    I can’t tell what he has in his left hand, but that’s the exact same process I use to photograph my little stuffed bull Bully in front of landmarks and sights

  • http://www.almostwitty.com almostwitty

    If you go on the tour of BBC Television Centre (www.bbc.co.uk/tours), you are able to pose for pics with the TARDIS outside the Terrace on Television Centre. Or if you happen to know someone who works for the BBC…

  • Biggles12

    Loads in Glasgow.

  • queensway26

    Is there still one in Trafalgar Square? – that was my favourite.

  • David W

    Tardae? I saw inside the real one outside Wimbledon Chase Station several times. Surprisingly spacious…

  • llkkjjhh

    If you put Google street view by the Earl’s Court booth, it shows a path to walk inside; doing so will put you in the TARDIS interior.