Why Doctor Who Season 9 Is Changing The TARDIS

Doctor Who is a show about time, and with time comes changes. We already know that the upcoming Season 9 will include a change of companion, but it turns out that’s not the only thing being altered on the set. The TARDIS is getting a bit of a facelift itself, so as to better match the character of Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor.

In a video interview on the BBC website, Capaldi speaks a little about why the TARDIS needed to change. It seems he didn’t really feel that the previous design matched who he was.

I sort of felt that as we came to know my doctor a little bit more we needed to reflect that a little bit more in the environment that he lived in. I don’t think my doctor really fits in with the idea of a kind of Edwardian time traveler.

The last time the TARDIS design changed was in the Christmas Special The Snowman, which was the first episode after The Doctor lost his companions Amy and Rory. It was designed to signify a specific change in The Doctor’s mood. That design has remained through Capaldi's tenure in the role up until now. We’re not sure we would ever have described Matt Smith’s Doctor as Edwardian, but there was certainly a steampunk aesthetic in some of the previous designs which uses Edwardian and Victorian history for its inspiration. The interior doesn’t always change with The Doctor, and David Tennant’s 10th Doctor used the same interior as his predecessor for his entire run.

Regarding the specific changes that we will see when the new season premieres this weekend, Capaldi is taking a lot of inspiration from the history of the series for his changes.

There are a few more elegant... think 60’s and more classic design things knocking around...and also I’m a great fan of the roundels, which I think look amazing so we’ve begun to bring them back.

The “roundels,” if you’re not a long time Whovian, refer to the round wall decorations that were a near-constant part of the Police Box interior in the old days. While they’ve never gone completely away, the new ones look much more like they did in the old days. Here they are behind the Second Doctor Patrick Troughton


You can get a look at the new ones in the complete video below.

We’re only getting some minor teases of the new TARDIS. It’s like the BBC wants you to watch the show or something. Are you happy to see the roundels make a return or would you rather see something new come out of a new design? One way or another, we’re getting a new TARDIS and the countdown to a new companion when Doctor Who Season 9 makes its premiere on BBC American on Saturday, September 19.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.