Resurrection of the Roundels?

Are we going to see a new TARDIS for series 9? Peter Capaldi has remarked that he would like to see the TARDIS interior renovated, noting his preference for the minimalist roundel designs of the TARDIS in Classic Who.

“Roundels. I like the old Sixties roundels. That was the coolest look and I think it’s also appropriate for the way this Doctor dresses,” Capaldi said.

“It’s got a sort of Edwardian look about it  – not the actual console – it’s the bits and pieces lying around. Cricket bats, maps and odds and ends and things. There’s a Jules Verne quality to it – I would like to make it more Bauhaus.”

Should the TARDIS undergo a retro makeover? Although I personally prefer the modern TARDISes to the old minimalist designs (Matt Smith’s original design was my favourite), I think going a bit retro could work. Rather than bring back Troughton’s TARDIS lock, stock and barrel, though, what might be a good idea is to combine the look of the roundel TARDIS with more modern elements. The console room should be large, giving the sense of space that the modern TARDIS does, with the classic roundels lining the walls. The TARDIS should also have all the raised platforms and stairways that the modern TARDIS does, emphasising the spacey-wacey-ness.

In the 50th Anniversary, John Hurt’s War Doctor was given a TARDIS that attempted to be a mix of old and new: it had the roundels and the enclosed, circular console room, but also the organic coral and the console of Eccleston’s and Tennant’s TARDIS. I didn’t think it worked, the coral next to the roundels and the metallic quality of the rest of the console room just looked incongruous to me. It might have worked better if they’d chosen some other way to mix old and new — the coral was a bad choice. It just goes to show these things need to be done tastefully, with thought and care.

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