Icons of England
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693 of 1160 nominations



Is this an icon?



When David Tennant was interviewed by Digital Spy’s Dave West about his role as Dr Who, he didn’t mince his words. “There’s no other job like it really. I mean you know, I get my own TARDIS!”

His enthusiasm is shared by a generation of Dr Who fans, inspired by the 1950s-style London police box that conceals the Doctor’s time machine. Serious fans will know that TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimension(s) in Space, but did you know that the craft’s sound effects were created by dragging a set of house keys across the strings of an old piano?

Capable of travelling through space and time, the TARDIS was originally able to blend into any background where it landed, courtesy of a "chameleon circuit". However, this circuit broke when the TARDIS was in the shape of the old British police box — and it has remained thus ever since. In reality, BBC budget concerns about building a different-looking TARDIS for every episode dictated its static appearance.

Fans recently celebrated the rescue of one of the last mark two Metropolitan police boxes at Crich Tramway in Derbyshire, but the enthusiasm of some fans goes much further. A search on the web reveals detailed instructions for building your own TARDIS shed. You shall be a Time Lord yet...


Your comments

It's hard to see a picture of an old Police box without actually seeing a TARDIS instead- never mind the role it played in supporting the good old British Bobby in the middle part of the 20th century, it is instead remembered for travelling through time and space, usually around teatime of a Saturday. Along with its "wheezing, groaning sound" and neat trick of being "bigger on the inside" - itself something of a catchphrase -, the TARDIS is instantly recognisable and no list of English icons would be complete without it!

Andy Fisher

It evokes a time when the local bobby knew everyone on his beat, when calling for help involved nothing more technical than a whistle or a call from the police box.
Alan Gatter

He's not called Dr. Who. He's The Doctor. The only 'Dr. Who' was played by Peter Cushing in the two Dalek films. Please get it right. And for everyone out there, the next series isn't series 3 - if you count the all the Paul McGann stuff as a series, it's Series 30. Thank You.
Tom Collins (A Fan of Doctor Who)

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My nomination is the garden shed.