Bigger On The Inside
Bigger On The Inside
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With Doctor Who returning to our screens on Saturday, and Glasgow’s very own Peter Capaldi back in charge of the Tardis – short for Time and Relative Dimensions In Space; with “It’s bigger on the inside!” being the standard reaction to anyone entering for the first time – now is the ideal time to tell the story of this iconic police box and its relationship with our fair city; and not to mention my own lifelong addiction to the cult sci-fi series.


Like many, Doctor Who was something that resonated with me as a kid, coming to it halfway through Pat Troughton’s era in the late 1960s, when the Cybermen came to the fore (put your duffle coat on back-to-front, followed likewise by the schoolbag on on your chest, and going home from Elmvale Primary School in Springburn, you were an instant Cyberman!); but the Doctor I really “grew up” with was the underrated third incarnation, Jon Pertwee (1970-1974), the dandy in the purple velvet suit with frilly shirts and cloak, who championed Venusian karate and was exiled to Earth by the Time Lords – and I dare anyone not to be impressed by his first adventure, Spearhead From Space, which I well remember being riveted by when it first aired on Saturday, 3rd January 1970.


In 1963, when Doctor Who began, there was hundreds of the Tardis-like police boxes scattered across the UK; all based on the iconic 1929 design by a Scot, Gilbert MacKenzie Trench, who was the Chief Architect and Surveyor of the London Metropolitan Police. Mainly the livery for these police boxes were what we know now as ‘Gallifreyan Azure’ – but Glasgow was different, and their boxes were originally painted red.


In the series, the Tardis was meant to adapt and blend into its surroundings, but as all Whovians are well aware, a fault in its ‘chameleon circuit’ left it frozen in the form of a Police Box when it first landed on Trotter’s Lane in London. Through the fifty some years of the television series, the police box has become internationally recognised, yet only around 1,000 examples were installed – and Glasgow is the only city in the UK that has preserved four boxes (now Category B listed buildings), and repainted all of them in their iconic blue paint.


Today’s ‘Tardis’ can be found in Wilson Street, and was one of the original Glasgow red police boxes. There are others scattered around the streets of Glasgow, and new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi paid homage to them and his home city by landing his Tardis on the site of the one on Buchanan Street at the end of his first adventure, as he tried to explain to Clara why, after his regeneration, he ‘suddenly’ developed a Glaswegian accent to go with his new body.


Leica M6 Classic & 35mm Summicron V4 (King of Bokeh)
Kentmere 100
Perceptol (1+1 – 15:30min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan


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