TARDIS in Orbit: What Happened Next…

It’s rare that someone encapsulates so perfectly how it feels to be a fan… that devoted part of you that lives in the TARDIS, revels in how big, vast and complicated the universe is and knows that some of its corners have bred terrible things that MUST be fought. It’s rare that someone does something so utterly bold and bonkers that it defines that little part of you that is forever Who. But in sending a model TARDIS into *orbit* for the 50th Anniversary, Robert Doyle and his daughter Alex sum-up the bold-and-bonkersness that makes us all fans.

As it turns out, like for those who make the show, pulling off bold-and-bonkers involves hard graft and spreadsheets (shudder). The father-daughter team have used crowd-sourcing website, Kickstarter, to raise enthusiasm and funds for their project.

“Exactly what goes into having a Kickstarter? You might think, ‘oh it’s not that bad, it’s a thirty day campaign and then you get money and then you do stuff’. Incorrect. It is pretty much a full-time job…”

With 3500 emails to respond to, $55 880 to spend and something called a “launch manifest” the Doyles have their very own Doctor Who Monster on their hands. But if you saw their original video pitch, you’ll know that it’s the sheer energy, joy and bold-and-bonkersness™ of this pair that has fuelled interest in the project. Yes the bright-eyes and bushy-tails in their first video now look a little under-slept, but these guys have serious sass. And I like ’em.

The amazing thing about this project is the sense of community that they’ve tapped into. Not only have they raised well over what they needed from the good Who-will of like-minded fans, but in an impossible quirk of fate, their website project manager is none other than Lee Jee Tso, a.k.a. Chang Lee from the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie. Despite logistical hiccoughs and an unexpectedly demanding interview with the Guardian (they wrote something nice – how could you not??) things seem to be on-track. I can’t think of a more audacious and touching tribute to the show which these two clearly love.

The Guardian article makes the point that knowing a TARDIS is up there, hurtling around our planet is reward enough. But what do you think? Is the time, money and effort worth it? Is this a crazy scheme with more imagination than sense or is someone finally putting the TARDIS where it belongs?


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