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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 7:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The latest special issue of DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE had an insightful article pertaining to the TARDIS - or is it Tardis?

It does stand for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. We all know that. But apparently, it was just a word early on, at least if some sources are to be believed. According to the article, it was simply a generic term when the show was in its infancy - before someone made it an acronym. The story goes that the word sprung solely from the imagination of writer Anthony Coburn (in the draft script of "An Unearthly Child").

But it predates DOCTOR WHO. It was a surname! In 1931, the Sunday Times reported on a rugby match (Esher vs. Westcombe Park). A bad pass was intercepted by an L. Worters who scored in order for T. Tardis to convert. I'd be inclined to believe Tardis is an extinct surname.

The Times used lower-case and reported on the Tardis in 1969. It was capitalised in comic strips, but then again certain comic strips, if not all, always featured capitalised letters.

It goes even further back. An 1816 edition of London's The Times mentions the destruction of the Tardis bridge in the Rhine. And the word was used by Roman poet Virgil.

There's a lot more in the article - the magazine is available on newsagents' shelves - but I take away this from reading it: someone probably had come across the word Tardis, retained it, and then used it in the show, but it was only ever intended to be a big word. Turning it into an acronym came later.

It's nice to learn something new every day!




Edited by Robbie Parry on 22 December 2017 at 7:31am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It's an anagram, so properly it should be T.A.R.D.I.S.!!!!
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

In the very first episode, An Unearthly Child, Susan claims to have made up the TARDIS (or T.A.R.D.I.S.) acronym herself.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yes, a difficulty, if we try to fold it in with all the nonsense that has come since.

Ah, well! At least Moffat didn't get around to having Clara suggest the acronym to Susan.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 1:28pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Ah, well! At least Moffat didn't get around to having Clara suggest the acronym to Susan.

***

Let's hope Big Finish don't ever do that. I was told today, to my surprise, that Big Finish adventures are canonical. BBC Worldwide states this:


 QUOTE:
As far as the BBC is concerned, these new stories are seen as part of the official Doctor Who canon. A great deal of responsibility comes with that status, and Worldwide did not assign this license without careful thought.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 22 December 2017 at 1:28pm
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 5:42pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I was told today, to my surprise, that Big Finish adventures are canonical.

I knew the 8th Doctor audios were considered canon but not the entire range. Wow! It opens up a whole can of worms regarding the comics and novels though as, on occasion, characters from the extended Whoniverse have turned up in the audios (Frobisher and Fitz for example). Then you've got things like the Big Finish adaptation of Human Nature the novel which originally featured the 7th Doctor (far better than the on-screen version, btw), does that mean that the Doctor experienced the same adventure twice? Good grief, I may need to lie down in a darkened room to think this one through.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 5:53pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I recall that the David Whitaker-authored novelization of 'The Daleks'(published long before Target Books came along), consistently used italics...Tardis.
Every other 'official' source I remembered used uppercase, and no italics.
Non-capitalized and non-italicized 'Tardis' turned up frequently in newspaper articles, or references by the general public(such as 'Radio Times' letters to the editor commenting on the latest change of actors('I've switched off since Doctor Who began sharing his Tardis with Roger Fonebone', etc).


Edited by Brian O'Neill on 22 December 2017 at 5:54pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Andrew, they have indeed opened up a can of worms! ;-)
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 22 December 2017 at 9:55pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I'm all for Six's Big Finish audios being canon. NIGHT OF THE DOCTOR already made Eight's so, but Six deserves it since he's a proper Doctor, and not an egomaniacal jerk in those.




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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 23 December 2017 at 3:48am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I remember listening to The Spectre of Lanyon Moor (only purchased because the Brig was in it and it's set in Cornwall, my part of the world) and being shocked to discover I was actually enjoying a Colin Baker story. Don't get me wrong, I still find his television era completely unwatchable, but Big Finish have done much to rehabilitate the character (though Project: Twilight and Jubilee strayed back into the sort of casual nastiness that was so off-putting about Six's television adventures).

Apologies for the thread drift by the way. I suppose this part of the conversation has more bearing on the 'Tenures' thread than whether we write Tardis or T.A.R.D.I.S.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 1:28am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Well, there's really two issues with TARDIS as acronym.  Not just with everything that had come since.  If Susan invented the name, what did the Timelords call it before the Doctor swiped it?  And if they also called it the TARDIS, how exactly did an acronym in an alien language manage to work perfectly in English?

My current No-Prize explanation is, the Timelords called it a Tardis, Susan made up the acronym from the name to describe it. 
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 3:12am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Makes perfect sense...except it would contradict her dialogue from the first episode, where she says 'I made up the name fom the initials.'
 That requires a 'No-er than No-Prize' explanation...that she was relatively unfamiliar with English, and 'transposed' the words 'name' and 'initials'.

The use of 'SIDRAT' as the name for 'Time Lord bad guys' time machines' in 'The War Games' is another matter....


Edited by Brian O'Neill on 24 December 2017 at 3:13am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 8:19am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

My current No-Prize explanation is, the Timelords called it a Tardis, Susan made up the acronym from the name to describe it.

Not that Whovians pay much attention to their own history -- that way lies madness! -- but Susan states quite plainly that she made up the acronym from the phrase Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. The phrase came before the acronym.

(My curse, brought on by having been there "from the beginning", is that I view all that came after that deviated from the blueprint laid down by the earliest episodes --- well, THOSE are wrong. To heck with the retcons!)

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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 8:35am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

The use of 'SIDRAT' as the name for 'Time Lord bad guys' time machines' in 'The War Games' is another matter....

**********************************

That was never used on screen though, or even in the scripts as far as I'm aware. Malcolm Hulke came up with it when writing the novelization.


Edited by Robbie Moubert on 24 December 2017 at 8:37am
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 12:09pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

The name SIDRAT was used in episode seven of The War Games (it's pronounced Side-rat in the episode). Malcolm Hulke's novelisation told us that the acronym stood for Space and Inter-time Directional Robot All-purpose Transporter.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 1:32pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

All I know is that as a kid, I thought about turning Spectrum (from CAPTAIN SCARLET) into an acronym, but nothing came to mind. Anyone? ;-)
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 24 December 2017 at 3:05pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The name SIDRAT was used in episode seven of The War Games (it's pronounced Side-rat in the episode).

*************************

Well blow me down! How have I managed to miss that for all these years?! I stand corrected.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 25 December 2017 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I liked the acronym BIG RAT in JOE 90, even though I wasn't really a fan of that show.

There's a special place in Heaven for people who come up with good acronyms! 
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 25 December 2017 at 10:53am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

JB:
(My curse, brought on by having been there "from the beginning", is that I view all that came after that deviated from the blueprint laid down by the earliest episodes --- well, THOSE are wrong. To heck with the retcons!)
*****

I'm inclined to agree, as far as Gallifrey/'Time Lord lore' is concerned. The more they told/showed us the 'inner workings of the 'Ministry of Silly Hats' that ran the Doctor's home planet, the less we got to see of more interesting planets...as in, every other planet...including 1970s Earth!
I hated all the 'Mission for the Time Lords' episodes in the Pertwee era('Well, you're still 'exiled' to Earth, except for these six episodes...and the next four..and 3 of the 6 after those...')
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 25 December 2017 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I liked the acronym BIG RAT in JOE 90, even though I wasn't really a fan of that show

**************

Ooh, let me see if I can remember it without the help of Google!

Brain Impulse Galvanascope Record And Transfer? 
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 25 December 2017 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Cool...and I know next to nothing about JOE 90( I saw an illustration of the comic years ago in some oversized 'coffee table' book about comics from around the world).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 December 2017 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

There's a special place in Heaven for people who come up with good acronyms!

In junior high I did a parody of the THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. for the school newspaper. It was called THE MAN FROM R.E.L.A.T.I.V.E.

That stood for Regionally Established Liason for Attacking Terminating and Incinerating Vile Evil-doers.

Don't know how clever it was, but at 15 I thought it was brilliant!

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 25 December 2017 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

It looks good, Mr Byrne, and when you spell out what it means, it does roll off the tongue naturally.

Not everything does. There was a late 80s EAGLE strip where B.I.F.F. went after rogues. B.I.F.F. were the British Institute for Foiling Felonies. Say "British Institute for Foiling Felonies" out loud, especially after some wine, and it doesn't roll off the tongue naturally.

"Regionally Established Liaison for Attacking Terminating and Incinerating Vile Evil-Doers" may be a bit hard to say after a lot of wine, but I've said it out loud just now. It sounds right. 
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