Doctor Who: LightWave TARDIS model

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past 12 to 18 months working on my model of a TARDIS in LightWave, most of the time being a few hour stints of actual work interspersed with many months of inactivity. [For those not in the know, a TARDIS is a time-and-space-ship from the popular British television series, Doctor Who.]

Image © Richard D. LeCour

This project has had quite a bit of a learning curve associated with it, the door panels being the most difficult part of the entire project.

I’ve restarted the entire project from scratch about four times, each successive time getting more accurate and more detailed, but with fewer points and polygons. The previous version had 4,033 points. The most recent version (which has a lot more detail and only 1,959 points!) I began from scratch about two weeks ago, only working on it on the weekends.

So far I’m quite pleased with this version. It helps that I am now 80% certain that a plaguing problem of objects flickering when moving them around during layout is a hardware issue, not a problem with the object or layer that I previously thought — one of the several reasons I restarted the project several times! That problem will hopefully be solved within the next couple weeks with the arrival of my new 64-bit 3D graphic workstation from Dell.

I still have the lamp at top to finish, as well as the signage both on top and on the front door, the phone compartment door, the handle and pivots on the main door, and a bit more detail at the top of each of the panels. The worst part will be the surface maps, graphic images to overlay on top of the component parts that add realism. After that, I have to create some realistic scenery to put it in! Having done a lot of Googling for other TARDIS meshes, I must say that my model is unusually closer to the actual blueprints than most others. My goal from the beginning has been to keep accuracy to at least 1/100th of an inch.


The version of LightWave I had wouldn’t install on the new 64-bit Windows platform. When I finally broke down and purchased an (expensive!) upgrade, LightWave wouldn’t recognize their own hardware dongle. Frustrated with LightWave’s lack of support and the disappointing product performance and usability of  core features, I abandoned LightWave for good.

Sadly, I never finished the TARDIS model. Even though it was almost complete — before anyone asks — no, I don’t have a copy of the model available for download.

Doctor Who: Speculations on “Bad Wolf”

Next week’s episode of Doctor Who in the UK is entitled Bad Wolf, which we know — thanks to previews at the end of last week’s episode — to be centered around some bizarre game show, with the Doctor and Rose playing versions of such “modern” shows as Big Brother and The Weakest Link. Anne Robinson, the original host of The Weakest Link actually plays the roboticized host “Anne Droid” on the show. And, speaking of robots, the Daleks resurface, not destroyed in the Time War as previously believed.

The phrase “Bad Wolf” has been lingering throughout this season; scrawled on the TARDIS door by a young vandal, the call sign of Van Stratten’s helicopter (“Attention all personnel. Bad Wolf One descending. Bad Wolf One descending.”), inscribed in German on the bomb ridden by Captain Jack, and countless more references. Those who are a bit paranoid could find meaning in this season’s episode 4 when the Doctor chased a pig down the corridor of a hospital, or when Rose wore a red hooded jacket during the first episode, a veiled reference to Red Riding Hood. The psychic Gwyneth from the Unquiet Dead read Rose’s mind and stated, “and you, you’ve flown so far, further than anyone! The things you’ve seen. The darkness. The Big Bad Wolf…” at which point she broke off in horror. That could be a reference to anything from episode 1 through 3.

The GEOCOMTEX website, clearly a fake website that is a reference to Van Statten’s company name, lists among its products argentum ordance (silver bullets) and a lupus (wolf) variant of a node stabilizer. Other BBC fakes such as Who is Doctor Who, Bad Wolf, and UNIT also contain more references to silver-tipped bullets and the big bad wolf. By the way, try the passwords BUFFALO and BADWOLF on the secure login for the UNIT website…

There are just as many theories as to the meaning of Bad Wolf: The TARDIS itself could be Bad Wolf (my personal favorite). It was part of some cataclysmic event during the Time War which wiped out the Time Lords and (supposedly) the Daleks. Unfortunately, I missed that part of the whole season and have never seen any of the Time War episodes. Knowing that the TARDIS is partially alive, it is possible that it somehow regrets its or the Doctor’s actions. The Doctor could be Bad Wolf. So could Rose’s mother, or Mickey, the Face of Boe, or anything else that Rose has seen. Perhaps Bad Wolf is the name of the futuristic TV show and the references are some form of product placement advertising. Who knows?

Either way, a chilling prospect arises. We know the Daleks are coming. We know that the genius Adam Mitchell has 20,000 years of history embedded into his brain. We know that Adam also has a computer interface in his forehead in the same place that Davros has an electronic eye…


Well, now we know. Somehow I managed to name just about every possible thing, creature, or character in the universe — except Rose herself.