Site Menu

February 22nd, 2011 14 comments

Doctor Who Experience – Restoration of a Tardis

The Restoration of a Tardis

Anyone visiting The Doctor Who Experience will see the 4th Doctors Tardis in all its glory – but it didn’t always look like that. In the words and pictures of the restorer Mark Barton Hill (free lance prop artist and FAN) here’s how it was done.

“The story is like this, My good Friend Andrew Beech asked me to carry out the work as he was impressed with a replacement lamp and door sign I made for the Tardis he owns, so I spent 3 months collecting and playing with suitable blue paints, researching, watching DVD’s and developing techniques of distressing and weathering.

I then collected the prop from The Doctor Who studios in Wales, brought it to Olympia and started to work on it there in situ every day for two weeks in January. It was in a dreadful state of disrepair, covered in a thick layer of dust, no base plinth, wrong signage, no door pull sign, broken windows and no Lamp!”

Below: The Tardis being wheeled in Olympia and the start of the restoration work…

4th Doctors TARDIS restoration for the doctor who experience in London

“I washed it, sanded it, and then painstakingly re-built the base plinth and started painted it layer by layer, staring with quite a light shade of blue and
gradually getting darker with a wipe on, wipe off technique using about 5 different blues and finished with a black wash – just to get that season 18 feel.”

On its Way: The various stages of restoration…

doctor who experience in London - 4th Doctors TARDIS being restored

“I replaced some of the windows with replicas I made myself and made a new lamp and signage, which are all hand painted. I used stories such as ‘The Leisure Hive’ and Warrior’s Gate’ as colour pallet reference.”

The Tardis Restored: The Tardis as seen in the exhibition and Mark with his finished work (image courtesy of Rii Schroer)…

The 4th Doctors TARDIS fully restored for the experience

Mark also assembled the console room wall panels, made ALL the 40 roundels and painted it and lit it. he was also responsible for the sound effects too!

In progress: The walls of the fifth Doctors Tardis…

The making of the 5th Doctors console room

The finished product: Mark steps inside the fifth Doctor Tardis with the finished walls in the background (image courtesy of Rii Schroer)…

Mark Barton Hill and the 5th Doctors TARDIS

The Doctor Who Experience: Tickets for the show in London are on sale now via You can also keep up to date via the Doctor Who Experience Twitter page.

And finally: many of you will have already the Video of Peter Davison’s spectacular arrival at Gallifrey 22 but if you haven’t then towards the end it features both the props shown above!

Other places of interest…

Longleat Exhibition – fascinating site on the history and exhibits of Longleat.

Police Boxes – A history of the police box and Tardis.

The Tardis – our own comprehensive section on the Doctors Type 40.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions (below), we reserve the right to edit or delete inappropriate messages.

Comment rules

The Doctor Who site welcomes constuctive comments related to the news article in question. Links posted in comments may not be displayed. We reserve the right to delete or edit any post entirely at our discretion. If you leave unacceptable comments your IP address will be banned and reported

Click here to read full comments terms and conditions