Following the events of this week's Doctor Who episode, Flatline, Andrew Jero takes a look at the other instances when the Doctor, his companion, and in particular the TARDIS have been shrunk.
The first case of shrinking happened back in 1964 during the first serial of season two - Planet of Giants. The entire TARDIS crew (and the TARDIS itself) have been shrunk to the point where they can easily climb through sink drains, and are endangered by a house cat and a housefly. Ian is also able to climb inside a matchbox and subsequently pocketed by the main villain of the story, Forester. He is trying to have a new insecticide put into production that would endanger more than just the intended insects.
The second time we see the use of a shrunken TARDIS is in the Time Meddler when the Doctor changes the Meddling Monk’s TARDIS to be small on the inside, and the normal intended size on the outside. This takes the Meddling Monk a long while to repair, but he finally has when we reach The Daleks’ Masterplan. In this story the Doctor steals the Monk’s directional circuit which is later destroyed when the Doctor tries to use it.
We move now to season ten and the highly regarded story, Carnival of Monsters. The Doctor and Jo land inside a ship and witness the TARDIS being picked up by a giant hand. They discover they are inside a miniscope, which they eventually escape bringing with them a Drashig, something which will haunt Jo even in her third to last story, Frontier in Space.
The next appearance of a miniaturized TARDIS is when it was shrunk by the Master during the very first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw, Logopolis part three. The Master does this in an attempt to control Logopolis and the CVE’s (Charged Vacuum Emboitment). The Logopolitans used CVE’s to help control and slow the effects of entropy, which was beginning to fatally affect the entire universe. With the Masters’ meddling, a sizable portion of the universe is destroyed including the home world of companion, Nyssa. The fourth Doctor temporarily joins forces with the Master to stop the decay of all life in the universe. With the Master turning on him, the pair fight which results in the Doctor’s death after he falls from a radio telescope. He then merges with the character known as the Watcher and regenerates into my Doctor, Peter Davison.
In this weeks episode of Doctor Who, Flatline, the TARDIS is shrunk by some unknown force. When the Doctor climbs back inside the TARDIS it shrinks even further, but this time only on the outside, the inside remains the same, as does the Doctor who is able to hand Clara things through the doors. The shrunken TARDIS managed to provide some much needed comic relief (especially the Addams Family reference) in
an otherwise gruesome episode. Clara really got to shine, and even though Capaldi was stuck inside the
TARDIS for most of the episode he continues to impress me with his
characterization of the Doctor.
Flatline was a very solid episode of Doctor Who. In fact Series Eight throughout has been a really strong season, with the two exceptions being Robot of Sherwood and Time Heist - while both were good, neither was as good as the rest of the season thus far. My marks out of ten for the first nine episodes would go like this...
Listen – 10/10
Mummy on the Orient Express – 10/10
Flatline – 9.5/10
The Caretaker – 9.5/10
Deep Breath – 9.5/10
Kill the Moon – 9.5/10
Into the Dalek – 9/10
Robot of Sherwood -8.5/10
Time Heist – 6.5/10
Andrew Jero lives in Iowa and has a very strong love of both Red Dwarf and
Doctor Who. He enjoys acting and writing plays, television scripts,
and short stories. Follow Andrew on Twitter.