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How Much Is Doctor Who’s TARDIS Worth?

Having recently started working our way through the Doctor Who series, we became enraptured with answering one question: What would the TARDIS cost to buy?

David Cross

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If you’re a science fiction fan, you know about “Doctor Who.” Even if you don’t like the long-lived British series, you at least have the basics down. There is a guy, the Doctor, who travels through time and space having one adventure after another.

We’ll admit that most of the Movoto bloggers aren’t lifelong “Doctor Who” fans. Yours truly will die singing the praises of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” But there has been a recent addition in our lives named Netflix. And low and behold, the twin gods of science fiction and fantasy decreed “Doctor Who” should be available on instant streaming.

We’ve been working our way through the series. What’s available anyway. And one thing we constantly want more information about is the Doctor’s TARDIS, an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. It is essentially a time machine and spacecraft rolled up into one semi-sentient machine.

It’s also the Doctor’s home.

And if you’re a constant reader, you know how we feel about homes, even time-travelling homes. We like ‘em.

As we’ve done with other fictional abodes, we set out to find how much Doctor Who’s home would be worth.

After going on our own adventure, we came away with this tidbit: The TARDIS, if it were treated as a house, would be worth either $2,580,324,616.75 (€1,933,405,432) or $50,497 (€37,836), depending on how you measured the sci-fi mainstay.

In either case that’s a lot of money for a doctor.

Here’s how we did it.

There’s No Place like a TARDIS

Just like calculating the value of a real-world home, we needed three things to create our price tag:

  • A location
  • Comparable properties
  • The fictional home’s size

Quick observers will notice two things here: it’s pretty difficult to track down the size of the TARDIS and its location—because it’s a freaking time/spaceship.

Still, like dutiful fans we trooped on.

The Best Location in This or Any Other Galaxy

In real estate, location plays an important role in price. A home with a view will cost you more than a home that looks directly into a brick wall. So how do you figure out a location for a home that can jump through time and space?

The answer: You just do it.

In this case we decided to drop the TARDIS down in London. It’s an English show after all.

Doing this gave us a massive amount of property information to use in our research. And yes, you can read this last sentence as us not knowing the price of a home on Xanax.

A TARDIS by Any Other Name

So what’s comparable to a TARDIS? Another TARDIS. We wracked our brains trying to think of this, and the best we could come up with were other spaceships such as the USS Enterprise or the Deep Space Nine (that’s a second plug btw).

It was pretty much impossible. Instead, we looked at the value of property in London.

The average price per square foot for a home in London is $1,147.65, or €859.92.

(If you need an explanation for why the TARDIS would be immobile in London, here it is: The TARDIS’ sweet dematerialisation circuit is broken/was stolen. You’re all smart people; a fanfic on this missing “Doctor Who” tale would help. Go forth scribes.)

How Big is the TARDIS?

Any longtime fan of the show will know this answer—freaking huge. It’s close to impossible to figure out the size of the TARDIS. It changes shape depending on the whims of the show’s writers. In continuity, it’s just as confusing because it can change based on the Doctor’s personality.

There’s also one other problem. The TARDIS is larger on the inside than the outside. That makes for some difficult math.

We tackled this as pragmatically as possible. We went ahead and figured out the size of the TARDIS both on the outside and the inside (as much as possible).

Outside the TARDIS

On the outside the TARDIS appears to be a 1960s police box, which is a product of a bygone age. A police box is a British telephone kiosk located in a public place that is used by the police or a member of the public to contact the authorities.

Finding the size of a police box was relatively easy. An English company produces replicas.
According to the company, the outside has a length of 120 inches (10 feet) and a width of 53 inches (4.42 feet), or about 44 square feet.

Inside the TARDIS

We stumbled across two ways to estimate the size of the TARDIS. In “The Invasion of Time,” a serial in the 15th season of the show, the TARDIS is said to be about the size of the Empire State Building, which has a floor area of 2,248,355 square feet.

The second option is the TARDIS is larger than a planet that is itself several times larger than Earth.

For everyone’s benefit we picked the first option.

For the curious, you’ll find an unknown number of rooms. Rooms that are shown on a regular basis include a:

  • Library
  • Wardrobe
  • Cloister room
  • Holding Ring (rooms for past companions)
  • Swimming pool

Once we had an idea of the square footage, the rest was simple. We multiplied the square footage for both the outside and inside of the TARDIS by the average cost per square foot from a home in London. This comes to $2,580,324,616.75 (€1,933,405,432) for the inside or $50,497 (€37,836) for the outside.

And that is how Doctor Who helped us save the world from boredom.


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posted on: February 26, 2013
669 views, 6 comments

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6 Comments

  1. bionelly

    Are you sure about those outside measurements? The base of it should be square (and I own a few 3d models of it, so I know that’s not just perspective. :P) Either those are the dimensions for a different style of police box, or the 10 ft. is the height, not the length, which would mean as far as floor space goes, it’s 4.42×4.42, or 19.54 sq. ft.

    That’s still not necessarily right, though, since while the TARDIS is supposedly always disguised as a 60′s police box, its disguise isn’t really exactly accurate. The dimensions have changed a bit over the years, but the current prop is roughly 5 feet square.

    • David Cross in response to bionelly

      Hey bionelly, thanks for the reply. With your square footage the TARDIS would be worth…drum roll… With your size it would cost $22,425.

  2. The Dean of Cincinnati

    You have totally neglected the vehicular implications of being able to go anywhere or anywhen…

  3. Alex

    1. I don’t recall any line in The Invasion of Time where the Doctor — or any other character — puts the dimensions of the TARDIS in relation to the Empire State Building. The online transcript has no line either (that I can find).

    2. As mentioned in another comment, the sq. footage isn’t correct.

    3. In Castrovalva, the newly regenerated Doctor mentions jettisoning a quarter of the TARDIS’s mass in order to escape a disaster. He puts the result at 17,000 tons of thrust.

  4. T Tierney

    In penultimate sentence, it looks like you have transposed “inside” and “outside.”

  5. Ryan

    Value of the TARDIS: “More valuable than the total sum of any currency. Living metal. Bespoke engineering. Whatever machine you require, this system will build it.”

 

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