The Doctor In The TARDIS
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The A to Z Of Doctor Who

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Author Topic: The A to Z Of Doctor Who  (Read 1892 times)
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« Reply #120 on: September 06, 2013, 04:54:05 pm »

C is for...

Chameleon Circuit

The Chameleon Circuit (also known as camouflage unit and cloaking device) is a feature built into TARDISes built by the Time Lords, although missing from the War Chief's SIDRATs and the Daleks' time machines.  It enables the TARDIS to assess the environment it's materialising into and take an external form that will blend in - for instance, an altar in a monastery.  It's notable that TARDISes seen on Gallifrey aren't disguised - perhaps the chameleon circuit recognises that disguise is unnecessary there.

The chameleon circuit on the Doctor's stolen Type 40 TARDIS is notoriously broken, so that it always takes the form of a police telephone box from the 1960s, a shape it had while parked long term in Foreman's junk yard.  The Doctor has occasionally made half-hearted attempts to repair it, most notably early in his sixth incarnation, when it briefly took the form of a pipe organ, a dresser and a gateway, before reverting to its usual shape.  On the whole, the Doctor tends to prefer the TARDIS retaining its familiar form.
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