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Old January 28 2014, 06:07 PM   #11
Lance
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Re: In-Universe Explanation for TOS Retro Tech

^ Doctor Who is an interesting case study.

The 'original' TARDIS control room was arguably a little "groovy" in its design, with it's giant roundel motif on the walls, but the control console itself depicted in the 1960s episodes was consistently plausible and realistic. Covered with switches that are actually visibly labelled on screen (as demonstrated with the 'Fast Return' switch in 1964's "The Edge Of Destruction"), or with conventional read-outs and gauges (like the radiation meter seen at the start of "The Daleks").

Not only did it look plausible, it was realistically shown, fully working, on-screen. I never found it less than 100% believable.

The revamp of the design in the 1980s saw the console's physical levers replaced with conventional computer keyboards of a type that might be seen on any home computer of the period (think 'Commodore 64'), but it was still plausible that the Doctor was getting information from the display screens, even if the actual asthetics depicted therein do look a little dated today.

The new series consoles are where it failed for me. Only Smith's revamped console room convinces me. The Eccleston/Tennant/early Smith model technology always seemed ridiculously impractical.

The original Sonic Screwdriver was literally a device for fixing things or unlocking doors, not the multi-purpose "anything goes!" device depicted in New Who which is often treated like a tricorder from Star Trek. That's what makes it implausible.
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