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The interior design of TARDIS changes over time, but one thing remains common among all designs: A transparent vertical tube in the center (around which controls exist).

The interior of tube also changes whenever TARDIS renews it's design, but it always feels like something is pumped whenever TARDIS flies across Time and Space (internal mechanism stand still when TARDIS sits somewhere doing nothing).

What is pumped inside that tube (I don't know it's name if it has one)? Is it Time Vortex (I concluded this because the tube comes out of heart of TARDIS which contains Time Vortex)?

Only canonical answers, please.

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@Einer - we don't know if the sound has anything to do with a "handbrake", I suspect that was just a joke on River Song's part, since every other TARDIS used by other Time Lords like The Master and the Rani has made the same sound. –  Hypnosifl Jul 28 '14 at 16:35
@Hypnosifl One part of me agrees with calccrypro. The other part says: "But she could fly that thing without the noise!" Maybe the handbrake-part is a pun, but she has demonstrated that the noise is unnecessary - that the Tardis can move without triggering pumping-associations. –  Einer Jul 28 '14 at 16:48
@Hypnosifl River Song probably did something right nonetheless. As to why other TARDIS' make the noise: it was probably because the show designers at the time were more concerned with other things than changing an iconic part of Doctor Who (if the Doctor's TARDIS does it, why don't all TARDIS' do it?), and left/put the sound in. –  calccrypto Jul 28 '14 at 16:48
@SachinShekhar Future Doctor? That was mentioned somewhere? I'll admit I don't read the books or comics, but I don't remember hearing about a Future Doctor from River Song in the TV episodes. I do, however, remember her saying something about learning how to fly the TARDIS while the Doctor decided to skip the class. –  calccrypto Jul 28 '14 at 17:01
Aether. Also, chocolate sauce. –  Chris B. Behrens Jul 28 '14 at 19:06

2 Answers 2

The "pump" as you call it is called the time rotor. This was mentioned by at least the First Doctor and probably a few times in the new series as well. I don't remember specific lines/episodes well enough to say where and when.

The TARDIS Data Core's description makes it seem like a glorified status indicator that signifies the TARDIS' engines are operating properly:

The time rotor was a component in the central column of the TARDIS console. While the TARDIS was in flight, the rotor rose and fell, stopping when the TARDIS reached a destination. It was associated with the 'whooshing' noise heard when the TARDIS was in flight. The time rotor was connected to the lower engines; hence as the TARDIS moved the rotor moved accordingly. As well as signifying the TARDIS' movement, the rotor was also known to stop working when something went wrong, e.g. the rotor stopped moving as the TARDIS engines stalled. This might be rectified by thumping the console.

As to what the rotor actually does, the answer is probably whatever a writer decides it does, or it just goes up and down because thats what it does.

Old Time Rotor 11's Time Rotor

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That doesn't really answer the question of "what is pumped". However, there's no real reason to think the up-and-down movement of the time rotor is because it's "pumping" some substance, and there's no mention of such a thing in the fairly extensive "time rotor" article on the Doctor Who wiki: tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Time_rotor ...also as noted in the article, the Rani's TARDIS had a different type of time rotor involving a set of rotating rings (similar to the ones on Krypton in the original Superman movie) that weren't in a tube, so apparently a Time Rotor doesn't need to rise and fall. –  Hypnosifl Jul 28 '14 at 16:32
@Hypnosifl fair enough. I added a bit. From the wiki, it seems like the rotor doesn't really do much –  calccrypto Jul 28 '14 at 16:39
nice job, although I would quibble with the idea that there's any reason to think its movement was a mere "status indicator", as opposed to something more functional. Maybe you got that from the use of "signifying" but I think that was just a word choice of some random wiki editor that you shouldn't read too much into, they may have just meant that the show's designers use it as a signifier of travel to the audience, not that its specific purpose is to "signify" anything to the characters in an in-universe sense. –  Hypnosifl Jul 28 '14 at 17:20
@Hypnosifl I see what you mean. The actual answer is probably "whatever the writer wants the rotor to do" –  calccrypto Jul 28 '14 at 18:07
We can in fact be pretty sure that it does something useful, as the TARDIS has been grounded more than once when there was a problem specifically with the Time Rotor. –  Darael Jul 29 '14 at 19:59

Like others have said it is the Time Rotor, and when charged and liberated, it will begin to go up and down, making that whoosing sound, pumping Artron Energy into the Dynamorphic Generators and the Dematerialisation Circuit, allowing the displacement of the TARDIS (via normal space or via Time Vortex). Also, there are Time Rotors that don't go up and down, like the one in the Junkyard TARDIS from the Doctor's Wife.

EDIT: Its not like it "pumps", it allows the energy to be pumped:"the Rotor provides access to the richest source of temporal energy on a TARDIS. The Rotor holds the power of the Heart of the TARDIS in check by "weighing it down" to prevent its escape" "Each space-time jump drains the Time Rotor's Energy Storage Unit""It takes a TARDIS 12 minutes to charge the Energy Storage Unit with Temporal Energy for another space-time jump. This is done using the Temporal Reactors fuelled by Artron Energy."

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Haha.. Nice one. Any citation for that? Or, you just made everything up by yourself? –  Sachin Shekhar Dec 4 '14 at 5:45
whoniverse.net/tardis/dynomorphicpower –  Kmi Dec 4 '14 at 10:15
whoniverse.net/tardis/timecolumn Also, in the 7 season when one of the Van Vaalen bros pointed the console with the Intelligent sensor, getting the result of Conceptual Geometers and Dynamorphic generators, so they are at least located in the control room. –  Kmi Dec 4 '14 at 10:17
Nice one. But, how legit are the sources? –  Sachin Shekhar Dec 4 '14 at 11:33
That page contains the contens of the series, the comics, the audio books and the movies, is one of the biggest and more extended that i have found, that merge all the contents marking then by source. I just dont see the point in make such a big marked archive that is all fake. Also it is marked when it is speculated theories or unofficial. –  Kmi Dec 4 '14 at 13:04

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