Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Lady Romana is quoted as saying a TARDIS weights 5x10^6 kilograms, but I've also read that she was mistaken in this or that she was referring to the inside.

The Doctor's TARDIS has been moved a number of times and has landed on soft ground and not sunk in at all. This indicates the full weight of the interior is not felt from the exterior. But in The Parting of the Ways, Rose, Jackie, and Mickey use a large truck with chains to free up part of the interior of the TARDIS, and when they pull with the truck, the TARDIS doesn't just get pulled along on the ground, so, at least when the door is open, there's some connection between the weight inside and the outside shell.

I've searched for this and Romana's answer is the only one I find, but if that were true and it weight that much on the outside, people could not pick it up and move it.

How much does the Doctor's TARDIS weight from the outside?

share|improve this question
Worth pointing out that the chain was attached inside the TARDIS, so the vehicle(s) would have been pulling against the internal weight. – Jeff Dec 18 '11 at 17:36
It's heavier on the inside! – Telestia Jun 11 '14 at 15:03
In Day of the Doctor UNIT was able to lift the TARDIS with a helicopter to transport it to the museum, i'd say if you identify that helicopter's specs (cause i don't think UNIT was using an alien enhanced helicopter) you can get the max weight the TARDIS could weigh on the outside, it would be slightly heavier than a normal box of that make since the panels on the front door hide a phone, who knows what other things they hide – Memor-X Jun 12 '14 at 0:01
The outside cannot be the same weight as the inside, as the inside is often canonically infinite in size. (Only Doctor Who could have "often canonically" without it being wrong.) – Phoshi Jun 12 '14 at 9:17
up vote 22 down vote accepted

I've never seen a in-universe explanation (Possibly because that's something they have avoided defining, lest it cause complications later), but observing it's behavior, I'd guess the following:

The external shell has a weight consistent with what the chameleon circuit has modeled it upon. For example, the Doctor's Tardis is set up as a police box, and, being made primarily of wood, isn't that heavy. Other disguised Tardis examples, however, weren't so light -- The Master's Tardis, disguised as the Melkur, should have weighed about the same as a stone statue of it's size. That being said, I've never seen anything to really confirm this, it's just supposition.

As to when Mickey, Rose and Jackie were pulling on the console, the cable they connected was crossing the threshold into the main Tardis; they were pulling against the actual full weight of the Tardis, not just it's exterior shell. (Goes back to the whole Dimensionally transcendental thing; just as the exterior shape doesn't pass back physical requirements to the interior shape, so does force exerted on the inside not translate to force on the outside) Had they simply hooked the cable around the Tardis, it most likely would have moved quite easily. One way to think of it is that the door of the Tardis is an opening to a Pocket Universe; it doesn't CONTAIN it, so much as provide a portal to it.

share|improve this answer
Also remember that it can be moved without too much difficulty. It seems like a forklift is all that it takes to move it, and it occasionally seen being transported on the back of a truck. – erdiede Dec 18 '11 at 17:17
Yep; and either in the Tom Baker or Peter Davidson era, I seem to remember a group people picking it up and carrying it. – K-H-W Dec 18 '11 at 17:18
Although the exterior does in some way contain it, as seen when the Titanic crashed into it. The bow of the Titanic protuded into the interior of the TARDIS without passing through the door. – Xantec Dec 18 '11 at 19:12
Yeah; that kind of bothered me, since it's not consistent with the rest of the series.. As I recall, he did mention forgetting to turn on the Force Field; it's possible (and perhaps logical) that the control rooms occupy a space at the perimeter of the interior structure -- if so, it may be 'mapped' to the outside of the Tardis to allow for other exits / ports. (Like the Melkur's eyes in Master's Tardis.') If so, you could break into any part of the exterior and enter the control room, with the force field off. – K-H-W Dec 18 '11 at 19:31
IIRC in the Pompeii episode someone (wasn't shown who) took the Tardis away to the roman guys house (dont recall the character's name - he was the same actor who went on to play Frobisher in Children of Earth [side comment: best. tv. ever. ]). That implies it was carried on the back of a cart. – JK. Dec 20 '11 at 0:12

In the Episode "Flatline," the twelfth doctor says that he has altered the relative gravity of the Tardis. He says this is always happening - and that the earth wouldn't be able to support its real weight if he didn't. By altering the "gravity" of the Tardis, Clara is thence able to place the now miniature Tardis (looking suspiciously like a plastic cookie jar) in her purse.

As such, the correct answer is "Whatever the Doctor wants it to weigh."

share|improve this answer
But what does it weigh when the artificial gravity is turned off? – Valorum Nov 30 '14 at 21:13
@Richard "Too much for the Earth to support". Presumably, since the interior size is (near-)infinite, its weight is too. – Adeptus Oct 27 '15 at 0:02

In the Hartnell era a group of egyptian slaves are easily able to drag the TARDIS into a tomb.

And then again in the Troughton era during the serial The Faceless Ones the airport security are able to load the TARDIS onto the back of a truck and carry it off. I like the explanation that the exterior weighs as much as the object the chameleon circuit has chosen to replicate.

share|improve this answer
It seems hard to argue with this. The "chameleon" weight is, simply, just the same as the other "chameleon" properties. So, it looks like an XYZ, it appears to be made of XYZ (perhaps wood, stone, metal, whatever), the color is XYZ (blue, black, whatever), and indeed the weight would simply match these things. Further, it has indeed been moved, handled exactly in this way, many times. Seems pretty definitive! – Joe Blow Oct 23 '14 at 8:03
And here's a small pont: consider the chameleon "door". Note that it works and feels exactly like a normal door -- so, we know that the door weighs the usual, say, 20kg or so that a "normal" door weighs. It makes sense the other chameleon parts (so, the door hinges, the door handle, the door frame, the other three walls, etc) are all, also, "normal-like", ie they would just be "normal" weight and so on, just as we know the door is "normal". – Joe Blow Oct 23 '14 at 8:05

Coming a bit late to the discussion, I just want to point out that in the episodes Planet of Fire (season 21), The Master's TARDIS turned into a "pillar of stone" which fell over during one of the earthquakes. He later enlisted the help of the locals to put it back upright which took four people and another with a rope (and I assume a pulley).

I therefore think that a TARDIS weighs as much as the object the chameleon-circuit makes it turn into would weigh.

share|improve this answer
This doesn't seem to improve upon the accepted answer from two and a half years ago which says, "The external shell has a weight consistent with what the chameleon circuit has modeled it upon." It also mentioned The Master's TARDIS. I suggest checking out the Tour to get a better idea of how to ask and answer questions. We're not a typical discussion forum. I'd also suggest reading the answers in place before contributing an answer, to avoid duplicating an existing answer. Don't be discouraged, we were all new here at some point. – Meat Trademark Jun 11 '14 at 15:36

The interior of the TARDIS is another dimension, whose entrance is the police telephone box, but the relation stop there. It is not contained there, and also, the TARDIS is equiped with gravity manipulators (that is how she fly trough normal space), so it could weight what the Doctor/she likes. I have to point, that the Exterior Shell isn't really wood, its a plasmic shell that LOOKS like wood, making impossible to guess the weight by the materials. Also, the Doctor could lock the TARDIS position so it wouldn't move; not allowing Rose, Jackie and Mickey to move her when they tried to open the console. Note that the part of the TARDIS dimension that is the console room is fully integrated with the External Shell, like we seen in the Voyage of the Dammed, when the Titanic broke into the console. Whith these I mean that the gravity manipulator have to be online all the time, allowing the TARDIS to weight what she liked or to the locked, because otherwise it would weight more or less as the Control Room.

share|improve this answer

The TARDIS is about 2000 KM in diameter, this is a picture of the true size of the time vessel.

This would sink through the planets crust if its full weight was concentrated into a footprint a meter square.

In Full Circle (1980), Romana stated that the weight of the TARDIS was 5 × 106 kilograms in Alzarius's Earth-like gravity (about 5 × 107 Newtons, or the weight of 5,000 tonnes).

share|improve this answer
This answer doesn't address the weight of the TARDIS. – Valorum Dec 1 '14 at 2:04

About 3 tonnes.

The TARDIS is roughly 2.7 metres high, while this model TARDIS is probably about 30 cm high and weighs around 4 kg. A quick bit of arithmetic tells us that the real TARDIS is about 9 times as high as the model, and therefore has 9^3=729 times the volume. Assuming roughly similar density, that means the real TARDIS weight 729 times as much as the model, or 729x4=2916 kg.

More evidence that its outside weight is the weight of whatever it's in the form of (i.e. a blue police box):


The TARDIS can easily be picked up by a medium-sized helicopter.

This also makes sense as an assumption, since as K-H-W says, the outside of the TARDIS is nothing more than a police box in size and shape, and the inside is not really the inside but a whole pocket universe to which the outside grants access.

share|improve this answer

The original weight of the TARDIS would crack the surface of the earth so no one noes the actual weight because the doctor changed it.

share|improve this answer
Do you have any references or quotes to support this? – Chenmunka Dec 11 '15 at 18:50

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.