Inspired by this question here, I began to wonder how the TARDIS protects itself from hostiles simply teleporting themselves aboard, or enemies teleporting the Doctor and their companion(s) out of the TARDIS and into a hostile environment.

For instance, in the TV episode Bad Wolf the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack are placed inside the Game Station by use of a transmat which pulls them from the inside of the TARDIS, and in the TV episode Kerblam! a Kerb!am delivery robot (the Kerb!am Man) teleports straight into the TARDIS's control room to make a delivery. Seems like a Dalek should've beamed aboard long ago to cause some havoc given this apparent snag in security...

What are the TARDIS's security features (should it have any) to prevent more instances of teleport or transmat technology from harming the Doctor?

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    Teleporting the Doctor onto your spaceship sounds like an excellent way to give your most powerful enemy an immediate free ride into the very heart of your defences.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 18:47
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    @Valorum Indeed, but say instead you teleport him/her into the vacuum of space, or perhaps (in the convoluted way villains sometimes do things) into a pool of sharks with laser beams attached to their heads? Your most powerful enemy suddenly seems like a sitting duck if the TARDIS doesn't have some way of blocking hostile teleport usage.
    – Ongo
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 18:54
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    I believe that the TARDIS"s abilities and vulnerabilities are not consistent and are powered by plot particles. Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


There is obviously some security in place, but it has been breached many times in various different ways. I suppose that, like all real security systems, there are flaws which can be exploited or hacked.

The Doctor talks about how difficult it should be to get inside the TARDIS in the episode The Runaway Bride, which begins with Donna appearing inside the TARDIS. The Doctor's first reaction is:

"This this can't happen! There is no way a human being can lock itself onto the TARDIS and transport itself inside."

The Doctor's surprise seems to stem from the fact a human has done this (although we soon learn that the breach was accidental and not Donna's doing), and also that locking onto The TARDIS is as much a part of the difficulty as actually teleporting inside.

Regarding this "locking on", one notable difference between the arrival of Donna and that of the Kerb!am Man is that the TARDIS appeared to be travelling in space when Donna arrived, whereas the Kerb!am Man arrived while the TARDIS was travelling through the time vortex. However, I don't see that makes much difference - the TARDIS has an exterior presence and an interior which exist in different dimensions (as established in The Robots of Death) and it maintains its relative dimensions as it travels through space and time, and we see that it has a physical presence whilst inside the time vortex. Assuming that whatever is trying to get inside can also travel through the vortex (and we know there are other "cheap and nasty" forms of time travel) it shouldn't be any more difficult to lock on the TARDIS inside the vortex than it is in ordinary space.

The 10th Doctor went on to hypothesise on ways that Donna could have got inside:

"Some sort of subatomic connection? Something in the temporal field? Maybe something pulling you into alignment with the Chronon shell. Maybe something macro mining your DNA within the interior matrix. Maybe a genetic...."

Evidently, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that someone or something could teleport inside the TARDIS if they can lock onto it and circumvent whatever security it has.

As Kerb!am was a clear parody of real-life Amazon, one "in-universe" theory is that, just as Amazon are seeking permission unlock your front door and deliver your packages when you're not home, maybe The Doctor has given Kerb!am pre-authorisation to enter the TARDIS? After all, she had apparently ordered a fez from them. As an analogy, perhaps the TARDIS security is like a firewall - blocking most things as standard, allowing specific things through, but open to circumvention.

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    While I love your evidence to support getting into the TARDIS isn't impossible, I'm afraid it just seems to highlight my point that there's a security flaw and that if a mere human can get there (even to the Doctor's surprise) then it is possible for something more advanced and malevolent to get in and I'm no better informed of any existing security. It also makes me wonder how Kerb!am might have time travel technology!? Very interesting point in the linked article though to explain the Kerb!am Man's entrance.
    – Ongo
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 15:06
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    @nemon27 I agree, there's been loads of breaches and it isn't impenetrable. But do remember that Donna's entry was not of her own doing. She'd been charged with Huon particles and got dragged inside. All breaches have been due to higher technology. The huon particle incident was definitely a security flaw though as it wasn't even an intentional plan to get inside the Tardis. A "mere human" shouldn't be able to get in on their own.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Dec 1, 2018 at 16:57

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