What is the maximum number of people that have been inside the TARDIS at once? Is it in the David Tennant series 4 episodes "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End", when all "The Children of Time" have gathered?

  • 11
    I can't definitively say when the most were, but New Who hasn't explored the TARDIS's capacities nearly so much as Old Who. The Invasion of Time saw a Sontaran army marching around in there.
    – BESW
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 17:05

5 Answers 5


enter image description here

The TARDIS is capable of of being as large as she wants to be. Given the size of the spaces we have seen within it just within the episode Journey to the Center of the TARDIS, she is capable of maintaining any number of large spaces simultaneously without effort. Stacking an army within her halls or spaces seems completely reasonable.

As we have seen recently in Journey to the Center of the TARDIS, there are a multitude of various space held within. The Engine room of the TARDIS holds a collapsing star, an area which would have to be larger than an entire conventional or even Jovian sized world.

Apart from the ability to travel in space and time (and, on occasion, to other dimensions), the most remarkable characteristic of a TARDIS is that its interior is much larger than it appears from the outside. The explanation is that a TARDIS is "dimensionally transcendental", meaning that its exterior and interior exist in separate dimensions. In The Robots of Death (1977), the Fourth Doctor tried to explain this to his companion Leela, using the analogy of how a larger cube can appear to be able to fit inside a smaller one if the larger cube is farther away, yet immediately accessible at the same time (see Tesseract). According to the Doctor, transdimensional engineering was "a key Time Lord discovery".

There has been a wide array of information written on the interior of the TARDIS over the years and several fans have tracked exactly what spaces have been discussed in all forms of the show, both written and televised. A site called the Whoniverse discusses the named spaces of the TARDIS in great detail.

  • 9
    I am under the impression that the OP is asking for the largest number of people the show has actually portrayed as being within the TARDIS, rather than its theoretical limit. Good answer for the latter, though.
    – BESW
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 2:26
  • 3
    This doesn't answer the question posed by the OP, although it would be a brilliant answer for a different question. Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:24
  • 1
    "The Engine room of the TARDIS holds a collapsing star, an area which would have to be larger than an entire conventional or even Jovian sized world." I dispute this. Immediately prior to total collapse the star could be as small as your hand. Since the star is suspended prior to collapse, there is no reason to assume that this suspension is not "immediately prior" to said collapse. Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 18:02
  • If it was a collapsing star of mass > 1 solar mass, the Schwarzschild radius would be in the order of kilometers at least. And since we still see the star, we can assume it is not past that radius yet... So am not sure I agree with the assessment of hand-sized star. Then again, this is mushy-soft sci-fi, so...
    – epichorns
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 1:32

I can't speak for the Old Whoniverse, but to my recollection, the largest number of individuals present in the TARDIS would had to have been during the episode "Journey's End". At the end of this episode, most of the recurring characters throughout the new series help the Doctor pilot the TARDIS (he claims that the turbulence is due to the fact that TARDISes are designed to have a six-man crew).

During this part of the episode, the following people are present inside the TARDIS: The Doctor, Donna Noble, Martha Jones, Rose Tyler, Jack Harkness, Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey (Ricky) Smith, and Jackie Tyler. This sums up to eight individuals.

  • I think you might have missed the MetaCrisis-Doctor. Which would bring the number up to 9 equalling the number given by @JoLori, for Earthshock.
    – BMWurm
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 10:27

9 people were on the Tardis in Earthshock: The Doctor, Adric, Tegan, Nyssa, Kyle, Scott and three of his men.


Since the existing answers seem to give numbers from 8 to 10, it's possible the latest episode "In the Forest of the Night" just set a new record.

Near the end of the episode--35:50 is when I paused--the Doctor is talking to Clara, Mr. Pink and a class of eight schoolchildren (if I counted correctly), all of whom are inside of the TARDIS, which adds up to eleven people.

  • Also, I really don't mind if people mention me by name (or userID :) in chat. I actually mind the reverse, as you never know who's talking about which "that droid" or "that force user" or "that character". I have enough spoilers in question subjects, meh :) Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 23:30
  • Rewatching the series. This is the episode (Forest) that made me wonder the OP's question. Came here to ask, saw it's been asked. Not so sure we have a conclusive answer. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 1:46

Have we forgotten when the the doctor picked up everyone in "the devels run" he had to have picked up more than ten people in it. He had a entire army plus companions.

  • 2
    I think you meant A Good Man Goes to War, which takes place on the asteroid base Demon's Run. Yet we cannot really be sure how he gets them there in the first place - individually or at the same time, or if maybe the entire Silurian army just transmats in from someplace else.
    – BMWurm
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 10:31