On multiple occasions throughout the series, protagonists are saved from imminent death by TARDIS materializing around them. For example, Amy and Rory in Tessellator in "Let's kill Hitler".

Why aren't their feet cut off by (or merged to) the floor of materializing TARDIS? It doesn't seem to be appearing below floor level of the scene (as far as I recall).

So how does it work?

  • 3
    The tardis can park inside itself. Landing around a person should be easy.
    – Zoredache
    Nov 17, 2014 at 17:50
  • @Zoredache: that was an exceptional situation. Although, I suppose you're right. :) Nov 17, 2014 at 17:52

3 Answers 3


It's bigger on the inside.

Or, to be more technically accurate, dimensionally transcendental.

The outer "floor" of the TARDIS doesn't correspond to an inner "floor". In fact, the last couple of console rooms have shown a downstairs area directly around & under the console.

Also, it is a sentient organism.

So, in mapping external dimensions to internal dimensions, the TARDIS fine-tunes its position to materialise its inner floor beneath the feet of the people.

  • 2
    yeah, I forgot it's sentient. :) Nov 17, 2014 at 7:26
  • 3
    It's more than this; the inside isn't just bigger: it is more like a pocket universe of sorts. Therefore the new occupants are more like being "beamed" inside and the TARDIS really can decide exactly where they go. It's not just wrapping around them in real-space. Nov 17, 2014 at 11:57
  • I think this creates a difficulty, the interior is not in our time space, and thus you need a portal to get to it, which presumably the door is. I'm not sure you can arbitrarily create portals 'on the fly' to materialise round people. I don't recall the TARDIS materialising round people in the classic (Tom Baker) days.
    – alimack
    Mar 12, 2015 at 15:30

The inner shells of the tardis are mapped onto the exterior but that interface is so thin that it fits between atoms so quite literally at the exterior the tardis slips between the layers of atoms in a person's shoes and the ground. At the scale of an atom the electrons are vast distances from the center of an atom so relatively there is actually lots of space to slip through..... and because the interior is so much bigger that tiny space can be a much larger distance such as the distance to the console room because the interior is amplified or larger than normal space. This is identical to walking into the doors steps taken across the doorways extend into the doorway only inside there is no further sides of the police box you cross directly into the larger space.

  • This sounds great, but a link or a source would be nice. Never heard of that before.
    – tilley31
    Mar 12, 2015 at 17:09
  • It's simple electron physics, take a knife cut a block of cheese the blade hits thousands of atoms but it never splits a single one, that's because the electron clouds push or repel each other one way or the other. A good source is the movie what the bleep do we know it describes these physics of atoms I recommend it
    – user42889
    Mar 13, 2015 at 5:00

::Spoiler Alert Required::

The Tardis is eventually discovered to be alive. This applies in the sense that it is grown and has the capacity of thought and consciousness. Having said this, it is easy to assume that if 'she' wanted to - A person would remain safe as the actual Tardis came into being and thus encapsulated them within.

  • 1
    This doesn't explain how, merely that the TARDIS is intelligent.
    – Valorum
    Nov 25, 2014 at 19:22
  • Spoiler alert for what?
    – tilley31
    Nov 25, 2014 at 22:40

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