38

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?

  • 15
    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
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    It's heavier on the inside! – Telestia Jun 11 '14 at 15:03
  • 1
    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
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    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

12 Answers 12

27

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.

  • 4
    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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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."

  • But what does it weigh when the artificial gravity is turned off? – Valorum Nov 30 '14 at 21:13
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    @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
7

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.

  • 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! – Fattie 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". – Fattie Oct 23 '14 at 8:05
  • @JoeBlow Indeed - and that's despite the fact that in some of the earlier interior arrangements of the Tardis control room, the door was internally a rather heavy-looking metal door that could only be operated by a mechanical control... – Periata Breatta Oct 24 '16 at 12:39
2

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.

  • 1
    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
2

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):

copter

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.

1

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.

1

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

http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/363/1/8/11th_doctor__s_tardis_by_time_lord_rassilon-d35wfe7.png

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).

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

There's a facet to this scenario that is frequently forgotten.

The interior of the TARDIS (the "real" TARDIS) is not technically "in" the police box shell that we see. It's in a dimensional "elsewhere", connected only by the doorway.

In Father's Day, that connection is broken, and the Police Box becomes an empty shell. It's still the exterior of the TARDIS, which is presumably where the Chameleon Circuit is housed, but its portal to the true ship is severed.

So the real weight of the TARDIS, which is impossibly great, is never actually weighing down on the exterior.

In Flatline, the size of the ship is changed, but its weight is not - even at a foot tall, it would have still weighed the same as the full-size Police Box shell - too heavy for Clara to lift. That's the weight that he adjusted so she could lift and carry it.

In Name of the Doctor, the TARDIS exterior is growing, because the "real" TARDIS is beginning to extend into out universe, and the Police Box structure is expanding to fill it. So it's probably much heavier, about the weight of a small mountain, one about the size that the ship appears to be, but not yet enough to "crack the planet in half".

0

Well, in "The Impossible Planet", the TARDIS does end up dragging the rocket away from the black hole. Maybe in space things work differently. There's been evidence that it's not that heavy, though, like mentioned in previous comments. Also, at some point in maybe Season 4 or 5 (it was one of the ones with five or six main actors), the TARDIS had been carried by a forklift or something.

  • You seem to be combining what the OP has called the "inside" weight and the "outside" weight, any way you could possible expand on this? – Edlothiad Sep 27 '17 at 5:50
  • Please could you expand on this answer, including fuller descriptions of the scenes you're talking about and what evidence they provide about the question at hand? – Rand al'Thor Sep 27 '17 at 5:58
0

The TARDIS is not unusually heavy, although no precise figure for its weight has ever been given on screen. But it may weight no more than a few ounces.

During the Jon Pertwee era, because it was 'grounded' for many years owing to the Doctor's exile on Earth, UNIT were occasionally compelled to move the TARDIS from place to place by the simple expedient of brute force, and always managed to do so without any obvious difficulty. All that appeared to be needed was a squad of soldiers - and possibly a rope.

In Spearhead From Space (1970), the Brigadier had the recently landed TARDIS moved by UNIT from its landing site in Oxley Woods near Ashbridge to UNIT headquarters in London.

In The Claws of Axos (1971), the Brigadier had the TARDIS moved, by lorry, from UNIT HQ to the Nunton nuclear power complex in Southern England.

In The Time Monster (1972), Captain Yates and a squad of soldiers moved the TARDIS by lorry from UNIT HQ in London to the TOMTIT facility at Wooton outside Cambridge.

More unusually, in Carnival of Monsters (1973) the Lurman carnival proprietor, Vorg, was able to hold the miniaturised TARDIS in one hand when showing it to his assistant, Shirna, on discovering it inside the miniscope (establishing that, on this occasion at least, its weight was not more than a few ounces).

As has already been mentioned, in earlier serials the TARDIS had been moved around on a number of occasions. An early such incident took place in the Hartnell serial The Web Planet (1964), when the Zarbi dragged it away across the plain of Vortis. However, the very earliest was in Marco Polo (also 1964), when Polo's chinese servants carried the TARDIS from the Roof of the World to Peking on a handcart.

Also not mentioned previously is that the TARDIS is so light that when it landed on the sea during the Troughton serial Fury from the Deep (1968) it floated, and the Doctor and his companions were obliged to paddle ashore in a rubber dingy.

Other occasions include the time in Egypt when the slaves of Pharaoh manhandled it a few dozen yards from the open desert into the interior of a nearby Pyramid, during the Hartnell serial The Daleks Master Plan (1965); and when it was stolen from Gatwick Airport in London in the first episode of the Troughton story Evil of the Daleks (1967) and driven away on the back of a truck - on which occasion the theft appeared to be managed by just two men.

Subsequently, in the Tom Baker serial Logopolis (1981) we witnessed the partially miniaturised TARDIS being carried through the streets of Logopolis - again by just two men.

There were, now I come to think of it, many similar incidents. For instance, in The Faceless Ones (1967) the TARDIS landed in the middle of the main runway at Gatwick Airport, and had to be moved by the airport police. And while visiting London's Heathrow Airport, in Time Flight (1982), the TARDIS was loaded onto a Concorde for the flight into the past using only a small fork-lift truck.

Accordingly, the suggestion that the TARDIS weighs millions of pounds is simply not born out by the evidence.

-2

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.

  • 1
    Do you have any references or quotes to support this? – Chenmunka Dec 11 '15 at 18:50
-2

The Tardis runs on a star as seen in "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis".

enter image description here

The Tardis has "another dimension" built or grown within its doors which morphs all the time creating new corridors like a giant (though finite to a point) a cosmic data bank which can save past "control rooms" which once were "the" Tardis consoles.

So as to how much the Tardis weighs on the outside is impossible to say unquantifiable because it is an everchanging force.

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