Pertwee versus Baker TARDIS Key.
Having had a lot of traffic directed to this site over the years via Google and other search engines from people wanting to know about the design of the classic Pertwee/Baker TARDIS door key, and with a sudden upsurge in interest in this particular topic of late, I sort of half suggested in my last blog entry (Cor blimey, it’s COLD) that maybe I should do a write up on the subject. Well, here it is and I hope that folk find it interesting.
There seems to be a lot of hyperbole surrounding this particular prop, as well as some disinformation being bandied around, for reasons known only to those who are doing it, so with luck, we’ll be able to put the myth to bed and bring out the facts. There’s not much to say about it to be honest as it’s pretty straight forward.
The main issue is that Jon Pertwee’s key was supposedly a hand made, one off item that was then remade in a simplified manner that lacked certain details for when Tom Baker took over the role. This is, to be brutally frank, utter nonsense and anyone who tells you otherwise does not know what they’re talking about. Both keys were identical. Yes I am aware that people have doubted me in the past when I’ve said this, so here below is a nice little picture montage to prove that I wasn’t speaking from whence the sun doesn’t shine… I’ve had to use public domain images to illustrate this as I’ve been banned from using other images that I have. Typical really, but there you go.
They say that a picture speaks a thousand words, so this ought to prevent me from having to write yet another of my weighty tomes. The bottom line is this; both keys were cast out of a mould (and both props show many signs of this) so therefore we can safely say without any doubt that Jon’s TARDIS door key was identical to Tom’s TARDIS door key.
The colour pictures are from an eBay auction dating back to the mid 2000′s when Jon Pertwee’s personal key was put up for sale by a fan who had bought it directly from the man himself. I don’t know who this was and to be honest, for this blog entry, it doesn’t matter either. The black and white images are both cropped from high resolution publicity images taken during two of Tom Baker’s early stories; “Genesis of the Daleks” and “Terror of the Zygons” respectively. You can clearly see Tom’s costumes from those stories behind the key, in case you have any doubts. So, what can we draw from this? Quite simply, both props were identical – as I’ve now said three times. Maybe I’m trying to really stress the point, either that or I’m so bunged up with the flu that I’m forgetting what I’ve already said and am just repeating myself. It’s most likely the latter.
In the late 1970s or early 1980s, Jon Pertwee loaned his personal screen used key to the president of the Jon Pertwee Fan Club, a chap named Stuart Money, so that duplicates could be made and offered exclusively to the members of this society. The reproductions were cast in silver (or at least a silver alloy), rather than the dulled tones of the likes of pewter and such like. Although a number of these are known to still exist, they very rarely ever surface, though one appears to have been included in the Doctor Who Experience exhibition in London. Who that one belonged to, I have no idea. Strangely though, those who own the copies tend to not want to talk about the piece, especially the detailing on the rear. Well stuff that, feel free to look at it in all it’s glory! Hmm, I’m sure I’ll get flak for this from disgruntled key owners. It’s a chance that I’m willing to take.
And that is about it. Told you that there wasn’t much to say about it.
If anyone wants to make a perfectly accurate replica and thinks of doing a run of casts, (it will not surprise me if I see them on eBay with the original rear detailing now included in the coming months) do think of me as I wouldn’t mind one myself – I’ve been meaning to do it myself for years, but I never quite got around to it. Life always got in the way.
So long then and enjoy!