Why is there a TARDIS on Colo. 66 and Main near Longmont? | SummitDaily.com

Why is there a TARDIS on Colo. 66 and Main near Longmont?

Karen Antonacci
The Daily Times Call

LONGMONT, Colo. — The Doctor is storing his TARDIS northwest of Main Street and Colo. Highway 66 for maintenance. At least that is what builder Jacqueline McKinny sometimes jokes with people who ask about the blue box in her yard.

McKinny built the TARDIS for Burning Man and is storing it in her Longmont-area yard until she can make some repairs and start towing it around the state.

McKinny is a fan of the long-running BBC series "Doctor Who." The eponymous Doctor is a time-traveling alien from a race called the Time Lords. The Doctor travels in the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) that looks like a British police box but is cavernous on the inside via the use of Time Lord technology.

McKinny's TARDIS is actually scavenged closet doors fitted to a frame with electrical components included. It is not, in fact, bigger on the inside, reported the Daily Times-Call.

Building the TARDIS with the help of her friends and family, McKinny said she discovered that there's a whole community of TARDIS builders who publish plans, signs, fonts and more online.

Even at Burning Man, she encountered another TARDIS.

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"It was unbelievable, but right down the road from me was a TARDIS in the form of an art car. It was on wheels and it moved and their entire camp was set up like the Pandorica," McKinny said, referring to a cubic prison in the world of the show. "There were a bunch of things from 'Doctor Who,' like people had Daleks (a warrior alien race in the show that vaguely resemble robots) and K9s (robotic dogs in the show) and people would drive past our TARDIS and we'd have a little 'Doctor Who' party and later it would happen again."

McKinny said she'd hear some people unfamiliar with the series asking why there was such a strange porta-potty placed seemingly randomly in the temporary city.

McKinny's TARDIS is about 3 feet wide on all sides and almost 11 feet tall with the light attached on top. The show's TARDIS changes with each Doctor (the role has been played by a series of actors, which is explained by the Whovian universe in that Time Lords regenerate), so McKinny's is a mishmash of her favorite parts of TARDISes through the years.

Also, she purposefully deviated from the show's TARDISes by pitching its roof.

"The biggest thing that's different with my TARDIS is that I sloped the roof. Most of the other ones all are flat or some are curved," McKinny said. "But I don't like flat roofs because water tends to sit on a flat roof."

McKinny said the TARDIS was an interesting engineering challenge because not only does the art project have to get from Colorado to Nevada, but it has to withstand nine days in a dried-up desert lake where high winds, extreme heat and ubiquitous dust are the norm.

"I was going to make it bigger on the inside by putting infinity mirrors on the inside but we got talked out of it because we were running out of time but also because to try to keep anything like that clean at Burning Man is not possible," McKinny said. "As soon as you hit the lake bed, everything is just covered in dust."

McKinny said that she needs to make some repairs to the TARDIS because high winds on Christmas blew the heavy structure over and smashed up some of the panels. She'd like to make it more interactive by adding pressure plates to the ground outside the front that activate lights and sounds on the TARDIS.

She also got an idea from a woman in Germany who built a lightweight TARDIS that can be disassembled and moved around. Eventually, she'd like to emulate that TARDIS and amuse motorists by moving it around her yard.

For now, McKinny said she is enjoying watching people discover the TARDIS. Her yard is still private property and she asked that people who want to look at the TARDIS just be respectful.

"I was a little concerned at first about putting it where people could see because all it takes is one person to be a butthead and all of a sudden it's not fun anymore," McKinny said. "But so far everyone who has come up has been really awesome. … Mostly everybody knocks on the door and asks first, which is great, and most just stay in the car and 'click, click, click,' which is also really fun to watch."

McKinny said she just likes to see Whovians geek out about something that she loves too.

"There was a truck with two gentlemen in it that drove up … and they knocked on the door to talk about the TARDIS and I said sure because I like people who are geeking out and they were nice," McKinny said. "And a guy walks up to the TARDIS and whips out his Sonic Screwdriver (a tool The Doctor uses in the show)."

Information from: Daily Times-Call, timescall.com