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Space-Time for Clangers

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Summary: It's canon that The Master, arch-enemy of The Doctor, was interested in The Clangers, small pink knitted creatures from another world... How could this possibly be a problem? Read the report and find out! There's even a PowerPoint version...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Non-BtVS/Ats Stories
Television > Clangers, The
(Current Donor)MarcusRowlandFR717311466118 Nov 1218 Nov 12Yes
From the archives of the 2010 Clanger Studies Symposium, London. See end notes for disclaimers etc.

Powerpoint version here.

Space-Time for Clangers
A possible explanation of certain anomalies in the apparent structure of the Clanger planet.
by Marcus L. Rowland

[Slide 1]

No Clanger would have believed, in the first years of the 1970s, that their world was being watched by an intelligence vaster and less sympathetic than any Clanger...

a Clanger Watching the Clangers The Master

[Slide 2]

But why were the Time Lords interested in such a small insignificant world?

Clanger planet

Perhaps its size is itself the clue…

Everything that we know about it leads to one inescapable conclusion…

It’s bigger on the inside than on the outside!

[Slide 3]

The interior of the Clanger planet is a tunnel complex whose volume appears to exceed that of the outer planet.

Inside the Clanger planet Inside the Clanger planet

[Slide 4]

The gravity behaves oddly:
* It fades rapidly with altitude.
* Passing objects are not attracted to the surface, they must be pulled down.
* Gravity does not increase inside.
Where else have we seen these phenomena?

TARDIS, Amy floating

[Slide 5]

The Clanger “planet” appears to be an example of Time Lord dimensional engineering.

The only off-world use for this technology we’ve seen is in the TARDIS and its sister ships.

Could the entire world be an abandoned TARDIS?

[Slide 6]

It is in an area where alien species and odd alien devices often appear.
* Such areas are known as “rifts”
* The TARDIS recharges on “rift energy”

Hypothesis 1: A TARDIS developed a dangerous fault while recharging and was subsequently abandoned by its occupants.

[Slide 7]

Hypothesis 2: The doors were left open, or were non-operational.

Hypothesis 3: If left in space, a TARDIS will camouflage itself as a moon or planetoid, even a full-sized planet, if that will ensure that it goes unnoticed.

Note the example of the planet Calufrax, originally part of the Key to Time, a relatively small device.

[Slide 8]

Hypothesis 4: It was subsequently colonised by creatures from the rift, such as the Clangers.

Hypothesis 5: A TARDIS is aware of the needs of its occupants, and provides appropriate quarters, food, etc.
The Clangers were cave-dwellers on their native world, and the interior of the TARDIS was shaped accordingly.

[Slide 9]

Given this history, why would a Time Lord such as The Master be interested in an inoperable TARDIS?

Hypothesis 6: The Clanger TARDIS may be repairable to some extent.

Given the Master’s history, this is not good news for the rest of the universe.

[Slide 10]

Hypothesis 7: If the Clanger TARDIS is repairable, it is NOT repairable as a functioning time machine

* The Master has gone to great lengths to steal alternatives.
* He has not been shown attempting to repair the Clanger machine.

[Slide 11]

Hypothesis 8: The Master knows that the Clanger TARDIS is charging at a Rift. He plans to use the energy it accumulates for his own purposes.

But what are his purposes?

[Slide 12]

Hypothesis 9: The Master has made it clear that he regards the universe as expendable, if he does not control it.

Hypothesis 10: A planet sized TARDIS left to accumulate Rift energy is the ultimate doomsday device. Sooner or later it will explode and take the universe with it.

[Slide 13]

The conclusion is inevitable. The Master intends to use the Clanger TARDIS to destroy the whole of space-time, probably after his death.

In order to prevent this the Clanger TARDIS must be destroyed. A funding proposal for this project will be submitted at the next meeting of this symposium.


The Clangers were created by Oliver Postgate and his company Smallfilms and broadcast by the BBC in 1969-72. Scenes from the episode The Rock Collector were avidly watched by The Master in the Doctor Who series The Sea Devils in 1972. Some episodes of the series can usually be found on line, at YouTube and elsewhere. Use of characters and images from these series is for non-profit entertainment only, and there is no intent to infringe on copyright.

There really was a 2010 symposium on The Clangers, held at the UK National Science Fiction Convention. I originally presented a much shorter version of this talk there, though at the time I had not considered the more sinister implications of the nature of the Clanger planet.

The title was suggested by Space-Time for Springers, a story by Fritz Leiber.

And here's a fun Clanger video that gives a different reason to worry about them...

Attack of the Clangers by Nathan Yeoman

The End

You have reached the end of "Space-Time for Clangers". This story is complete.

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