I make no apologies for the content of this blog, or its inspiration; I am and have been for many years, a Dr Who fan; my random thought processes are possibly needing an apology…or not…
If we were listening in class, some of us may remember the signs of life which include respiration, movement and nutrition. It’s this last that caught my attention. I’m something of a Dr Who fan and what made me sit down and think was that you rarely see the Doctor or his assistants eating in the TARDIS. Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant as Doctor Regenerations were seen to eat chips but that was when they on earth. Back in December 1963 in the time of the first Doctor there was a TARDIS nutrition machine which spewed out nutrition bars, but I couldn’t see that satisfying his later Regenerations. Similarly, I couldn’t imagine any of the Doctors surviving on dehydrated granules ‘a la astronaut’.
Hmm, I thought, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, so there must be plenty of room for ‘growing your own’. They probably wouldn’t have the same pest problems – carrot fly and slugs not enjoying time travel; and so a gentle atmosphere of green growth can be imagined. They’d need an automated watering system of course, with all that rushing about saving the Universe…but then I had visions of abandoned spades left next to a row of Brussels sprouts which were rolling around as the TARDIS flung itself about to avoid another incoming attack.
So not a soil-based system then, too much manual work required. Possibly hydroponics would work, as it’s easier to have a fully automated system. Hydroponics is where the fruit and vegetables would sit on troughs and be provided with their nutrients through their roots, a water based solution containing the necessary minerals. A similar system was used in the Dr Who special ‘The Waters of Mars’. The location for that was the huge glasshouse found in the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
But then I thought about Hydroponics being a water based system and how rocky the ride can get in the TARDIS; even with a closed system, with a cover over the top of the trough, some water might escape. So I thought of Aeroponics instead. This is where the plants are supported so that they are upright and so the roots can easily be sprayed with a nutrient rich mist. The whole system can be automated, and it has the advantage of being very economical in its water usage (half that for hydroponics) which could be useful.
Aeroponics is a high yielding method of crop growing so the Doctor would be able to feed any number of companions or visitors with a lunchtime salad. So in my opinion, Aeroponics would seem to be the best system of cultivation for the TARDIS to keep the universe is safe, by making sure Dr Who gets his regular ‘5 a day’ fresh fruit & vegetables!
That could be me as the new assistant…or again, possibly not…