When I moved to London two years ago one of the things I joked about was that I would finally be able to travel through time in a Police Box. After all, London is the home of Doctor Who, which in the last two years has taken the US by storm. I remember back in 2008 going to Canada and being surprised by the amount of Doctor Who merchandise there was at the Silver Snail store in Toronto. I spoke with the guy behind the counter and said that Doctor Who simply wasn’t very popular in the US. And it wasn’t.
I walked around San Diego Comic-Con back in 2010 and there was some Doctor Who, but not really all that much. Fast forward to Comic-Con 2012 and Doctor Who is in full swing. One year later in 2013 and it seems like the US can’t get enough of the Doctor.
Over here in London, Doctor Who is a part of their entertainment culture. Doctor Who is about as common here as Seinfield was back in the 90’s. It’s not super crazy popular like Seinfield, but it definitely made its impact in British culture. Head on over to Forbidden Planet, London’s premiere Comic Book/Geek emporium, and you’ll see an entire sections dedicated to more Doctor Who merchandise than you knew existed. A 50th anniversary stamp collection was released a few months ago. The London Film museum has a room full of Daleks and a TARDIS. And the latest series premiere (for some reason seasons are called series here in London) announcement will be announced in the metro newspapers for thousands of London commuters to read about.
Doctor Who is ingrained into London.
So what about the police boxes? I was half expecting to see a few sprinkled here and there throughout London, but there were none to be found. Perhaps they were too big and clunky to be kept up as a reminder on a city sidewalk where space is a precious commodity. Who knows? But it felt weird that with the relationship Doctor Who has with London that there should be at least ONE police box left.
Well there is. And I found it.
Almost two years have gone by and I happened to see a post on Geekologie about how you can now see inside the TARDIS in Google street view. I look at the Google map and see that it’s outside Earl’s Court Tube station. That’s only 10 minutes from my house by foot! I’ve walked down that road at least a dozen times. How could I have missed a police box? The Google street view must have been a few years old and the box was now gone. It was the only explanation I could think of.
I had to go see. So last Sunday afternoon, I get off at Earl’s Court (a couple stops away from where I live) and walk around. Sure enough, clear as day, is the supposed last police box in all of London.
So here you go. I could try and close this with something meaningful, witty, clever, or “brilliant”. But nope. I’ll just leave you with my pictures of me finding the TARDIS.