TARDIS Index File


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Type: Graphite-based writing device
Place of origin: Earth
Used by: Humans, The Doctor
First seen in: An Unearthly Child
A pencil was a device used to write found on Earth. An HB pencil was made from graphite. Another type of pencil was 4H. Certain pencils, known as "coloured pencils", came in many colours, including blue, green and red. The ends of certain pencils featured rubbers, or erasers, which could be used to erase graphite marks made. (TV: Fear Her, The Runaway Bride) People bit pencils when they were nervous. (PROSE: Totem) Pencils were maintained by sharpening them, which could be done mechanically, or manually through the use of knives as did Mary Shelley. (TV: The Ribos Operation, AUDIO: The Silver Turk)

The Doctor, in many of his incarnations, demanded a pencil to help him think. (TV: The Time Meddler, The Ice Warriors, The Dæmons, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, et al.)

Artists would draw using pencils. For example, a Parisian artist once sketched Romana II with one in 1979. (TV: City of Death) Children, inexperienced at drawing, would often draw with coloured pencils, mess up, and then scribble on the drawing to cover up their mistake. (TV: Fear Her) Time Lords also used pencils for drawing, just as Susan had used one to draw a flower. (TV: "The Dead Planet")

Pencils were also used for writing. For example, Marco Polo would use a pencil to transcribe his adventures in his journal. (TV: Marco Polo) A man living on Arcadia who was dying from cancer wrote his memoirs using burnt sticks for pencils and old sheets for parchment. (PROSE: Prelude Deceit) Pencils were naturally used in schools such as Coal Hill School, both in class and for homework. (TV: "An Unearthly Child", COMIC: Pencil Pusher)

Pencils had other uses as well, such as the basic function of a stick. The Tenth Doctor once used one to extract a sample from a Vespiform sting, and Agatha Christie had earlier used the same pencil as a pointer. (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp)

When, in 2012 London, the Isolus took over Chloe Webber, a lonely child, Chloe began drawing people and objects — snatching them from space-time, and sucking them into her paper. She did this under the influence of the Isolus, who was lonely as well, trapped away from her family over around four billion. Not only could Chloe suck living organisms into drawings, but she could also create organisms from drawings, as she did with the scribble creature, a creature made entirely from graphite, and her father. The Isolus, with Chloe unconscious, showed a skill of pencil drawing quite capably and quite quickly. Trish Webber, her mother, would hide her pencils, but she kept a secret stash in a doll. The Isolus was eventually freed when the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler found its spaceship, and Chloe was no longer capable of extracting life through drawing. (TV: Fear Her)

The Tenth Doctor once used a pencil to demonstrate how the Huon particles in the heart of the TARDIS were attracted to the identical particles in Donna Noble, using a mug to represent the TARDIS. When Donna, shocked, questioned, "I'm a pencil inside a mug?" the Doctor joked, "Yes, you are. 4H — sums you up." (TV: The Runaway Bride)

The Third Doctor once demonstrated a "conjuring trick" to Dr Tyler involving making a pencil "disappear" and a flower appear in its place. (TV: The Three Doctors)

A young Clara Oswald, who later became a companion of the Eleventh Doctor, had a "best pencil", which she unfortunately lost. (WC: The Bells of Saint John: A Prequel)

A young Amelia Pond, another future Eleventh Doctor companion, thanked Santa Claus on Easter 1996 "for the dolls and pencils and the fish." (TV: The Eleventh Hour)

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