Unlike other fictional universes, the Doctor Who universe is created solely by fiction. To us, this is not a valid source. Information from this source can only be used in "behind the scenes" sections, or on pages about real world topics.
The TARDIS Inside Out is a 1985 illustrated, non-fiction book in which John Nathan-Turner gives his personal reflections on each of the six men who had then played the part of the Doctor. Despite the title, it has absolutely nothing to do with the workings of the TARDIS.
John Nathan-Turner, in his unique position as producer of the programme for the past six years, is able to discuss the six Doctors and the actors who played them with fresh insight. He reveals not only how many of the decisions are made, but also what really happens behind the scenes.
Each Doctor has a full-page colour portrait painted by the talented Andrew Skilleter. More colour and black and white illustrations detail the Doctors' activities and their most exciting adventures.
Inside Out is clearly skewed towards things JNT personally knows about the actors. For instance, he claims The Space Pirates is his favourite Patrick Troughton story, not because it was Troughton's finest hour, but because it "was [his] first encounter face to face with the Doctor". William Hartnell's section is tiny, because JNT admits he never met him, and the sections on Hartnell's next three successors focus largely upon their involvement with The Five Doctors, a JNT production.
It is something of a forerunner to The Writer's Tale, the work of a producer offering his thoughts on his involvement with Doctor Who. It is not as detailed as Russell T Davies' book, which is effectively an annotated production diary. Neither does it include any primary source material, like internal memos, so JNT is allowed to claim anything he likes without reference to supporting documentation.
Because of the lack of proper sourcing, and his failure to admit to any conflict between himself and any of the actors, critical readers can find cause to doubt the accuracy of JNT's recollections.
The book tends towards a few major areas of interest:
- JNT's favourite story of each Doctor
- The production of The Five Doctors
- JNT's working relationship with each man. Within the Tom Baker section, by far the biggest in the book, he devotes his attention to the circumstances surrounding Baker's resignation, and goes to great lengths to suggest that he and Baker had an amicable relationship. He also claims he "never stopped to think of Tom and Lalla as a couple", which seems unlikely, as their relationship negatively affected the production of the show under his watch. (DCOM: State of Decay and others)
- JNT's memories of working with each actor outside Doctor Who proper, particularly in panto and convention settings.
- The book had an equal royalty deal between author John Nathan-Turner and illustrator Andrew Skilleter.[source needed]
- Designed by Cherriwyn Magill, it was one of the most successful books selling 45,000 copies worldwide.[source needed]
- Andrew Skilleter was unhappy with the enlarged line drawings, which lost some of their detail when used to fill the pages.[source needed]