Inspired by this Twitter thread wherein user @markafleming2 asked: "Did the classic era ever say the police box was wooden? Was their aim for it to resemble concrete, like real police boxes? A bit rough and bumpy!" I took a look through the classic Target Novels, whose text I had compiled for an abortive attempt to feed them into an AI for a bit of fun, and found that Ian Marter's works usually described the TARDIS as being literally made of wood, with fellow author Nigel Robinson joining in the fun in his novelisation of The Sensorites.
I apologise for the lack of page numbers, but I didn't have those preserved. Also, I'm very open to the possibility I've missed a few instances. I would be curious to know if Ian's line in The Reign of Terror about flying in in a wooden box was in the filmed programme, as that would be the canonical first evidence of someone calling the TARDIS a wooden box.
(UPDATE: Per the script found here Ian says "Yes, I swear it. I flew here with three friends in a small box. When I left England it was 1963." So it "wood" seem it was Ian Marter who really had wood on his mind at the time when he wrote the novelisation~)
I hope this assists future WHOstorians!
|Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment||Ian Marter||" The TARDIS was surrounded by a host of colossal rats, their teeth squeaking against the frosted glass windowpanes and their claws tearing at the creaking woodwork of the battered police box."|
|Doctor Who - The Dominators||Ian Marter||
"As Teel led the way swiftly hack to the survey module,
Kully trotted along beside him endlessly jabbering about
aliens and robots and giant
wooden boxes, until Teel began
to fear that either the frenzied Dulcian had lost his sanity
or he was suffering from some kind of radiation sickness. "
"The Doctor looked anxious. ‘This spacecraft, it wasn’t sort of square like a tall wooden box...?’ "
"Suddenly the ground started to tremble and the surrounding dunes began to undulate like waves on the sea, causing the TARDIS’s ancient woodwork to protest vociferously. "
|Doctor Who - The Sensorites||Nigel Robinson||"On the left-hand door of the police telephone box, where there should have been the TARDIS lock, was now nothing but a large hole and a patch of charred woodwork. A few wisps of smoke still hung around the space."|
|Doctor Who - The Reign of Terror||Ian Marter||
" It was a blue-painted wooden structure, rather like a fat sentry box. On its roof was an amber-loured beacon and around the top sat a row of frosted glass windows. Above the windows on each side was a neatly painted notice announcing that it was a: POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX "
"Ian licked his cracking lips and struggled to take a deep breath against the pull of the shackles. ‘I flew here... in a wooden box... with three friends...’"
|Doctor Who - The Rescue||Ian Marter||"All at once the TARDIS shook violently and then rocked drunkenly from side to side. The Doctor winced as he heard the thump of falling rocks bouncing off the <B>frail wooden structure</B>. "|
Having successfully invaded both America and Canada from her home base in Windsor, Paisley has become horribly corrupted by the world. She hates active voice and wished to god Twitter had an edit button but is now glad to be rid of that place. Dedicated to "creating the greatest 'Ship of them all", she ponders horribly terrible, idiotic things for your amusement.