Dr Who - The TARDIS

The TARDIS can only be in one place at any one time. During the Tom Baker era it becomes apparent that the TARDIS changes laws of physics or something like that when it travels in time and also when it materialises, The Pirate Captain says in Pirate Planet, when his machine materialise at the same place.

Dr Who - The Pirate Planet

You could not do what it does any other way - of cause you can't change natural laws but if there is a discrepancy you must have got some of that law wrong.  There are no written down laws of nature but Theory or Hypothesis depending on degrees of certainty.  All known things are based on observation and analysis.

A companion was imposed on Tom Baker it is written, some stories earlier, he did not want a companion and Romana (Mary Tamm) was imposed on the Doctor in this story similarly.  I would have though Tom would not work well with such a smart clever companion who does not play the stooge.  Tom plays to what he has and how he feels about it weaving those in, with the writers help.  Look out for this aspect of Tom it might be why he is the best Doctor in most people's opinion.  He is also seems quite arrogant and not a good team player.

Pirate Planet.

This is the first story in which, in my opinion, the writers understand Tom Baker, do not write to rain him in but to use this actor to his full potential.  A particularly cleverly written story by Douglass Adams.  The Pirate Captain motives and real unwillingness to be doing what he is doing is explained as opposed to guessing for yourself.

"What is biting him" K9 spinning on his centre - working it out for yourself it is easy and makes you smile.  And all the same the story strongly portrayed the seriousness of the situation.  Excellent timing part of the humour was in leaving the metal Dog and the metal Parrot's fight to the imagination.  Romana's cleverness. No one can work out what the Doctor is going to do not even K9. In subsequent story’s other writers "get it";  Daleks can't predict The Doctor either that is why he always beats wicked people and machines.

Pirate planet machine is damaged. The physics of Universe was broken for a 10 seconds.  Romanna and The Doctor are knocked to the floor otherwise the TARDIS is fine. The magic of the TARDIS as the Dr. unscrews and puts the page he tore out of the TARDIS manual back.  Romanna had just before the bad materialisation told the Doctor that manual said that a TARDIS could not be materialise safely without doing some steps that The Doctor thought was nonsense and he had not done before in the 520 years of flying the TARDIS.

Tom carries off story telling with excellence.  Tom narrates himself (that is put down to talking to himself because no one else can understand him)

I am told that later story's Tom rewrote parts to make what is said more consistent with the character's including himself style.  I observe his latter story's are better having a greater degree of a serious points and they really matter.

Douglass Adams is a very skilful story teller and in this talk he provides a number of examples.  The skill is in the entertaining side threads that hold the us to the concluding consequently with a very compelling point.  Douglas Adams: Parrots the Universe and Everything Also find and enjoy the Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy.

The first video is of a 3D look around of the TARDIS - the total weight, not the apparent weight, is 5x106Kg (50,000 tons) in Adrec's gravity, E-space story Full Circle in a question designed to tell us something more about the TARDIS - I suspect the machines Mass and Total energy are potential, interchangeable and variable.

Telephone box; Button A- to pay and connect, B- to return your money and cancel the call.  The operator could override the buttons.

Notice in the story Full Circle that Romana is using a tablet computer IPAD decades before they existed when this story was broadcast in 1980. In 1984 a simpler but very successful note pad like computers the Psion Organiser was launched using the very low powered and very widely used HD6301 microprocessor of that time.

Ubuntu Tablet computer

The science is fair enough Romanna No.2 could have told Adrec the mass in Newtons that would have been equally unhelpful but the literal answer to the question.  Having said that the question was wrong Adrec wanted to know the apparent weight of a police box - often an annoying aspect of talking to a scientist or engineer you get the answer to the question you asked not the answer to the question you should have askedOf cause it would be courteous for the person giving the answer to further discuss the question in order to explain what is possible and what are the consequences  But it takes both parties wish for that to happen.  Military contracts relies on misunderstanding and evidence that a misunderstanding was not the companies fault is counted on in order to spin the job out for more money. 

Police - AA - RAC-GPO each had there own boxes

In Invasion of Time Part 6 we see some of the many corridors and rooms within the TARDIS.  The only bit I remembered was four of them sent off through different doors in opposing directions and entering one room facing each other. 

Macra Terror - We see another feature of the TARDIS at the end of the previous story Moonbase.  The Time Scanner shows the monster the time travellers are going to come up against. So we again see evidence that the TARDIS scouts around in time and space before landing at the most advantageous point.

Dr Who - Mawdryn Undead

Many Doctors can exist at one time but when the Brigadier meets up with his earlier self, this is not allowed and causing a power discharge from the TARDIS in Mawdryn Undead.  This story returns to the old Doctor Who in some respects. There is a ridiculous perfect timed incident (artistic licence, I guess, does not impress me) - when the Mawdryn are released from the curse of eternal suffering life but the Doctor is not killed (all his lives used up), and the Brigadier's memory is restored.  Generally though stories are beginning to be written for the new 1980's era doctor more magic than science. This story is very good and it maybe that the music is the touch that polishes the production beautifully.

Dr Who always touched on Science fantasy.  In other words things that could be envisage by science and engineering but are extremely unlikely.  But there was a rationality in the earlier stories and practical science and maths to back it up. Particular point that science and technology is even better than fantasy - this point is so true of the 60s. It is true of real life intense saturated food flavours, PC screen with the sound, colour, contrast and brightness turned up don't improve reality but saturate so destroy the detail.

I confused and merged the William Hartnell Celestial Toy Maker story with the later Patrick Troughton Mind Robber story until I found and watched those stories again.  An explanation for these stories could be that the Doctor did not clearly have in mind what he wanted to do next in the first example and in the second he explains that it is vary dangerous to move outside time and space. Perhaps the celestial plain they arrive at would now-a-days be called a virtual plain.  A virtual machine state where thoughts, fears and nightmares of the Timelord and his companions are created by the TARDIS and determine the outcome.

Dr Who - The Celestial Toymaker

To emphasise that point the Doctor describes in The Chase that the TARDIS may be visiting a (virtual world of the TARDIS to use modern language) a place of their fears and imagination that seems to be a medieval house of dungeons and monsters.

Subconscious things like premonition become almost real when a person is under extreme stress and, as in real life can, the Doctor's subconscious sees them through, But the TARDIS is stretched beyond it's capabilities almost to destruction.

David Niven in "A matter of life and Death"

Also see David Niven in "A matter of life and Death".  The Injured pilot tussles for his life whilst he dreams of begin in a court arguing for his life. I put this in as a thought about the Doctor's perspective and what might really be happening.  I think though that the reality and dream-state are transposed in the Dr Who cases - it is the outcome of the dream that determines the fate of the TARDIS whereas in Life and Death court case it is the outcome of the physical operation that determines the outcome of the dream.  Of cause, the willingness to pull through is key in both cases.

Enlightenment - This story seems to be an imaginary dual and like the earlier two stories.  Unreal spaceships outside time and space.  Last of the Black and White Guardian stories I am not really sure what Enlightenment is about is it a mind game in a virtual plane created by the TARDIS or an outside influence?  I did not like this story.

By the end of the 1970's things were changing. Interest in science was being displacing by superficial things, magic, wealth, power and money.

Dr Who - Enlightenment

There has always been a stronger following in fantasy, hypnosis, mind control and drug induced mind control.  Doctor Who partly rationalises this but partly goes along with a mystical understanding.  By comparison in I Robot - Isaac Asimov 1950 a robot gains all the attributes of being a human.  As I say this not a line in Sci-Fi that Doctor Who ever pursues there is always a flaw making biological life, religiously almost, superior.

Virtual reality machine, that can do much more than fantasy could be envisaged again in The film Tron of 1982 the possibility now established by the general public and waiting for engineers to get on and develop it. BBC sound services were used in the making of the film Tron.  Tron of cause is very much lesser expectation than a Gallifayian time capsule and was not a particularly successful film.

By comparison The Time Machine was a physical machine created using very hard materials, fictionally, by H.G. Wells in 1895.  Herbert George Wells who gets his ideas when he meet Doctor Who in the story Time Lash.

Biological life is totally symbiotic - 90% of our bodies are microbes that join us at birth or within our first three years work with us for our mutual benefit.  The remainder, of what is ourselves, will be genes that have cross for mutual benefit and Mitochondria that passed on through the egg only.  The Y chromosome which has been reducing in size will eventually be replaced by another chromosome to select sex in 4 billion years.

Masters TARDIS - Melkur ‎(Keeper of Traken)‎

Mind over matter and well-being in reality depends on both the mind and the body.  Weakness in one can but not necessarily bring down the other hence healing and alternative medicine as well as conventional talking therapies, placebo or token and surgery can all work.  The TARDIS is a machine that strengthens the abilities of a Timelord, but deteriorates (War Games), when driven remotely.  In "The Creature from the Pit" - TARDIS pulls a giant rock away from a course that would hit a planet.  You can do anything you like with the TARDIS if you can precisely visualise how you do it, in any case features of the TARDIS appear when needed. 

This is fiction, you really can't have all your wants, know all things and have those by force of will. Perhaps it is a left over Victorian idea that nature could be tamed. This is wrong and by shouting at someone will make them understand English and do what you order is also wrong.

 In Newtonian science things can be precisely measured put together and a precise outcome be achieved. In reality considerably more can be achieved by understanding the imprecise nature of things.  Material in nano quantities behaves differently and conversely a complex system does more than the sum of its parts. 

Modern life style, couch potato and home delivered pizza, and excessive consumption is contrary to any wish for clean air and quality food and good health (nature is not that tameable at all).  There is a conflict between rationality and the understanding of limitations and variability with Idealism and the wish for definites and absolute facts.  To understanding and deal with this needs understanding that most people are idealist, what is so, some of us are rationalist, what works.  I am attempting in this project to convey a need for understanding between all temperaments rather than a battle.

How many past regenerations has the Doctor had?

The Brain contest See The Brain of Morbius I think I counted eight prior to the first we see on TV and the regression may not be all the way back because the Doctor survives consequently.  But in The Five Doctors, William Hartnell says he is the first Doctor - first time he used the alias perhaps as opposed to a reference to past regenerations (I don't take this story seriously it was a name dropping special anniversary edition trying to add something new even if it was inconsistent)? - you work it out. 

Dr Who - Brain of Morbus - mind contest

These stories were only watched once and would not be scrutinised to such a degree! Apparently I am told elsewhere it is written that not all the past lives were the Doctor's (perhaps a rewriting of fictional history to fit another story the Keeper of Traken where the master has used up all of his lives and the wish by the BBC for the TV series to end on a high point after the 4th Doctor + Shada where the old timelord has used up his last life).  In this story it is stated that Morbius strength of mind out classes the Doctor's but the brain case that Morbius (Brain) is contained in has a weakness that electricity can build up and cause a discharge which is what happens to Morbius causing his demise.

Recently BBC Radio 4 Feedback(12 July 2013) A Radio series The Archers received a lot of correspondence criticising the BBC for running an interesting thread on The Archers prime channel Radio 4 then broadcasting the big punch line story on a secondary digital channel running a concurrent but slightly different version of the story it was said. Just a warning don't try to make too much sense of any long running series.  That Radio programme has been running 60 years and there is a lot attention to continuity and agricultural accuracy paid to it.

TARDIS appears to be a machine that generates its own virtual substance from energy.  Perhaps as a radio broadcasts waves but generating stationary waves of simulated matter.  Forbidden Planet of 1956  The Universal Turing Machine developed to its ultimate conclusion.

Computer programmer's often use the word software or firmware for what they do.  They call everything physical, electronics, metal, screws printed circuit boards, Hardware. 

I stretch what has been said about the TARDIS to include some of the ideas being developed in physics 100 years ago and explained to an ordinary engineer, like me, in Heretic's Guide to Modern Physics, Wireless World 1983. I am sure these ideas are influential. Although the article challenged established views about particles and waves.  Experiment that using Newtonian physics proves light is waves but using quantum physics (which takes account of probability and random events) does not prove either about light in that experiment.  Light is a stream of photon particles but when modelled as waves works as well.

I have been recommended David_Bohm to read.  Different perspectives trying to handle possible alternative view of reality the maths and physics hint at.

Science and peoples way of thinking changed over the past 150 years.  I think this article on an influential idea but all the same is a wrong The Illusion Of Matter: Our Physical Reality Isn’t Really Physical At All


Because the TARDIS and the time travellers are in a symbiotic relationship it follows that anything or anyone entering becomes part of the TARDIS. Do travellers in some way on leaving the TARDIS do so as projections from the TARDIS re-materialising properly when the TARDIS leaves them behind?  Travellers in the TARDIS do gain an ability to communicate in any language but not any media as a gift of the Timelords. They are not quite as projections from the TARDIS though.

Dr Who - Death to the Daleks

In Death to the daleks the power in the TARDIS is drained by the city but this does not fit in. The power within the TARDIS is immense and comes by sacrifice of a Timelord Omega.  That power source is from another Galaxy see The Three Doctors. Also see the power need to create monsters from pure energy being vastly more than that of running a super self maintaining planet city in Forbidden Planet The similar self maintaining city, in Death to the Daleks is particularly memorable story in other ways though, for example the antibodies to protect the Ancient City.  The destruction of this city leaves only 699 wonders of the Universe the Doctor says.

Both the interior and the exterior of a TARDIS change.  The exterior should change to fit in to the environment but The Doctor does not understand this technology and that may be the reason why that feature of the TARDIS has deteriorated whilst in his use and now does not work? We evidently seem to see the interior of the Doctor's TARDIS change to suit the understanding of his fellow travellers and the TV viewers.  The controls on the console are surely immaterial because, we have been told, the timelord is telepathically connected with the TARDIS but the Timelords keys (knowledge and a germ within his DNA I think) that allow the machine to travel, are within him and can be taken from him. The console helps fellow travellers to be included and contribute - whereas the minimal TARDIS console mean that the machine resorts to symbolism in the early Edge of Destruction helping Barbara to discover key facts that resolve the fault.

The first time we see another TARDIS and this one has camouflaged itself to fit in with it surroundings. 

The actor Peter Butterworth is such a nice Monk who would believe he was doing anything bad?

Peter Butterworth played in many Carry on films. In Carry on Screaming, Jon Pertwee (Doctor No.3) also appears as a doctor of natural history.  {this is from memory I can't find a film clip}

Police inspector asks the gentle miserable timid little man; What his first wife died of?

Man says; Eating poisonous mushrooms.

The inspector asks; What his second wife die of?

Man says; Bang on the head.

Inspector asks; How come?

Man; Wife would not eat her mushrooms.

Time Medler - The Monk's TARDIS

TV Story telling was like traditional story telling, clearer cut and in context 60 years ago, Dr 2 paid particular attention to not losing that aspect in the shorthand cut-to-the-chase way TV serial story telling had become.  The division between fact, fiction, faction, comedy used to be clearer. But it is less so now I believe modern stories like Doctor Who story "Crimson Horror" confuse fact and fiction. I only watched a bit of this story, could not stand any more and found a Dads Army before returning to my comparative the sanctuary of my TV free home. "Crimson Horror" might have been an attempt at Carry on Screaming but it seemed to portray the Quaker companies like Cadbury and the town of Bornvile, built for the workers as bad, but they were examples of compassionate Victorian employers 

 With story telling you need to be clear when you are telling a joke and not portray one thing in a plausible way as something else. Reality and fiction in peoples minds are confused enough anyway in the UK and dumbing down is an issue that concerns many.  Apparently the Carry on Films were scripted none of it was off the cuff,  I would have thought that the would have made the acting wooden, but it worked ever so well - you will see that I note later on temperament it would appear the temperament of the writers was Idealist (Ox) probably would not have worked for some of the doctors.

Recent Doctor Who the TARDIS interior has become Gothic presumably by the state of mind of the Doctor (7/8th) possibly regeneration 15.

The interior of the TARDIS is almost perfectly secure but can occasionally a symbolic representation can appear within by a powerful external psychic force.  In the The Awakening - Malice forms a Gargoyle in the TARDIS briefly.  Also in  Pyramids of Mars an icon from an Egyptian pyramid forms with the TARDIS Exceptionally the malevolent Keep of Traken and the One of the Tharil's with Romana say good by to the Dr at Warriors Gate; can physically enter the TARDIS as well as items sent from Gallifrey by Timelords.

I don't believe in outside forces like telepathy and premonition preferring to think our brains process all possibilities and form incite, though I have had compelling experiences that suggest otherwise. Most people experience things that care difficult to rationalise - I suspect.

The TARDIS comes from an era of such hope and science which could be recaptured, I believe. Collectively many wonderful things are possible working as a part of and with an understanding of nature, is essential though.  A well managed team with scientist and engineers at its best is artistry.  They interpret and make things that are better than envisaged when clear but inspired design is allowed. The Photographer Ansel Adams brought out the detail and subtly by using very low contrast wet photography. That is so different to trying to find substance in quantity, intense colours and strong flavours. I set the computer monitor's intensity and contrast low in order to benefit from the subtlety of tones that, with breaks, allows me to use the computer without strain but quite intensely for long periods.

BMC Mini Car

The BMC Mini Car from 1959

This car from the 1960s era became popular across all classes of people, seemed at the time to be bigger on the inside than the outside. Won or came first in every rally entered for 10 years until Ford Escort's genuinely started winning from 1972. The cars having come first were then usually disqualified on erroneous technicalities such as the lights were an inch too high from the ground then next time lights were inch to low.

Easy and very predictable to drive. The car slightly under steers helps and has lots of feel from the road through the controls made the car so you could push it hard, to where any other car would go out of control then bring it back in control and feel how far you can go doing that.

People who often remarked, the car really does not skid even on a skid pan but apparently they can be made to skid by pulling the handbrake.  Like so many good things lots claimed and in reality the car, the Timex watch, made to measure suits, British textiles, whatever the claim was, the item purchased general was found to be even better than expected.

The engine is on top of the gearbox and they were coupled by an idler gear.  That gear gave the engine a distinctive whine that would change on over run. It is these little assumptions about what sounds are connected to which part make it possible to design and work on a machine - Art of design is not to loose the ability to reckon also know as to judge by eye.

Super willing engine would start, like all BMC cars, extremely easily. Only weakness in earlier cars was that the ignition suffered in wet weather.  The original 1920's Austin engines had two main roller bearings, four cylinder and were side valve. Later became three main bearing engines . A new overhead cam 1935-ish engine design was powerless and only made briefly and lessons were learnt.  The engine reverted to overhead valve based on the old side valve block but with the unique patented swirling gas cylinder head design in about 1936/8-ish. That patents ran for 40 years. The engine was used on lorries first and then a smaller powerful engine used in the MG sports cars were known to suffer broke crankshafts. The crank shaft was strengthened by making it using by forged instead of casting to form a grain like crystal structure in the metal. The three main bearing, (vibration pivoting on the middle bearing) and now long stroke to increasing the capacity to 850cc gives the same mini engine it's distinctive deep throb.

The Clubman had Hydroelastic suspension made the car's ride like a big car.  All Mini's built 1965-1967 included Hydroelastic suspension made them like the 1100 and 1300 advertised driven at 40MPH across a ploughed field.  The 1970's mini was modified and had two box exhaust and valve overlap changed loosing the distinctive rasp on overrun.  Also lost the electric fuel pump which made the starting very good instead of exceptional and the remote gear change had been added. 

Mini Moke

Many other parts, widows, dynamo were replaced with standard parts but the fuse box had just two fuses still.  The Mini Metro of 1980's engine include all the features of the Cooper and an improved carburettor  and cooper exhaust manifold making it more powerful and economical. In 1974 Audi introduced the new Audi 80GL with all independent suspension and Citroen similarly advertise a car driven at speed, between two lorry's that keeps going straight with a front Tyre blow out.  If owned a 1970's Austin Princess, Rover, which were big Minis, you could quite easily still be running it now once fixed they were excellent cars.

All other makes of cars including the BMC Morris Minor and BL Itel, would skid off the road if you used the brakes on a corner.  Very difficult in Ice. You had to slow down for corners much more than you need to now-a-days with modern cars. Also Ford cars were notably difficult to start.

A second hand Mini how ever old and bad condition was very expensive to buy. Super little go-cart and a car that you turn the key and the engine is going. But by comparison a VW or Audi, by the end of the 1970s was now the most expensive to buy second hand however old they were because their condition would be very good.

TARDIS Mini Raleigh Bikes British engineering promised much delivered much more

By comparison with all the things going on at the time the TARDIS was just another British great its materialisation was overdue in 1963, 115 years after The Programmable Computer (Charles Babbage) and Programming (Ada Lovelace), 40 Years after Quantum mechanics, 25 years after the modern computer that can do anything (Universal Turing Machine). But during the 1970's these small motor companies that had been merged into one very big nationalised industry was not working the boss consequently did not know most of his employees' names any more. Cars were full of "Gremlins" and were sold with British Leyland insurance included. Much of the company was basically very good and under the chairmanship of Sir Michael Edwards from 1978 turned the corner for the company most notably with the Mini Metro. 

Blue Lamp pilot to the TV series Dixon of Dock Green

The Triumph Herald and Vitesse (1959 and 1962) cars similarly had all independent suspension they were also made by British Motor Corporation, I don't recall them racing or rallying though. They may not have had the handling or strength for rallying thought they did have the engine performance (CHECK THIS?).

Blue Lamp - Don't think that cars could handle corners at these speeds 70 MPH that was not possible until the Mini.  This 1950 film is from the era of the Police Box being in use still.

It was vitally important when driving that you slow a car down before a corner and then go through the corner without accelerating or breaking. Just as the Highway Code says. Only a Mini and a TARDIS that a driver could you do almost what they like.  Blue lamp is a lovely romantic film typical of the time cultivating and acknowledging the best in public services. This is how people viewed public services something where they can serve people.

The peaceful steam and electric age of motoring; 

The earliest steam engine may pre-date Heroes engine and the earliest car was a 18th Century French vehicle but neither were seriously used or usable. There is also a 17th Century Chinese steam car toy recorded.

Whites steam car - ultimate car easy and quick to start and go compared with a dangerous ICE car.

The start of the end of the age of peaceful motoring;

The use of the internal combustion engine (ICE) to power vehicles came about in Britain because those car's were a challenge and therefore fun toy of the very wealthy [My father's opinion]. By comparison prior to the ICE there were many steam and some electric cars in the 1850's [My father's opinion]. Steam was particularly but electric also were and probably still are better suited to going between A and B.  Modern steam prototyped cars could potentially have fewer poisonous emissions. But things are not done or developed using the easiest ways unless there is a degree of stress not to do it things the popularist ways. The demise in the UK but not USA of steam and electric cars came about also because the horse lobby was very strong and persuaded parliament to virtually legislate cars off the road but conversely wealthy people who drove fast cars for the fun of it broke and then got those laws repealed leaving the ICE powered cars dominant.

Aside; Comparative wealth and falsely created stress leads to dreadful exploitation and wars USA for example may have killed 20-30 million [Facebook June 2014] in it's wars conducted since world war 2 and Britain must surely by it's banking matched that in exploitation and other mercenary ways.

By comparison the more modest power Stanley Steam Car Engine and superior virtually immediate turn on and go steam cars engines.  They had a flash boiler developed in the 1890's but those cars still had a lot of maintenance as well as perpetration before you drove them.  The development of the steam car seems to have continued in USA until about 1920 or so.  But the invention of the steam road vehicles is credited to Britain.

The earliest Steam cars were made in Britain starting in 1801-1803

London to Brighton Vintage car Rally    http://www.veterancarrun.com/

Car manufacturing started in USA car in 1896-1903 with the Model T Ford, also Oldsmobile and Whites Steam cars of 1900.  But there is an American steam car recorded made by Oliver Evans in 1805. But in reality 19th century auto mobile and particularly the pre-Internal combustion engine world history is largely overlooked and forgotten.







Fast and aggressive motoring;

Last of the Doble steam cars marks the final end of the steam car era but with a very fast car

Many machines 100 - 200 years ago where built with an ideal or a hunch in mind but are distorted by market forces and spin.  The supercharged Bentley a lesser car than the racing Bentley but the former being more desirable all the same. The two 1920's steam cars in the video's are optimised in many ways are very high performance (0-60 in 10 seconds and over 100MPH) plus very quiet running but will never be as refined as much as a low cost mass produced car is and the only reason being that circumstances of an aggressive toy of the rich became the engine of choice.  Now fuel cost steers manufactures to strive to achieve theoretical efficiency, along with low emissions and across the whole power range that an ICE and a mechanical gearbox has not managed yet and could not expect to the nature of the engine being tuned for full power and other not possible.  Also based on the history of automobile development and also market force pressure to show of excessive power, noise and fuel consumption.

By comparison a 1920's Rolls Royce car again built to an ideal of very conservative design but would be very quiet running like a steam car in many ways but for requiring a gearbox. But by this time the ICE was the all round easier option now having been used much more widely and refined more.

More on Doble steam cars - I believe such cars had very much better MPG than and ICE cars of the time?

I do not know the MPG of these particular steam cars (anecdotally I told 9US Miles to the Gallon). But they are not A to B cars but are particularly fast and high performance cars. The TV show acknowledges comparable vehicle emissions to modern cars - which is not surprising given the flame is not internal and explosively damaging so there would be fewer compromises surely?

British engineering was second to none;

But professionals are not paid well and the workers paid poorly in England.  Financial services pay indecently highly but that was not discussed traditionally but it is what matters to most.

Classic cars like this Bentley were always highly regarded but much too expensive to run.

British engineering was very highly regarded and many films like Fast Lady featured mostly classic cars, but also trains, steam engines in the 1960s. Unfortunately people could not afford to run these cars, petrol was not cheap and such a car as a real (pre 1931) not supercharged race winning Bentley and particularly the supercharged Bentley would be inefficient.  My father considered purchasing his for his first car in about 1950 a Rolls Royce but he went for the much cheaper to run and easier to drive and more expensive 1935-ish Ford Anglia at 200 guineas (£201).  A Ford car engine were cheap cost regulated by the manufacturer and were designed for 25,000 miles and that is as much as Dad got from a new engine he had purchased.

Lalla Ward who played Romana No.2 was married to Tom Baker briefly said in April 2013 that Tom was the best Doctor Who but others have other favourites.  She never watched Doctor Who and describes the programme as story's tied together by the TARDIS but they were not science fiction as such. 

Dr Who - Timelords and Celestial beings 

 BBC has a very good section on classic Dr Who