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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010
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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

The Randomiser was a device that would ensure a TARDIS would land at unpredictable times and places.

Function

The Randomiser, when activated, scrambled the TARDIS' co-ordinate settings giving the Doctor even less control than usual over the destination of his ship. As the name implies, using the Randomiser could send the TARDIS to any point in time and space.

History

After his successful completion of the quest to find the Key to Time, the Doctor feared the vengeance of the Black Guardian. Reasoning that if he himself did not know where he was going, neither would the Guardian (and thus the eternal Black Guardian would be unable to pursue or act against him), he installed the randomiser in the central console. (DW: The Armageddon Factor)

Given the size of the universe and the fact that the TARDIS still showed a marked tendency to materialise on habitable planets, rather than in intergalactic deep space, it appears that the process was not completely random. The Doctor's first two on-screen uses of the device both sent him to planets he had previously visited on numerous occasions (Skaro and Earth).

The Doctor frequently chose to over-ride the device when it became necessary to visit a specific time or place. (DW: City of Death, The Creature from the Pit)

Some of the Doctor's statements could be interpreted to mean the Randomiser could be partially engaged, so the Doctor would visit a particular place but at a random point in history - such as in the case of the visit to Paris, where the Doctor complains that 1979 is not a very good year, but then accepts that he can't expect the Randomiser to have very good taste. The implication is that Paris was the Doctor's choice of destination but the actual time period was up to the Randomiser. This may also explain why despite the randomiser, the TARDIS made a second landing in Paris, this time in the year 2000, in IDW: The Forgotten, which led Romana to question the randomiser's effectiveness.

In the end the Doctor chose to take his chances with the Black Guardian, removing the Randomiser as its components were needed within the Tachyon Recreation Generator on Argolis. He made no effort to replace the device despite his earlier concerns. (DW: The Leisure Hive)

Later, in his eighth incarnation, the Doctor found himself being pursued by the Time Lords and was forced to install a second randomiser into the humanoid TARDIS Compassion. While the first randomiser was constructed by the Doctor himself, the second device was purchased on the planet Yquatine. Installing the device caused Compassion great pain, which the Doctor had not anticipated. Possibly due to this traumatic experience, the second randomiser could not be removed or deactivated for some time. (EDA: The Fall of Yquatine)

Compassion was eventually able to expel the remains of the randomiser, along with her occupants, into the Edifice. (EDA: The Ancestor Cell)

In his tenth incarnation, the Doctor travelled to Ood-Sphere with Donna Noble, claiming to have set the controls to random. (DW: Planet of the Ood)

It was not explicitly stated that the Randomiser was used for this.
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This article uses material from the "Randomiser" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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