Rikki Don't Lose That Number [Sci-Fi Telephone Booths]

We're all familiar with a certain Time Lord and her preferred mode of telephonic transport:

But while the Doctor was one of the first, she is far from unique - in fact there's a long and respectable tradition of science fiction heroes travelling in telephone booths. Excluding the good Doctor, here are my top five long distance callers:

#1 Bill And Ted

Doctor Who has spawned many spin-off series and movies over the years. My favourites were the Bill and Ted movies - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bogus Journey (1991). It's a blast - a great time-travel comedy and a decent attempt to create an American Doctor Who. It's absolutely canon. The eponymous heroes, played by Alex Winter and Keanu someone or other, travel through time in a US phone booth "borrowed" from Time Lord Rufus (who strictly speaking should be called The Rufus), encountering historical celebrities in their quest to complete their homework and ultimately secure the future of civilization through music. A nice touch is that this TARDIS is actually controlled by looking up the desired historical period in a phone book and dialling the number.


#2 Harry Potter

Why waste time with flying cars, boring broomsticks, itchy Floo powder or those blasted Portkeys when you can travel in style in a phone booth? The phone booths in Harry Potter are secret entrances to the Ministry of Magic.


#3 Professor Branestawm

In the BBC's fun adaptation of Norman Hunter's Professor Branestawm, starring Harry Hill, the Professor invents a slightly slower-moving phone.


#4 Neo

The Matrix is another of my favourite Doctor Who spin-offs. The links to original Who are subtle, but Whovian fans should be well aware that in Doctor Who, the Time Lords have a supercomputer called the Matrix. In the Matrix, there is also a supercomputer called The Matrix. If you are exploring the Matrix and need to leave in a hurry, you get to a phone booth.


#5 Superman

The final entry in this list is Superman. He only rates #5 as he doesn't actually travel in a phone booth, he just changes in one. This will be hard to explain to the mobile phone generation.


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