Okay, Google, you’ve been having some trouble with the whole privacy thing lately, but this goes a long, long way toward redemption. In fact, it makes me feel downright warm and fuzzy toward the folks at the corporate giant who—at least this time—used their Googlepowers for good by developing a Doctor Who Easter egg. No, not that kind of Easter egg. The wink-wink nudge-nudge kind that computer geeks slip into their programs when they can’t resist adding a personal touch.
If you search for a police telephone box in London on Google Maps, you’ll get a street view where you can see one chillin’ nonchalantly at Earlham Green. But then you see it’s got an average of 4.5 stars and almost 500 reviews, so you already know it must be doing something right, and its description is “traveled the universe, met some interesting beings.” Still, it looks like your average blue phone box—until you get inside, where it is much, much bigger.
The first shot is of the TARDIS control room, which in itself is awesome, but what’s better is that you can move all around the control room, adjusting Street View to check out the guts of the time and space traveling vehicle. You can even go down the stairs to the bowels of the beast, though trying to click down any hallways is a sadly futile endeavor. I spent five minutes looking for the pool before I gave up.
The reviews of the TARDIS are pretty great too. Here are a couple of snippets:
“BEEN STUCK! SEND FOR HELP! FEELS LIKE I’VE BEEN HERE FOR AGES. TOOK A BUNCH OF BANANAS FROM MY ROOM AND CAN’T SEEM TO FIND MY WAY OUT!” (2 stars)
“If you don’t mind the odd noises and all the odd food (imagine fish fingers and custard together!) this is an enjoyable stay.” (4 stars)
“I credit the total immersion language policy for my rapid fluency with the native population, which was a complete improvement over the honeymoon in Mexico where I apparently embarrassed my new hubby with my barbaric attempts to locate the library for fun on the all-inclusive resort.” (5 stars)
Click on this link to explore the interior of the Time Lord’s preferred method of travel. The trick is to find the special double directional arrows on the pavement. If for some reason you can’t see them, the up arrow on your keyboard should also work. Once you click those, you’re in.
Users have reported that the Easter egg is a bit iffy in the new Google Maps interface, but the work-around for that is opening the link in incognito or private browsing mode, which will return you to the old Google Maps interface. I wonder if Peter Capaldi has found this yet.