If you’re not familiar with the website Centives, it’s an economics blog run by students at Lehigh University that is dedicated to putting the “fun” in “economics.” Now, you might say, “There is no fun in economics,” and I would reply with, “Exactly.” Nevertheless, the folks at Centives spend their time applying economic principles and extrapolation to strangely fascinating questions such as “How much does the Batmobile cost?” or “How much would it cost to build the Death Star?” They take into account things like, in the latter case, the cost of steel and the estimated mass of the station. Their latest project should put a smile on many a science fiction fan’s face: How much is the TARDIS worth?
Despite being the title of their post, that’s actually a misleading question. As they point out right off the bat, they aren’t trying to figure out how much it would cost to build a working TARDIS, or the current blue book value or whatever. Instead, they are attempting to take into account all the various amenities The Doctor’s time/spacecraft offers and then figure out how much he could charge to rent it out for a year (relatively speaking).
So what factors do they take into consideration? They reason that the TARDIS provides instant mobile universal translation no matter where you go. It means you always have a place to stay. It provides transportation, obviously, but not just anywhere on Earth; it can also take you into space, so what’s the going rate to buy a ride into space? Then there’s the actual “traveling through time” part, which they calculate in a fairly amusing way that I won’t spoil here. The total they come up with? A whopping $23,930,385 to rent the TARDIS out for a year.
It’s just a shame The Doctor doesn’t really use money. If he did, he could certainly start raking it in by opening up his own little time-traveling bed and breakfast.