Out-of-this-world insurance claim as Eaton Bray TARDIS survives Daleks but damaged by Storm Dennis

A sci-fi fan is making an out-of-this-world insurance claim after his TARDIS was damaged beyond repair by Storm Dennis.

Friday, 20th March 2020, 10:08 am

Mark Marshall, 62, was left devastated when his time travelling machine was destroyed in his garden - but it wasn’t the Daleks, the Cybermen or the Weeping Angels this time!

Although it stood strong against Storm Ciara, the iconic police box took a battering when Dennis reared its head around February 16, as its windows were blown in, its walls were separated from its base and its sides were knocked inwards.

Mark, from Eaton Bray, said: “I was distraught. My wife had bought me the TARDIS for my 50th birthday. Then after 12 years for the winds to batter it...

The battered TARDIS and Mark's Dalek.
The battered TARDIS and Mark's Dalek.

“When the storm was at its worst the TARDIS was being pushed towards our swimming pool. It’s covered over but it would have made one hell of a rip in the material.

“We were both standing there in the pouring rain pushing the TARDIS back. My wife was not best pleased at having to do that.

“I don’t know if anybody has ever put in a claim for a destroyed TARDIS on insurance, but I suspect it’s a first!”

Mark’s love for all things Doctor Who began when he was a young boy, as he watched the very first episode, broadcast in 1963.

His study is now full of memorabilia, including a life-size Dalek, while the TARDIS itself has made a useful changing room when friends and family use the swimming pool.

Mark said: “I watched the first episode in 1963 with William Hartnell. I remember it was delayed due to an extended news bulletin about President Kennedy’s assassination.

“Mum and Dad sat there very seriously watching the news. Back then Doctor Who was black and white, with wobbly sets, and the first story was about going back to caveman times. Having been brought up on a diet of Robin Hood, I thought: ‘Wow’.”

Mark’s TARDIS and Dalek are made by a props company called This Planet Earth, which creates monsters that the public can order online - from Ice Warriors to Daleks.

His children, Jack, 31, and Tasha, 29, took great pleasure in hiding inside the Dalek when they were little and frightening their father.

The battered TARDIS is made from fibreglass and wood, and Mark explained that there wasn’t any way to tie it down. It was also too heavy for Mark and his wife Angela to move somewhere safe.

However, despite not wanting a TARDIS inside the house, he believes Angela has a soft spot for the time machine.

Mark said: “She was the only one who was sympathetic - I think she’s grown fond of it. She said: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get you another one.’”