Monthly Archives: May 2015

Time Bandits vs Doctor Who

Design: Time Bandits vs. Doctor Who

I don’t know why I missed this for so long, but catching the tail end of Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits on television including the end titles, I was reminded not just of the map, the central device throughout the film, but the design of the map.

And with fresher eyes, I noticed the similarities between the map’s design and the re-imagined Gallifreyan written language on the revived series of Doctor Who. It’s a good thing the artists working on Doctor Who took the time to focus on the language of the Time Lords, as the classic series did a horrible job with the task. Watching the show as a kid, I remember coming up with some kind of story why the language looked like Greek and/or mathematical equations.

The new Gallifreyan written language is based on circles (let’s invent the word circumography — or are they circumglyphs?), similar to the Time Bandits cartography. Here’s a screenshot of the map from the film next to an image of Gallifreyan writing.

Time Bandits vs Doctor Who

What do you think? Is there a similarity? Would you even say that Doctor Who ripped off the design of Gallifreyan script from Time Bandits?