Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Around the World by Matt Phelan
A Boy & a Girl by Jamie S. Rich
Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Down Under Donovan by Edgar Wallace
The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
Explorer 2: The Lost Islands edited by Kazu Kibuishi
Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Mud-Slinging Moles by Maxwell Eaton III
Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse by George Selden
Hildafolk by Luke Pearson
How to Make Friends with Demons by Graham Joyce
I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
Leo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis by Jon Chad
Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The Martian by Andy Weir
Marx by Corrine Maier
Rust: Death of the Rocket Boy by Royden Lepp
The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne Cherry
The Sixth Gun, Volume 1 by Cullen Bunn
Sock Monkey Goes To Hollywood: A Star Is Bathed by Cece Bell
The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler
The Summer of Love by Debbie Drechsler
The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
The 26-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Tune: Still Life by Derek Kirk Kim
Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

The Gallifreyan Roundabout or Circular thinking and navigation
Genuine antiquitee, yes sir-ee

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Gallifreyan Roundabout or Circular thinking and navigation: 08/13/15

Cambridge and Cardiff transliterated to the Gallifreyan

If you're anything of a Whovian, you know that Gallifreyan is a circular language (although in the older series it was first written as maths and hieratic script). By that I mean the words are written like pieces of clockwork within the circumference of a circle. As an American Doctor Who fan I didn't think much about the language beyond obviously clockwork connection (if you've ever taken apart anything that runs with springs and gears, you'll know what I mean).

After a week of navigating through three parts of the United Kingdom: London (primarily on rail), Cambridge (primarily in taxi) and Cardiff (primarily on foot), I see a bigger connection between the language of the Time Lords and the basic British mental map.

Circles are everywhere in the British landscape. Look at the Underground's logo. Then there's the Circle Line which doesn't exactly go in a circle — it's really more like the subway version of a yo-yo. Above ground there are the numerous roundabouts.

Cambridge, built around the meandering Cam and other waterways seems to be nothing but a series of interlocking roundabouts. Every single time we hired a taxi to take us into town we took a different but circuitous route. It was really like the taxi was trying to find the correct transfer orbit for that day's conditions. Then throughout the nation, the road signs are primarily circular, compared to the US and Canada's obsession with square or rectangular signs.

Cardiff, home of the Doctor Who Experience and BBC Cymru, where the series is filmed, is actually less circular obsessed than Cambridge. I think part of that is two fold: it's relative size and its recent reshaping as a modern city. Cardiff is also right at the ocean's edge so its geography is different.

Cardiff 20150705

None the less, Cardiff has it's own circle obsessions, like it's "Magic Roundabout" (with fantastic road sign inspired artwork). And of course it has Doctor Who and lots of touristy things that can be purchased in Gallifreyan or Welsh.

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis