Sydney Newman's Rotary Phone
Rotary phone.jpg
"[U]p to the age of 40, I don't think there was a science-fiction book I hadn't read. I love them because they're a marvellous way — and a safe way, I might add — of saying nasty things about our own society."


Sydney Cecil Newman


1960s Rotary Phone


Allows user to "hear" any place in history


Never connects correctly to desired events


Dialing a date and listening

Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection

May 27, 1998


Origin[edit | edit source]

Sydney Cecil Newman, OC (April 1, 1917 – October 30, 1997) was a Canadian film and television producer, who played a pioneering role in British television drama from the late 1950s to the late 1960s.

During his time in Britain in the 1950s and 60s, he worked first with the Associated British Corporation, or ABC (now Thames Television), before moving across to the BBC in 1962, holding the role of Head of Drama with both organisations. During this phase of his career, he was responsible for initiating two hugely popular television programmes, the spy-fi series The Avengers and the science-fiction series Doctor Who, as well as overseeing the production of groundbreaking social realist drama series such as Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play.

Effect[edit | edit source]

This phone was in the office of Sydney Newman between 1963 and 1967, during which he created Doctor Who. When a date is dialed on the phone (11-23-1963-02 for November 23, 1963 AD for example), and the receiver is picked up, the user will hear what their current location sounded like on that date and at the current time.

As Newman was widely regarded for changing the landscape of British television from theatre adaptations to original programs, many viewers and colleagues either loved or loathed his work. The phone reflects this by never supplying the exact experience the user desires. It may be an event from an unflattering viewpoint one doesn't wish to acknowledge, or babble about a different situation that may be more relevant to the listener. Not that they'll always enjoy their conversations, but enough to receive some insights and growth.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.