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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Tardis appeal for Doctor Who fans
The police box in Chepstow Road, Newport
Fans of the sci-fi series are expected to visit the Tardis
A police box in south Wales is expected to become a popular haunt for fans of Doctor Who when the cult show returns to our screens.

Although once a common sight on many street corners, police kiosks are more associated with Doctor Who's time-travelling machine, The Tardis.

And one such "tardis" in Newport is expected to generate a lot of attention, with the new series being produced at BBC Wales in Cardiff.

The blue box in Chepstow Road is even painted with Doctor Who's scarf.

People living near the disused police box are expecting it to became an attraction for fans when the new series is screened next year.

"I am sure that there will be a lot of people coming down to see it," said Lydia McDonnell, who lives in one of the houses behind the police box.

It is well known in Newport of course but I am sure that the new series will spark quite a bit of interest in it again
Lydia McDonnell, resident

"It was first painted like that a number of years ago - probably when the last series was on, and there would be lots of people pulling up to take photographs of it.

"But over the past couple of years, you hardly see anyone there now.

"It is well known in Newport of course but I am sure that the new series will spark quite a bit of interest in it again.

"Not much has been done to it in the last few years mind and there is quite a bit of graffiti on it now.

"Perhaps it would be a good time for them to come and spruce it up a bit.

"You can't get inside it now, but I have seen the inside of it once.

"It was small, dark and a bit smelly," she laughed.

Police box

The kiosks were used in the days before police radios, for locking up criminals while assistance was called using an emergency telephone.

The famous light on the top flashed when there was a call for an officer.

Although the boxes were once a common sight on UK street corners, they are now remembered more for their extra-terrestrial role in the Doctor Who series.

They were first introduced to Britain in the 1880s, first made of wood and later concrete.

Four police boxes were in use in Newport, but a deterioration of the concrete meant that only one remains - it is now owned by Newport Council and is a listed structure.

The Doctor Who show has been off air since it was axed in 1989.

But after a 15-year gap, filming for the latest 13 episode series begins in Cardiff this spring, for transmission in 2005.

Christopher Eccleston will play the ninth Doctor Who and his female companion Rose Taylor is expected to be played by ex-pop star Billie Piper.

The actor has already revealed that he won't be wearing a scarf or hat, as made famous by one of the Doctor's previous incarnations, Tom Baker.

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