Whether they’re a gateway to another universe or the entrance to some zany character’s house, doors play a bigger role in the world of fiction than many of us realise.
The threshold to the Doctor’s TARDIS, the round door of Bilbo’s home in Bag End, or the unassuming wardrobe which acts as the entrance to Narnia — all of these doors have a special place in the world of television, film, and our geeky hearts. But which fictional doorways are truly the best? And what makes them so great and so memorable?
In honour of these great entrances, door and door handle experts e-Hardware have produced this fantastic infographic chronicling the greatest fictional doors of all time.
The Choosing Door Furniture for Our Favourite Fictional Doors [Infographic] infographic was brought to you by the team at e-Hardware.
Location, Location, Location
Where is a door and where does it lead to? This is what makes a great fictional doorway so memorable. The TARDIS from Doctor Who, for example, can be anywhere — but it always leads to the same place. There’s something quite philosophical about that. It gets even more strange when you consider how the doorway itself opens up to somewhere entirely different. As they always say (when people first enter the legendary box), “it’s bigger on the inside”.
The Twelfth Doctor is especially proud of all of this, which is why he takes such glee in pretending to walk through that door for the first time in the 2015 Christmas Special:
“My entire understanding of physical space has been transformed! Three-dimensional Euclidean geometry has been torn up, thrown in the air and snogged to death! My grasp of the universal constants of physical reality has been changed forever.”
That sort of reaction (even if it’s faked) is precisely what makes the TARDIS door so memorable — and it’s all down to location.
The same is true of the doorway to 221b Baker Street. The doorway is famous because precisely because of that address. When you say Baker Street, you think of London, you think of solving mysteries, and you think of Sherlock Holmes. That’s why the London Underground stop for Baker Street is adorned with silhouettes of the famed crime-solver.
Location is also an important factor of Platform 9 ¾ from the Harry Potter universe. While it’s not technically a door, this vital portal to the magic world from the muggle world has made the real life Kings Cross a must-see destination for tourists around the world, with visitors flocking to a prop platform 9 ¾ in the train station. It’s ideal for people unwilling to pay for a train ticket to see the actual wall between platforms 9 and 10.
Door Handles: The Devil is In the Detail
For some doors, just as important as the location is what they look like. Memorable details from books and film make some doors instantly recognisable. Once again, this is true of the TARDIS’s infamous blue colour. In fact, according to Doctor Who lore, “TARDIS blue” is its own colour. This is somewhat ironic considering the fact that, when the TARDIS first appeared on television screens back in 1963, it was black and white.
Of course, it’s not just colour that can leave an impression. Things like shape, and even door handles, can make a big difference. Bilbo Baggins’ front door in Bag End wouldn’t quite be the same without its iconic circular shape and centre door knob.
Then there’s Boo’s door from Monsters, Inc. It was the small details on her door, such as the flowers and the gold mortice door knob, that made it recognisable to Sully when Mike tried to convince him that Boo’s door was just some other door. Of course, Sully doesn’t buy it. He knows that door when he sees it, creating one of the greatest chase scenes in cinematic history, with Mike and Sully chasing Randall through an enormous sorting house of thousands upon thousands of doors.
Actually, thousands upon thousands is an understatement. The scene lasts nearly ten minutes and, up until that point, was the most complex “set” that the Pixar animators had ever created, with the scene containing a jaw-dropping 5.7 million doors.
But only one of them was Boo’s door: the pink one with the dark pink and blue flowers and the gold mortice door knob.