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The Hostile Action Displacement System, also known as HADS (TV: Cold War [+]Mark Gatiss, Doctor Who series 7 (BBC One, 2013).) or simply the displacement system, (COMIC: Liberation of the Daleks [+]Alan Barnes, DWM Comics (Panini Comics, 2022-2023).) was one of the defence mechanisms of the Doctor's TARDIS. When the outer shell of the vessel came under attack, the unit dematerialised the TARDIS and rematerialised it a short distance away after the attacker had gone, in a safer locale. (TV: The Krotons [+]Robert Holmes, Doctor Who season 6 (BBC1, 1968-1969).) However, another function of this was a "dispersal system" instead of its usual "displacement system", which would allow for the TARDIS to appear to actually be blown apart, but in fact remaining intact in various pieces with the shield still functional in its original position. (TV: The Witch's Familiar [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 9 (BBC One, 2015).)

The HADS had to be manually set, and the Doctor often forgot to do so. (PROSE: The Krotons [+]Terrance Dicks, adapted from The Krotons (Robert Holmes), Publication Order (Target Books, 1985).) It could also be turned back on automatically by the TARDIS' regeneration. (TV: Wild Blue Yonder [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023).)


While on the Gond planet, the Second Doctor activated the HADS before leaving the TARDIS with Zoe Heriot. The system activated when it was attacked by a Kroton's dispersion jet, though deactivated when the mist cleared and the Kroton had left. (TV: The Krotons [+]Robert Holmes, Doctor Who season 6 (BBC1, 1968-1969).)

When testing the ship after his exile on Earth had ended, the Third Doctor briefly lost the TARDIS when the HADS was triggered by a hailstorm, the Doctor noting to Jo Grant in embarrassment after they rediscovered the ship that the setting for the HADS was slightly too high. (PROSE: The Suns of Caresh [+]Paul Saint, BBC Past Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 2002).)

While stuck on Earth and attempting to avoid meeting himself, the Fifth Doctor engaged the HADS to move the TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Mutant Phase [+]Nicholas Briggs, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2000).)

The Fifth Doctor had General Tillington fire lasers at the partially-materialised TARDIS in order to trigger the HADS as part of his plan to defeat the Daleks. (AUDIO: Renaissance of the Daleks [+]Christopher H. Bidmead, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2007).)

The First Rani was able to capture the Doctor's TARDIS in a tractor beam because the Sixth Doctor had neglected to set the HADS. (PROSE: Time and the Rani [+]Pip and Jane Baker, adapted from Time and the Rani (Pip & Jane Baker), Target novelisations (Target Books, 1988).)

The system triggered when the TARDIS was struck by cannon fire in 1854, which displaced the outer plasmic shell. (AUDIO: The Angel of Scutari [+]Paul Sutton, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2009).)

Ace activated the HADS on instructions from the Seventh Doctor, moving the TARDIS from Haiti's Presidential Palace to the university. (PROSE: White Darkness [+]David A. McIntee, Virgin New Adventures (Virgin Books, 1993).)

The HADS activated itself when two Zygons tried to steal the TARDIS. (PROSE: The Bodysnatchers [+]Mark Morris, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 1997).)

The HADS activated again when temporal corrosion on the SS Batavia threatened the TARDIS, sending Charley Pollard from 1 January 2008 to 15 January 1942. It was triggered again when temporal corrosion spreading through a Cyber-ship in 500002 came near the TARDIS, inadvertently stranding Charley there in the process. (AUDIO: The Girl Who Never Was [+]Alan Barnes, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2007).)

After a particularly violent crash landing, the TARDIS used the HADS to move itself through time as well as space, appearing several days later. (PROSE: Dead of Winter [+]James Goss, BBC New Series Adventures (BBC Books, 2011).)

The Ninth Doctor mentions that the HADS hasn't worked for a while by the time he met the Niners, the peaceful descendents of the Sontarans. (AUDIO: Salvation Nine [+]Timothy X Atack, Into the Stars (The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Series 2, Big Finish Productions, 2022).

The Tenth Doctor tried to activate the HADS after Finn Dargo had hacked Emergency Program One and attempted to arrest the TARDIS' occupants. The move allowed the TARDIS to materialise in an unexpected place in Dargo's ship, giving Majenta Pryce a slight advantage over Dargo's Intersol team. (COMIC: The Crimson Hand [+]Dan McDaid, DWM Comics (Panini Comics, 2009-2010).)

While fiddling with various settings, the Eleventh Doctor re-enabled the HADS in time for it to activate and leave the Doctor and Clara Oswald in a sinking submarine near the North Pole in 1983. It reappeared a short while later, but at the South Pole instead of the North Pole. (TV: Cold War [+]Mark Gatiss, Doctor Who series 7 (BBC One, 2013).) This event would later be referenced by Clara when the Twelfth Doctor assured her that the TARDIS would "turn up somewhere" after the space shuttle it had materialised in fell into a canyon. (TV: Kill the Moon [+]Peter Harness, Doctor Who series 8 (BBC One, 2014).)

When the Daleks attempted to destroy the TARDIS, (TV: The Magician's Apprentice [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 9 (BBC One|BBC One]], 2015).) the HADS activated making it look like it had been destroyed, but the Twelfth Doctor later rematerialised the TARDIS using his sonic sunglasses, summoning pieces of it from all around the room; this action was called the "Hostile Action Dispersal System". (TV: The Witch's Familiar [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 9 (BBC One, 2015).)

The Fourteenth Doctor reasoned that the displacement system was responsible for taking the TARDIS out of the collapsing 66-scape and into the main concourse of the Dalek Dome. (COMIC: Liberation of the Daleks [+]Alan Barnes, DWM Comics (Panini Comics, 2022-2023).)

At some point, the Doctor deactivated the HADS because it had once gotten him stuck in orbit for three years and the Doctor reasoned that he would never be able to land with it on. (TV: Wild Blue Yonder [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023).)

After Donna Noble spilt coffee on the TARDIS console of the Fourteenth Doctor, (TV: The Star Beast [+]Russell T Davies, adapted from Doctor Who and the Star Beast (Pat Mills and John Wagner), Doctor Who 2023 specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023).) the badly damaged TARDIS landed them on a spaceship at the edge of the universe. The Doctor triggered the TARDIS' self-regeneration with his sonic screwdriver, but accidentally reactivated the HADS as well. Due to the danger of the not-things, the TARDIS took off on its own. Being a time machine, the TARDIS was able to know that the not-things wouldn't be able to stop the self-destruct in time, and thus materialized before the hostile action ended. (TV: Wild Blue Yonder [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023).) After boarding the TARDIS, the Doctor turned the HADS back off. (PROSE: Wild Blue Yonder [+]Mark Morris, adapted from Wild Blue Yonder (Russell T Davies), 60th Anniversary Novels (Target Books, 2023).)

Behind the scenes[]

This section needs a cleanup.

Make Your Own Adventure novels are valid sources.

According to the Make Your Own Adventure with Doctor Who novel, Search for the Doctor, Drax's TARDIS was shown to have a HADS, which was manually triggered when the vessel came under fire. As the Make Your Own Adventure series has multiple outcomes and no mechanism of determining the "right" outcome, this Wiki does not consider the novel a valid source.

Likewise, the webcast Stealing Series 9 Scripts is not considered a valid source by this Wiki, but features another use of the HADS: this time, it is one of the many defence systems placed by Steven Moffat on his underground "secret writing lair" below 221B Baker Street.