The time path indicator, or time path detector, was a component of a TARDIS used to detect time machines in the Time Vortex which were on the same flight path. It could also be removed from the console and used to detect time machines.
The time path indicator in the First Doctor's TARDIS signalled its crew that the Daleks were following them in the Dalek time machine following their escape from Aridius. (TV: The Chase) It later detected the Monk's TARDIS following them. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
The Second Doctor later removed the time path indicator from the console and put it in a cupboard, claiming it wasn't very useful. Zoe Heriot later found it and reattached it to the console. Unfortunately, this resulted in Jamie and Zoe becoming aware of a past TARDIS present in the vortex and trying to program the TARDIS to avoid it. As they were unaware that TARDISes were automatically programmed to avoid such accidents anyway, their interference resulted in the two TARDISes colliding and crashing on the planet Urbinia six months apart. This created an alternate timeline where the Daleks were able to complete the Time Destructor as the First Doctor never went to Kembel to discover their plans, nearly causing a devastating temporal storm, before the Second Doctor was able to avert the original collision. Once the timeline was restored, the Doctor found himself having removed the indicator again. Zoe reminded him he said it was making an annoying noise. (AUDIO: Daughter of the Gods)
The Seventh Doctor, having received a warning about the Timewyrm, removed the time path indicator from the TARDIS so he could detect its coming. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Genesys) He later used it to track her down after she escaped. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
Behind the scenes Edit
It first appeared in The Chase but disappeared from the console in following serials. Daughter of the Gods offers an explanation.