Bally Doctor Who Pinball

Repairs, Restorations, Tweaks and Insights


Original 6/26/2015 Updated 6/29/2015

Years ago when I was first exposed to Bally's Doctor Who pinball, I was not a fan of the Doctor Who theme. Because of this, I had zero interest in the pinball machine. More recently, however, I was introduced to the new (starting in 2005?) Doctor Who seasons. I was surprised to find I rather enjoyed watching these newer episodes. This made me think I should give the Doctor Who pinball a second (in reality, first) chance. When I came across a Doctor Who pinball at Southern Fried Gameroom Expo in 2014, I gave it a fair shake and really enjoyed it!

I informally started looking for a Doctor Who pinball for my gameroom but the right one didn't come around until, interestingly enough, a year later at the 2015 Southern Fried Gameroom Expo 2015. I purchased the game on Saturday morning but I wasn't able to bring it home until later Sunday because of show rules. I knew these rules, support them, and was happy seeing people play "my new game". But it was odd having to wait in line to play a game I had just purchased!

What's interesting about Doctor Who pinball? Several things!

Note: I'm just getting started with this Doctor Who page so please excuse the minimal content

Game Pictures

Original 6/26/2015

Below are some images of the Doctor Who game after picking it up from SFGE 2015. After 3 days of constant gameplay, it needs rubbers replaced and some other work.

Dalek "Lefty"

Original 6/26/2015 Updated 7/2/2015

My Doctor Who Dalek topper has a little problem. This Dalek's left side is a bit compressed! I've named him Dalek "Lefty" and you can see him below.

I considered a few approaches to fixing Lefty. Apply heat? Cut and rebuild? Or just let Lefty live out his days as is since this doesn't appear to be bothering him. I decided to give the heat method a try after some discussion on Pinside. Here is what Dalek Lefty looks like on the inside.

Using a regular hairdryer, I blew hot air inside Dalek Lefty and attempted to aim it in the area that was compressed. It's pretty hard to directly target the area, but I was able to generally focus the hot air. It took almost no time at all, just 5 or so seconds, before I realized the material was flexing. I'm glad I started off very cautious as I never expected the material to start flexing this quickly! There is certainly no need to use the hair dryer for more than 10 seconds.

I used two methods to decompress Dalek Lefty. I put some wood pieces in to extend the area and support. I also simply used by hands to pull at certain areas. It takes longer for the material to cool than to heat up, so it does remain flexible for a minute or two. I couldn't easily take a picture while pulling on Dalek Lefty with my hands, but below is a picture I took when using the wood pieces.

And below is a picture of the result. Dalek Lefty is significantly improved. This took about 30 minutes. I'm confident I could improve him more, but there is a point of diminishing returns. He looks pretty normal now. At least he doesn't stand out as a special Dalek.

My Dalek has one of the available head movement kits. A picture of the mechanism is shown below.

I do wonder whether the mechanism creates too much heat, which caused Dalek Lefty to develop his condition. I'll keep an eye on this.

Barry Oursler Translite Signature

Original 7/7/2015

I'm not typically a fan of getting pinball machines signed by their designer. Often the signatures are huge and draw too much attention to themselves. Frankly, I think the value of some games is lowered by these extreme signatures. However, Barry Oursler's signature on my Doctor Who translite is subtle, which makes it a great addition. For the record, Doctor Who was designed by both Barry Oursler and Bill Pfutzenreuter.

A close up of Oursler's signature on the Doctor Who translite is shown below. Apologies for the dust speckles.

Rottendog Driver Board

Original 7/10/2015

Upgraded Speakers

Original 7/10/2015

Time for a Coin Door Restore

Original 6/26/2015