THIS is a part of a new 11th Doctor Matt Smith publicity picture from Doctor Who Magazine and the website which shows, I believe, his new sonic screwdriver.
Admittedly not in perfect detail, but much closer than previous paparazzi pictures – what do you think?
To me it looks quite chunky, almost like the Master’s laser screwdriver, and certainly more than Ten’s. But it is not the screwdriver River Song was given either, which I thought it would be.
Of course, there was no guarantee that the Doctor would have a sonic screwdriver at all, as it has been in and out of the series since it first appeared in Fury of the Deep in 1968, looking like a penlight.
From then, it was used fairly continuously by the Doctor, although some of the classic series producers, notably the great Barry Letts and Philip Hinchcliffe, were anxious it did not become a panacea for any situation and so reduced its appearances.
It was when Peter Davison was the fifth Doctor that the sonic was destroyed for the first time, meaning the Doctor went without one until Paul McGann‘s short-lived time as the eighth Doctor in the mid 1990s.
His was, as I remember, telescopic or something, but it didn’t last when the series returned in 2005 when the Doctor used the sonic we all know and love.
Nowadays its achilles heal is the deadlock seal, which pops up whenever the Doctor has to be trapped somewhere and is an unbreakable lock. And always makes me wonder why everything doesn’t have a deadlock seal, although we wouldn’t have much of a show then as this early Russell T Davies script shows….
DOCTOR WHO SERIES ONE – FIRST DRAFT
THE DOCTOR and ROSE run down a long corridor, chased by THE HOMOPHOBE, a many faced monster who doesn’t like GAY PEOPLE. Or TIME LORDS.
THE DOCTOR and ROSE continue running, this time down a different corridor.
Corridor number three. THE DOCTOR and ROSE are running.
They reach a door.
ROSE <panicked> – Doctor, the door is locked! The Homophobe will catch us!
DOCTOR <calm> Don’t worry Rose, I’ll use the trusty sonic!
THE DOCTOR points the sonic screwdriver at the door (sound fx). It doesn’t work. He extends the screwdriver and points it at the door (sound fx). It doesn’t work. He throws screwdriver at the door and it breaks.
DOCTOR <panicked> It’s a deadlock seal!
THE HOMOPHOBE is almost upon them.
ROSE – What should we do!
THE DOCTOR faints and wets his pants.
ROSE <at Homophobe, but pointing at THE DOCTOR> Kill him, he’s the one you want! I was in Secret Diary of a Call Girl! He’s the time lord!
CUT to other side of door. Prac fx – tremendous impact on door. Sound fx – cutting, roaring, screaming sounds from other side of door.