The Sonic Must Be Destroyed
Guest contributor Jim Lewis thinks it’s time to retire the sonic screwdriver.
Ah, the Sonic Screwdriver; the Doctor’s magic wand and deus ex machina. Love it, or hate it, the sonic has been a part of Doctor Who since 1968 with Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor. It has gone through many incarnations; from a simple door opener, to having the ability to: melt ice, scan for life, melt metal, save the future wife of the Doctor’s soul, and shooting lasers (as seen in Day of the Moon).
What’s the problem?
The Doctor isn’t fully the Time Lord, trans-dimensional, time traveler we know and love without this Gallifreyan tool. Nevertheless, I propose that it’s time the sonic should be destroyed. Incinerated. Exterminated. It has outlasted its original use.
The sonic was created as a Bond-like tool the Doctor could use to open doors; now it is threatening to ruin the show we all love dearly. Now before everyone goes to the comments saying I am using hyperbole, I am slightly. I am not saying it will be the main reason people will and are getting frustrated by Doctor Who, but it is a serious cause.
Recently, with Series 7, we fans have been getting upset over many things, but the chief among them, which can be witnessed if you read the comment section on most fan sites (including this one), is; the show rushes its endings. A main plot device that is used to end these episodes, or quicken the pace to the end, is the sonic screwdriver. Now, there are other causes that contribute to this, including the absence of two parters, but having the sonic around, with almost unlimited uses (except… wood?), gives writers an easy (and lazy) route to an ending. This has occurred prominently in The Power of Three, where the sonic defeated the alien by, wait for it, sonic-ing a computer. That’s it.
This just doesn’t occur at the end of stories, but throughout. What is so special about the Doctor; his vast intelligence and cunning, when a problem can be solved by hitting a button? I say do as the 1980s Doctor Who production team did and write the sonic out, at least for a series or two. This will force writers to think of other ways to get out of problems that the Doctor will face. It will showcase how the Doctor can use his intelligence instead of resorting to the easy way out.
How do you destroy it?
Destroying the sonic will create a situation that the Doctor has not been in; not being able to open locked doors. Kidding aside, I am not sure how it can be written out, when we now know from the Eleventh Hour that the sonic is somehow part of the TARDIS. Maybe the 11th Doctor can opt to go “hands free” like the Fifth Doctor? Or, maybe he has the sonic stolen by some sinister alien force trying to reverse engineer Time Lord technology. Maybe, even the Master could replicate and build his own TARDIS out of the knowledge attained? The possibilities are endless. Hopefully, Doctor Who will move on and become better and better during this 50th Anniversary year, “hands free”.
Do you agree that the sonic screwdriver is now bad for the show? Are there any options other than removing it?