Doctor Who has accidentally confirmed that the Sonic Screwdriver needs to be disposed of. “Wild Blue Yonder” showed the Doctor (David Tennant) at his most vulnerable, and it was one of the better episodes in recent years. It’s not often the Doctor finds himself without his signature device, so it’s intriguing to see how he fairs without it. Even away from the safety of the TARDIS, the Doctor almost always has his Screwdriver with which to defend himself and his companions.
The absence of the iconic tool from the latest Doctor Who 60th anniversary special contributed a great deal to the excitement and the compelling nature of the story. Its presence would have meant things working out very differently. However, the TARDIS ran away with the Screwdriver in tow, and audiences got to witness the show’s title character fight to win against all odds.
The Sonic Screwdriver Has Been Leaned On Too Much
It Saves The Day Too Easily
The Doctor can achieve almost anything with his Sonic Screwdriver. If the task doesn’t include wood or a deadlock seal, then success is almost a foregone conclusion. Tennant’s return to the franchise has brought with it yet another advantage that the Sonic Screwdriver can bestow upon its owner. As well as serving as a screenless smart device, the 14th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver can now generate bulletproof force fields.
If this new ability hadn’t been available when the Doctor found himself in the crossfire between the Wrarth Warriors and the corrupted U.N.I.T. soldiers in the first of the Doctor Who 60th-anniversary specials, it’s unclear how he and Donna’s family would have escaped the house. This makes the Screwdriver not only a little too convenient but also overpowered. The Doctor possessing such a device reduces the risk to him and his companions to a level where there is almost no worry that anything bad will happen to them.
“Wild Blue Yonder” Worked Better Without The Sonic Screwdriver
The Tension Was Much Higher
A large part of what made “Wild Blue Yonder” so compelling is the Doctor not having access to the Screwdriver at all. Without it and the TARDIS, he is left to win the day with his knowledge and intellect. Although he also has Donna to lean on, there are times when she too is absent and is instead replaced by an alien doppelganger. The Doctor being at such a disadvantage increases the tension in the episode at large.
Every technical obstacle he comes across is something he must manually overcome himself, whereas if he had his Screwdriver, it would simply be a matter of seconds before things were going his way again. He also resorts to reckless tactics due to his lack of other options, such as invoking a superstition at the edge of the universe, which causes him to voice his concerns regarding the fallout of such an act.
Doctor Who Needs To Destroy The Sonic Screwdriver
It Happened In The 80s
The Screwdriver’s absence from “Wild Blue Yonder” led to a greater level of creativity and excitement. Going forward, the show would likely benefit if the Sonic Screwdriver were destroyed altogether. Although this happened during Tennant’s first run during the events of “Smith and Jones,” he gets the Sonic back almost immediately. The Doctor has lost the Sonic Screwdriver on a more permanent basis during the classic episodes.
The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison), had his Screwdriver destroyed in 1982’s “The Visitation.” The scene was included in the show due to the writer’s dislike of the tool, and to prevent the Doctor from having such an easy way out of so many situations. The Sonic Screwdriver did not return until Paul McGann’s Doctor Who TV movie in 1996, and it has remained as part of the franchise ever since.
Repeating this feat for Doctor Who’s Russell T. Davies comeback would breathe even more new life into the show, allowing writers to pen episodes with greater stakes and higher levels of tension and unease. The Doctor already has the advantages of a time machine, superior intelligence, and a roster of loyal companions, so the existence of the Sonic Screwdriver at times ventures into the realm of overkill. If the writers were to make the move of permanently removing the Screwdriver from the Doctor’s grasp, then Doctor Who would benefit the whole