Though I was a big fan of the season nine premiere of ‘Doctor Who’ on BBC America, the show lost some points with me when ‘The Witch’s Familiar’ aired the following week. Not only did I feel like a few opportunities were missed when Clara found herself trapped in the shell of a Dalek (again), but I was among the legions of fans that were unhappy with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor transitioning from the iconic sonic screwdriver to the completely nonsensical sonic shades. But now showrunner Steven Moffat has emerged to explain why the Doctor gave up his trusty tool.
In a recent interview with BBC, Moffat addressed the outcry from the ‘Doctor Who’ fandom over the Doctor’s trademark “weapon” of choice being discarded in Part Two of the latest season premiere. Before revealing that the “screwdriver will show up again someday”, the show’s lead writer shared that the madman with a blue box is often impulsive and he shouldn’t be “wedded to a screwdriver”. Plus, it’s a pretty good punchline:
“Sometimes you have to be heretical. Sometimes you actually have to embrace the heresy. And I just thought, really, on a whim, why would The Doctor feel wedded to a screwdriver? Also it maybe resurrected the original joke which we’ve sort of slightly forgotten that the screwdriver was just a screwdriver that made a noise.”
During the long-running British sci-fi show’s fifty-year history, not every Doctor used a sonic screwdriver. For instance, the Fifth Doctor decided not to replace his after it was destroyed. I also know that other devices have been made sonic such as a knife, a pen, a cane, lipstick, and even a lance, but sunglasses just seems overly corny and Moffat’s reasoning fails to make any sort of sense. Maybe it’ll make more sense if you hear it straight from him:
Nope, that doesn’t do it either. I’d be less bothered if it were another tool of some sort replacing the screwdriver, but the fact that Moffat decided to give the Doctor a pair of sunglasses on a whim and claim that they’re sonic is pretty annoying. They didn’t even really add anything to the plot. But we’ll see how the Doctor continues to utilize his new accessory as the season progresses.
What do you think about the sonic sunglasses on this season of ‘Doctor Who’? Are you a fan of the Doctor’s new sonic technology? And what do you think about showrunner Steven Moffat’s reasoning behind the change? Sound off in the comments.