The Thirteenth Doctor's brand new Sonic Screwdriver from the upcoming eleventh season of Doctor Who has just been revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. After it made a brief appearance in the season's new trailer, star Jodie Whittaker revealed the upgraded Time Lord accessory at the official Doctor Who panel.
Premiering in 1963, Doctor Who is a sci-fi television series about a time-traveling humanoid alien who traverses time and space in order to keep peace throughout the entire universe. Along the way, the titular Doctor occasionally meets and recruits new companions, while piloting a time machine known as the TARDIS. Now, 55 years after its premiere, the long-running show is entering a new era with a new showrunner (Chris Chibnall), new actors (including Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor), and and all-around updated format. What's more is that it will also introduce an updated look for the Doctor's trusty Sonic Screwdriver - which Whittaker revealed for fans at the Doctor Who panel at Comic-Con.
Over the last 55 years, the Doctor has gone through a number of sonic screwdrivers (ten, to be exact), and the brand new screwdriver includes its own unique set of bells and whistles to distinguish it from the rest. These changes include a more organic design compared to previous versions, a silver, orange, and red color palette, and a rotating glowing crystal. A replica of the screwdriver will be available for purchase for fans at the BBC America booth at Comic-Con, and will be available for pre-order starting July 25.
The new sonic screwdriver's designer Arwel Wyn Jones, who has worked as a production designer on shows like Sherlock and the Doctor Who spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures, shared his enthusiasm about working on the show, saying:
“It’s a privilege to have been asked to redesign the iconic Sonic Screwdriver for the Thirteenth Doctor and a new generation of audiences. I can’t wait for people to see how the Doctor acquires it.”
Not unlike the Doctor, the sonic screwdrivers have gone through drastic regenerations over the last 55 years. The Mark I version featured a sleek, metallic design; Marks II-IV more or less shared a similar design, with added features that included a socket wrench-esque attachment at the tip; Mark V included major visual changes, including a blue gem and wooden casing; Marks VI and VIII returned the screwdriver to its roots with very simplistic designs; and Marks IX and X featured highly detailed versions of the screwdriver, with retractable claw-like features and a design inspired by the TARDIS itself, respectively.
While it hasn't yet been confirmed how or when exactly the Thirteenth Doctor will acquire her new screwdriver, Jones insinuates that her journey to getting it will be different than the other Doctors. How different that will be, however, remains to be seen.
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