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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old April 21 2013, 05:57 AM   #1
Brent
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Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently.

Something has been bugging me in nuWho, more so this season than ever, the use of the sonic screw driver.

Upon its very first introduction in Doctor Who from the 2nd Doctor, the sonic screw driver never had as many abilities as it does now. In fact, the very first use of the sonic screw driver was the Doctor demonstrating how it can unscrew a screw, sonically, without even touching it (Fury from the Deep). We've moved far past that little scene with today's sonic screwdriver.

The Doctor today takes the sonic screw driver, waves it around, then looks at it with his eyes, like he's reading a display, or readout on it, yet, it has no displays and no readouts. So what is he looking at? He's able to gain so much information from just waving that sucker around. Is it maybe sending the info into his brain telepathically?

At this point, why don't they just come right out and say the thing can act like a tricorder, taking readings and giving the doctor information. Or, if they are going to keep doing this, just dedicate a tricorder like device to him already. I just want some kind of explanation as to how that little thing is giving him so much info, when all its meant to do is act on things, sonically.

It really has become a dues ex machina, it is able to fix anything. Doors? No problem, it can hold them open! Heh, honestly, it has become too much of a crutch, and I believe WAY WAY WAY overused.

I'm ready for the thing to get destroyed already.
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Old April 21 2013, 06:06 AM   #2
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

Yeah I'm ready for them to toss the thing too. JNT implement a lot of changes that fans didn't like, but one thing he did right was get rid of the Sonic and force the writers to be a bit more creative.
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Old April 21 2013, 06:46 AM   #3
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

i would like the Doctor to do without the sonic for awhile...but then i guess they wouldn't have a toy to sell.
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Old April 21 2013, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

I'm perfectly ok with the Doctor's multitool except when it's used to do overly contrived or silly things like wedge open a heavy door. It's a plot expeditor of sorts - appropriate when a door needs opening or something needs scanning, but maybe not so much when used as a makeshift remote for the TARDIS (cif Utopia / The Sound Of Drums).
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Old April 21 2013, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

I imagine that it started out as a screwdriver, but the Doctor is endlessly tinkering with it to add a new function that he's just thought up... which makes every new absurd ability it displays all the more amusing to me.
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Old April 21 2013, 08:47 AM   #6
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

They do seem to be using it a lot at the moment but I tend to give them a pass given that they only have 45 minutes to tell what tend to be very action packed stories and they have a lead character who doesn't tend to use any weapons.
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Old April 21 2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

The screwdriver is a plot tool for when they need a quick way out of a scene and as long as it isn't used to actually resolve the plot I have no problem with it. It might be sending him information telepathically, it might be flashing in binary thousands of times a second in a wavelength of light we can't see, I don't care.
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Old April 21 2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

Aldo wrote: View Post
Yeah I'm ready for them to toss the thing too. JNT implement a lot of changes that fans didn't like, but one thing he did right was get rid of the Sonic and force the writers to be a bit more creative.
Creative in what sense? Standing around trying to get out of a room doesn't actually demand any creative thought. Philip Sandifer cover that perfectly:

The idea that the sonic screwdriver encourages lazy scriptwriting, on the other hand, may be even more bewildering.

In that it seems to suggest, allegedly seriously, that the purpose of Doctor Who is to watch the Doctor do clever things with locks. If anything the sonic screwdriver discouraged lazy scriptwriting because it made it harder to justify putting the Doctor in an endless sequence of captures and escapes.

It dramatically reduced the amount of stupid padding that could be shoved into a story, and it does so even more in its modern day version as a tool that can accomplish anything so long as it wouldn’t be more interesting to do it another way. But as of The Visitation lazy scriptwriters can now stretch episodes out with lengthy amounts of fiddling with wires manually. Thrilling. What an improvement.
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Old April 21 2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

Kelso wrote: View Post
I imagine that it started out as a screwdriver, but the Doctor is endlessly tinkering with it to add a new function that he's just thought up... which makes every new absurd ability it displays all the more amusing to me.
Same here!!! My gf is a big Whovian, and she showed me this little thing on a tumblr page where Tennant's Doc is doing something with the screwdriver and River Song says 'use the red setting' to which he replied 'it doesn't HAVE a red setting'. River replied 'it will one day'. And in the episode two weeks ago with the Ice Warrior, low and behold, A RED SETTING!!!!


The Doc's been around for nearly a millenium now. If you had a electronic tool, and are as smart as the Doctor, you'd be able to add a function or 500 during all those years.
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Old April 21 2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

I know that he adds function, or replaces it entirely, he's had many sonic screw drivers through the years, but it's becoming the fix to get out of situations now, rather than a tool. It's the dues ex machina. That part of it I don't agree with it, they need to hold back a little. Plus, I still don't know what he's doing when he's looking at the thing like it has some kind of display, which is clearly does not.
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Old April 21 2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

Brent wrote: View Post
I know that he adds function, or replaces it entirely, he's had many sonic screw drivers through the years, but it's becoming the fix to get out of situations now, rather than a tool. It's the dues ex machina. That part of it I don't agree with it, they need to hold back a little. Plus, I still don't know what he's doing when he's looking at the thing like it has some kind of display, which is clearly does not.

Oh, I agree, it's become a crutch. But then again, so has the tricorder in Star Trek. Personally, I don't let those things bug me to much and just try to enjoy the storyline.
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Old April 21 2013, 11:28 AM   #12
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

I fucking hate it. Especially how he waves it like a magic wand or holds it like a weapon.

Burn the blasted thing.
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Old April 21 2013, 12:01 PM   #13
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

Yeah, I'm fed up with the use of the sonic screwdriver. Especially in the rings or akendendom or whatever. It's just the writer lacking creativity and getting the doctor and co out of any situation by using it. I remember in some Tennant episodes he said it couldn't work against wood, yet the doctor can do pretty much anything else with it. bad writing, although this serie has been a big imrovement over the travesty that was series 6, the writing has become sloppy in alot of cases.
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Old April 21 2013, 12:48 PM   #14
Konata Izumi
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

It feels like an extension of his body. He can do many fun things with it.
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Old April 21 2013, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: Should the Doctor get a Tricorder? Oh wait, he has one apparently

I didn't mind it in Akathen (no world has been more often misspelled than this in DW).
They clearly said that technology there was sound based, so the screwdriver didn't so much hold open a massive door but interacted with the mechanism behind it.

When he uses it as a scanner it irritates me more.
Interestingly enough the doctor USED to have a tricorder like device.
They should update that and then they have two toys to sell.

They don't even have to get technical about it. Just throw together some gizmo, call it timey-whimey dectector that goes DING! when there's stuff and be done with it.
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