The new Sonic Screwdriver for the 15th Doctor

The 15th Doctor Is Here With a Big Sonic Screwdriver Change

Ncuti Gatwa has finally landed in Doctor Who, making history as the first gay Doctor and the first Black Doctor, at least in the show’s lead role. With the series getting a soft reboot, Gatwa isn’t the only new element: The Doctor’s trusty screwdriver has had a major update, so let’s check it out!

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Gatwa has finally stepped into the Doctor’s shoes, literally, as in a new move for the series, this regeneration was a little different from the ones we have seen before. In the final episode of the 60th anniversary specials, titled “The Giggle,” rather than regenerating, Tennent’s fourteenth Doctor split, with Gatwa’s Doctor ending up as the result. The two glossed over the very odd phenomenon by calling it “bigeneration,” an event so rare it’s thought to be a myth.

So now two Doctors are roaming around, though it’s strongly suggested that Tennent’s will be taking up some form of retirement.

David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa bi-generating into the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Doctors in Doctor Who

We move on then to the fifteenth Doctor, the herald of changing times. Russell T. Davies, the series’ former showrunner, is back, but this doesn’t signify a return to the Doctor Who of old, but a moving forward for the series that has been gradually losing steam over the last few years. Talking to SFX Magazine, Davies remarked,

It’s completely a reinvention. Reinvention of the show, brand new, but not a reboot, it’s the same old show, everything starts again, everything’s seen through the eyes of Ruby Sunday and it’s that lovely feeling of here we go, a new era beginning.

New Doctors have often brought changes with them: The TARDIS’ interior decor gets a make-over, there is quite often a new companion, and the Doctor’s gadgets get an upgrade. One such gadget is the Time Lord’s handy sonic screwdriver, a very useful tool indeed. Gatwa gave fans a glimpse at the rather unique new design, which has evolved a lot over the years, but never quite like this.

The sonic screwdriver has, throughout the series’ history, often been long and thin (the most screwdriver thing about it), with a light at the end. Now though, the shape is a little more—dare we say it?—curvaceous.

The sonic screwdriver is still as useful as ever, and I’m sure we’ll see it do new and marvelous things in the course of its usage. One very special addition, though, especially for Scottish-Rwandan actor Gatwa, is a very special message etched onto the device. Gatwa explains,

My favorite thing about the sonic is this message that is written in Gallifreyan symbols and it is a Rwandan proverb. It translates to “the sharpness of the tongue defeats the sharpness of the warrior.”

It’s a wonderful sentiment that most definitely suits the character of the Doctor, an immortal being who prefers to face his adversaries with words rather than weapons. The fact that it also serves as a nod to Gatwa’s heritage makes it all the more meaningful.

Now that he has made his entrance, we can see Gatwa fully step into the role in the Christmas Special “The Church on Ruby Road,” where we will be introduced to the new companion Ruby Sunday. The episode will air on BBC on Christmas Day as well as on Disney+.

(featured image: BBC)

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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.