Sonic screwdriver

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The sonic screwdriver is a fictional tool in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spinoffs. It is a multifunctional tool used by The Doctor. Its most common function is that of a lockpick, but can be used to perform other operations such as performing medical scans, remotely controlling other devices and tracking alien life. It can, with the exception of a deadlock seal, open any type of lock and operate many computers, whether their origin is alien or human.

Like the TARDIS, it has become one of the icons of the programme; spinoff media such as The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood have replicated its functions in devices such as the sonic lipstick and sonic modulator.




The sonic screwdriver made its first appearance in the serial Fury from the Deep, written by Victor Pemberton. It was used thereafter by the Second Doctor as a multi-purpose tool, with occasional variations in appearance over the course of the series. Ownership of the concept was retained by the BBC; Pemberton later told an interviewer for Doctor Who Magazine, "I'm very cross that the sonic screwdriver—which I invented—has been marketed with no credit to myself. ... It's one thing not to receive any payment, but another not to receive any credit."[1]

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