I had the pleasure of being invited to get a hands-on demo of the new 12th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control at the BBC Television Centre.
Both the Eleventh and Tenth Doctor screwdrivers have already had the universal remote control treatment from The Want Company (who also produced a Harry Potter magic wand remote control). But the 12th Doctor’s version is a real step up from the previous ones. One of the things that held me back from buying the 11th version (besides the lofty price tag) was the fact that it didn’t extend. Well, this one does!
The screwdriver is made from metal and shows no visible joints or screws; it’s weighty and has pretty much the exact feel of what I’d imagined the actual prop to have. The attention to detail, right down to the tiny flecks in the white bit near the end, were what really brought it to life. I could tell that the whole thing had been a labour of love, and the passion of the creators came across.
There were many considerations to make not only for the visual details, as well as engineering problems – with a prop this small, asking it to do so many things was quite a challenge. We were treated to stories of how they had faced this or that issue from the manufacturers and how they had got around with some neat trick or fix. It still sounded like basically magic to me, but I was entertained nonetheless.
The result is a very versatile little device that can be programmed to control your television, iPods, iPads, and probably more besides. It is something of a great experience to point a sonic screwdriver at something and have it actually affect it. There’s a real magic to that kind of thing.
All of this leads to a product that will set you back a good £79.99.
You can order it from the BBC’s shop (and elsewhere, of course)
The price tag may be hefty, but with everything that has gone into it, I can understand. Perhaps people who held off buying the 11th version will take a punt on this one.
Also on display at the BBC that day were an assortment of Doctor Who related Christmas items that you may be interested in buying to put on your body. Mostly there are t-shirts, hoodies, and bags. And there’s also a hilarious Christmas jumper that is just unspeakable. Truly, truly unspeakable.