“Doctor Who” Season 9 is full of surprises, but perhaps none more unexpected than the disappearance of the sonic screwdriver. Sonic sunglasses replaced the Doctor’s (Peter Capaldi) favorite tool, and fans weren’t too happy with the decision. However, there have been hints the glasses won’t be around permanently on BBC America's sci-fi hit.
Executive producer Steven Moffat said the change was to resurrect the original joke, which was that the screwdriver was just a gizmo that made a cool noise, not an all-important, life-saving device. “I know some people get incredibly harried about it, and I’m sure the screwdriver will show up again someday,” Moffat explained in a promotional video. “But just to show that we can, why not?”
Watch Moffat explain the sonic sunglasses below:
The sunglasses showed up in episode 2, when the Doctor insisted he was all about “wearable technology” now. However, his portrayer insisted the sunglasses would be a temporary fixture on “Doctor Who.”
“The sonic screwdriver hasn’t gone,” Capaldi told What’s On TV. “The sonic sunglasses are an adjunct to the sonic screwdriver and have arrived because the Doctor likes Ray-Bans! You press them and they go zzzzz and they do great things.”
While fans have become attached to the sonic screwdriver since the series was revived in 2005, several Doctors went without any sonic accessory, Forbes points out. However, it seems like some fans might even prefer the absence of the screwdriver rather than the sunglasses. The shades have yet to win over many fans. During episodes 2 and 3, many viewers expressed their dislike for the Doctor’s new accessory.
— kay (@xkayleemariex) September 26, 2015
IT'S SO AWKWARD WATCHING THE DOCTOR W/O HIS SONIC SCREWDRIVER LIKE SRSLY, THE SONIC SUNGLASSES HAS GOT TO GO! #BringBackTheSonicScrewdriver
— CHAM (@ChamVader) October 4, 2015
— Ted Moro (@tediscool1) October 4, 2015
I really like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor but something needs to be done about the sonic sunglasses.
— Ross Brown (@BossCaptainRoss) October 4, 2015
— Doctor Longscarf (@DoctorLongscarf) October 4, 2015
no one wants the sonic sunglasses
— ace!malekith (@DESMVNDMILES) September 26, 2015
Longtime fans know the screwdriver has to come back. River Song (Alex Kingston) showed the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) a screwdriver he supposedly had in the future. That version of the screwdriver hasn't shown up in "Doctor Who" yet, so they have to bring the tool back eventually. However, Whovians will have to get used to the shades in the meantime. The Doctor has bigger problems to solve. In “Doctor Who” Season 9, episode 4, he’ll have to determine how to stop his own death.
“Doctor Who” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. EDT on BBC America. Do you like the sonic sunglasses or do you want the screwdriver back? Sound off in the comments section below!