One of The Doctor's more frequently used gadgets. It is roughly the same shape and size as a screwdriver, yet it is... sonic...
Jack: Who has a sonic screwdriver?
Doctor: I do!
Jack: Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, 'Ooo, this could be a little more sonic?'
Doctor: What, you've never been bored? Never had a long night?... Never had a lot of cabinets to put up?
It made its first appearance in the serial 'Fury from the Deep', and has been used throughout the series' ever since, though it has been through several different models and designs. The name implies that it operates through the use of sound waves to apply a physical force onto objects, such as locks.
- Opening virtually any lock, electronic or mechanical. However, it has absolutely no effect on a 'deadlock seal'
- As an aid to repairing objects and machines
- Detecting things (booby-traps, antimatter)
- Sending & receiving signals
- Fusing metal, such as barbed wire
- Intercepting teleportation
- Lighting candles
- Driving screws
- Igniting marsh gas
- Activating processes or functions inside the TARDIS from outside
- Burning, cutting, or igniting different substances
- As a radiation detector
- Amplifying sound, usually to stun an enemy
- It was once used it to detonate land mines from a distance.
- And once used as a 'miniature sonic lance' to cut out a lock
- But it doesn't do wood.
In the more recent episodes Silence in the Library/Forsest of the Dead, it is revealed that the Doctor gives his screwdriver to a future companion, River Song. The version we see is an updated one which performs much better and includes a "red setting" and a "dampener".
It also had a component within it that stored a 51st century communication devise. This devise is able to store a "data ghost" of the recently deceased.
The new-look Sonic Screwdriver is larger.
Similar devices include:
A Laser Spanner
A Tissue Compression Eliminator