The Classic Era Sonic Screwdrivers: A Compiled History

Terrasolo

Sr Member
Hello Everyone! I've written a companion piece to my last article on RTD Era Sonic Screwdrivers. This time focusing on the Classic era props and focusing on Thunderbird's design used outside of the Classic Series used in the show.

Same reasoning as before, I felt it would be nice to have all of the known, and maybe some not known, information all in one place for anyone interested and to try to stop the debunked information from still doing the rounds as fact. I've also dated the file, as I did the last one, so that if any new information comes to light after, then we can instantly know what's changed or been added.

You can download the file for free from BeyondKasterborous.com here http://beyondkasterborous.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Classic-Era-Sonic-Screwdriver-A-Compiled-History-June-2019.pdf

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Anakin Starkiller

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Awesome work! Thanks so much. I've really enjoyed your RTD version as well.

One thing I noticed this time is that in the sea devils bts photo it looks like although a hole was drilled in the bottom, the angled face doesn't appear to have been added until Carnival. Thanks a bunch.
 

Terrasolo

Sr Member
Awesome work! Thanks so much. I've really enjoyed your RTD version as well.

One thing I noticed this time is that in the sea devils bts photo it looks like although a hole was drilled in the bottom, the angled face doesn't appear to have been added until Carnival. Thanks a bunch.

I had noticed this too, however I have only found it one other time aside from this photo. It made me wonder if the notch was cut after or if the light is somehow bleaching the end piece to hide the notch. That said, whatever the case, it’s not a detail that I could find more evidence of. But yes, you could very well be right about it being cut later.
 

13doctorwho

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
THANK YOU so much for doing this!!!! Your research is second to none. I loved your Russel T. Davies era PDF!!!! When are you doing the Matt Smith and 2nd Peter Capaldi?
 

Terrasolo

Sr Member
THANK YOU so much for doing this!!!! Your research is second to none. I loved your Russel T. Davies era PDF!!!! When are you doing the Matt Smith and 2nd Peter Capaldi?
Thank you! I appreciate that a lot.

Honestly, I hadn’t planned on doing the Smith/Capaldi versions. I figured Nick Robatto covered their history quite nicely on his site. Same with the Capaldi and Whittaker versions. The rest seemed to have more mystery surrounding them. It could be done, so I won’t say no, but right now I think it’s pretty well covered.
 

phez

Sr Member
Anakin Starkiller said:
Awesome work! Thanks so much. I've really enjoyed your RTD version as well.

One thing I noticed this time is that in the sea devils bts photo it looks like although a hole was drilled in the bottom, the angled face doesn't appear to have been added until Carnival. Thanks a bunch.
I had noticed this too, however I have only found it one other time aside from this photo. It made me wonder if the notch was cut after or if the light is somehow bleaching the end piece to hide the notch. That said, whatever the case, it’s not a detail that I could find more evidence of. But yes, you could very well be right about it being cut later.
Are you guys sure there was not just a thin cosmetic outer end cap that snapped on the bottom of the original prop that fell off at some point? The end cap looks like the same finish as the rest of the handle up until the Sontaran Experiment screencaps where the flat shows up on the bottom piece. Then it looks a bit flatter finish than the rest of the handle. I think in the earlier screen caps from Thunderbirds the end cap cornes look less chamfered than in the caps where we see the flat.

They likely would have drilled through the outer cap and the inner end piece at the same time to mount the belt clip, once they took off the clip just the hole was left. (I never noticed that belt clip scene before, That hole might not have even have been in whatever the original object was. AWESOME!!!!!).

There is very little evidence that they did anything to modify that prop other than to add and remove tape (and they did not even bother to take the time to completely strip off the chrome tape that slowly became the white strip). I don't think they would just grind that flat in there without some reason that it was needed for a story. but if it was just part of how the original object worked it would make sense.

Thoughts?


Honestly, I hadn’t planned on doing the Smith/Capaldi versions.
You totally should, These are really well done and fun to read.
 

Terrasolo

Sr Member
Are you guys sure there was not just a thin cosmetic outer end cap that snapped on the bottom of the original prop that fell off at some point? The end cap looks like the same finish as the rest of the handle up until the Sontaran Experiment screencaps where the flat shows up on the bottom piece. Then it looks a bit flatter finish than the rest of the handle. I think in the earlier screen caps from Thunderbirds the end cap cornes look less chamfered than in the caps where we see the flat.

They likely would have drilled through the outer cap and the inner end piece at the same time to mount the belt clip, once they took off the clip just the hole was left. (I never noticed that belt clip scene before, That hole might not have even have been in whatever the original object was. AWESOME!!!!!).

There is very little evidence that they did anything to modify that prop other than to add and remove tape (and they did not even bother to take the time to completely strip off the chrome tape that slowly became the white strip). I don't think they would just grind that flat in there without some reason that it was needed for a story. but if it was just part of how the original object worked it would make sense.

Thoughts?
Frankly, we really can't be sure of anything without the original prop, but saying that, I think a cover is unlikely given that the end-cap is the same width as the part above the groove. I think Anakin is correct, I have the time frame for the notch misplaced. I think it does show up by "Carnival of Monsters" or , at the very least, it's the first time we get a good look at it. That photo on the beach from the "The Sea Devils" has bugged me for quite a while now, and not that Anakin has questioned it too, it made me look closer at the screencaps.

In the attached pic we can see that the grub screw hole is lined up in the same place, so it seem apparent that they did cut the notch at a later time. But why? How would that had functionally have helped the prop? I first thought that maybe they needed the screw to be able to reach further inside, but surely a longer screw would be just as efficient? We'll probably never know but it does look like the Doctor Who team added the notch.

You do bring up a good point though, maybe the how is just a hole in "The Sea Devils", no grub screw at all. Put there simply to attache the handle. And perhaps the notch was later and the grub screw serves a purpose, maybe a needed repair?

The belt clip scene was a fluke tat I noticed a few years ago. Working projects with the show on in the background and I just happened to look up at the TV at the right moment to find it.

I agree that they did very little to modify the prop, butt hat flat cut/notch section clearly is an alteration. As was adding the hole in the first place to attache the handle. Whatever the reason, it does seem to be one of the few intentional changes. Such as the slot, was that a removed cover, a replaced part, or was it simply cut into the prop as the notch was?


You totally should, These are really well done and fun to read.
Thanks for that Phez! I'll certainly consider it. I have enough photo reference on all of these props to make it happen. These have been in the works for a long time so if I do do this, it could be a while before they make it online.
 

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