In a previous post, I described the Eleventh Doctor sonic screwdriver remote control that came with the blu-ray box set. Well, my husband bought me the Tenth Doctor sonic screwdriver remote control for my birthday, and here are my opinions of it.
At first, I was a little disappointed in it. The Eleventh Doctor screwdriver is huge, solid, and heavy, made of dense metal and plastic, even heavier with batteries in it. The Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver is much smaller. It is made primarily of aluminum and is charged via USB cable, so there are no batteries to add, making it very light. It almost feels like a toy. The tip extends like it does in the show, exposing the glass (well, clear plastic) shaft, but the movement is not smooth. However, the machined aluminum and simulated crackle-glaze handle are gorgeous. I think that especially if you keep the screwdriver non-extended, it is every bit as beautiful as the Eleventh Doctor’s replica.
Performance-wise, it’s designed a lot better. First, the Eleventh Doctor’s screwdriver requires batteries, which I always hate. I suppose if I lost the charging cord for the Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver, I’m pretty out of luck, but otherwise, I like not having to work with batteries. Second, the Eleventh Doctor’s screwdriver changes modes with the button that’s on the butt end, which means you need two hands to use it. The Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver has a button on the slide mechanism, so you can press it with the thumb of the hand holding it. This is much more convenient and true to the show.
The Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver is also much better suited for cosplay. I expect I still wouldn’t use it for cosplay, since that’ll be $100 that could easily fall out of my pocket, but the Eleventh Doctor’s screwdriver is way too heavy for that purpose (and it requires two hands to change modes). The Eleventh Doctor’s screwdriver also requires being turned on before the gestures will trigger the sound effects. The Tenth Doctor’s screwdriver is always on if you leave it in FX mode: holding the button down it will light the tip and play the Tenth Doctor’s basic screwdriver sound, while tapping the button then holding it down will let you do a gesture to play one of the other sound effects. Thus, you can pull it out of your pocket and immediately use it, just like the Tenth Doctor does.
One drawback to this design is that the machined aluminum means the metal is a bit soft, and I already have a couple of (barely noticeable) dings in one of the edges when I accidentally dropped it.
Bottom line is that I am ecstatic to have this and I think it’s a great replica. I expect that it’s going to stand on my desk so that I can play with it periodically, but I’ll keep it safe. If I want to use a remote control, I’ll set up the Eleventh Doctor’s one, as I feel it is more sturdy for everyday use.