I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise
I’m a peeping-tom techy with x-ray eyes
Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades
– I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk3, 1986
A lot of dust is going to be kicked up this season of Doctor Who, to the point it might end up looking like the Sahara. We’ve got a sinister prophecy, a daughter for Missy, and if the season spoilers posted all over are any indication, the return of Osgood and River Song. But none of these it seems are as important as the biggest question.
When will they get rid of the sunglasses and return the screwdriver?
Steven Moffat caused an uproar even the speakers at Donna’s wedding reception couldn’t match, when he said;
“Sometimes you have to be heretical. Sometimes you actually have to embrace the heresy. And I just thought, really on a whim, why would the Doctor feel wedded to a screwdriver? Maybe he fancies varying it for a while, maybe he’ll pop his sonic glasses on instead… It maybe resurrected the original joke … that the screwdriver was just a screwdriver that made a noise.”
Just a screwdriver. That made a noise. We’re not talking about the Screwdriver used by The Next Doctor, who said “Well, it makes a noise. That’s sonic isn’t it?” What’s next? The TARDIS getting stuck in the form of a hot air balloon?
Okay, I am being overly dramatic for a reason. I don’t have a problem with the glasses, and neither do a lot of other fans.
According to canon, seems to be a pretty popular argument against moving away from the Screwdriver. But the fact of the matter is, canon is a lot more than the t.v. show. There’s also the books, the mini episodes, and for those fortunate enough to get a copy, the radio dramas.
The Sixth Doctor, for example, used a sonic lance on several occasions. The Eighth, a sonic suitcase, and the Twelfth made use of a sonic spoon, in the short novel “The Blood Cell”. Which, I strongly suspect was the same spoon he ended up using in his famous duel with Robin Hood. By the way, if I’m ever lucky enough for Moffat, or one of the other big wigs involved in the show read this, maybe they could confirm my hypothesis? That would be great, thanks.
Glasses, for the Doctor, are every bit a part of him as the TARDIS and Screwdriver. In fact, I’d almost say the glasses are more a part of his character than the two most powerful items at his disposal. To my knowledge, none of the glasses were ever destroyed, or stolen through the clever use of a tractor beam. They’ve never been rendered powerless. Indeed, in a few instances, they allowed him to see things he needed to know.
Half of the Doctors to date have worn glasses. Two as a corrective device, one or two to amplify certain telepathic abilities (a precursor to these Sonic ones, perhaps?). Some simply because it made them appear more intelligent. Let us not forget however, 10’s wonderful use of 3D glasses to see void stuff.
In truth, Moffat isn’t being heretical, or even spiteful. He’s sticking to canon very closely in my opinion. Which is the opinion of seeing two staple items simply being streamlined into one. Give the glasses a chance. After all, one of the fundamental parts of the show is a fella who can change his face.
Will the Sunglasses become a big hit if given the chance, leading to more creative ideas? Or, like the song that I opened this story with, turn out to be a one hit wonder. Only time will tell.
Guest Post By Chris Orton (@)