Doctor Who: 10 Best Non-Sonic Devices
Doctor Who has been a cornerstone of science fiction for almost 58 years, with plenty of time adventures in television, audio dramas, novels, comics, and even a movie. The Doctor is often known to use a trusty Sonic Screwdriver, a versatile tool that can unlock doors, activate machines, and perform other miscellaneous tasks.
However, not all problems require the use of the Sonic Screwdriver. From improvised devices to futuristic technology, the Doctor and his companions have learned to make the most of the objects around them to solve their problems.
ten Timey-Wimey Detector
The Timey-Wimey Detector was a memorable device from “Blink,” one of Steven Moffat’s most beloved episodes in the series according to IMDB. Presented by the 10th Doctor as a machine that “will ring when there’s stuff,” it was a versatile device that could detect temporal anomalies and boil eggs from a distance, cobbled together from various pieces and bobs.
The fandom fell in love with the randomness of the Timey-Wimey Detector, seeing its creation as a highlight of the 10th Doctor. It turned out so popular that a similar device appeared in Doctor’s day, the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who.
9 Doctor’s pockets
Whether it’s foiling the Daleks’ latest foolish plan or saving planet Earth, the Doctor is usually up for anything, even if they don’t yet realize it themselves. Despite the differences in costumes, all incarnations of the Doctor share one important item of clothing: a coat with infinitely large pockets.
In their pockets, the Doctor has a variety of handy tools and various unwanted items. Over the years, the contents of their pocket have included yo-yos, yarn, spoons, magnifying glasses, and other oddities.
8 The TARDIS food machine
Many fans of Doctor Who wondered how the Doctor and their companions manage to feed themselves while remaining aboard the TARDIS. The answer comes in the form of the TARDIS food machine, which resided in the galley on board.
When selecting a code, the food machine would dispense a tiny nutritional bar that could taste like any existing food. While the Food Machine primarily serves as a running gag, the 10th Doctor once used it to outwit a creature known as the Glutonoid.
7 The ring of time
Also known as the Time Bracelet, Time Rings were the classic counterparts of vortex manipulators of the modern era. They were commonly used by the Time Lords, with the 2nd and 4th physicians using them to bring people back to their proper time frame.
While the rings started out as bigger devices, they eventually became compact enough that 7th Doctor’s companion, Bernice Summerfield, could use them as wedding rings during her wedding to Jason Kane. They have since become unusable in the main cannon to make way for vortex manipulators and other methods of time travel.
Shortly after regenerating, the 3rd Doctor found himself exiled to Earth with no way to use the TARDIS movement abilities. Instead, he found himself behind the wheel of a bright yellow Austin roadster lovingly dubbed “Bessie”. While working with the organization known as UNIT, the Doctor used Bessie to get to where he needed to go for this episode instead of taking the TARDIS.
However, Bessie was not just a sophisticated form of transportation. The Doctor could also control Bessie using a remote control, which helped him apprehend the Master in the village of Devil’s End.
5 The Whomobile
Bessie was not the only car driven by the 3rd Doctor. After the introduction of his beloved companion Sarah Jane Smith, the 3rd Doctor had built a hovercar, known as the “Whomobile”, which ran on carbon dioxide. The Doctor used the Whomobile as an alternative form of transportation in addition to Bessie, and he was able to fly as well.
In fact, the Whomobile belonged to Jon Pertwee, the man behind the 3rd Doctor. He showed it on an episode of the children’s show blue stone, where he revealed that the car was street legal and that he had ordered it himself.
4 The vortex manipulator
Frequently used by characters such as River Song, Jack Harkness, and the Doctor’s best friend / foe, the Master, the Vortex Manipulator has proven to be an essential tool for characters looking to catch up with the Doctor. It serves as a rudimentary time travel device, created by time agents of the 51st century, used to move quickly from period to period.
The Doctors themselves don’t use a vortex manipulator, and for good reason: it’s far more dangerous than traveling in the safety of the TARDIS. The Vortex Manipulator leaves the user at the mercy of the Time Vortex. While it is good for moving from one place to another, overusing it is not recommended.
3 The TARDIS key
Doctor’s TARDIS has always worked in mysterious ways, leaving some fans wondering about the logic behind it. Even its key appears to contain some fantastic properties, functioning as a guide beacon for the TARDIS. The Doctor could use the TARDIS key to summon the TARDIS from afar, as well as locate it when it vanished.
Some of the Doctor’s most loyal companions, including, but not limited to Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, and River Song, eventually received their own TARDIS keys as a token of their trust. The TARDIS key has come to represent not only a burst of the true power of the TARDIS, but also the eternal bond the Doctor makes with his friends.
2 Psychic paper
While classic Doctors used the useful properties of Psychic Paper, it did not fully fit into the Doctor’s usual toolbox until the new series premiered in 2005. Whenever it was shown to someone, the psychic paper took the form of whatever the other person wanted to see.
Primarily, the Doctor used psychic paper to forge credentials, claiming to be everything from a Royal Inspector to the Imperial Consul. It could also project psychic messages to and from the doctor instead of a distress signal.
1 jelly babies
Tom Baker’s 4th Doctor was one of the nicest incarnations of the Doctor, and he brought an unorthodox tool with him on his adventures: a bag of Jelly Babies. Jelly Babies are a popular British candy that originated in the 1800s, but the doctor doesn’t just use them to ward off sugar cravings.
Jelly Babies are a versatile tool, with a variety of uses for every situation. Whenever the Doctor needed to lure in guards, bluff enemies with a “deadly weapon”, or confuse his friends, he could always grab his endless white bag of Jelly Babies.
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