Second Doctor's "Fury from the Deep" Sonic Screwdriver

Started by Terrasolo, Jun 03, 2017, 01:05 pm

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The Second Doctor: Season 5, "Fury from the Deep" (1968)

As we all know, the Second Doctor was the first to use the multi-functional tool known as the Sonic Screwdriver way back in the 1968 story "Fury from the Deep". For this story, the sonic prop was simply a life preserver whistle made by The Acme City. I should note that the whistle was not my discovery, but the evidence is certainly there for it. Because it was a whistle, it certainly isn't the most impressive Sonic Screwdriver. It has been speculated that either the props department didn't make a prop for use in this scene or that it just didn't arrive on location in time, either way Frazier Hines (Jamie) recalled that for whatever reason, they had to improvise on locations and used "a bit of bric-a-brac" from the life preserver worn by Victoria (Deborah Watling). The whistle can clearly be seen in Patrick's hands in behind the scenes photos and in a close up shot from surviving Episode 1 Tele-Snaps that show the same shape of the tip of the whistle being used to remove a bolt from the pipeline. Thanks to the Tele-Snaps, behind the scenes photos, and actor's memories we were lucky to discover this prop since the story itself is missing from the BBC Archives, although maybe our imaginations would have been better off without them in this case.

The regular screwdriver that we also see in BTS photos appears to have been used once the pipeline cover was open, so it would seem that the Doctor switched tools to work on the pipeline and the regular screwdriver is not a sonic, like the whistle is.

Of course over the yeas I've found that many fans dislike the use of a whistle as the first sonic prop but we have to remember that at the time, no one thought the Sonic Screwdriver was anything more than a one-off prop needed for one story. Personally, I like to believe that after a "long night" the Second Doctor found himself "bored" and with "a lot of cabinets to put up", so he came up with the invention of the Sonic Screwdriver and used whatever "bric-a-brac" he had lying around the TARDIS as a case for his newfound invention. As the devices functions were expanded and his tastes changes, the need for other cases arose, which account for the two different penlights that followed it as well as when he got a bit more creative in his third incarnation. But that's just my two cents.

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If I remember correctly, didn't the Doctor use two sonic screwdrivers in Fury from the Deep: a normal screwdriver (similar to Jackson Lake's in The Next Doctor) and a life preserver whistle?

So a massive thank you for helping us to identify the whistle used (all your research is greatly appreciated :))

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


The normal screwdriver was seemingly used as just a screwdriver, once the Sonic Screwdriver (the whistle) had opened the hatch.

The whistle can be see in the telesnap from the actual aired episode and BTS photos. And the real screwdriver is seen in one BTS photo after the hatch was already opened.


Mar 14, 2018, 04:56 pm #3 Last Edit: Mar 14, 2018, 04:56 pm by theportreeve
I have a couple of Acme City whistles. I was wondering which shape may have been used in Fury. The two I have have different loops at the top. I'm trying to see if it is the round one or u shaped. It is difficult as Patrick's hand is covering the end. Any thoughts?  :)20180314_163718.jpg


It's hard to say from what little reference we have but the one in my collection, and indeed many of the other collections that I have seen from other fans, seem to favor the one on the right.


Mar 14, 2018, 10:29 pm #5 Last Edit: Mar 14, 2018, 10:32 pm by galacticprobe
I forget where I found this photo, but it's of a whistle from one of the actual life jackets like those used in "Fury", and where the whistle sonic screwdriver came from:


The loop definitely fits with the one on the right.

I hope this is helpful.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"