The RTD Era Sonic Screwdrivers: A Compiled History

Started by Terrasolo, Mar 02, 2019, 01:18 pm

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Terrasolo

Mar 02, 2019, 01:18 pm Last Edit: Jul 12, 2019, 03:38 am by warmcanofcoke
Hello everyone,

This is a project that I have been working on for quite a while now. The intent was to compile all the researched data on the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver from the RTD era, from all the various forums, my own private research, as well as research with other friends and collectors. It seemed to me like many fans were still stuck on outdated information because of all the forums threads across one forum alone, let alone multiple forums with multiple threads, had all become too much to wade through for the good data to get a true view of the history or known facts. So I did some digging of my own, lots of screen capping of very episode and digging for BTS photos and official BBC photos, I spoke with the prop makers where I could, and even the sale of the Grey Aztec Body to Brian Uiga in 2018 helped a lot of pieces and facts fall right into place. So a lot of thanks goes out to Brian!

I took all the known facts, threw in my own research or some unknown or lesser known facts, laid some other myths to rest and added Brian's Aztec body into the mix to have one resource for all the up to date information on the Doctor's RTD Era Sonic Screwdriver. I've wanted to share my research for quite a while but the question was always "where?", as I didn't want facts to get lost in the mix or not even read because someone doesn't visit that particular forum, so I chose to make a downloadable PDF file, dated February 2019, so that if any new facts come to light about these props after that date, then we at least have one place to look for any information prior to that date.

That said, I have chosen to release it on my old site, where I used to do a weekly PodKast - and will be doing one again soon on this write up - at BeyondKasterborous.com

The file itself is downloadable straight from this link. I hope you all find it to be helpful.

EDIT: JUNE 2019

When I first released the RTD era Sonic Screwdriver ebook there was one thing nagging me about it, one missing piece; The Intermediate Sonic. Where did it come from? More specifically, where did the parts for it come from if there were only ever two Aztec sonics made by Aztec Modelmaker?

So I spent some time recently working on a theory that I had, and with the help of a couple friends, I believe that we have finally solved the mystery of the Intermediate sonic!

You see, it has bugged me for a while now that the Wide Slider Aztec was only used in two scenes in Series 3. Even more so because those scenes were within the same episode. But what if it wasn't used in those two scenes? If that were the case, then there'd be no trace of the Wide Slider Aztec in Series 3 at all.

This thought got me to dig deeper into my reference material, and back through the episodes to find the truth, and once again the Grey Aztec Body solved the mystery. Well, that and the ability to search the episodes frame by frame.

To find out the results, be sure to download the revised history of the RTD sonic screwdriver.

http://beyondkasterborous.com/rtd-era-sonic-screwdriver-history-free-ebook/

RTD.png

karsthotep

Excellent write up,  extremely comprehensive as always.  Great work.

I want notes, lists and answers by the time I finish this here Juicy-a-Box! WARNING: I am Thirst-ay! And it is Fruit Punch! And it is Delicious!"

too_many_cars

Astounding.

One of those names in the document seems a bit familiar, too...

--Other Brian

Terrasolo


etherealspirit97

Just had a thorough read of this and have to commend the level of research that's gone into this! The sonic is one of, if not, my number one prop  :) totally awesome! And i did spy two names in there i did recognise  ;)


Cardinal Hordriss

Not my favorite prop but I enjoyed that.

I was sold a non-working prototype of the MFX sonic years ago by RussReps, not sure how much truth there is to its origin but it certainly seems to match up to some of your pics.
I speak to you from the final days of Gallifrey. I am the past you have forgotten. You are the future I will not live to see...

Terrasolo

Mar 02, 2019, 04:29 pm #6 Last Edit: Mar 02, 2019, 04:30 pm by Terrasolo
Quote from: etherealspirit97 on Mar 02, 2019, 04:17 pm
Just had a thorough read of this and have to commend the level of research that's gone into this! The sonic is one of, if not, my number one prop  :) totally awesome! And i did spy two names in there i did recognise  ;)


I'm glad to hear that, thank you!

Quote from: Cardinal Hordriss on Mar 02, 2019, 04:25 pm
Not my favorite prop but I enjoyed that.

I was sold a non-working prototype of the MFX sonic years ago by RussReps, not sure how much truth there is to its origin but it certainly seems to match up to some of your pics.



Well, it's a well known fact that Russ made the MFX sonics for MFX, so I would say that that is likely.

superrichi1a

Mar 02, 2019, 06:37 pm #7 Last Edit: Mar 02, 2019, 06:37 pm by superrichi1a
Brilliant read! And plenty of pictures that I'd never seen before! I look forward to your sequel on every sonic variation ever ;)

EDIT: This includes lances, disruptors, devices, and, indeed, trowels.

;D
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Terrasolo

lol I do have an updated Classic Sonic that will go online maybe in a few months. Nothing too drastically different from my Rubbertoe write up, just a few more bits of information and covering more than just the 3, 4, and 5 sonics. But no Lance, canes, sunglasses, lipstick, I'm afraid.

fivefingeredstyre

Thanks for compiling this...

Quote from: Terrasolo on Mar 02, 2019, 07:53 pm
lol I do have an updated Classic Sonic that will go online maybe in a few months. Nothing too drastically different from my Rubbertoe write up, just a few more bits of information and covering more than just the 3, 4, and 5 sonics.
very much looking forward to this :)

willbrooks1989

I'm really enjoying reading this on a lazy Sunday morning. The research and work that's gone in is incredible - a great resource!

I may be able to help shed some light on one section, though, if I may! (It's all based on Photographs I recently spent a couple of years working to find - as copies are no longer held at the BBC, only with the original photographer and now me - so they're my 'Mastermind' subject!)

Under The Grey Aztec, it's noted; "The button frame was missing once before for the promotional photoshoot for the 2006 Christmas Special, 'The Runaway Bride', however after the photoshoot it had been replaced for at least a couple of episodes for Series 3."

The images for Runaway Bride promotion (Tennant, Tate, Santas, and the TARDIS in the snow) weren't actually shot during production for The Runway Bride at all, but rather much later, closer to Christmas. The shots of Tennant were done in Cardiff on Monday 30th October (Tate was shot separately, in London, almost a fortnight earlier). In the day, Tennant had been shooting swear scenes for Daleks in Manhattan.

In terms of Series Three production, The Runaway Bride, Smith and Jones, The Shakespeare Code, and Gridlock had already finished filming (barring a few pickup shots here and there), and Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks were around two-and-a-half weeks into production. So if it's any of those episodes that still feature the Sonic with the button frame, I'd wager it could well be the original, and it simply went astray a little later than expected!

W

mycroft

This is great stuff with superb pictures to back up the research & will read it again. It reminded me of the excitement that this Sonic gave us all when the series was re-booted, an excitement that was never matched again in later models.

I have to confess I have a soft spot for the intermediate Sonic, so it was good to give that a nod. (I think it's the big Button I like). Here's hoping for a mini one on Rivers Sonic.

Just one question that sprang up on 1st time reading was what we're the quirks of the Wand Co Sonic? 

Cheers again. A great read :)

Terrasolo

Mar 03, 2019, 01:37 pm #12 Last Edit: Mar 03, 2019, 01:56 pm by Terrasolo
Quote from: willbrooks1989 on Mar 03, 2019, 11:35 am
I'm really enjoying reading this on a lazy Sunday morning. The research and work that's gone in is incredible - a great resource!

I may be able to help shed some light on one section, though, if I may! (It's all based on Photographs I recently spent a couple of years working to find - as copies are no longer held at the BBC, only with the original photographer and now me - so they're my 'Mastermind' subject!)

Under The Grey Aztec, it's noted; "The button frame was missing once before for the promotional photoshoot for the 2006 Christmas Special, 'The Runaway Bride', however after the photoshoot it had been replaced for at least a couple of episodes for Series 3."

The images for Runaway Bride promotion (Tennant, Tate, Santas, and the TARDIS in the snow) weren't actually shot during production for The Runway Bride at all, but rather much later, closer to Christmas. The shots of Tennant were done in Cardiff on Monday 30th October (Tate was shot separately, in London, almost a fortnight earlier). In the day, Tennant had been shooting swear scenes for Daleks in Manhattan.

In terms of Series Three production, The Runaway Bride, Smith and Jones, The Shakespeare Code, and Gridlock had already finished filming (barring a few pickup shots here and there), and Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks were around two-and-a-half weeks into production. So if it's any of those episodes that still feature the Sonic with the button frame, I'd wager it could well be the original, and it simply went astray a little later than expected!

W


Hello Will! I greatly appreciate you sharing this information with us as it does help create the timeline for the button frame going missing. I have amended the article, mentioned your name - whichI hope is olay, and have submitted for the downloadable file to be replaced. Thank you again for contributing! This is what makes the fan community great!

Terrasolo

Quote from: mycroft on Mar 03, 2019, 12:24 pm
This is great stuff with superb pictures to back up the research & will read it again. It reminded me of the excitement that this Sonic gave us all when the series was re-booted, an excitement that was never matched again in later models.

I have to confess I have a soft spot for the intermediate Sonic, so it was good to give that a nod. (I think it's the big Button I like). Here's hoping for a mini one on Rivers Sonic.

Just one question that sprang up on 1st time reading was what we're the quirks of the Wand Co Sonic? 

Cheers again. A great read :)


Bigger than a nod, it got its own section as it should have.

The Wand Co sonic, was not given more of a mentioned in the article because it was not about replicas. It was strictly sticking with props used on screen, which include the MFX replica. I only mentioned the Wand Co sonic as it seemed relevant in that section of the article.

That said, the Wand Co sonic, while nice, just didn't translate well from 3D scan to final product. The slants on the end aluminum piece are not at the correct angles, the black end-cap is grey, the emitter had struts came out too thin, the emitter head and collar teeth were not at the proper angles, and even the body had differing dims. Not to mention the fact that intentional alterations were made, such as making the slider block as part of the collar, the slider plate being able to travel up further than on the original prop, no grub screws were placed in the back - even for effect if not being needed, and of course the acrylic rod was made of plastic, with a wider canal and had multiple wrapped wires, rather than two yellow wires. Of course, many of these changes had to have been made in order to get the replica to function as a remote control, so many of them make sense. However, as a replica of the screen used prop, it's frankly not exacting. Still a very nice piece and fun to play with, so I'm not knocking the Wand Company's go at it, just stating facts.

mycroft

Thanks for that, I had no idea to what was different. I was aware that there would have to be changes, but as you mentioned it in passing you peaked my interest. ;) Yes I agree it wasn't about replicas (apart from MFX, that indeed did gain it's place as an original) so appreciate you answering it here. Great work.