A new incarnation of the Doctor—even if they have a very familiar face—means, inevitably, a new sonic screwdriver for them to wave about the place with reckless Time Lord abandon. David Tennant’s 14th Doctor is no exception, but his updated tool of choice is suitably new and familiar at the same time.

In an elaborately staged video released today, the BBC unveiled the design for the Fourteenth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver, the magical wand-like scanning tool that has long been Doctor Who’s answer to everything from opening doors to plot contrivances. The latest iteration of the gadget is a distinct step away from the alien, but down-to-earth approach taken in designing predecessor Jodie Whittaker’s version of the tech, instead going for something very ornate—and very bright.

The Fourteenth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver | Doctor Who

The new sonic, perhaps appropriate for a Doctor who’s tenure is only going to last across a series of anniversary specials—it remains to be seen if Ncuti Gatwa’s 15th Doctor will continue on with this version of the Sonic or design their own—feels like an amalgam of designs from Doctor Who’s more recent history.

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Image: BBC

The “claw” appendages that open up to reveal even more lights across the screwdriver, as well as the small black handle, are evocative of the eleventh Doctor’s version of the device, while the cool blue lighting and large headpiece echo the gaudy design used by Peter Capaldi’s twelfth Doctor. Perhaps most fitting is the cracked, pale ceramic section of the body, holding the slider that activates the sonic’s opening sections—which is taken right from the version of the sonic screwdriver both Tennant and his original predecessor Christopher Eccleston used. It’s very much its own thing, but it makes sense at the same time that this version of the Doctor who is using visual elements of their own past over again to remind our time-travelling hero of their past would also have a sonic screwdriver that feels evocative of that recent history too.

The new Sonic Screwdriver will make its debut this November, across Doctor Who’s planned trio of 60th anniversary specials, starring David Tennant as the 14th Doctor and Catharine Tate as returning companion Donna Noble. The specials will be followed shortly after by Ncuti Gatwa’s debut episode as the 15th Doctor, set to air “over the festive period.”

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