first_imgDoesn’t kill, doesn’t wound, doesn’t maim. But I’ll tell you what it does do: It is very good at opening doors.The Doctor’s trusty multi-functional tool, the sonic screwdriver is second only to the TARDIS regarding iconic Whovian technology.But how exactly do you explain the lock-picking, laser-pointing, sound-wave-amplifying, matter-scanning, glass-shattering flashlight/microphone/lighter, which also happens to tighten and loosen screws?According to its new entry in the Oxford English Dictionary: “a (hand-held) electronic device which uses sound waves to perform various mechanical and technical functions.”The OED recently announced the addition of “sonic screwdriver” to the revised, third edition text, expected this June; the term will join existing definitions for “TARDIS,” “Dalek,” and “Cyberman.”The Eleventh Doctor baits a fish with his sonic screwdriver (via BBC America)Introduced by the Second Doctor in 1968 serial “Fury from the Deep,” the gadget was used twice more during Patrick Troughton’s tenure (in “The Dominators” and “The War Games”), and became popular with the Third (Jon Pertwee) and Fourth (Tom Baker) Doctors.Despite being written out of the show in 1982, the screwdriver was featured briefly in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, before making a prominent return in the 2005 reboot.And, much like the TARDIS and Time Lord himself, the Doctor’s favorite utensil has been through various redesigns and refits. The Twelfth incarnation caused an uproar among fans when he replaced his lost screwdriver with a pair of sonic sunglasses.Clara Oswald and the sonic screwdriver (via BBC)The out-of-this-universe tool even inspired a real-life attempt to mimic the Gallifreyan technology: Researchers at Dundee University in 2012 unveiled a machine that uses ultrasound waves to turn objects, rather than just push them.“The sonic screwdriver won’t get you out of every tricky situation (as the Fourth Doctor had to admit). But it [is] definitely worth having in your TARDIS toolbox, and, pretty soon, it’s going to be available in that other big blue cabinet of endless curiosity, the OED,” Jonathan Dent, a senior assistant editor on the Oxford English Dictionary, wrote in a blog post.last_img