Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote Control

This is an absolutely beautiful piece of kit. It does have a fairly high price tag at £60 but, if you can afford it, I’d definitely recommend one. I was fortunate to get one for Christmas. The construction is copper-plated, die cast metal. The sheer heft and quality of it in your hand is a pleasure to hold, and puts it in a league far above the sound-and-lights toy or the Wii remote version.

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The Eleventh Doctor’s sonic is easily the coolest, most desirable version of the series stalwart, but this model does lack the read-out the Doctor apparently studies before announcing the result whenever he scans something. In fact, no replica ever features this most secret of the device’s features.

As the name ‘universal’ suggests, you can use the Sonic to control just about anything that can be manipulated by infrared. You programme the commands yourself so they don’t take much learning; you can simply arrange them so they are instinctive for you.

I find it a little hard to use this casually, because it’s the Sonic Screwdriver you want to thrust your arm straight out, back straight and head raised in a heroic pose like your the Doctor taking out an evil megalomaniac computer.

On the downside the claws don’t pop out and retract like the TV version. They don’t actually need to, but it’s still slightly disappointing, just as it was with the Wii controller.

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Initially I programmed mine for use with my Sky box, and to be honest it is more cumbersome. Whereas with the Sky remote one can hold down the channel up and down buttons to quickly scan the Programme Guide I tilt the Screwdriver downwards to tab down the channels, so to scan quickly I have to tap repeatedly like I’m drumming. I rotate clockwise and anticlockwise to increase and decrease the volume, and you can keep turning it continuously to achieve this.

Up to 39 commands can be stored, 13 on each memory bank. Commands can be linked to the movements mentioned above, as well as by tapping the metal panels on the front half and by thrusting the Screwdriver forwards and pulling backwards sharply.

The instructions carry dire warnings that it is a sensitive instrument that should be handled with care. Fortunately it comes in an attractive stand with a plastic cover to prevent accidents when not in use. Although it feels solid enough, the amount it costs also kind of makes you want to look after it, and not just leave it lying on the sofa next to you to roll onto the floor when you move, as you would with a normal remote control.

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I’m not sure what, if anything, the stand pertains to in Doctor Who. It looks like cabling under rock, with Gallifreyan designs on a window. Looks good anyway.

Overall, this is just a pleasure to own, use and look at. A beautifully-made, substantial piece of equipment.

Not got this awesome piece of kit? Buy now from Amazon:

Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver – Universal Remote Control

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