Former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy has one nagging problem with the modern incarnation of the series. The Seventh Doctor actor has been pleasantly surprised with each new regeneration of the Doctor. He thinks the BBC should follow Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the Doctor, by casting the first person of color to play the Doctor in the event of Whittaker's departure from the series. However, he does feel like there's a problem plaguing the show. It's the sonic screwdriver. McCoy doesn't object to the device on principle, but he does think that the show may be relying on the device's ill-defined capabilities a bit too much as a catch-all for solving problems.
"They use the sonic screwdriver too much," McCoy tells RadioTimes. "It’s a bit of a crutch. I never had one. The producer decided that I shouldn’t have one because he said it was too easy for the writers to get The Doctor out of trouble. I managed to save the universe every Saturday – and without a sonic screwdriver, [so] I’m slightly critical. I don’t think they should use it all the time if you can manage without, like me – and my umbrella!"
McCoy played the Seventh Doctor in three seasons of Doctor Who from 1987 to 1989. He'd signed up for a fourth at the BBC decided to cancel the series. The Seventh Doctor continued to be the focus of the Doctor Who novels that followed the show's cancellation into the 1990s. In 1997, McCoy reprised his role as the Doctor for Doctor Who: The Television Movie. Fox produced the project in America in an attempt to relaunch the show in the United States. Despite its failure to reboot the franchise, the movie is still considered canon. It depicts the Seventh Doctor's death after having his TARDIS make an emergency landing in San Francisco. Stepping out to the TARDIS, a local gang member shoots him, and he regenerates into Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor.
McCoy continues to voice his Seventh Doctor in Big Finish's classic Doctor Who audio range. That range concludes with a crossover event featuring McCoy's Seventh, McGann's Eighth, Peter Davison's Fifth, and Colin Baker's Sixth Doctors. McCoy will then returns in Big Finish's relaunched Doctor Who lines with a new series of adventures.
Do you think McCoy is right about modern Doctor Who using the sonic screwdriver too much? Let us know in the comments section.
Doctor Who is now streaming on HBO Max. Get started with our binge guide. The show is currently filming its thirteenth season.