The second episode of Doctor Who season 11 finally revealed the Thirteenth Doctor’s new, revamped TARDIS. The final moments of the hour saw the Time Lord and her friends locate the missing time machine and revel in its redecorated interior. Fans have been somewhat mixed about the new control room so far, but it’s a nice bit of design symmetry that the yellow-hued crystalline structure of the TARDIS resembles the Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver.
But wait, how is this possible? Previous Doctors have had their sonics built for them by the TARDIS – the console has a slot which they appear out of – but Thirteen forged hers by herself while stranded in Sheffield. This version of the device is made from Sheffield steel and the yellow/orange crystal at its head is borrowed from T’Zim-Sha’s transport pod. So, how can the TARDIS and the sonic share a similar look?
Well, Screen Rant has suggested that perhaps there’s a big revelation to come about the new TARDIS. Specifically, that its design is a subtle clue that it’s been influenced or corrupted somehow by Sha’s people the Stenza. Though we’ve been told to expect standalone episodes this year, “The Ghost Monument” threw that out straight away by establishing that the Stenza had previously conquered the planet Desolation.
Given that the TARDIS was stranded on the planet, phasing in and out of time for centuries – it’d sunk into local legend, remember – then it’s perfectly possible for the Stenza to have interfered with it somehow. We don’t know much about the Stenza at the moment other than that they’re vicious and war-mongering, but they could be revealed to have the means to alter a highly advanced piece of tech like the TARDIS.
Or at least, that’s what Screen Rant suggests. Perhaps the simplest, and maybe most likely answer, is just that the production team liked the idea of having a visual link between the sonic screwdriver and the Doctor’s blue box. It’s too early in this new run of Doctor Who to say for sure, though, so who knows?