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Did You Know? is one of Trek Initiative's "Trek Tuesday" blog segments. Listed here are all the entries for this segment, feel free to comment below on any of them, and if you see one you like - be sure to share it with your friends by clicking the appropriate link! Enjoy!


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February 25, 2014

How many of you love Doctor Who, in addition to Star Trek? I know I do, in fact most of the Trek fans I've met feel the same way. But... "Did You Know" that The Doctor's beloved sonic screwdriver also turned up in an episode of The Original Series? Well, not precisely, or officially, but in the TOS season 2 finale "Assignment:Earth" the character Gary Seven utilizes a device eerily similar to The Doctor's favorite gizmo, referred to in the Trek universe as a "Servo." In the episode, the servo is used a number of times as a handy multitool of sorts (sound familiar?), performing a variety of tasks and filling such roles as:
  • A communicator - which allowed Gary Seven to communicate with the Beta 5 computer and initiate transport.
  • A personal defense mechanism - it had both a stun setting, which made its target go into a hypnotic state open for suggestion, and a kill setting.
  • An electronic manipulation device - which Gary Seven used to deactivate the force field keeping him in the brig of the Enterprise.
  • A mechanical manipulation device - with the ability to serve simple purposes such as unscrewing screws, and locking and unlocking doors.

This obvious similarity in these two devices has brought the "which came first" issue into debate among fans of these two quintessential sci-fi franchises. The interesting thing is that despite the ridiculously close first appearances of the two items in question - March 16, 1968 for the "Sonic," and March 29, 1968 for the "Servo" - no proof of any knowledge either of the creative teams involved had of their counterpart's plans in this matter has ever surfaced. It appears to be one of those awesome coincidences, where great minds truly do think alike. What do you think? Have you heard differently? Comment below and share your thoughts on the subject!

P.S. - Is it me or does Robert Lansing (Gary Seven) look like he could have played a Doctor?
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