So I just saw Assignment: Earth again and, although I'm not a fan of Doctor Who, Gary Seven's pen-like multi instrument immediately reminded me of the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver:
Among the things he uses it for:
- Disabling the force-field on his cell
- Locking / Unlocking doors
- Dazing humans so they become compliant
- Popping open a panel on the space shuttle
I had dismissed it as coincidence, but then saw this note on Memory Alpha's talk page for the episode:
The device/weapon Seven wields looks awfully like Dr Who's "sonic screwdriver". Assignment: Earth aired March 29 1968; the sonic screwdriver made its first appearance in an episode of [of the Deep]: between March 16th 1968 and April 20th.
So, are the two items related or is it nothing more than a coincidence?
- The original teleplay for Assignment: Earth was done on Nov 14, 1966. This version wasn't connected to Star Trek in any way, and little extra information is given - I have no idea whether or not it contained the pen servo.
- The first draft for Assignment: Earth (the Star Trek one) was finished on Dec 20, 1967.
- Filming finished on Jan 10, 1968.
- I see nothing on when Doctor Who's Fury from the Deep was filmed.
So I'm inclined to say that, if they're related, the Doctor was influenced by one of the two versions of Assignment: Earth. But that's why I'm asking for sources/quotes.
(Also note that Star Trek's The Squire of Gothos went only 10 days between first draft and filming, so the nearness of the dates isn't necessarily that good an indicator)