4 Extra Who Episodes
In the form of four two-hour adventure games for Macs and PCs, starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan
“There aren’t 13 episodes of Doctor Who this year,” according to Piers Wenger, executive producer on Doctor Who. “There are 17!” Actually we make it 18, including the Christmas special, unless there’s something they’re not telling us. But let’s not quibble; this is exciting news on the Who front. The Doctor, Amy and some of the show’s most iconic monsters will be making a journey from TV to home computers, as the BBC unveils Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, four original “interactive episodes” which will be made available for free from www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho.
And the Who production team is bigging up these four new adventures as bona fide Who stories, starring the voices of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and written by a pair of established Who writers – “Waters Of Mars” co-writer Phil Ford and “The Fires Of Pompeii” and Torchwood Children Of Earth writer James Moran.
These four new adventures will take the form of downloadable computer games available for PC and Mac, in which players assume control of the Doctor and Amy as they embark on new adventures which complement the new TV series.
Doctor Who: The Adventure Games has been produced by a team drawing on the very best talent from TV and gaming. The interactive episodes are executive produced by Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, Beth Willis and Anwen Aspden (BBC Wales Interactive), alongside Charles Cecil, one of videogaming’s most revered creators. Music has been provided by TV series composer Murray Gold. An additional cast will portray original characters and classic enemies.
“Children don’t just watch Doctor Who – they join in. They make up games, invent their monsters, create their own stories,” says Steven Moffat . “Now, there’s something else – now they can be the Doctor in brand new episodes. Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will offer fans a unique opportunity to enter his world, face his challenges and grapple with his deadliest foes. By developing these games alongside the new TV series, we’ve been able to weave exciting narrative strands with the very finest game design to create a new kind of Doctor Who, which can be enjoyed by the whole family.”
“Everything you see and experience within the game is part of the Doctor Who universe,” adds Wenger. “We’ll be taking you to places you’ve only ever dreamed about seeing, including locations impossible to create on television.”
Simon Nelson, Head of BBC Multiplatform in Vision, continues: “A few years ago we couldn’t have dreamt of commissioning such an innovative form of drama. By integrating the creation of these ‘interactive episodes’ with the development of the TV series, we’ve been able to create amazing two-hour dramas in which you control the action. We’ve all imagined what it would be like to come face-to-face with some of the universe’s most terrifying monsters; now viewers can find out for themselves. Establishing new forms of drama is exactly what the BBC should be doing. By aiming these ‘interactive episodes’ at the broad audience of TV show – unique in British television, in that it encompasses at least three generations – we’re aiming to encourage the family to gather round the PC or Mac in the same way they do the television. Driving computer literacy is a keystone of the BBC’s public service remit and we expect Doctor Who: The Adventure Games to be hugely popular.
“Only the BBC could produce such an innovative slice of new drama. We’re offering two-hour original Doctor Who episodes to production standards on a par with the TV series, working with the very best creatives within the UK. We’re hugely proud of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, which will establish new standards in interactive drama and allow families the country over to enjoy Doctor Who stories in unique and innovative ways.”
The exact titles of the four episodes are being kept secret for the time being, but the four original stories will take players on a journey throughout time and space, including one location from the Doctor Who series which has never been seen before on screen. Players will encounter new and original monsters, in stories which form part of the overall Doctor Who canon.
The first episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will be available to download for PC and Mac from www.bbc.co.uk/docotorwho in June 2010. Its title will be revealed at a special press event on 21 April 2010.
All of which more than makes up for the loss of Fear Factor, we reckon.