Fans of Britain’s long-running sci-fi adventure Doctor Who have gone far too long without a decent video game to call their own. With the exception of a few flash games on the BBC website and the abysmal 1997 PC game Destiny of the Doctors, there has been little effort to try and bring one of Britain’s most popular franchises to the world of video games – but all of that is about to change. The BBC has just announced that a series of episodic Doctor Who adventure games will be made available as free downloads on the BBC website starting this June.
Featuring the recently debuted eleventh doctor and his new companion Amy Pond, Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will consist of four short episodes that will be approximately two hours in length each. The games will be produced by Sumo Digital, a development house that has been involved in the production of a number of recent Broken Sword adventure titles. Both Matt Smith and Karen Gillian, who portray The Doctor and Amy respectively, will be providing full voice overs.
Popular UK game designer Charles Cecil will act as executive producer alongside series producer Steven Moffat and others. Cecil, a 25 year veteran of the gaming industry, is best known for his role in creating the adventure games Beneath a Steel Sky and Broken Sword at the studio he founded, Revolution Software.
The four digital episodes aren’t being seen as an accessory to the current season’s adventures, but an integral part of them. “There aren’t 13 episodes of Doctor Who this year,” says Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for BBC Wales and Executive Producer on Doctor Who. “There are 17 – four of which are interactive. Everything you see and experience within the game is part of the Doctor Who universe: 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.”
The titles for each interactive episode are being kept a closely guarded secret so as to not spoil the surprises in store for long time Whovians, but the BBC has let one little piece of information leak out – players can expect to visit one location from the existing Doctor Who mythology which that has never been seen by viewers.
Doctor Who: The Adventure Games may not be the only place we see the adventures of the good Doctor soon. Last month the BBC announced a partnership with Nintendo to produce new Doctor Who games for the Wii and Nintendo DS. Those games are expected out in October.
In the meantime Doctor Who fanatics will need only wait a few months for the release of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games. Expect the first episode to arrive for free on the PC and Mac this June.