|Doctor Who: The Adventure Games|
|Publisher(s)||BBC Wales Interactive|
|Release date(s)||5 June 2010—31 October 2011|
Doctor Who: The Adventure Games is a series of episodic third-person adventure games, based on the BBC TV series Doctor Who and developed by Sumo Digital. Charles Cecil served as executive producer and worked with Sean Millard and Will Tarratt on the design.
Each episode was made available for free download to residents of the UK via the BBC's official Doctor Who website; a UK internet address is required to both download and play them, though several of the games subsequently were made available for international sale. The first one was released on 5 June 2010, the second one on 26 June 2010, the third on 27 August 2010, the fourth on 22 December 2010 and the fifth on 31 October 2011. In February 2012 the BBC announced they had shelved the games in favour of worldwide console games such as Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock.
The games were commissioned by Simon Nelson and Rosie Allimonos of BBC Vision. Phil Ford was selected to write because of his experience in writing for Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, including writing the Dreamland animated Doctor Who series.
Phil Ford and James Moran wrote the scripts, and Charles Cecil worked on the game design. The Games were created by Sumo Digital with Will Tarratt as lead designer. Composer of the revived series of Doctor Who Murray Gold has provided music for The Adventure Games. Executive producers of the 2010 series of the show Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis, along with BBC Wales Interactive's Anwen Aspden and video game creator Charles Cecil all serve as executive producers of the interactive episodes. Producer and voice director was Gary Russell who had previously directed the animated serials The Infinite Quest and Dreamland.
|1||"City of the Daleks"||Phil Ford||5 June 2010 (Outside UK) / 15 June 2010 (UK)||link|
|In an alternate 1963, the Daleks have control of time and the TARDIS arrives in the ruins of London. Before time runs out for Amy Pond, a trip must be made to the planet of Skaro.|
|2||"Blood of the Cybermen"||Phil Ford||26 June 2010 (Outside UK) / 1 July 2010 (UK)||link|
|In the Arctic a survey team are turning into metal. An army of Cybermen have been under the ice for thousands of years.|
|3||"TARDIS"||James Moran||27 August 2010||link|
|Amid an accident in the TARDIS Amy's attempts to rescue the Doctor unwittingly unleash the creature known only as the Entity .|
|4||"Shadows of the Vashta Nerada"||Phil Ford||22 December 2010||link|
|A temporal rift means that the Doctor and Amy have to deal with an alien shark, alien radiation and worst of all, the Vashta Nerada on Poseidon 8, an underwater base on Christmas Eve in the 23rd Century.|
|5||"The Gunpowder Plot"||Phil Ford||31 October 2011||link|
|The Doctor, Amy and Rory travel from the end of the Liao Dynasty, forward to Jacobian London in 1605. There they unearth a conflict between two opposing alien races, the Sontarans and the Rutans, and meet Guy Fawkes during the time of the Gunpowder Plot.|
Rotoscope technique was used to capture the actors' movements.
The Doctor and Amy arrive in Trafalgar Square, London in 1963 to find the city in ruins and under the control of the Daleks. Following a woman, Sylvia, into the London Underground they learn that she is the only human survivor after the Daleks invaded - appearing through a 'split' in the sky. Amy, Sylvia and the Doctor are pursued by the Daleks. Sylvia is killed but the Doctor and Amy escape. The Doctor deduces that the Daleks have gained the power to alter history and, returning to the TARDIS with Amy, traces the source of the invasion to Skaro, the Daleks' home planet.
The TARDIS lands in Kaalann, the Dalek capital city, which has been rebuilt since the Doctor last saw it. Amy begins to fade, since the destruction of humanity in 1963 means that she was never born. The Doctor uses several Dalek components to create a "Chronon Blocker", which slows the process. The Doctor and Amy observe the Dalek Council Chamber. They see the Dalek Emperor, as well as a device which the Doctor believes to be the technology that allows the Daleks to manipulate history. The Doctor and Amy are captured by Daleks and taken before the Emperor. The Emperor explains that the Daleks will become the new Time Lords with control over the Time Vortex, through the use of the "Eye of Time", a powerful tool previously kept on Gallifrey. The Doctor escapes with Amy by leaping into the Eye which transports them back in time to an earlier ruined Kaalann which is infested with Varga plants just prior to the arrival of the Daleks with the Eye.
The Doctor sends Amy to find components that he can use to create a device that will blind the Daleks. Despite beginning to fade once more, Amy finds the parts and the Doctor constructs the device. In the Council Chamber, the Daleks, led by the white Supreme Dalek, are preparing to use the Eye to launch an attack on Earth in 1963. Amy, still fading, activates the blinding device affecting the Daleks. This allows the Doctor to free the Eye from its restraints and to flee the room with Amy. The Eye crashes down and explodes and the Doctor and Amy find themselves back at the TARDIS, but with Kaalann still in ruins. Amy is no longer fading out of existence. Using the TARDIS scanner, they see that the original 1963 timeline has been restored and that Sylvia is alive.
A number of flashbacks show an excavation of an arctic base. A worker at the base called Chisholm flees from the base on a Snowmobile where he finds a Cyberman arm. Chisholm falls off a cliff and gets badly hurt. The Doctor receives an SOS call which he responds to, and landing where Chisholm fell. The Doctor and Amy rescue Chisholm and they use the TARDIS where to go back to the base where Chisholm came from.
They get out the TARDIS where Chisholm is attacked by a Cybermat after which he runs away and hides. The Doctor goes to the base entrance where he encounters a Cyberslave. After Amy kills the Cyberslave they enter the base. The head of the operation, Professor Meadows (voiced by Sarah Douglas), tells them that all of her crew have been turned into Cyberslaves. The Doctor starts on a serum to reverse the effects of the Cyberman conversion. To reach the communications room they have to get past Cybermats and then a Cyberslave which tries to kill Amy. The Doctor and Amy hear over the radio that a team is coming to the base, however they can't be warned until the radio is repaired. The Doctor has developed a cure which they give to the part changed Chisholm. Chisholm shows them a lift in which they go down underground.
Trying to get to the control room the Doctor and Amy have to get around Cyberslaves. However, Amy is kidnapped by two Cyberslaves. The Doctor reaches the control room where he finds Professor Meadows is now a Cyberslave. She forces the Doctor to revive the Cybermen from stasis to save Amy. The Doctor saves Amy but he needs to stop the Cybermen. The intervention of Chisholm allows him to do this and they escape from underground before an explosion destroys everything. The Doctor and Amy leave Chisholm behind so he can answer any questions that UNIT might have. After that the Cybermen are seen frozen on ice. A Short-circuit is then heard.
The Doctor and Amy are inside the TARDIS, discussing where they should go next for a more peaceful outing, and the Doctor mentions that his holidays in Brighton and Paris did not turn out well (alluding to The Leisure Hive and City of Death respectively). However, the TARDIS suddenly enters a 'space riptide', and the Doctor is launched through the doors and out into space.
After the TARDIS steadies itself, Amy looks outside and sees the Doctor hovering, still conscious and surrounded by a number of strange blue worms, a short distance away. Through sign language, he manages to tell Amy that he is slowly suffocating, and she can save him by operating the TARDIS. Amy follows his directions and recovers the Doctor by using a makeshift tractor beam to draw him back into the TARDIS. The blue worms, known as 'Chronomites', are somewhat harmless parasites, although they can make you 'very itchy'.
Just as they begin to celebrate their victory, the TARDIS enters another riptide, and Amy disappears. Amy is now in the Doctor's future with a strange glowing sphere that she had accidentally released from its prison in the TARDIS. The Doctor brings himself and Amy back into the same time and deals with the creature, the "Entity", by releasing it into the vortex so that it can feed on the Chronomites while the Chronomites feed on it, the two keeping each other contained.
The Doctor plans to take Amy to 23rd century London just after a 'Great Flood', but finds that the underwater city is being prowled by a gigantic shark-like creature.
The episode begins with the Doctor and Amy being stalked through the underwater city (from the end of the previous episode) by an enormous shark-like creature known as a 'Zaralok'. The two make their way through a series of tunnels while the Zaralok tries to ram its way in; while they manage to escape, the Zaralok destroys one of the tunnels, separating them from the TARDIS. They head over to the city's central building, Poseidon Eight, where they are greeted by an oceanographer called Martin. The Doctor explains to Amy how sea levels rose dramatically, causing the entire human race to rebuild on higher land. However, underwater cities like this one, Poseidon, were built in order to harvest resources from the ocean floor. He also notes how the Zaralok is obviously not indigenous to Earth, and must have somehow relocated from another world.
Martin explains how Poseidon's workers have been suffering from some form of disease, and how Jones, the intelligent computer monitoring Poseidon, has been forced to place the crew under quarantine. Martin then takes the Doctor and Amy to meet Dana, the crew's medic, and Oswald, the captain. Before they are able to explain any more about the situation, the lights go out due to a generator malfunction; when they come back on, Martin's flesh has been eaten away from his skeleton inside his diving suit. The Doctor realises that Poseidon has also been infested by Vashta Nerada.
The Doctor and Amy travel through Poseidon's tunnels, while still being stalked by the Zaralok, in order to reach the generator and switch the lights back on. After evading a pair of divers, now dead and re-animated by the Vashta Nerada, they succeed and head back to meet Oswald. The Doctor explains how he found a radiation detector on one of the diving suits which has picked up a form of radiation that Jones was unable to identify. The Doctor believes the radiation is of alien origin and he knows how to create a cure to stop it; however, Oswald is reluctant to let him back out into the tunnels to find the required ingredients. He instead intends to send everybody up to the surface in safety pods - a bad idea, as they would surely be destroyed by the Zaralok. Oswald still refuses to let them out, and closes off the city outside Poseidon Eight.
The Doctor convinces Dana to reopen the tunnels; she also gives away that the Zaralok, the Vashta Nerada and the radiation all seemed to appear after a flash of light a short distance away from Poseidon only a few days ago. After getting back out into Poseidon, the Doctor finds the ingredients for the cure (simply numerous types of vegetation from the seabed) and heads back to Dana's lab. He manages to create the cure and heal Dana, who was starting to suffer from the radiation, but Oswald enters with a harpoon gun and threatens the Doctor to back off so that he and Dana can evacuate Poseidon. Oswald leaves with Dana, while the Doctor and Amy find Jones and use its scanners to identify the source of the light Dana mentioned. Jones' scanners pick up a shipwreck a short distance away; the Doctor identifies it as the USS Eldridge, a ship constructed by the USA during the WWII era. The Americans had attempted to give the ship cloaking technology and had asked Albert Einstein for help, but they accidentally opened a wormhole which the ship then jumped through into another world. After being there for centuries, the ship then jumped back through another wormhole and landed outside Poseidon, but the hole is still open and has allowed the creatures as well as the radiation to come through.
Jones helps the Doctor and Amy to get back to the TARDIS via a series of safety tunnels built beneath the main ones. They then travel to the Eldridge, seeking to close the wormhole. The Doctor believes that closing the gap will bring everything that came through back as well. The two make their way to the Accelerator room, which is at the heart of the gap. Amy makes her way to the top, followed by the Doctor, who survives a close encounter with the Vashta Nerada. After they reach the controls which can close the wormhole, the Zaralok, which is apparently aware of their intentions, attacks the Eldridge, and begins to smash its way into the Accelerator. Just before it reaches them, the Doctor finishes the process, and the Zaralok is dragged back through the wormhole along with the Vashta Nerada and the disease.
Back at Poseidon Eight, Oswald apologises for his earlier behaviour, saying how he only wished to protect his people. He then offers for the Doctor and Amy to join them for Christmas dinner, an offer they decide to run from when they find that the main course is a helping of Oswald's prize crop - 'Sea Pumpkin'.
While leaving China after trying to get a take-away, the TARDIS collides with an alien ship, creating a dimensional lesion inside the ship that links the TARDIS to an alien planet. After the Doctor accidentally drops the sonic screwdriver into the rift and Rory recovers it, they trace the ship that they collided with and discover that it is under London in the seventeenth century. While the Doctor works on a device to close the lesions in the TARDIS, Amy and Rory explore the sewers where they have landed, and discover that they have arrived at the time of the Gunpowder Plot, where Rory is puzzled at the presence of 'Lady Winters', a mysterious woman in green, in the conspiracy. When Amy follows Lady Winters while Rory tries to return to the Doctor, she discovers that Lady Winters is actually a Rutan, but is only just saved from an attack when the Doctor opens a lesion to her location and drives the Rutan away.
While trying to return to the Doctor, Rory discovers a squad of Sontarans are also under London, searching for the crashed Rutan ship, but he is able to escape using a catapult to strike the Sontarans' probic vents. With the Doctor now aware that they are dealing with a crashed Rutan ship underneath Parliament, he infiltrates the Gunpowder Plot to monitor their progress while Amy and Rory track down the ship, discovering a control room with a strange spherical device and a slot where a second one should be, but a child who followed them down there steals the sphere. Confronting Lady Winters, the Doctor learns that the Rutan ship is damaged and requires the energy of the explosion to escape its position under Parliament unless missing control rods- indestructible components that were lost when the ship crashed- are recovered, and that the Rutan ship holds a doomsday weapon that could end the Sontaran/Rutan war.
Although Amy manages to find the missing components, the Doctor is only just able to save Parliament by using the lesions to teleport Parliament into space, although he and his companions are forced to search the Houses when they learn that both doomsday weapons are there. With Rory armed with a sound blaster that can disorient the Rutans, they manage to escape pursuit and find the weapons, which the Doctor realises are genetic bombs that could wipe out all of one race if activated. Reprogramming one, the Doctor randomly tosses both weapons to the Sontarans and the Rutans, noting that it is now impossible for either of them to set the weapons off as they have no way of knowing if their weapon will destroy their enemies or themselves. In the end, the Doctor, Amy and Rory leave Guy Fawkes trapped with the barrels of gunpowder and return to the future to watch Bonfire night fireworks.
On 7 April 2010, the game was first announced on the official Doctor Who BBC website. It included a brief description of what was to come as well as 13 in-game pictures.
On 17 June, Simon Nelson, controller of portfolio and multiplatform at BBC Vision told games magazine MCV that the number of downloads of the first episode had already exceeded half a million. "The result is a lot more than I was expecting, We had set ourselves some fairly stretched targets on this and we’ve blown them away", he says.
To coincide with the airing of "The Big Bang" in the US on 24 July on BBC America and Space, the Windows versions of the first two episodes were made available to purchase outside the UK via Direct2Drive.; the Mac OS versions of the games, however, were never made available for sale; although it was announced that the remaining games likewise would be made available for sale, as of mid-2012 this has yet to happen.
On 20 September 2010, a second series was commissioned for 2011. BBC’s head of multiplatform in vision Simon Nelson says "Given the success of the first series, we'd be daft not to recomission. But it's not just about the numbers; the feedback we've had has been overwhelmingly positive."
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