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Interviews

Doctor Who: The Adventure Games - Part 1

Sumo and the BBC talk about their priceless offering

Page 4 of 4

Was it different playing the Daleks for a game?

Nicholas: Doing the Daleks for a game is a bit like playing the Daleks for the Doctor Who audio adventures for Big Finish, in fact it's the same studio. So we're in little separate booths, and I was very separate because I was the only person there that day, I was acting with myself.

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When you do it for the TV series you're out sitting by the monitors with other groups of people who can't hear the Dalek effect they can only hear it being on the set behind the scenery. So I suddenly stand up and start screaming and all the people sitting round me behind the monitors just think I've gone mad.

Sean: What do you actually sound like when you're doing it? Do you actually say (Dalek voice) "Exterminate" or are you actually saying it quite normally?

Nicholas: No no you have to (Dalek voice) really do all that sort of thing.

Charlie: Jimmy Saville on a bad day.

Why did it take so long for there to be a Doctor Who videogame? Why didn't you do it before?

Ian: Well actually we've been looking at this since about 2006 just after Doctor Who came back so I think we had to have a clear view of what we were trying to achieve in terms of commissioning and I think where we've changed in the last sort of year or two has been to do fewer bigger, better things and not be as broadly spread and really focus in on some of the things where we can have a big impact. I think this is one of them.

It's one of our biggest investments in any sort of multi-platform commission before and what we want to do is have big imactful things. It was part of the evolution of some of the commissioning structures which wasn't quite right in 2006 but is now. Hopefully we will have a big impact.

Do you think that in the future most or all Doctor Who series' will come with interactive episodes?

Ian: One of the quotes that was used by someone else was "It's about time" and it's a lovely double use of the wording so, it is about time with Doctor Who but it's also about time we did this. I think it's a natural progression.

Why is the BBC doing this kind of thing? The BBC's there to inform, educate and importantly to entertain. It's not necessarily about which platform it's in, it's not just about TV programmes, it's not just about radio but actually we've got the Internet now and we really do believe that it's about delivering to those core principles what we can do in a much broader sense. I think it's sticking to those core principles and not particularly thinking about one format over another.

Essentially this is the sort of thing our audience expects. We've had lots of audience feedback saying we want originated content for Doctor Who and it's not just a website about the Doctor Who programme it's originated web content that is about Doctor Who and this takes it one step forward, it's not about Doctor Who, it is Doctor Who. So I think that's the big advance in terms of this and we'll see what happens over the next few months after we've launched it on the 5th of June.

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One of the beautiful things about being involved in BBC public service is that we can take some risks that the commercial sector can't take in quite the same way and we can push boundaries and really develop interesting ideas that maybe have a broader impact on the industry as well in a good way and hopefully this would do because we're trying to bring a much broader demographic to gaming than perhaps we've currently got in the industry as well.

Sean: And there's something that the BBC are in a unique position to do as well. Without underplaying it, it completely undermines what the public's minds of what a perceived free-bee is. It doesn't necessarily mean anymore that it's a quick five minute experience. We're saying actually, you've got your TV licence, that means now you can have a two hour interactive experience as well as watching telly. For me that was one of the mind blowing aspects of getting involved in this. It's sort of, "Oh my God free-bees aren't crap anymore." That will hopefully sling the gates open for people who wouldn't normally come near it.

Charles: It was also summed up by MCV in their editorial when they announced it, to say that actually this has the potential to really open up the market to a much broader audience, which in the long term, will really help the industry as a whole, because it would get people to understand that games can be extraordinarily compelling in a very positive way. So hopefully it'll have a very wide reaching effect.

Ian: We did have someone who'd never played a game before and she said because it was Doctor Who she was encouraged into it and now she would consider doing gaming in other areas as well. That's one of the real ambitions that we've got and one of the objectives to bring forward to this.

Sean: And uniquely the BBC are the people that would or could do that and Who is the perfect vehicle as well.

Check back next week for part 2 of our Doctor Who interview.

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