Doctor Who MMO (Apparently)

Doctor Who

"I will blind you with my flashlight!"

Via Rock, Paper Shotgun I read an article today revealing that the good ol’ Beeb (what middle class Brits call the BBC) are going to be launching their very own Doctor Who MMO later this year. Now I don’t know how many of my lovely American readers even know what Doctor Who is (do you get it over there?) but it’s basically the British version of Star Trek but with a smaller budget, posher accents, and more plot and it’s as quintessentially part of Britain as teas, crumpets and teenage pregnancy. Suffice to say, if your a British MMO geek then you’ve probably experienced a nerdgasm and are in the midst of changing your pants right now.

The good news doesn’t stop there either as BBC Worldwide have commissioned Three Rings, the company that made the delightful Puzzle Pirates, to build the thing (news I’m sure that will make at least one blogger I know very happy). Oh and it’s also going to be completely free-to-play, did I mention that?

In fact, it all sounds rather delicious except for one thing: is it really a true MMO? This I can’t figure out as every site that’s picked up the news has certainly thrown the term onto the end of the announcement like Apple stick “i” in front of everything (iPhone, iPad, iPuke) yet the BBC themselves describe it merely as a “multiplayer online” game. No “massively” in site. It may well end up catering for only four players in a game at once in which case it’s going to be about as massive as my hairbrush collection (hint: I don’t have one).

Anyway, if lounging about the TARDIS or frolicking with Daleks is your thing than this game is sure to tickle your fancy.

-Gordon

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21 Comments

  1. Reverend Zor says:

    “…but it’s basically the British version of Star Trek but with a smaller budge…. ”

    Bah, that description does the show no justice… It is amazing Sci-Fi series, that very few American produced Sci-Fi shows can keep up with.

    And for the record, I am not British :-)

  2. Kierbuu says:

    Yep, we get the good doctor here in the USA. Was on PBS (public broadcasting) for years. Made the switch to BBC America channel for awhile and now you can watch the more recent seasons on Syfy network.

    Can’t figure out an easy way to turn the series into an MMO though. Seems like it would be flooded with lots of Time Lords, a few befuddled/attractive female assistants, and nobody wanting to play the idiot bystanders caught in situations they can’t hope to understand.

  3. Lycanthrope says:

    I have been a fan of Dr Who ever since the beginning of 1980 when I discovered it on Public Broadcasting over here. I am fascinated by the prospect, but how are they going to make an MMO out of what is essentially The Doctor, plus at most two companions at any one time?

  4. Yeah, as others have said, Gordon, there’s quite a lot of Dr. Who fans on this side of “the pond”.

    We’ll see how the MMO turns out. Three Rings is probably one of the few groups that could do it justice.

  5. pkudude99 says:

    I’ve been watching it since the “reboot” with Eccleston as the Doc. Much fun!

    If I can be a Time Lord with an assistant that looks like Martha Jones or Amy Pond, I’ll be a very happy Doctor!

  6. Stabs says:

    Americans adore the Doctor.

    This is a reasonably representative view:
    http://www.pvponline.com/2009/01/21/home-safe/

  7. vortal says:

    I adore the Doctor as much as the next guy. But does anyone really believe that it would make a good idea for an MMO. I am a bit skeptical, but fascinated at how it will turn out. If it really is as good as I can dream it to be, or as close enough to that, I probably will take it out for a spin. Maybe even make a Tom Baker like character (hunter pet K-9).

  8. Max "Misanthrope" Ximenez says:

    I cannot bring myself to play a MMO about a man without eyebrows.

    It’s the same reason why a Mythbusters MMO is doomed to fail.

  9. Shadow-war says:

    Fez’s are cool. Fez’s are in.

    MMO’ified Doctor? Skeptical, but interested.

  10. Tesh says:

    Happy indeed. :) I’m decidedly a fan of Three Rings, and I really want to see them do a great game with this. I’m even a fan of Dr. Who, though the last full episode I saw was with the Fourth Doctor. Yeah… it’s been a while.

  11. I’m a 34 year-old American and a life-long fan of Doctor Who. FYI, it’s had its share of popularity here. It appeals to people who dislike Star Trek, both for being accessible to all ages, and for steadfastly avoiding technobabble.

    Anyway, back on-topic…

    A Doctor Who MMO is a bad idea for the same reason a Zelda MMO is a bad idea. Both stories revolve around a limited cast with an extremely exclusive quality.

    There is only one Link, so there’s zero potential for a Zelda MMO to hold a Zelda fan’s interests unless every single player gets to play as Link.

    Unless the Doctor is going to have hundreds of thousands of companions, a Doctor Who MMO suffers the same problem. And that’s just the barrier to make each player a companion! Gamers-as-timelords would have been nightmare enough when the canon merely branded the Doctor as one of Gallifrey’s greatest villains and renegades… but now he’s the only one left!

    If it’s not an MMO, just a multiplayer game, then it could sorta work. Give players the ability to choose among the 11 doctors and their companions, give each a different ability set. Playing as a Doctor would raise the difficulty higher than playing as a companion.

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