Doctor Who (lost build of cancelled video game based on British science-fiction television show; 2005)
In December 2004, as the first reboot series of the BBC science-fiction show Doctor Who was being filmed, reports emerged indicating that a video game based on the revived series starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as companion Rose Tyler was being developed by IR Gurus Interactive. At least six months of development commenced before the game was ultimately cancelled for unknown reasons.
In September 2003, the BBC announced that Doctor Who was to be rebooted after being in hiatus since 1989. By May 2004, it was confirmed that Christopher Eccleston was to portray the Ninth Doctor, with Billie Piper assuming the role of companion Rose Tyler. As the new series was being filmed throughout 2004 and early-2005, reports began emerging in December 2004 that a game was being developed that would act as a tie-in to the reboot. According to GamesRadar, Australian company IR Gurus were developing the game on BBC Worldwide's behalf. However, the latter company's Head of Communications Andy Widger downplayed the claims a Doctor Who game was being planned, insisting that IR Gurus Interactive was working on "an interactive demo for internal evaluation". He also stated that no game proposals nor commitments to any platforms were being made, while also denying the chance of screenshots being released.
In an April 2011 post by The Sydney Morning Herald regarding Doctor Who games, former IR Gurus employee Paul Callaghan discussed the project. He stated how he and others were excited to work on the game, stating "I'd wanted to work on a Doctor Who game since I was about 11 years old, so this was kind of a dream project for me." He mentioned the main challenge surrounding the game's development was making the Doctor's companion active during gameplay. He also elaborated on a plot where Rose would receive new powers after she and the rest of humanity were affected by airborne nanobots thanks to an alien plot. Whether this was the basis for the game or a concept Callaghan came up with on the spot remains unclear. Ultimately, the game was in development for at least six months before it was cancelled, Callaghan merely stating that "It’s complicated" when asked to elaborate on why it was scrapped.
Ultimately, a game based on the first reboot series of Doctor Who has been confirmed. Beyond that, few details surrounding it have emerged. Particularly, no builds, screenshots, nor the supposed interactive demo have ever been publicly released.
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- BBC press release announcing the return of Doctor Who. Retrieved 24th May '22
- BBC press release confirming Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper would star in the reboot. Retrieved 24th May '22
- GamesRadar reporting on the game's announcement and BBC Worldwide's comments surrounding it. Retrieved 24th May '22
- Unseen 64 article on the game. Retrieved 24th May '22
- The Sydney Morning Herald reporting on Callaghan's comments surrounding the game, its development, and cancellation. Retrieved 24th May '22