Doctor Who's interactive episode The Runaway could be the start of "many new adventures"

Doctor Who's interactive episode The Runaway could be the start of "many new adventures"

Doctor Who might not be returning to television till 2020, but a new interactive mini-episode out today allows fans to fly the TARDIS and help the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) to save the universe.

The Runaway, available for free in the UK, is an animated special that can be viewed using a range of VR headsets.

Jodie Whittaker lends her voice to the episode, which sees the Doctor recruit you as her unlikely assistant in a race against time to return a strange and potentially dangerous creature called Volta to his home planet.

Armed with your own sonic screwdriver, it’s down to you to help the Doctor as she faces the forces of evil in this immersive adventure.

The striking animation for The Runaway was created by Passion Animation Studios, working in collaboration with the BBC VR Hub and using motion-capture technology to reproduce Whittaker's live-action performance.

Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub, tells Digital Spy that the end result is akin to "immersive theatre", with the ambition being "to bring the brilliance of everything we love about TV drama together with the magical quality of virtual reality, to give you a really amazing story".

"You feel very involved in the drama and action, it raises your heart rate as you join the mission to save the universe," Watson said.

The BBC VR Hub was tasked with a remit of exploring virtual reality across a range of genres – including history and documentary pieces. But when it came to drama, Doctor Who was an obvious choice, Watson said, being "an absolute gift for VR".

"An adventure where you put people in the TARDIS, and they helped the Doctor to save the universe in some form or other, was just an obvious and amazing thing to do in VR," she explained. Read more

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