Attack of the Graske was a Doctor Who video game of the interactive movie genre. It premiered on BBC Red Button at the time of the broadcast of TV: The Christmas Invasion. It was later placed on the series 2 DVD box set, to be played by home viewers around the world. It was converted for play in a web browser, and was available on the official BBC Doctor Who website until the discontinuation of Adobe Flash in 2021.
Like the popular arcade game Dragon's Lair, it was in many respects a "proper" motion-picture production. It required a full television crew to produce. Judged as a piece of television, it has unusual aspects — it is the only BBC Wales Doctor Who production filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio. It was the first DWU production for which director Ashley Way and writer Gareth Roberts were credited. It was also the first time that Rory Taylor received onscreen credit as a director of photography.
Seen as a game, Graske was not actually the first of its kind. Destiny of the Doctors has essentially the same game mechanics. However, this game's independence of platform has given it far more longevity and universality than the earlier Destiny.
A Graske is loose and causing havoc. Can you help to stop him? Become the Doctor's companion and save the world!
After the Doctor drops Rose Tyler off in 1979 to see ABBA, he picks up a human in his TARDIS and tells them he needs their help. The Doctor tells the human he has been watching their adventures and imbues their remote control with the powers of the sonic screwdriver, allowing them to interact with the proceedings.
The Doctor begins by showing the human a family (two parents, two grandparents and two children) who are enjoying Christmas but the Doctor tells the human that one of these people is a Changeling in disguise. The human must watch the scene play out to determine which one of them is the alien. They are given the choice of either watching through the family's television, or through the daughter's handheld video camera. After the scene has played out, it is revealed that the Mum is the Changeling (the giveaway being her eyes glowing). The Doctor watches as she then leads the father away from the rest of the family and a small alien appears in front of them. It then zaps the father with a small device before disappearing. The father's eyes then start glowing as well.
The Doctor then tells the human that the alien was a Graske. He adds that they need to follow it which he can do but asks the human to pilot the TARDIS. The Doctor then gives instructions of which switch to press and the human safely guides them through the void. They arrive in 1883 ahead of the Graske and the human must look for the Graske's DNA blip to appear to determine exactly where it is arriving. The blip shows the Graske is in London and the human watches another Christmas playing out and has to spot where the Graske is hiding. The scene shows a gentleman offering mulled wine to people, a street urchin asking for money (adding that he's saving up for a satsuma) and a theatre star handing out flyers for her latest performance. If the human looks closely, they will see the Graske hiding behind a postbox. It then emerges, much to everyone's shock, and zaps the urchin before disappearing once again. The urchin's eyes then also start glowing.
The Doctor and the human then follow the Graske again; this time to it's home planet Griffoth. The Doctor tells the human to get out there as they are "the star of this show" adding that he will guide them in the TARDIS through the sonic screwdriver. The human then has to solve a series of puzzles to get through a number of doors before arriving in the main chamber. They see a vast number of pods being tended by the Graske. The Doctor tells the human that these pods contain the originals of all the creatures they have snatched throughout the universe; adding that they have to be kept alive in order for the duplicates to be sustained. He notices that a Slitheen is in one of the pods. They then watch as the Graske they followed from Earth walks in. It then slots its device into a console and the father and the urchin then appear inside two pods. The Graske then spots the human and fires a shot which misses and deflects around the room before striking the Slitheen's pod. An alarm sounds and the Slitheen bursts out of it's pod before chasing the Graske around the room. The Doctor then tells the human that they have the chance to do one of two things: they can either reverse the settings, thereby destroying the Changelings and teleporting all the originals back to the time and place they were taken from. Or they can use the Graske's stasis control against them, freezing everyone and everything in the base.
There are two possible endings depending on what the human chooses:
- If the human chooses the teleport option, then all of the originals vanish from their pods, including the Slitheen, one by one. Back at the family's house, the mother and father are returned to normal. They see the rest of the family just sitting down doing nothing so the father encourages them to enjoy themselves. The daughter then records a video of the whole family shouting "Merry Christmas!"
- If the human chooses the stasis option, the entire base freezes, thereby trapping the Graske and all their victims. Back at the family's house, the Changeling mother and family begin talking mechanically and the daughter storms off, believing that her parents are trying to ruin Christmas.
The Doctor then comments on the choice the human made and takes them home. Their "score" is then evaluated.
Having returned home the Doctor removes the powers of the sonic screwdriver from the human's remote; warning them that if they switch to ITV later on then there is a risk the galaxy may implode. Depending on what option the human chose, the Doctor will say that either the human is not quite ready to be a companion (but was not far off and should try again), or he will comment on how impressed he is with the human, saying that perhaps one day he will pick them up. The Doctor then bids the human farewell and leaves to pick up Rose.
- Tenth Doctor - David Tennant
- Human - The player
- Mum - Lisa Palfrey
- Dad - Nicholas Beveney
- Girl - Mollie Kabia
- Boy - James Harris
- Granddad - Robin Meredith
- Grandma - Gwenyth Petty
- Graske - Jimmy Vee
- Urchin - Ben Oliver
- Older Man - Roger Nott
- Young woman - Catherine Olding
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|General production staff
Camera and lighting department
For BBC Red Button
|Make-up and prosthetics
Special and visual effects
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
Technically, the casting credit on this adventure is "Casting", rather than "Casting Director"
- The Doctor is aware that the human has been watching his adventures.
- The Doctor notes that Griffoth has "got as many doors as Jim Morrison".
The Doctor's TARDIS
- The dimensional stabiliser, vortex loop and the vector tracker are TARDIS components which can be operated by the human at home with either the digital remote control or a computer mouse which has been temporarily linked with the sonic screwdriver.
Food and beverages
- This story immediately followed The Christmas Invasion and was initially only available to subscribers to the BBC Red Button interactive service. Viewers were able to pilot the TARDIS and fight the Graske both on its native world of Griffoth and in Victorian London. From Wednesday 18 January 2006, the story was available to access via the BBC website, but only for UK residents. It was subsequently made available to international users of the website as well. As of January 2021, the game is no longer available officially to play.
- Technically, David Tennant is not credited in this episode as "the Doctor". He receives only pre-title billing. This makes this the only Doctor Who television production which does not credit the role of "the Doctor" or "Doctor Who". This includes Mission to the Unknown, in which the Doctor doesn't even appear at all.
- The Doctor mentions that if the human switches their television to ITV tonight the galaxy may implode, a reference to the rivalry between the BBC and ITV. In his eleventh incarnation, he said that ITV had gone off the air in the second Doctor Who Proms, as a result of saving the Royal Albert Hall and the BBC Proms.
- The question of whether this episode "counts" as a television story is somewhat muddied by its interactive nature. Some regard it primarily as a game, rather than an episode.
- However, a possible reference to the events of the story can be heard in The Sarah Jane Adventures story Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?, which featured the first undisputed valid appearance of the Graske on-screen, in which Sarah Jane Smith makes reference to there being "some Graske activity on Earth" a couple of years earlier. Gareth Roberts wrote both stories.
- Changelings and Graske activity at Christmas are also mentioned by Jack Harkness in Monster File: Christmas, using footage from this adventure.
- The story is also counted as an episode in Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia; the episode index at the back of the 2011 edition of the encyclopedia places it between Tooth and Claw and School Reunion.
to be added
- When Urchin was turned into a Changeling Double, the bottom of his cup has disappeared and you can see the snow instead of the base of the cup.
- Play Attack of the Graske on the BBC website (now defunct)
- Transcript of Attack of the Graske at Chrissie's Transcripts Site