Doctor Who: The Runaway was a virtual reality video game created by the BBC. It featured the Thirteenth Doctor, voiced by Jodie Whittaker, in the TARDIS, taking the individual Player on a brief adventure.
The game was released on 16 May 2019 in two versions: An interactive version with a run time of 13 minutes on Oculus Store and Vive Port for use on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and a 360 degree version with a run time of 11 minutes on BBC VR App for use on Oculus Go and GearVR. On 16 January 2020, it was adapted and released on YouTube as a 360 degree webcast.
- Fans will find themselves at the centre of this wonderfully animated story, helped by the natural charm and humour of Jodie Whittaker, in an adventure that really captures the magic of Doctor Who. Viewers truly are in for a treat - for those who ever dreamed of helping to pilot the TARDIS, this is your opportunity!
- This is the most ambitious project yet from our team in the BBC VR Hub, and the result is a magical adventure that Doctor Who fans everywhere will simply love. It also shows the enormous potential that virtual reality has for creating new kinds of experiences that appeal to mainstream audiences.
The Player wakes up inside the TARDIS and is greeted by the Thirteenth Doctor, who scans you with her sonic screwdriver, saying you got caught in a "flying alien versus space vehicle accident" and twisted your ankle, knee and got a bruised hip, and proceeds to tell you to stay calm and still.
Saying that, in fact, they should ALL stay calm, she turns on some music, but quickly turns it off as it is rock music. She does acknowledge she generally "love[s] the track, [as it's] great for cardio". She next tries another track, but finds out it's pop music. Finally, the Doctor tries a third one. This time, it's relaxing mood music, and the Doctor says she can feel both hearts slowing down.
She then introduce you to Volta, and Engarian entity made of pure energy that can explode when stressed and turn into a black hole, unless he is back in his own galaxy. She has built a machine to help it stay calm. She then gives Volta a very mild tell-off for running away from home to discover and tells him that his parents are worried sick, until they are attacked by the Special Positron Undercover Death Squad, a unit who specializes in hunting down and destroying whatever threatens the very stability of the universe.
They start searching the TARDIS for instabilities and clears the Doctor and you but finds Volta volatile and announce a strict violation of Code 27592KJGD9 and ask nicely to hand over all explosive items onboard or else the TARDIS and all its content would be destroyed, giving her 30 seconds to comply.
As the seconds go, the Doctor tells you they need to get away and gives you her sonic, connecting it to a steering map so you can fly the TARDIS while she tries to calm down Volta.
As the TARDIS continues to hurtle through space, the Squad offers you a final chance. However, they end up having to use stasis clamps to stop you, so close to the Engarian home planet. As the emergency power in the TARDIS turns on, the Squad prepares for destruction as the Doctor finds a headlight. She tries to start the TARDIS to no avail as the Squad counts down.
She then finds a box of puppetry from an old acquaintance that you can try calming Volta with. As you do that, the Doctor tries to fix the circuits of the TARDIS. She then sends out an electro-magnetic pulse and starts up the TARDIS to find them in the Engarians' galaxy, next to the planet.
However, she realizes that the EMP has triggered Volta's stress instability and he grows bigger, then miniaturizes into a bright ball and explodes into a black hole that sucks everything in.
As the Doctor holds on to the console she tells you to transfer the electro-magnetic energy into the time rotor by using the sonic. As it doesn't work, the Doctor slams the machine holding Volta, which eventually sends Volta hurtling towards the wall and returning to his own form.
He then flies around the TARDIS, thanking the Doctor and you for helping as his parents turns up to pick him up.
The Doctor then congratulates you and prepares to send you back to Earth, but stops and ask you if you are ready for another trip.
- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- SPUDS Officer - Richard Eifyn
- Motion Capture Performance - Maria McClurg
The Runaway Edit
Sound and Music Edit
- Music composed by - Segun Akinola
- Sound Design & Mix - Guillaume Moutardier
- Music Recorded and Mixed by - Olga FitzRoy
- Cello - David Cohen
- Guitar - Andrew Cooksley
- Original Theme Music by - Ron Grainer
- Executive Producer - Matt Strevens
- Creative Director - Jo Pearce
- Producer - Matthew Rogers
- Script Executive - Sam Hoyle
- Producer (motion capture) - Alex Mercer
- Commissioning Editor, VR - Zillah Watson
- Producer - Niall Hill
- Programme Manager - Katie Hudson
- Technical Consultant - David Johnston
- Production Manager - Angela Crago
- Head of Passion Experience - Katie Grayson
- Executive Producer - Pierre-Arthur Goulet
- Producer - Matt Saxton
- Producer - Rick Bland
- Production Assistant - Rita Oliveira
- Story development - Hunter Andrews
Visual and Interactive Development by Passion Paris Edit
- Pre-Production Manager - Emmanuelle Pianko
- Interactive Development - Thibault Samson
- Character Development - Gwenn Germain, Jules Rigole
- Visual look Development - Anaïs Marmonier
Developed for VR by Innerspace Edit
- Hadrien Lanvin
- Balthazar Auxietre
- Julien Le Corre
- Pierre Riom
- Fabrice Gaston
- Hayoun Kwon
- Guillaume Bertinet
- Maxime Grange
- Quentin Renaud
- Alice Boudry
Animation by Kombbo @ Passion Paris Edit
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor mentions her binary vascular system.
- The Player uses the sonic to pilot the TARDIS via a visual piloting aid.
Story notes Edit
- The description at the bottom of the end credits reads; "This work benefited from the French Tax Rebate for International Production." The "French Tax Rebate for International Production" is a refund on taxes in France, when the tax liability is less than the taxes paid for production of something for international releases.
- The description also features the Unreal Engine logo and underneath it reads, "2019, Epic Games, Inc.. All rights reserved. Unreal, Unreal Engine, and the Unreal Engine logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere."
- After the end credits has finished rolling and the BBC logo has faded, the Player uses the sonic screwdriver to turn off the game.
Changes for the YouTube adaptation Edit
- During the TARDIS's escape from the SPUDS to the Outer Galaxies, the Doctor puts the ship on autopilot instead of the Player steering it. The crystalline time rotor seems to disappear during this.
- The Player does not attempt to calm Volta with toys while the Doctor repairs the TARDIS's lights.