Doctor Who Google Doodle
On November 23rd 2013, the Google doodle team unveiled the most complex doodle the search engine has ever produced. The Doctor Who Google Doodle celebrated 50 years of the BBC’s Doctor Who science fiction series and was the result of a petition which was signed by over 4000 of the series’ fans. The Doctor Who Google Doodle, or “Whodle” as it was known within Google, featured a game with multiple levels.
In order to play the game, users clicked the play icon which comprised the second “O” of the Google logo. The Doctor Who Google Doodle featured the eleven Doctors in 8-bit form marching on top of the Google logo. Once pressed a Dalek (Doctor Who’s evil nemesis) moves across the screen and users were invited to select a Doctor to play as. The premise of the game was simple, the Daleks had stolen the letters from the Google logo and users had to retrieve them. The game based Doctor Who Google Doodle can still be played by clicking here.
Players were required to make use of levers in order to control moving tiles, whilst avoiding Daleks, Cybermen and other evil aliens and monsters which patrolled the games mazes. To control the Doctor players made use of the arrow keys or mouse buttons. The eleven actors who played Doctor Who during the program’s 50 years of screening were incorporated as lives for the player. The games levels were set in a wide range of scenarios including a cemetery and London’s iconic Tower Bridge. Despite the simplicity of the game, many users found it challenging to the extent that a number of walkthrough guides were released.
The now legendary Doctor Who television series first appeared on British television on Saturday 23rd November 1963 at 17:15, on the channel BBC 1. The program was to be a weekly series with each episode lasting 25 minutes. Initially the series was designed to be a family friendly show which educated viewers on scientific ideas and iconic moments in history. This notion was abandoned in favour of a series which featured a time travelling protagonist battling against numerous alien adversaries, in order to save humanity and the universe.
The first 26 series’ of the program were produced by the BBC drama department’s Serial Division. However, the program was suspended in 1989 by Jonathon Powell, then controller of BBC 1. The reason for the suspension was decreases in viewing numbers and public interest. The suspension was not a complete cancellation of the show as the BBC claimed they would return to the series. The BBC aimed to find an external production company for future series’ of the program.
The BBC were approached by Philip Segal, who worked for the television wing of Columbia Pictures in America, with the hope of producing the program through Columbia Pictures. Although he approached the BBC during 1989 whilst the 26th series was still in production, it was not until 1996 that the Doctor Who television film was broadcast. The televised film was the result of collaborative efforts between Fox, Universal Pictures, BBC Worldwide and the BBC. Whilst the film was well received in the UK, gaining over 9.1 million viewers, it was much less popular in America and subsequently a series was not produced.
It was not until 2005 that Doctor Who returned to the Britain’s television screens. The Doctor returned on March 26th in an episode entitled “The Rose”, which appeared on BBC 1. The series differs from other science fiction remakes, such as Battlestar Gallactica, as the later series’ after 2005 and the television movie were a direct continuation of the original 1963-1989 series.
This is not the first time the Google Doodle team have created a game based doodle to celebrate a significant date like the Doctor Who Google Doodle. Earlier in 2013, a game based doodle was created to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the Roswell Landing.