The Runaway: Doctor Who VR special lands on YouTube
Staff Reporter | On 25, Jan 2020Reading time: 5 mins
More Doctor Who fans can now step inside a VR version of the TARDIS as the BBC’s hit virtual reality experience Doctor Who: The Runaway comes to the Doctor Who YouTube channel and launches internationally.
The VR experience stars Jodie Whittaker voicing an animated version of the Thirteenth Doctor, a role she’s just reprised in the new series on TV. The viewer crash lands in the TARDIS and is quickly recruited by the Doctor to help return a strange and potentially dangerous creature called Volta to its home planet.
Where previously the experience has only been available to view on VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR, the YouTube 360 version enables anyone with an entry level VR headset, such as a Google Cardboard, to step into the TARDIS and try out the adventure for themselves.
The international launch will also enable the show’s fans around the world to team up with the Doctor in virtual reality. Until now, The Runaway has only been available in the UK, but is now available globally for free on the Steam store for the first time, is launching on the Oculus and Viveport stores internationally, and globally on the BBC VR app for the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR.
Doctor Who: The Runaway features new original music from series composer Segun Akinola, and is directed by Mathias Chelebourg, whose previous work in virtual reality includes Alice, the Virtual Reality Play and The Real Thing VR. The script was an original story written by Victoria Asare-Archer.
Doctor Who: The Runaway has been produced by the BBC’s digital drama team, BBC VR Hub and Passion Animation Studios. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and has since been shown at the Sandbox Immersive Festival in China and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, among many others.
The BBC VR Hub has also taken it on an extensive tour of UK libraries, enabling people without VR headsets to try it in their local library.
The Runaway: Doctor Who VR special out now
16th May 2019
The Runaway, Doctor Who’s new VR special, is available to stream from today.
The brand new virtual reality experience lets fans step inside a VR version of the TARDIS for the first time. Jodie Whittaker voices an animated version of the Thirteenth Doctor, who recruits the viewer 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 their own sonic screwdriver, it’s down to the viewer to help the Doctor as she faces the forces of evil.
Jo Pearce, creative director for the BBC’s digital drama team, says: “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!”
Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub, adds: “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.”
Doctor Who: The Runaway is available for UK audiences to download for free in two versions. The immersive interactive version is available from the Oculus Store and Vive Port for use on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive with a runtime of 13 minutes. The 360 degree video version is also available to download from the BBC VR App for the Oculus Go and GearVR with a runtime of 11 minutes.
Featuring new original music from series composer Segun Akinola, Doctor Who: The Runaway has been written by Victoria Asare-Archer and directed by Mathias Chelebourg, whose previous VR includes Alice, the Virtual Reality Play and The Real Thing VR. It has been produced by the BBC’s digital drama team, BBC VR Hub and Passion Animation Studios.
Fans who don’t have headsets at home may be able to catch Doctor Who: The Runaway at their local library, in what is the most BBC move imaginable.To find out if your local library is showing it check this online schedule, which is being updated each week with details of where the tour is heading next: http://www.bbc.co.uk/vrtour
Doctor Who to return in VR special
15th February 2019
With a long wait until the next season of Doctor Who, the Beeb has revealed that the Time Lord and her TARDIS will return much sooner than expected, with a new VR special set to debut this year.
Doctor Who fans will be able to step inside a virtual reality version of the TARDIS in the immersive adventure called Doctor Who: The Runaway. The new original story will see Jodie Whittaker reprise her role as the Doctor in animated form. It will run for around 12 minutes and place fans right next to the Thirteenth Doctor, as she finds herself facing a deadly threat.
Featuring new original music from series composer Segun Akinola, Doctor Who: The Runaway has been written by Victoria Asare-Archer and directed by Mathias Chelebourg, whose previous VR films include Alice, the Virtual Reality Play and The Real Thing VR. It has been produced by the BBC’s digital drama team, BBC VR Hub and Passion Animation Studios.
Jo Pearce, creative director for the BBC’s digital drama team, says: “Fans will experience the TARDIS like never before in this thrilling new interactive story. As ever, the Doctor is full of warmth, wit and charm – helped by a wonderful performance from Jodie – which puts fans at the heart of the story as they immerse themselves in this beautifully animated world.”
Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub, adds: “Our team at the BBC VR Hub has been creating new experiences with the goal of helping to usher virtual reality into the mainstream, and Doctor Who is exactly the sort of series that can help more people to try this new technology. The show has been pushing boundaries for over 55 years, and VR enables Doctor Who to explore a whole new dimension of storytelling.”
Doctor Who: The Runaway will be available on selected VR headsets in the coming months.