Doctor Who game: Downloadable 'interactive episodes' materialising this summer

The fresh-faced new Doctor and his lovely companion will be appearing in four free games to accompany the series, produced by Broken Sword veteran Charles Cecil

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The new Doctor, fresh from saving the world with nothing more than a laptop, a camera phone and a ginger kissogram, will be appearing on your laptop in a new series of downloadable games. The BBC has pulled out the big guns for Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, with full voice-overs from the Doctor and his lovely companion Amy Pond.

The games are billed as 'interactive episodes', written by Who co-writers Phil Ford and James Moran. Each two hours long, they're produced by games developer Sumo Digital, with guidance from point-and-click adventure legend Charles Cecil. Sumo doesn't have much of a track record in this field, having mainly done arcade racers up to now. But the involvement of Cecil, who made the seminal Broken Sword games, gives it a sheen of respectability.

Doctor Who: The Adventure Games

Bigwigs at the Beeb are blowing hard on the integration of the games with the current series. "By integrating the creation of these 'interactive episodes' with the development of the TV series, we've been able to create amazing two-hour dramas in which you control the action," said Simon Nelson, head of BBC Multiplatform in Vision (whatever that might be).

Keen to justify spending the licence fee on the Daily Mail's bete noire -- video games -- Nelson added, "We're aiming to encourage the family to gather round the PC or Mac in the same way they do the television. Driving computer literacy is a keystone of the BBC's public service remit."

Having said all that, details about what the games will be like are thin on the ground. The episode titles haven't been revealed, nor even what genre they'll fit in. Will they be like old-fashioned CD-ROM full-motion adventures, or point-and-click puzzles like Cecil's Beneath a Steel Sky? The picture above shows the Doctor and Amy thrillingly pushing a cab out of a bomb crater in what looks like Blitz-era London. Let us know in comments what you'd like to see from these Doctor Who games.

This isn't the first time the Doctor has appeared in a video game, of course. You'll all remember the interactive tour de force that was 2008's Top Trumps: Doctor Who for PC, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS.

The first game -- sorry, episode -- will be available for download from the Doctor Who site in June.

Update: The first downloadable episode will be available on 5 June. It's called City of Daleks and starts in a ruined London in 1963. It'll be the first time the Doctor visits the Daleks' capital city, Kaalann. There's more information at the official site.