Even though Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor is considered a darker, more dour reincarnation of the sci-fi icon, that doesn’t mean he isn’t child-friendly. The BBC is on the cusp of launching the free online kids game, The Doctor and the Dalek, created to help teach computer skills while utilizing the fan-favorite universe of the Doctor. Diehard fans may want to medicinally forget everything they know about computers so that this game will be as fresh as possible.
Releasing on Wednesday, October 22, The Doctor and the Dalek features the voice of Capaldi as the Time Lord beginning a dangerous mission. He receives a distress call from a Dalek, and rather than just laughing at his enemy’s discontented existence, he decides to answer the challenge. The Doctor and the Dalek team up for a quest to “save all of creation from destruction” (via THR), which sounds like quite an adventure. The game is full of puzzles and duties like “having to take control of the Dalek and program it to ‘power up’ its ability to perform a range of tasks, such as flying.” The point is to unlock enough achievements to that the Dalek can get stronger and take on bigger and bigger jobs.
Wait a minute. That sounds to me like the perfect way to get the Doctor to seal his own fate, by making him help his enemy get strong enough to destroy him. But we’re going to assume that this isn’t some ploy by the BBC to turn players into Dalek sympathizers.
Doctor Who and Wizards vs. Aliens scribe Phil Ford wrote the game, and he is also responsible for the Doctor Who: The Adventure Games series. It serves as one part of the BBC’s Make It Digital campaign, which is meant to invigorate technological education in children of all ages. According to BBC director of television, Danny Cohen, it’s “an excellent example of how a hugely popular BBC show can give fans something extra, while also introducing wider audiences to increasingly important skills, such as coding and programming.”
Unfortunately for Doctor Who fans around the globe, it looks like the BBC Learning game will only be available for U.K. residents (at least at first), and can be found at the CBeebies website here. Maybe the game teaches kids how to be so computer-literate that they can figure out how to change an IP address to make it look like they’re situated in the U.K. even when they aren’t.