Today (Saturday, November 23rd, 2013) marks the 50th anniversary of the long-time-running British science fiction series Doctor Who. This day also marks when the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and its affiliates aired the 50th-anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” around the world. To commemorate this wonderful milestone in science fiction history, Google presents a “Google Doodle” to its users that honors the show’s 50th anniversary.
Doctor Who first aired on the BBC Network on November 23rd, 1963 (according to The BBC), with the episode “An Unearthly Child,” starring William Hartnell (The First Doctor). The original Doctor Who series aired until 1989 and was later “rebooted” in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston playing “The Ninth Doctor.”
According to The Guardian, the Doctor Who Google Doodle (commonly referred to as the “Whodle”) was created by a team of five people under the direction of Matthew Cruickshank who has been working at the search engine giant for a little over a year.
The “Whodle” is not just a static image on Google’s front page displaying ALL 11 regenerations of “The Doctor” (in arcade-computing form) throughout the history of the show, but it is also an interactive game (involving two well-known Doctor Who villains: Daleks and Cybermen) that the user can play after they have clicked on their favorite Doctor from the image. Cruickshank elaborates on the game for the “Whodle,” as well as giving props to his crew in an interview with The Guardian:
“It’s the first game that I’ve designed. But it’s the technicians and programmers that actually make the game. I just art direct, create the assets, set the visual tone, design the characters, and then do pieces of animation.”
Cruickshank also added, in his interview with The Guardian, that he did not have much time to create the “Whodle,” stating “It was about four months ago that an employee here who’s a massive Doctor Who fan added it to our list of potential doodles. We looked through it and realised that this was something special, a chance to really celebrate a national institution.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly (EW), Cruickshank explains how to navigate through the game, avoid the Daleks and Cybermen, acquire as many Google letters as you can, and return back to the TARDIS as soon as you can :
“What’s interesting about this is it’s a global doodle. So we can’t use any language. So it’s very visual in terms of how to control The Doctor. When you play the game you’ll see it’s a very rich world with a lot of dimension and perspective. The challenge was ‘How can we get the idea across that you can use your mouse, or controls on tablet or keyboard? How can you navigate the Doctor?’ So it’s very much a point and click game in terms of using your mouse to navigate to an area and once you click on that specific square the doctor will move there.”
How did you like the “Whodle” celebrating Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, and how far did you get in the game? Post your comments about the “Whodle” and game strategies below in this post’s comments section.
Various Doctor Who fanatics on Twitter have posted their reactions about today’s “Whodle”
— Schylar Shae Hill (@SchylarShae) November 23, 2013
— Caroline Orsi (@CorsiOrsi) November 23, 2013
— Duncan Bailey (@duncsbailey) November 23, 2013
— Chris Hardwick (@nerdist) November 23, 2013
[Image source: Google screen shot (November 23rd, 2013)
Oh my god, Doctor Who fans: you must see — and play — today's Google doodle. https://t.co/cqW8Zz4Cvm
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) November 23, 2013