Weird interactive chat bots are becoming all the rage these days, but not all of them let you go on an adventure in time and space with Peter Capaldi just by signing on to Skype, do they?
Announced this week, the BBC and Microsoft have launched Doctor Who: The Saviour of Time, a six-part adventure series. Written by The Sarah Jane Adventures' Joseph Lidster and with new dialogue recorded by Peter Capaldi, the chat bot uses the instant messaging service to thrust you into a new adventure with the Twelfth Doctor — tasked with journeying across the universe from the comfort of your Skype client to recover the six fractured segments of the Key to Time, just like the classic story arc from 1978 season of the show. Only, you know, with more text messaging.
The first part of the adventure is available through Skype now, with the five remaining chapters being doled out weekly every Monday, after new episodes of Doctor Who's 10th season air worldwide.
I actually ran through the first chapter last night, and unlike some other recent branded chatbot attempts, it's actually surprisingly well done. You can be a bit more loose with your responses to it and still have it work, instead of breaking down into a frustrating exercise and finding the right keyword.
Weird, no reaction to that one.
It's short, and the few "puzzles" are simple to figure out — mainly a few questions about the solar system and basic maths problems, designed so that even younger audiences could get along all right — but still, it's pretty good at capturing the essence of Capaldi's Doctor in the writing, and with the promise of more chapters on the way, it's a fun little tie-in to the current season.
If you're interested in adding the Doctor himself to your Skype contact list, you can download the chat bot here.