Published on November 16th, 2010 | by Andrew Reynolds
Oli Smith is the writerÂ behind the Doctor’s first foray into the world of console gaming, scripting and story outlining both Doctor Who: Return to Earth for the Wii and Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth for the DS.
Return to Earth sees players get the chance to control AmyÂ or the Doctor as they help the SS Lucy Gray, a human colony ship, return to earth, unravelling a Cyber plot and preventing the Daleks from harnessing the power of a Time Axis on the way.
Meanwhile Evacuation Earth (pictured, right), set before Return, sees Amy and the Doctor arrive in the Lake District to watch theÂ SS Lucy Gray leave the planet before a solar flare attack, only for the TARDIS to be fused to the ship.
The Doctor and Amy scramble on board to free the TARDIS, only to discover the ship canâ€™t leave- the Silurians have built a ship underneath the fleeing craft- While, waiting above them, looms a Dalek space craft.
Having turned his hand to professional writing during his gap year Smith discovered the world of small press comics. Penning and inking his own work, he set about handing out copies around comic conventions and from his own market stall – London Underground Comics in Camden.
A chance meeting with Clayton Hickman at the Doctor Who Magazine table at one such convention lead several commisions including Total Eclipse of the Heart, being published in the Doctor Who Storybook 2010 and Blue Moon, which was published on the BBC website to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.
Firstly, Doctor Who: Return to Earth and Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth: What can you tell us about each game?
Evacuation Earth is a â€˜point-and-clickâ€™ puzzle-adventure with a Douglas Adams-y kind of tone. Itâ€™s funny (I hope), with some gorgeous artwork and a cast of slightly crazy characters!
Return to Earth sees the player return to the Lucy Gray, the original crew are long since gone and the ship has had quite an overhaul during its time amongst the stars. But on itâ€™s way home something sinister has happened…
Itâ€™s a third-person action-adventure game with a lot of epic moments and some very nifty puzzle-elements. Itâ€™s also got my favourite character in the form of Ivy, the shipâ€™s AI, and the actress who plays her gives this wonderfully funny deadpan performance. It also features the rather surreal use of some somersaulting yappy-dog toys!
It sounds like the games should be played in that order, but both are complete, stand-alone adventures. Theyâ€™re aimed very much at the showâ€™s audience, so kids aged 7-12, although I hope the whole family can enjoy them, especially the Wii game- thereâ€™s a few nods and winks for the parents and I know Iâ€™ll be sitting on the sofa with my eight-year-old brother helping him through the tricky bits!