A 16-Bit Version of Doctor Who's "Blink?" Why Yes, Thank You!

Categories: Doctor Who

Awhile back I was lauding some of the excellent modern TV shows remade as classic video games. Of course, most of them were actually just animations done in the style of old-school gaming, not actual playable entries. Some, though, like the Twilight video, were actually able to be controlled through in-video links. That was honestly pretty cool, but why settle for Twilight when you could have a chance to rock a 16-bit version of Doctor Who's "Blink?"

Doctor Octoroc, the same man behind the excellent 8-bit version of Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, is moving into the Whoniverse with the above teaser trailer. This time, he plans on making the video fully interactive so that you can control The Doctor in a point and click adventure.

"Blink" is one of the most brilliant episodes of the rebooted Doctor Who series, and is wildly popular despite the fact that The Doctor and companion Martha Jones are barely in it. Instead, it follows a woman named Sally Sparrow as she attempts to solve the mysterious clues left to her by The Doctor, who is now stranded in England's past without his TARDIS after having been hurled there by The Weeping Angels, a race of stone statues that feed off displaced temporal energy.

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Doctor Octoroc
"My plan all along has been to adapt the 'Blink' episode into the story from The Doctor's point of view since his appearances in that particular episode are scarce," said Octoroc via e-mail. "I thought it would be a fun challenge to come up with all the clever ways that The Doctor went about arranging for his own rescue and to see all those events that we didn't get to see in the original episode. It's also one of my favorite episodes from the series and the feeling is generally mutual among Doctor Who fans across the board."

Octoroc works as a professional animator for a living, so Alex Zemke and his amazing-looking Portal short on the horizon the project is something he only gets to work on after the regular day's art is done. Still, he's hoping to have it ready to go sometime this year. At the very least we're scheduled to get a new teaser by the summer. Once the scripts and basic animations are done, the project shouldn't require much more than a month to complete.

What he's done so far looks amazing in 16-bit format, and we can be glad he either helping the overpopulation of 8-bit kitsch flooding the pop culture sphere at the moment, or attempt to move into the graphically superior, but still somewhat inadequate realms of 32 and 64-bit.

"Once you get to the Genesis and SNES eras of gaming, the artists upped the ante exponentially so there's a higher level of detail that many people don't feel like spending the time to replicate," said Octoroc. "I like that I have access to the extended use of color palettes available in the 16-bit color scheme but can maintain the simplicity of the style that 32-bit games lack. The problem with 32-bit and 64-bit games is that the technology hadn't quite caught up to their intended use, and most of the really good-looking games from those eras were side scrollers with pixel art done by hand instead of art converted to a simpler palette."

You can bet we'll be the first to tell you more on this project as it develops. Unfortunately, it will remain on YouTube as an interactive video, since BBC isn't likely to grant license for an actual platform game any time soon. Thus fears of there never being a great Doctor Who video game continue.


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