The BBC is producing a new Doctor Who Adventure Game called The Gunpowder Plot, featuring a cast including Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Ralf Little, who’s playing the role of Guy Fawkes.
Guy Fawkes was part of a group of English Catholics who planned to blow up the House of Parliament over 400 years ago. The plan had been to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic King or Queen to the throne, and the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 is still celebrated today across the UK. November 5 is known as Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, where firework and bonfire parties are enjoyed across the country.
The game lets users experience a pivotal moment in British history – an event that could’ve transformed British society had it succeeded – through an interactive downloadable game of what is one of the BBC’s biggest export TV shows. The last four-game Doctor Who series, released in 2010, notched up almost 3m downloads.
Here’s the synopsis for the Gunpowder Plot:
After a mid-space collision, the Doctor, Amy and Rory crash land on Earth, 1605 AD. Here they discover that a mothership belonging to the Sontaran’s age-old enemy, the Rutan Host, is on Earth. The only problem – the ship is buried deep below the site upon which the House of Lords has now been built.
Meanwhile, a secret society of malcontents is plotting to overthrow the Government by planting gunpowder beneath the House of Lords. Two members of this society are exposed in our story – Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes. The 14th plotter, hitherto undisclosed in the history books, is a shape-shifting Rutan, who, by infiltrating the plotters and controlling their plans can have her ends met – the launch path cleared for her mothership, deep below the foundations of the House of Lords.
And so the Doctor, Amy and Rory must find a way to stop the plotters, the Sontarans and the Rutans, all of whom are intent on blowing something (if not everything!) to pieces.
This game puts the player in the shoes of one of the TARDIS crew, exploring the streets and communities of 1605 London, to become embroiled in the Gunpowder Plot as it draws to its explosive conclusion. The aim is to get beneath Parliament to stop the aliens starting a war on Earth, ensure that Guy Fawkes is arrested, everyone inside the House of Lords is safe – and above all, make sure history stays on its correct path…
Despite the introduction of a new ‘alien’ element to the story, Actor Ralf Little thinks the Gunpowder Plot game could appeal to a young generation of learners and act as an educational tool:
“It is a way of bringing the story alive to, probably, millions of kids who are aware of the name Guy Fawkes because of November the 5th, but not actually really understand what the historical significance is behind it.”
The game was commissioned by Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV and TV Online Content, BBC Vision – in collaboration with Controller of BBC Learning, Saul Nasse, and it’s being developed by UK game development studio, Sumo Digital Ltd.
Doctor Who: The Gunpowder Plot will be available as a free download in the UK only, for PC and Mac, from the Doctor Who website on October 31.