The BBC has unveiled a series of four free-to-play downloadable titles for the PC and Mac entitled Doctor Who: The Adventure Games.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing creators Sumo Digital will develop the games, with help from Broken Sword creator Charles Cecil. Although Cecil's exact contribution has not been announced it is likely to be similar to the story and design role he took on The Da Vinci Code film tie-in.
The "interactive episodes" will be overseen by current television show executive producer Steven Moffat and other television staff from BBC Wales Interactive, with a script by TV writers Phil Ford and James Moran.
New Doctor Who actors Matt Smith and Karen Gillan will reprise their roles with full voice-overs, accompanied by music from TV series composer Murray Gold. Each episode is expected to be two hours long, with the first becoming available in June.
The project has been commissioned for BBC Online by the Vision Multiplatform team and is being driven by BBC Wales Interactive. Gamesindustry.biz understands that the project is entirely separate from the rumoured Wii and Nintendo DS title, which is a retail product overseen by commercial arm BBC Worldwide and to be distributed by Koch Media.
Although the BBC has dabbled in videogame tie-ins before a lack of global appeal for most of its properties has resulted solely in low budget releases. The last Doctor Who tie-in was an adaption of the Top Trumps card game for Wii and DS.
"There aren't 13 episodes of Doctor Who this year," adds Piers Wenger, head of drama at BBC Wales and executive producer of Doctor Who. "There are 17 - four of which are interactive. Everything you see and experience within the game is part of the Doctor Who universe: we'll be taking you to places you've only ever dreamed about seeing - including locations impossible to create on television."
"A few years ago we couldn't have dreamt of commissioning such an innovative form of drama. By integrating the creation of these 'interactive episodes' with the development of the TV series, we've been able to create amazing two-hour dramas in which you control the action," said Simon Nelson, head of BBC Multiplatform in Vision.
"Establishing new forms of drama is exactly what the BBC should be doing. By aiming these 'interactive episodes' at the broad audience of TV show - unique in British television, in that it encompasses at least three generations - we're aiming to encourage the family to gather round the PC or Mac in the same way they do the television," he added.
"Driving computer literacy is a keystone of the BBC's public service remit and we expect Doctor Who: The Adventure Games to be hugely popular in the homes of Britain this year," said Nelson.