back to article If poking about Doctor Who's TARDIS in VR sounds like fun to you, better luck next time

Doctor Who fans, faced with waiting until 2020 before the blue police box appears on their screens once more, were thrown a virtual reality bone by the BBC today. As arguably the biggest nerd at Vulture Central, this correspondent was assigned the task of strapping on a Rift and firing up the BBC Digital Drama Team's 13-minute …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear, Dr Who has sunk even lower than the Sylvester McCoy years. I now find myself really rooting for the daleks to finish off what the BBC has done to it, exterminate, exterminate.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Since I was a kid watching the original Dr Who William Hartnell, I have always found it to be a bit too cheesy and the effects amateurish. The best series was the first with Roger Delgado as the Master otherwise I can take it or leave it.

      Maybe they should get some input from any of the excellent British Sci-Fi writers to bring it up to date and I am talking about from a sci-fi perspective not a pc perspective.

      For Space Opera, Peter Hamilton would be interesting, for whacky and bizarre fantasy, China Mieville could put a whole new slant on it.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        This assumes that the BBC care about it being either sci-fi or entertainment. It appears that pushing the producers PC agenda is now their no. 1 objective and entertainment is irrelevant.

        Which is why the viewing figures have dropped by 40% as even hardened Dr Who fans give up watching it, despite a huge nationwide advertising campaign to drum up new viewers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Which is why the viewing figures have dropped by 40%

          Well, that and an actress who seems to think she's in a Victoria Wood skit.

        2. STOP_FORTH
          Terminator

          Role reversal

          This is quite a common complaint about the last series but I think it is mistaken.

          I have been watching this entertaining tripe since the first episode. I will admit I may have missed a few episodes, especially McCoy and after, but I must have seen a good percentage.

          During the Sixties, I distinctly remember a story where the TARDIS landed on a planet where women had all the positions of power and high status jobs, but the poor old men were at home looking after the nippers and doing the washing up. (Can't remember if they were supposed to be human or some other species, but they looked human enough.) The male "companion" thought this was all a bit off and against the natural order of things.

          I wouldn't give some of the recent scripts full marks for subtlety, though.

          (Was going to go for alien, but chose nearest thing to a Cyberman, looks-wise.)

          1. STOP_FORTH
            Happy

            Re: Role reversal

            I can't find the name of this episode, it was probably Hartnell or Troughton era and he had two companions.

            It's quite possible it was wiped, but luckily there was a documentary about the planet in 1980 (in colour!) called "The Worm That Turned" on the News and Current Affairs show "The Two Ronnies".

        3. druck Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          The current show runner seems to think that the Doctor should be a modern SJW sent back through time to look disapprovingly at history, and in particular British history. That finished it for me.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            SJS not SJW

            Sarah Jane Smith

            1. STOP_FORTH
              Happy

              Best comment in thread

              Can't believe it hasn't attracted more upvotes.

      2. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Strange - apart from a David Tennant episode that had a man turning into a lizard - I've not had a great problem with the visuals. I guess it comes down to what you're comparing it to. In the Hartnell days you could get away with much worse because there was so little to compare it to.

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      @AC "Sylvester McCoy years" What? No such thing. LA LA LA not listening. never happened.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ""Sylvester McCoy years" What? No such thing. LA LA LA not listening. never happened."

        Agreed. Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor belongs in the same non-dimensional universe as Jar Jar Binks...

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Sylvester McCoy Years

          I never warmed to Sylvester on the TV series, but I have to admit he's done some excellent stuff on audio for Big Finish, as has Peter Davison, another TV Doctor I never warmed to.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Dare I say it, I liked Sylvester McCoy's doctor. He was better than the previous two as far as I'm concerned. The plots he had to work with, however, were pretty terrible putting it mildly.

        Of all the "new" doctors Peter Capaldi has been my favorite. I wish he'd stuck around longer, but it seems like all Doctors in the new series never stick around for more than three seasons. The writing in his last season definitely took a big dive from the first two seasons, and that's continued if not gotten worse with Jodie Whitaker's Doctor. If they can't fix that, it won't matter who is occupying the role, bad writing will sink the series like it did the original run.

    3. strum Silver badge

      >Dr Who has sunk even lower

      A remark that has been repeated, regularly, for the last 60 years.

      1. STOP_FORTH

        Are these the same people who complain that "Viz isn't as funny as it used to be"?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >Are these the same people who complain that "Viz isn't as funny as it used to be

          Nope, Viz did go shit just like the Simpsons and Family Guy.

      2. STOP_FORTH

        Are you a timelord?

        60 years?

  2. Baldrickk Silver badge

    Sounds to me like the TARDIS VR fan project has a lot more going for it. And that's from two years ago.

    reddit link

    Could have gotten this guy on board and done something great. That said, they could have ruined his work too, so ymmv

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Ah, nice - a proper TARDIS - not the half-hidden, shadowy, cheapo thing Whittaker has been saddled with (but then again, I suppose it matches the quality of Chibnall's scripts - sigh).

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Well at least there's currently a spin-off on TV

    Challenge UK, one of the few UK channels you can get in Europe, currently airs a Doctor Who spin-off, following the life of Graham O'Brien way back into the 1990s when he earned his money by telling people to spin a wheel with numbers on. It's called "Wheel of Fortune" and like the early Doctor Who Episodes it was done pseudo-live on Video. I don't know if it's considered cannonical.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Well at least there's currently a spin-off on TV

      cannonical

      As in fired from?

  4. STOP_FORTH
    Coat

    Anorak, seriously?

    Get a scarf, man.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Anorak, seriously?

      And a towel!

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Anorak, seriously?

        Blow a woman (so to speak) the next Dr Who will be a white mouse.

  5. Semtex451 Silver badge

    "As well as popping up in the Oculus Store, the experience can also be had on HTC Vive"

    Which reminds me to ask what happened to Magic Leap's (in)famous goggles?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What didn't happen?

      Step right up! Step right up!

      With just one Goggles, we can cure all ills. You can see the future. Become beautiful!

      The best to ever be conceived.

      Ok, it's not entirely snake oil, but it's more marketing than product, and may be stuck in limbo for a long time, then release existing rip off/generic hardware passed of as developed in house at a massive markup price and overhyped/pretend specs.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: What didn't happen?

        "release existing rip off/generic hardware passed of as developed in house at a massive markup price and overhyped/pretend specs.

        Why not? It seems to have worked well enough for Water Seer, the 'self filling water bottle', the Snorkel and all the other snake oil startups.

  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    If...

    If I paid the license fee I might choose to be outraged at this waste of public money.

    1. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: If...

      It does seem like the sort of non-core thing that the BBC should be letting BBC Worldwide charge a couple of quid for rather than doing for free.

      I'll never understand why the BBC spends so much on things that aren't news, tv or radio while cutting funding to those things.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: If...

        I'll never understand why the BBC spends so much on things that aren't news, tv or radio while cutting funding to those things.

        I imagine somebody once said back in 1936 that the BBC should stick to radio, and they couldn't understand why any money would be spent on television broadcasting instead.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: If...

          "I imagine somebody once said back in 1936 that the BBC should stick to radio, and they couldn't understand why any money would be spent on television broadcasting instead.

          Yes. That would've been Lord Reith, as it happens.

      2. STOP_FORTH

        Re: If...

        Too right, the original Charter makes no mention of this new-fangled televisual nonsense either.

        (First B is for British, so that'll be Licence Fee thank you very much. Microsoft have a lot to answer for.)

        EDIT: Rats, you must have posted while I was typing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If...

        Inform, educate and entertain and the 3 pillars of the BBC, this looks like it falls into the latter category

  7. SVV Silver badge

    Spoiler Alert!

    In this episode, the Doctor travels almost to the end of time itself, where she meets the last human being alive, who is holding out in a decaying subterranean base and still insisting that the future of technology will be all about VR and AI.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Spoiler Alert!

      "In this episode, the Doctor travels almost to the end of time itself, where she meets the last human being alive, who is holding out in a decaying subterranean base and still insisting that the future of technology will be all about VR and AI."

      and..... Linux on the desktop....

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Linux

        Re: Spoiler Alert!

        At last! Still, I expect the TARDIS already runs on LINUX. That would explain the awful noise it makes when dematerialising and reappearing. Also, why the windows are the wrong size.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Spoiler Alert!

          "That would explain the awful noise it makes when dematerialising and reappearing."

          Nah - that's the handbrake…

          1. STOP_FORTH
            Linux

            Re: Spoiler Alert!

            That's the orthodox explanation, yes. I reckon it's something to do with ALSA, PulseAudio or drivers.

  8. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Devil

    They also told us that Windows Mixed Reality headset wearers are out of the luck this time around.

    Well that's all both of them disappointed then!

  9. Ali Dodd

    Not on Windows Mixed Reality headsets but is on Vive and Rift?

    Considering pretty much anything that supports Rift will work in WMR with no changes either they have

    A) buggered the programming so it's break in 5 minutes when someone does and sdk update

    B) Have no clue about Vr systems and really just mean you don;t get it from the WMR store (which is rubbish anyway)

    Have to say IF samsung release the Odyssey Plus in the UK and when HP release their new headset WMR will be looking pretty damn good. I have an imported Odyssey and it's excellent, sorry Zippy.

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Not interested

    Just not, a big delay is fine, no problem.

    Why?

    Because the Chibnall version is shit!

    RTD and SM had some excellent episodes, this last series is similar in quality to that Peter Kay episode.

    And I have been watching since Jon Pertwee.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Not interested

      I too have been watching since Jon Pertwee, but I thought that Peter Kay episode was excellent. It's not often they manage to sneak in a joke about oral sex in a children's program.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not interested

        "It's not often they manage to sneak in a joke about oral sex in a children's program."

        If you watch and listen carefully to the Sylvester McCoy episodes, there's an awful lot of anti-establishment political comment.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Not interested

        My favourite new ones are

        Blink

        Heaven Sent

        Turn Left

        Girl in the Fireplace

        Human Nature/Family of Blood

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          @ mji Re: Not interested

          I think I'd probably add Silence In The Library/Forest of the Dead and The Time of Angels/Flesh & Stone and a couple of other Stephen Moffatsto that list, myself.

          That's the issue I have with the latest series. There was no absolute stand out, 'must show this one to people who don't watch Doctor Who' episode as there has regularly been in each series of the reboot so far.

          Although Vinay Patel's Demons of the Punjab was probably the strongest of the last lot, it was still no classic.

  11. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    Could be fun...

    But who's the lady in the stripy T-shirt and braces?

    1. Dvon of Edzore
      Alien

      Re: Could be fun...

      Yes.

  12. ukgnome

    Sounds more like Dr No!

  13. airshod

    RIP Doctor Who

    What absolute, utter shite.

    Goodbye Doctor, it was fun whilst it lasted!

  14. Peter Ford

    It's Children's TV

    Some people around here seem to forget that...

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: It's Children's TV

      "It's Children's TV

      Some people around here seem to forget that..."

      That doesn't mean it has to be badly written, badly acted tat so totally full of it's own wokeness that nothing else matters. The RTD and SM series were children's TV - good children's TV that appealed to adults too. Because it was good. The CC episodes are simply dire.

    2. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: It's Children's TV

      Actually, the original intention was for a programmes that could be enjoyed by something they had in the 1960s called a family. As such, it was supposed to keep adults and kids alike interested.

      And I've found that, generally, children's drama on the Beeb has always had much higher standards of writing, acting and production values than most of the tat that's put out for a supposedly adult audience.

      Check out The Queen's Nose, or The Box Of Delights. Hell, even the Narnia series was a couple of steps above Eastenders!

  15. wayward4now
    Mushroom

    Screw the Who

    Since they announced the new Doctor I haven't watched it since.

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