The Doctor from long-running television show Doctor Who regenerates from time to time.
The heart-wrenching process washes away into memory a charming and beautiful personality. In its place someone new stands bright and full of possibility, challenging you to embrace the unknown and all its charms while remembering the old with an aching fondness.
Doctor Who: The Runaway combines world-class motion capture, animation, and voice acting to successfully regenerate Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor from live-action TV to animated VR character.
This adventure packs everything you would expect from an episodic adventure with The Doctor into its 12-minute trip. There’s the Sonic Screwdriver, the TARDIS is in danger, and there’s a cute, if temperamental, alien creature threatening the entire galaxy.
Maria McClurg provides the body motion capture performance for The Doctor and references for facial animation that are so key to this incarnation. Voiced by Whittaker, the virtual version of this beloved character springs to life in front of your eyes. There isn’t a lot of interactivity in the version I experienced on Oculus Rift S, but when The Doctor needs help it is easy to give, and that’s all that matters when you’re looking back at the Police Call Box sign far behind you.
Innerspace VR developed Doctor Who: The Runaway for Passion Pictures and the BBC VR Hub in collaboration with animation from Kombo, motion capture from Mocaplab and Guillaume Moutardier for sound design. The app is available as a free download on the Oculus Home store for Rift, not to be confused with the upcoming Doctor Who: The Edge of Time VR experience.
Final Say: Essential
The Doctor you’ll meet in The Runaway is lively and captivating, exactly as you would expect, so the moment this animated story concludes, any fan of the TV show will be left aching for more adventures in VR with The Doctor that are put together with this level of polish.