The Transmedia Tardis

the above video is from a MySpace page I came across with some clients whilst browsing some social networking sites last week.  it didn’t make much sense till Saturday, when during Doctor Who there was a reference to Mr Saxon’s election win.  the name rang a bell.  a few minutes digging this morning revealed the reason for the MySpace page, and also the suggestion of which character is due to make an appearance later this season.

it’s not only a great bit of marketing from the BBC – one that logged the existence of a character in my head long before any reference in the programme – but a piece of marketing that says much about the nature of the Doctor Who brand.  it follows on from a great bit of semiotic play from the first (contemporary) series in the form of Bad Wolf – references scattered across the series which pointed towards and larger more malevolent threat than any dealt with in individual episodes.

but above all this is a great bit of Transmedia storytelling.  TV does one job in broadcasting the crafted programme, the internet is doing another – inviting and encouraging the audience to explore the world behind the programme.  more than anything else this makes the world of Doctor Who seem bigger than it otherwise would on one media channel alone – something older as well as more contemporary audiences will have come to love and expect from the franchise…

2 responses to “The Transmedia Tardis

  1. I agree that it’s a great piece of integrated work – I love the joined-upness that there is between the show and teh online stuff – it feels really solid.
    I also like the pop track on the myspace page being things can only get better, the song that was teh theme tune to New Labour.
    It’s a great piece of storytelling for sure; what does the ‘transmedia’ bit add to the equation?
    Steve
    PS thanks for the link.

  2. I guess that the main thing Transmedia storytelling brings to the table is allowing a consumer to interact with content on the terms most appropriate to that media channel…
    TV remains (in the vast majority) a one-to-many broadcast medium and so it’s appropriate to broadcast a TV show on that medium. but behaving similarly online would limit the message in that channel.
    the way in which the Doctor Who world presents itself online is fundamentally different – to reflect how online is consumed.
    ultimately the imagined world is being accessed across different channels and therfore it is presented differently. at that vastly accentuates the experience of – and engagement with – that world.

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