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Why bringing the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who to the digital space is harder than it sounds


You might think that being given the chance to present a globally established TV brand with a legion of diehard fans and viewers in every country on the face of the planet would be a dream come true for any agency.

You’d be right, but that’s not to say that it’s an easy job to handle by any means, especially when the task calls for an online experience that encompasses five decades of science fiction and has to pass the inspection of a fleet of detail-oriented Whovians.

But that’s just what one Australian agency has done.

The team at R&B Creative was commissioned to create an online platform that allows users to explore the rich 50 year history of the iconic British sci-fi show, Doctor Who.

The keys to the TARDIS

R&B has stepped up to the challenge with an immersive online experience that delves into the depths of the legendary series, allowing visitors to time-travel alongside the various Doctors over the years, get reacquainted with trusted companions and revisit the deadly enemies of the series storied history.

Managing Director and Founder of R&B Creative, Rob Bare, says their involvement with a globally renowned brand is an honour for a relatively small Australian agency.

“There was certainly a lot to consider when it came to creating this site. We knew we had a large and discerning audience of Doctor Who fans to satisfy and impress. But the project has been a huge success. In particular, the cinematic design of the website has been extremely well received.”

A journey through time

R&B Creative is treating Doctor Who fans to a sort of time travel of their own, tracing the series from the first Doctor, William Hartnell’s, early clashes with baddies like the Daleks and Cybermen, to the current Doctor, Matt Smith’s, face-offs with The Silence, and the Daleks (again), and the Cybermen (some more).

And presenting the series in the digital space really is difficult, because its loyal fan base definitely knows the shows details. One misstep in a sci-fi brand of the calibre of Doctor Who (very much like Star Wars and Star Trek), and the fans will mutiny. (Editor’s note: We’re not that bad. We’re more likely to be politely irate.)

“We’re proud to be part of the anniversary year for such an iconic, international brand. Crafting an engaging online brand experience such as doctorwho.tv is an important touch point for fans of the programme,” added Bare.

Presenting a timeless programme, in the present

The site also keeps fans up-to-date with all the exciting events happening around the world to celebrate the 50th anniversary and supports the official Australian e-commerce site, which offers over 400 clothing, merchandise, and toy and DVD products.

With plenty of activity in Australia including the recent stunning light projection at Vivid Sydney, cinema screenings of iconic episodes and the first Australian pop-up shop, Australian site traffic increased by 210-per cent between February and May 2013.

Now, I’m heading off to order my own Sonic Screwdriver and play Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time on my Android.