Making the most of our popular TV shows

A POPULAR programme such as Top Gear or Doctor Who isn't just a TV show any more.

A POPULAR programme such as Top Gear or Doctor Who isn't just a TV show any more. It's an idea that can - and should - appear across a variety of media, allowing its fans to interact with it in a new way.

According to BBC Worldwide’s executive vice president Robert Nashak, the corporation has undergone a shift in thinking over the last couple of years.

The BBC is exploring new ways to get viewers involved in the programmes on other platforms, enabling them to experience them in other formats and to contribute to the story itself.

For example, a casual massively multiplayer game called Doctor Who: Worlds in Time has been developed with indie game company Three Rings, while the Forza Motorsport 4 game includes a game version of the Top Gear track.

Walking with Dinosaurs has been re-discovered as an entertainment brand, and will be a 3D movie in around 2013.

A motion comic app based around the Torchwood episode Miracle Day will be released before its appearance on the Starz network next week, letting fans explore an expanded world based on the events of the episode, with additional characters voiced by talent such as Eliza Dushku.

Nashak sees a world in which nearly 30% of users get some or all of their TV online, and in which half of TV viewing is done by people who have a computer in use at a time.

Nashak said: “IP now should be thought of as multiplatform.

“We have this growing but fragmented marketplace so we’re going to see the BBC on all these platforms.

“It’s a question of whether social elements and microtransaction can give rise to new ways of collaborating around storytelling. I think they can.”

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Stuart Rayner
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