British TV series Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary in November, marking a half century of time travelling adventure. Express your love for the show with these great mobile apps!
In 1963 a television phenomenon was born, one that has since spread into books, comics, video games, radio and cinema. Doctor Who tells the ongoing tale of a time travelling alien who habitually saves the universe, travels (mostly) with attractive women and occasionally changes his appearance in order to cheat death.
It is a hugely flexible format, both within the series’ internal narrative (the Doctor has met historical figures, aliens, creatures from other dimensions and alternate universes) and, importantly, within the boundaries of modern media formats. As a result, excellent official and unofficial Doctor Who apps can be found for Android and iOS devices.
Doctor Who News on Your Mobile
Doctor Who fans love news. They want it 24/7, 365 days a year. If time travel was possible, they would want even more. Fortunately, there is one superb app that covers all of the Doctor Who news websites, collecting news from Google News, the BBC (they produce the show) as well as blogs, podcasts and reviews (such as those listed in Joshua’s recent guide to the best Doctor Who websites).
The app is Who News and it is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and BlackBerry from who-news.com.
Play Doctor Who Video Games
If you’re more of a gamer than a reader, there are many Doctor Who videogames that you can play on desktop computers and consoles – but what about mobiles?
Two games are available, one that can be played with your phone and a second that requires a little more hardware.
First is Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time, a top-down action puzzle adventure that is available on iOS devices (it was previously available on Android but this now seems to have been pulled from the store). This is available as a free, limited game as well as a full premium version.
Meanwhile, Cleric Wars a first person augmented reality shooter in which you combat Daleks, Weeping Angels and Cybermen. Available free from iTunes and Google Play, the game can be enhanced with a gun controller upon which your phone can be mounted. These controllers are available online in the UK from £5.
Read Doctor Who Books and Magazines on Your Phone or Tablet
Doctor Who has a long and successful history in print, with the first TV adaptions released in the 1960s. Bringing things right up to date, award winning science fiction authors Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter have both written original novels for BBC Books. For those who prefer a lighter read, Doctor Who Magazine has been running since 1979 and latterly Doctor Who Adventures has been produced for younger fans since 2006.
Although the former has no mobile app, the latter does, and the free iPhone and iPad Doctor Who Adventures app enables you to subscribe or buy single issues and download them to your phone or tablet.
For comic book fans, Doctor Who has been published by IDW for the past few years in the USA, with a selection of great strips by creators such as Tony Lee, Ben Templesmith, John Reppion and Leah Moore. These comics can be enjoyed via the free IDW Doctor Who Comics app (a reskinned version of the Comixology app), in which the comics can be purchased and downloaded.
In 2011 the Doctor Who Encyclopedia was released in print and app form, and can still be purchased on iTunes for just $4.99 (£2.99 in the UK). This is a vast work, published by BBC Books and Random House, including over 3,200 entries, and is more than worth the small charge.
Many more titles are available, of course, with a vast selection of books available for reading on Google Play.
Become A Dalek!
If reading isn’t your thing and you prefer a bit of virtual cosplay, worry not – you can become a Dalek!
Two great apps are currently in existence for iOS users, enabling you to see the world and take photos and movies from a Dalek point of view and convert your voice into the tortured, evil tones of Doctor Who’s greatest race of alien aggressors.
Head to Eyestalk’s website to find out more about the Eyestalk app, which includes seven visual effects covering 50 years of Doctor Who, allowing you to snap photos of your victims/friends from a Dalek point of view from the classic and modern eras.
Meanwhile, I Am A Dalek (free) is the handy voice manipulation tool that you can use to surprise your friends. The app works by manipulating a recording of your voice with the necessary modulation to create imitate the angry tones of a Dalek, and can be found free on iTunes.
Watch Doctor Who on Your Smartphone or Tablet
Doctor Who typically airs for a couple of months each year, with a special at Christmas. In 2013, the show’s anniversary special will be broadcast on November 23, fifty years to the day since the first episode was broadcast.
New episodes can often be watched in the UK on BBC iPlayer (which with the right tools can be accessed worldwide) for a few days after broadcast; the BBC One show is often repeated on BBC Three, which means additional chances for viewing with the iPlayer catchup service. If you are in the UK or have a means of accessing iPlayer on your iPhone or Android device, this is the best way to enjoy the show on your mobile.
Meanwhile, Doctor Who is also available on Netflix, with many of the modern episodes (2005-2010) – as well as four series of spin-off serial Torchwood – available to view. Viewers in the UK can also see selected serials from the classic era (1963-1989).
Additionally, many Doctor Who TV episodes are available via iTunes, enabling any iOS user to purchase and sync episodes to their iPhone or iPad for viewing in comfort and convenience. Officially licensed audio Doctor Who serials by Big Finish are also available on iTunes, such as this serial starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. You can also download the 2006-2013 series of Doctor Who from Google Play.
Enjoy 50 Years of Time Travel On Your Mobile Device!
Whether you want the latest news, podcasts or reviews, or you want to play video games, there are a selection of good quality apps across the Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms.
We’ve collected nine Doctor Who mobile apps above, along with Netflix (available for most mobile platforms) and BBC iPlayer – but have we missed any? Are there any Doctor Who apps that you think we should have included, or do you have favourites among those above? Let us know in the comments.