TARDIS introduces three new monsters into Doctor Who Canon - The Entity, a mysterious being of pure energy that can feed off raw Time, chronomites, tiny little bug-like creatures that inhabit the void between space and time, and at the very end of the game, a large shark-like creature that is native to the 23rd Century.
TARDIS sets several 'firsts' for the new series era of Doctor Who. For the first time since the show's revival in 2005, players can explore other rooms of the TARDIS, specifically The Doctor's private study, the drawing room - which is littered with items from his past. Another first is the specific naming of certain parts of the TARDIS console, such as fabrication and mechanics consoles, as the player navigates each panel of the console to fly the ship. It is also the first in the Adventure Game series to adopt a Cliffhanger ending
- much like the TV show does for some of its stories - that leads into the final episode of the series.
The Doctor and Amy Pond are both voiced by their television counterparts - Matt Smith and Karen Gillan - and the game also features Sarah Douglas as the voice of The Entity. It was written by James Moran, in association with Steven Moffat and the television show's executive team as well as direction from famed game designer Charles Cecil
. Murray Gold, the composer of the TV show's musical score, also composed a new set of music for TARDIS.
Unlike previous entries
in the Adventure Game series, as the episode is set entirely within the TARDIS, there are no stealth sections where the player must guide The Doctor and Amy past patrolling monsters. Puzzle minigames that act as representations of wiring devices to the TARDIS console or creating pieces of technology to use return from previous entries in the series, but on the whole the episode is confined to the point and click adventure tropes adopted by the series as a whole.
TARDIS begins with The Eleventh Doctor
and his companion, Amy Pond
, squabbling in the console room of The TARDIS
. As Amy argues that none of The Doctor's supposed 'Holidays' ever occur with out danger or aliens to fight, the ship violently shudders, causing its doors to open and suck The Doctor out into space.
Amy hurries over to the doors in an attempt to reach The Doctor, but he is trapped outside with no air, and surrounded by small, swirling blue creatures. Holding his breath, he mimes to Amy to press all the red button on the TARDIS console to reset the power and extend the air bubble outside the TARDIS so he can breath again. As Amy does so, the Doctor explains that the small creatures are called Chronomites, and although relatively harmless to him, are making him itch. He tells her that she will need to generate a tractor beam from the console out to pull him back into The TARDIS, and that the parts can be found in his drawing room. After giving her a series of complex directions to navigate her through the rooms of the TARDIS to get there, Amy attempts to ascend the flight of stairs out of the console room - but she somehow reappears back in the same room time and time again. The Doctor explains that the violent shudder that originally knocked him out of the TARDIS was the ship entering a rip tide in Space and Time, which is somehow distorting the interior of the ship. In order to negate the effect and get to the drawing room, Amy operates the control panels of the TARDIS to generate a dampening field.
Eventually Amy makes her way to The Doctor's private study - a vast, wood panelled room filled with objects from The Doctor's past adventures, and lined with a variety of clocks and shelves full of books - and sets about looking for the parts to make a tractor beam. Another jolt from the rip tide shakes the ship and causes one of the clock faces on the wall to open, revealing a small safe behind containing a Laser Screwdriver - a weapon used by The Doctor's arch nemesis and fellow Time Lord, The Master, and a small bottle. As she picks up the screwdriver, Amy accidentally knocks the bottle to the floor, breaking it open. She nonchalantly ignores the bottle as she returns to the console room with the Laser Screwdriver, however behind her back a glowing, orange cloud of energy rises out of the bottle, forms into a spherical cloud, and floats up the fireplace's chimney.
Amy returns to the console room, and under the Doctor's orders, rewires the Laser Screwdriver into the console and projects a tractor beam out to him, freeing him from the Chronomites and returning him safely into the TARDIS. However, their reunion is cut short when another Jolt from the rip tide shakes the TARDIS once more, and in a glow of light, Amy mysteriously disappears. She finds herself in a dark and cold version of the TARDIS' console room, with no Doctor in sight, when The Entity attacks her, covering her in a glowing orange energy field.
The Doctor realises that Amy has been sent through a lesion in Time, to the same point of space, but 1,000 years in the future. He makes his way to the drawing room to fetch parts to create a device that will allow Amy to return to the present, and notices the smashed bottle - realising that The Entity has escaped it's prison, he hurriedly returns to the Console room and constructs the device, and sends a message to the future console room so Amy will know how to activate the device and return to her own time. Amy, still under attack from The Entity and weakening, receives the Doctor's message and activates the device, transporting both herself and The Entity back to the present time. The Doctor confronts The Entity, revealing that it is slowly consuming Amy's Time energy, and, if left unchecked, will consume all Time energy in the universe. He demands that the Entity return Amy's energy to her and then return to a new prison bottle to spend the rest of time in captivity and starvation, or allow The Doctor to find a place where The Entity can feed of Time safely. The Entity declines and advances on The Doctor, who's nature as a Time Lord would satisfy it's hunger for the foreseeable future, but The Doctor manages to trap the creature and restore it into a new bottle. He opens the doors to the TARDIS and offers The Entity one last chance of freedom in the void, where it can live with the Chronomites and feed off their infinite generated time energy. The Entity agrees, and The Doctor releases it into the void, closing the doors.
After congratulating Amy and himself on a job well done, he decides to take her on a real holiday - one without any danger. He prepares the TARDIS for flight, operating a multitude of buttons and switches on the console before setting off. The TARDIS lands in an underwater base, The Doctor explaining as they exit that it is the 23rd Century, and that this is London after the Great Flood destroys it. As they make their way through the base, alarms suddenly begin wailing, and a gigantic, shark-like creature swims over head, heading menacingly towards The Doctor and Amy...