Of all the mediums that portrayed a Dr. Who story, i found Eddie Robson’s audio drama, “Human Resources” , to be the least satisfying. Personally, I am more captivated by visual experiences and am not familiar with hearing stories being told on the radio. The audio drama entailed a complex narrative plot, but I had to play even closer attention than usual to the dialogue between characters, scene and setting changes, time changes, and other shifts within the story. Although the story, characters, and plot twists were present throughout the whole audio drama, they failed to entertain me when compared to other mediums such as “Blink” which was Steven Moffat’s television episode, or Grant Morrison’s, “The World Shapers” which was a graphic comic. Stories with complex plots are much easier to tell through a medium where visual and dialogue are combined, rather than solely audio.
In contrast to the audio drama, I loved Steven Moffat’s “Blink”. The plot was captivating and creepy, and I was fully engaged into the medium by paying close attention to dialogue and what was happening on screen. Being able to visually witness the twists and turns of a complex narrative unfold was extremely satisfying, and held my attention more than the audio drama. In addition to visual mediums, Grant Morrison’s Dr. Who comic ” The World Shapers”, was also visually stunning and held my attention until the end. The story concept and plot was unique and complex and I was able to completely comprehend what was happening throughout the story. Furthermore, the comic allowed me to go back and look at previous panels to make connections from various parts of the story in case i was confused about anything. The complex plots of Dr. Who adventures are more satisfying and easier to follow along with in visual mediums than the audio drama.
In addition to visual mediums, “Blood of the Cybermen” was a totally different experience than the other transmedia platforms. As I became more immersed into the computer game I began to understand more about just who Dr. Who was and his background. Before viewing any of the Dr. Who episodes, I was totally unaware that he even existed. However by viewing each story through different mediums I was able to get a grasp on how the episodes and stories were structured and how the characters interacted with each other.
I believe it’s very possible to construct a clear and coherent narrative throughout various mediums. There are may examples of complex transmedia stories, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings. and other storytelling franchises. Each of these franchises takes on a certain media platform and tells a story. Each medium must be able to stand alone on its own and simultaneously advance the story.
People have different preferences for various mediums of entertainment whether it be comics, television, radio, film, graphic novels or any other platform. Furthermore, each medium places different demands on the audience. The audience may be interact and be engaged with one medium that is a totally different experience from another medium that contains the same content. Ultimately, all the mediums converge to make up one large story. This is transmedia storytelling at its finest.
One aspect that remained significant throughout all the platforms I experienced about Dr. Who, was the narrative complexity. Whether it was the audio drama, television episode, comic, or computer game, they all contained complex plots that caused me to think and become immersed within the world of Dr. Who. Furthermore, Dr. Who has been played by numerous actors since its beginning. Although each actor looked different from his predecessors, the personality of Dr. Who remained the same throughout time and across all media platforms. Dr. Who’s personality depicted three components of successful character design according to Scott McCloud which is an inner life, visual distinction, and expressive traits. Dr. Who’s inner life stems from his personal background and experiences throughout his lifetime. His visual distinction is apparent through his choice of wardrobe, and his expressive traits are very hard to miss. The doctor is always making smart comments, and humorous quips, but still maintains a persona of intelligence and courage. Although I was very unfamiliar with Dr. Who before, I now appreciate it for its great use of narrative complexity, intricate characterization, and use of various forms of media platforms to tell stories.