Doctor Who will help children learn how to code in a new online game to be released by the BBC.
The Doctor and the Dalek will see the Doctor, voiced by Peter Capaldi who plays the role in the TV series, thrown into a dangerous quest in which he has to team up with a renegade Dalek to save the universe from destruction.
Players will be presented with a series of puzzles linked to the new computing curriculum where they have to take control of the Dalek and program it to 'power up' abilities, such as flying, to help the Doctor build the Dalek back to full strength to help him with his mission.
The puzzles are designed to allow children to pick up core programming principles and include several key stage 2 and 3 curriculum points – such as combining instructions to accomplish a given goal, using variables to alter behaviour, repetition and loops, and logical reasoning.
Sinéad Rocks, head of BBC Learning, said: “We’re really excited about the launch of The Doctor and the Dalek as not only is it a really entertaining platform game for kids to play but it’s also a great introduction to some key principles of computer programming.
“Every puzzle has a strong link to the key stage 2 or key stage 3 computing curriculum. So we think it’s going to be a really valuable tool for students, parents and teachers.”
The game has been released as part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, digital technology and programming.
Danny Cohen, BBC Director of Television, said: “'The Doctor and the Dalek' is a brand-new Doctor Who story and a fantastic game, voiced by the wonderful Peter Capaldi. It’s an excellent example of how a hugely popular BBC show can give fans something extra, whilst also introducing wider audiences to increasingly important skills, such as coding and programming.”
Resources for teachers and parents accompanying the game will be available from BBC Learning to help children get the most out of the game and these will provide links to other resources available from across the BBC and third parties.
The free game will be available freely on the CBBC website from Wednesday 22 October.