Google is celebrating the 50th birthday of the BBC’s Doctor Who series early, with a global release of a Doctor Who-themed Google logo and game on its homepage today. The actual anniversary of the show is tomorrow, November 23, but Google has already started rolling out the tribute logo and video game on a number of its international homepages.
It’s not up on Google US yet, and we’ve asked Google about this. But, as today is also the 50th anniversary of the death of US President John F. Kennedy, we suspect Google decided not to run the logo in the US today. Likely, it will appear tomorrow.
The Doctor Who Google logo includes the eleven characters of Doctor Who, all bouncing atop the word Google displayed in an over-sized block letter font with a play button. The search icon in the logo takes users to a results page for “Doctor Who” and the speaker turns on Doctor Who-themed background music.
After clicking the play button, the logo launches an absorbing Doctor Who video game where users get to select their preferred Doctor Who incarnation to navigate a number of mazes. The goal of the game is to capture each letter of Google while avoiding the evil robot character Dalek. Players move from one level to the next by bringing the captured letters back to the TARDIS.
Google says the Doctor Who logo and game was requested by a Googler who was a fan of the show, and developed by a group of engineers and support from inside and outside of Google, including The BBC. According to a post on the Google Doodle website, Google thanked The BBC for, “Trusting us and also helping us whenever needed.”
Originally aired in 1963, the British sci-fi series follows the adventures of a time-traveling alien that takes on different personalities from episode to episode. Running from 1963 through 1989, Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005 and has achieved a cult-level status with fans across the world.
Here is a snap-shot of the logo along with a few screen captures, but to get the full experience, you really have to play the video game:
Update: Google’s Doctor Who Logo and game is now up on Google US as of November 23.