“It’s bigger on the inside”

This week I am going to give you an example within an example. My example is transmedia storytelling and the example within is BBC sci-fi drama Doctor Who. Transmedia storytelling is a convergence that does not simply adapt the content for multiple platforms but rather tells a story over multiple platforms, by producing new and relevant content for each platform but telling the one story. Doctor Who is a fine example of this convergence. The Who universe is vast and various but it all revolves around one character and his time machine. There has been unofficial brand extensions for Doctor Who since the 1960’s, but after 16 years off-air the 2005 reboot allowed for expansion of the Who universe by using the internet, books, podcasts and more. The transmedia format that came with the new series includes websites set within the Doctor Who world, podcast commentaries, short online episodes that often act as prequels, sequels and fillers for the television broadcast episodes, novels and comics, and more recently audio episodes produced by Big Finish Productions.

It may seem like this is just an example of an over-excited fandom, but actually transmedia storytelling means big things for both the media industry and for audiences. The power to create an expanded universe for a pre-existing story means more business for the media, more money for the industry, more jobs for workers, and brand extension for the product. By expanding the product over multiple platforms it also strengthens fan engagement and allows them to get more involved in the fictional worlds they love by providing more complex narratives and interactions with the content. As yet there is no media franchise to have gone wholly transmedia-orientated but never say never.

Jaye Dundas

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