Argh. A wasted opportunity for an ARG

Considering that season two of Torchwood had an accompanying Alternate Reality Game, I was excited to see what was apparently a mobile phone number prominently featured in the penultimate episode of Dr Who.


It even completely filled the screen for a few moments.


Considering the amount of screen time given to something that was ostensibly Dr Who’s mobile number, it seems more incredible that this wasn’t the beginning of an ARG. It turns out to be one of the telephone numbers reserved by Ofcom for drama purposes.

Bah. What a wasted opportunity. That was a rabbit hole waiting to happen.


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  1. No way! I was hoping for an ARG too!

    Comment by Phil Wilson — July 6, 2008 #

  2. I too assumed it was an arg (or at very least an Argette) considering the budget it could of contained something teaserish.

    Comment by mac — July 7, 2008 #

  3. This happens depressingly too often :)

    Comment by Dan Hon — July 7, 2008 #

  4. I am so glad I wasn’t alone in thinking this – their marketing guru must have been on holiday…

    Comment by Tom Cooke — July 7, 2008 #

  5. Having spoken to someone with experience of these things at the BBC and with me having bemoaned the same thing, he informed me a) There is a duty to keep these numbers alive for at least five years (not too difficult) and more importantly b) Ever since the various phone-in scam scandals TV companies are wary of using any phone number that charges at non-standard rates as part of their programming. Not sure if they were just excuses or they’re just playing on the ultra safe side having got their fingers burnt, but they were the two most likely reasons, he said.

    Comment by Chris Applegate — July 10, 2008 #

  6. Excuses.

    From my point of view of having dealt with the BBC already, the 5 years bit in terms of when the BBC deals with third party/independent producers is a standard licence period which can be shortened.

    There doesn’t appear to have been any other new media/vision multiplatform spend of Dr Who, and sometimes ARGs – good ARGs, at least – aren’t exactly cheap.

    There’s always next time…

    Comment by Dan Hon — July 15, 2008 #

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