Attack of the Graske (video game)

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Attack of the Graske was a Doctor Who video game of the interactive movie genre. It premiered on BBC Red Button at the time of the broadcast of TV: The Christmas Invasion. It was converted for play in a web browser, and was available on the official BBC Doctor Who website until the discontinuation of Adobe Flash in 2021.

Like the popular arcade game Dragon's Lair, it was in many respects a "proper" motion-picture production. It required a full television crew to produce. Judged as a piece of television, it has unusual aspects — it is the only BBC Wales Doctor Who production filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio. It was the first DWU production for which director Ashley Way and writer Gareth Roberts were credited. It was also the first time that Rory Taylor received onscreen credit as a director of photography.

Seen as a game, Graske was not actually the first of its kind. Destiny of the Doctors has essentially the same game mechanics. However, this game's independence of platform has given it far more longevity and universality than the earlier Destiny.


2008 promo image.

A Graske is loose and causing havoc. Can you help to stop him? Become the Doctor's companion and save the world!


After the Doctor drops Rose Tyler off in 1979 to see ABBA, he picks up a human in his TARDIS and tells them he needs their help. The Doctor tells the human he has been watching their adventures and imbues their remote control with the powers of the sonic screwdriver, allowing them to interact with the proceedings.

The Doctor begins by showing the human a family (two parents, two grandparents and two children) who are enjoying Christmas but the Doctor tells the human that one of these people is a Changeling in disguise. The human must watch the scene play out to determine which one of them is the alien. They are given the choice of either watching through the family's television, or through the daughter's handheld video camera. After the scene has played out, it is revealed that the mum is the Changeling (the giveaway being her eyes glowing). The Doctor watches as she then leads the dad away from the rest of the family and a small alien appears in front of them. It then zaps the dad with a small device before disappearing. The dad's eyes then start glowing as well.

The Doctor then tells the human that the alien was a Graske. He adds that they need to follow it which he can do but asks the human to pilot the TARDIS. The Doctor then gives instructions of which switch to press and the human safely guides them through the void. They arrive in 1883 ahead of the Graske and the human must look for the Graske's DNA blip to appear to determine exactly where it is arriving. The blip shows the Graske is in London and the human watches another Christmas playing out and has to spot where the Graske is hiding. The scene shows a gentleman offering mulled wine to people, a street urchin asking for money (adding that he's saving up for a satsuma) and a theatre star handing out flyers for her latest performance. If the human looks closely, they will see the Graske hiding behind some bundles. It then emerges, much to everyone's shock, and zaps the urchin before disappearing once again. The urchin's eyes then also start glowing.

The Doctor and the human then follow the Graske again; this time to it's home planet Griffoth. The Doctor tells the human to get out there as they are "the star of this show" adding that he will guide them in the TARDIS through the sonic screwdriver. The human then has to solve a series of puzzles to get through a number of doors before arriving in the main chamber. They see a vast number of pods being tended by the Graske. The Doctor tells the human that these pods contain the originals of all the creatures they have snatched throughout the universe; adding that they have to be kept alive in order for the duplicates to be sustained. He notices that a Slitheen is in one of the pods. They then watch as the Graske they followed from Earth walks in. It then slots its device into a console and the dad and the urchin then appear inside two pods. The Graske then spots the human and fires a shot which misses and deflects around the room before striking the Slitheen's pod. An alarm sounds and the Slitheen bursts out of it's pod before chasing the Graske around the room. The Doctor then tells the human that they have the chance to do one of two things: they can either reverse the settings, thereby destroying the Changelings and teleporting all the originals back to the time and place they were taken from. Or they can use the Graske's stasis control against them, freezing everyone and everything in the base.

There are two possible endings depending on what the human chooses:

  • If the human chooses the teleport option, then all of the originals vanish from their pods, including the Slitheen, one by one. Back at the family's house, the mum and dad are returned to normal. They see the rest of the family just sitting down doing nothing so the dad encourages them to enjoy themselves. The daughter then records a video of the whole family shouting "Merry Christmas!"
  • If the human chooses the stasis option, the entire base freezes, thereby trapping the Graske and all their victims. Back at the family's house, the Changeling mum and dad begin talking mechanically and the daughter storms off, believing that her parents are trying to ruin Christmas.

The Doctor then comments on the choice the human made and takes them home. Their "score" is then evaluated.

Having returned home the Doctor removes the powers of the sonic screwdriver from the human's remote; warning them that if they switch to ITV later on then there is a risk the galaxy may implode. Depending on what option the human chose, the Doctor will say that either the human is not quite ready to be a companion (but was not far off and should try again), or he will comment on how impressed he is with the human, saying that perhaps one day he will pick them up. The Doctor then bids the human farewell and leaves to pick up Rose.



General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

For BBC Red Button

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

Technically, the casting credit on this adventure is "Casting", rather than "Casting Director"


The Doctor's TARDIS[[edit]]

Food and beverages[[edit]]

  • A street urchin in 1883 remarks that he is saving up to buy a satsuma.

Story notes[[edit]]

  • This story immediately followed The Christmas Invasion and was initially only available to subscribers to the BBC Red Button interactive service. Viewers were able to pilot the TARDIS and fight the Graske both on its native world of Griffoth and in Victorian London. From Wednesday 18 January 2006, the story was available to access via the BBC website, but only for UK residents. It was subsequently made available to international users of the website as well. As of January 2021, the game is no longer available officially to play.
  • Technically, David Tennant is not credited in this episode as "the Doctor". He receives only pre-title billing. This makes this the only Doctor Who television production which does not credit the role of "the Doctor" or "Doctor Who". This includes Mission to the Unknown, in which the Doctor doesn't even appear at all.
  • The Doctor mentions that if the human switches their television to ITV tonight the galaxy may implode, a reference to the rivalry between the BBC and ITV. In his eleventh incarnation, he said that ITV had gone off the air in the second Doctor Who Proms, as a result of saving the Royal Albert Hall and the BBC Proms.
  • Identifying the member of the family who is the Changeling in this game is made harder by the fact that the person in question (the mum) is not actually in the shot when the scene first starts playing out. She only walks in after the Doctor has finished explaining to the viewer what they have to do.
  • The question of whether this episode "counts" as a television story is somewhat muddied by its interactive nature. Some regard it primarily as a game, rather than an episode.

Filming locations[[edit]]

to be added

Production errors[[edit]]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When the Urchin is turned into a Changeling Double, he tilts his cup at an angle where it is plainly visible the cup does not actually have a base.
  • When the main chamber of Griffoth is first shown, numerous Graske are inside tending to the various pods. But after the Slitheen escapes, only the Graske that the Doctor and the human followed from Earth is there.
  • When the Graske is being chased by the Slitheen, a close up shot shows the Graske holding its gun in it's right hand. But in the next shot, the gun is in its left hand.
  • In the good ending, when the dad asks "Why are we all sat down?" the girl is holding a hot water bottle. But when the camera changes angles, she is now holding her video camera.
  • At the same moment during the good ending, the grandparents are on the other sofa and the gran turns her head towards the dad while having one arm on the armrest. But in the next shot of them, both her arms are on her lap, she is no longer looking at the dad and she has seemingly fallen asleep.


External links[[edit]]