It’s safe to say that 2015 has been a fantastic year to be a Doctor Who fan, thanks in no small part to LEGO. With a LEGO Ideas TARDIS set greenlit and due to hit stores on December 1st, the recent news that negotiations are taking place to bring the Doctor into the LEGO Movie sequel and, of course, LEGO Dimensions introducing Doctor Who into their smorgasbord of franchises.
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Set Number: 71204
Minifigure: The Twelfth Doctor
Now LEGO Dimensions wave 2 has arrived and with it comes arguably one of the most anticipated of the announced add-ons for the game, the Doctor Who level pack and the first chance for fans to own the Doctor in minifigure form.
Much like the Simpsons and Back To The Future level packs that I’ve already had the pleasure of reviewing, the core LEGO Dimensions story features a level dedicated to Doctor Who. Set on a moon base overrun by Daleks, Cybermen and the Weeping Angels, which even in LEGO form are creepy, Batman and co have to take on the Doctor’s most powerful enemies as they work their way to one of the keystones. Unfortunately for the good guys, the keystone is in the possession of the Dalek Emporer who doesn’t seem keen on handing it over.
The level is a superb homage to the Doctor and the first time we actually get to see the Whoiverse in brick form. But as a Doctor Who fan myself, one level just wasn’t enough, I instantly wanted more. After more than a month of waiting, my prayers were finally answered. But does the Doctor Who level pack live up to the quality of the core game and meet the expectations?
Well, first of all, what do we get in this level pack?
Physically, the Doctor Who level pack includes the Twelfth Doctor in minifigure form, the TARDIS, and the Doctor’s trusty robotic dog, K-9. With just under a month until the official release of the first LEGO Doctor Who set, this really is your first opportunity to own the Doctor in LEGO form and as an added bonus, the two minifigures feature different outfits so that again makes this sets fig an exclusive collectible.
Whereas the LEGO set features the outfit worn by Peter Capaldi’s Doctor post-regeneration, this minifigure’s outfit printing is a recreation of the dark suit worn by the 12th Doctor in the 8th series of the show. The torso and legs make up the full suit design, with the three-quarter length jacket printing across the top half of the leg piece. The design is particularly interesting in that, despite being incredibly simplistic, matches the promotional pictures of Capaldi with only the top button of the jacket fastened and the read inner lining showing. Sadly there is no printing on the back of the minifigure but given he is wearing a suit jacket there isn’t any reason for there to be.
The head and hair pieces match those used in the official LEGO set, featuring only one face on the head, given Capaldi’s more steel-faced performance thus far in the show, this seems fitting. I’m not certain if this is a reused head piece or not but either way it suits the character and along with the gray hairpiece you can definitely see Peter Capaldi shining through. The great news is that accessory wise, there are no sonic sunglasses to be seen and we get the much more traditional sonic screwdriver, a unique LEGO piece which also features in the other set.
In-game the Doctor unsurprisingly uses his sonic screwdriver as his main weapon of choice, there are specific mechanisms throughout the core game that require this function and so this makes the Doctor one of the key characters to own for completionists.
Given how hard it must have been to design micro-versions of the iconic vehicles used in LEGO Dimensions, the TARDIS design is beautifully simplistic. The build is quick, thanks mainly to the inclusion of four purpose printed TARDIS blue panels which click into place on each side of the model with a side face of the police box printed on them. There are additional pieces used in the model to form a ground coloured base between the TARDIS and the Dimensions chip plate. Though aesthetically they do improve the overall model, the pieces are essentially there for the purpose of being utilised with the two additional builds unlocked in-game.
Unlike most of the vehicles in LEGO Dimensions, the TARDIS’ two other designs are only slight deviations on the original format. The Laser-Pulse TARDIS features additional pieces at the top of the blue box to simulate the laser weapon in-game which comes from that location. The Energy-Burst TARDIS raises the model to add pieces below for, what looks like, rocket boosters.
The TARDIS does also offer one particular feature that you won’t get from say, a DeLorean; The ability to go inside and open up a huge extra area, handy if you’ve got a large group of Daleks on your tail.
The K-9 figure is officially my favourite of the LEGO Dimensions collection so far. Not only is the design remarkably accurate compared to it’s TV show equivalent but it is such an elegant design with so few pieces. The build features a unique piece with K-9’s logo printed on it, thank you LEGO for avoiding stickers, as well a circuit board printed piece.
In-game, the initial K9 build has the ability to destroy silver bricks with a front firing laser, a useful ability which will surely appeal to those looking to access parts of the story unavailable with the starter pack alone. As with all accessories, the robotic dog also has two variations available, the Ruff Rover and he K-9 Laser Cutter.
With the figures ready, let’s get on to the in-game additions. Placing the Doctor on the LEGO Dimensions toy pad will automatically unlock the exclusive level included in the pack, ‘The Dalek Extermination Of Earth’.
Unlike the Simpsons and Back To The Future packs, the level isn’t based on any particular source material, it’s an original adventure for the Doctor in which Davros leads a full-scale invasion of Earth in 2025. With the future decimated by invasion, the Doctor must travel across three time periods, Victorian London, 2015 and 2025, in order to discover the Daleks plan, locate Davros in time and once again save the human race.
After a cut-scene featuring the mad-scientist and his Daleks invading, in true Doctor Who fashion, we get a fantastic LEGO recreation of the Twelfth Doctor’s title sequence. This scene is more than enough to get any fan just a little excited, it’s a perfect frame-by-frame replica with 12 added ‘guests’ hiding amongst the clock pieces which make up the vortex.
This isn’t the only homage, the level is littered with references from the show, past and present. As you progress through the warzone-like future London, you will be required to travel back in time to either 2015 or the 19th century in order to set up certain scenes which will help you in the future, one example is planting a tree in 2015 that will allow you to climb over a crashed bus when you return to the future.
Without giving away too many spoilers, fans will no doubt find one or two references across the three time zones to both Christopher Eccleston and Matt Smith’s time in the TARDIS, including a couple of interesting looking snowmen in 19th Century London.
The level isn’t limited to London though, as you overpower the Daleks the Doctor decides to track them back to the origin of the invasion. It’s at this point that fan favourites the Weeping Angels and the Silence both make an appearance as the level takes you to Trenzalore, and finally on to Skaro, the home planet of the Daleks which, interestingly, was only recently reintroduced into the show as part of the series 9 opening episode.
Trenzalore had a big part to play leading up to 50th anniversary episode and the recreation in LEGO form more than does it justice, the background imagery is stunning, including the huge, dying TARDIS seen in the show. Similarly, Skaro’s desert-like terrain is brilliantly captured in the final part of the level, which sees the Doctor face off against Davros directly.
Overall, the Doctor Who additional level is the most extensive LEGO Dimensions has to offer to far, it took me well over an hour to comfortably work my way through the level and that’s without stopping to explore every inch of the three different timezones available.
The story is thoroughly entertaining, cramming in so much of the show and yet remaining a unique Doctor Who experience in its own right, the only thing it’s missing is a companion to add some humanity to the situation. The attention to detail is overwhelmingly impressive, I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t a fan or two within the design and development teams at TT Games because the passion that has gone into this, to make it as fun an experience as possible for fans of the show, is very noticeable throughout.
The level isn’t all you get from the pack in-game, there is so much more. As with every character available in LEGO Dimensions, adding them to the toy plate unlocks their specific franchise open-world hub and the Doctor is no exception. Much like the other hub worlds, there a number of unique collectibles and side missions to complete, all tied into the Doctor Who franchise in some way and the references to specific episodes of the show are impressive.
The world is littered with recognisable characters from the show, from Cybermen to the Master, well Missy as the character is now known, there is so much to explore.
Another feature that takes the Doctor Who level pack well beyond the other add-ons is going to send long-time fans of the show into joyous overdrive. From within the TARDIS you have the ability to regenerate into any of the 13 incarnations of the Doctor, including John Hurt’s War Doctor. My favourite option here is the ability to set the Doctor to regenerate into the next Doctor in the sequence after every death, so starting a Capaldi’s Doctor, should your character die, he will regenerate into William Hartnell’s original Doctor and the cycle continues from there.
But wait, there’s more, not only is each Doctor accompanied by their own soundtrack, yep the game contains every single Doctor Who theme tune dating back to the 1960’s, but also, whichever Doctor you enter the TARDIS as that Doctor’s control room appears. Enter as one of the first two Doctors and, like the show, the environment is entirely black and white.
Apart from Capaldi’s Doctor, which has game specific audio, the different incarnations have soundbites taken directly from the show itself. While this isn’t surprising given that a few of the actors have sadly passed, the quality of some of the older audio is quite poor. This is, however, the one and only flaw I can find in the pack and I’m really nitpicking here. Long-time fans of the show are in for a real treat overall.
Unlike most of the franchises in the game, where any character is enough to get to most out of their individual world, the Doctor is an essential purchase. Where most of the features are centred around the Doctor and his TARDIS, using the Dalek or Cyberman sets coming out alone just won’t do LEGO Dimensions justice, their work on Doctor Who should be admired in it’s fullest and this level pack is the only way to do it.
Overall, this is the first of the level packs that I can honestly say is worth it’s £30 price tag given the amount of additional content the pack opens up. Between the exclusive level and the hub open-world, you’re guaranteed hours of content to explore, made even better but the fact that you’re essentially getting 13 new characters for the price of one.
The TARDIS and K-9 accessories and brilliant, not only as LEGO figures but also as useful additions that will compliment the core story mode perfectly. Even it I wasn’t a fan of Doctor Who, I’d still be left in awe at what TT Games have done here, a lot of love and dedication has obviously gone into this particular set to ensure that fans have so much to enjoy.
Considering the plethora of new franchises that have joined the LEGO universe over the last decade, Doctor Who is quite simply the best transition since TT Games first took on the Star Wars movies.
This set was provided for review purposes. However, all reviews reflect the authors own personal views and are not influenced in any way.