Doctor Who’s Hidden Treasure Hunt #FindTheDoctor

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Welcome to a mystery across space and time. Work together to solve the hiDden clues and reveal a password below. #FindTheDoctor

Last week Doctor Who launched a brand new trailer for Series 13. You know, the usual aliens and monsters and heartfelt moments between The Doctor and her companions. But eagle-eyed fans spotted something else hidden inside the trailer: a cryptic clue that read only:

/mystery

On this page only more mysteries await, from here many fans spotted further unusual clues on the page – from a hidden word ‘FRED’ written in white text, to possible Morse Code in the latest poster, to unusual hints in the page’s source code itself.

Would-be treasure hunters have set up unofficial Discords to try to crack the case, working around the clock. At this stage it is unknown what will happen when the code is cracked, but it seems like BBC have been planning this for a while – with hidden typos and cryptic clues dotted all around their website and social media pages these past weeks.

Whatever we’re looking for… It begins: 13:13.13.

What We Know About #FindTheDoctor

For a little in-depth analysis of all the clues that have been compiled so far by Twitter user @updates_who, read on. Or if you choose to discover them yourself, you can head to /mystery here

  • The D is capitalised in hiDden
  • FRED can be found by highlighting white text on the page
  • By looking in the page source you can find ‘X4G6H66TZ114Z33H19K6’. If you decrypt it using Arcfour, it reveals ‘Z’
    • Interestingly, ‘X4G6H66TZ114Z33H19K6’ contains the exact number of letters as the Time Lady’s real name.
  • John Bishop posted something with ‘a d’ in it but it should say ‘and’. ‘N’ is the missing letter
  • A spectrogram of the page’s image reveals high frequencies around the ‘OR’ in ‘DOCTOR WHO’
  • Mandip Gill posted something with ‘T.AR.D.I.S’. ‘It should say ‘T.A.R.D.I.S’

Fan Theories About #FindTheDoctor So Far…

  • Twitter user @BBCWilliamWho pointed out that another article confirmed ‘universes’ and speculates if #FindTheDoctor will introduce more universes to the show
  • Twitter user @updates_who theorised that 13:13.13 could be a timecode for a video or a time of day/year. It could also lead to Apollo 13 in 1970 – their rocket was launched at 13:13pm
  • Twitter user @DampPuddle pointed out that Romana’s first episode (connected to the word FRED) references 116 parsecs at 13 minutes – the co-ordinates of the Planet Ribos.
  • Many users have pointed out that some passwords get an ‘incorrect password’, and others take you to a page that says “You have not cracked the code this time.”, indicating that a password can only be input at a certain time.

Credit: BBC

Doctor Who returns to BBC 1 later this year, but if you can’t wait that long you can book your own Doctor Who adventure at Escape Hunt.

Escape Hunt: The Hollow Planet

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The Doctor needs you… incoming signal from planetoid TG-88.3Ω, otherwise known as The Hollow Planet. Something (or someone!) has knocked out the local android population and taken over the mining facility built long ago on the planet’s surface.

Rating:  Exciting!
Completion Time: 65 minutes
Date Played: 31st July 2020
Party Size: 2

The Hollow Planet is the latest game in partnership with BBC Doctor Who from Escape Hunt and, perfect for the current climate – it’s play at home! Set as a prequel to their physical escape room A Dalek Awakens, you once again come face to face with The Doctor’s most formidable enemy.

Again, I must preface this review by saying I’m not a Doctor Who fan. A lot of the cultural references went over my head. But the fact I still found this such an enjoyable game goes to show that it can totally hold it’s own as a fun sci-fi adventure. Haha yes … More sci-fi! What can I say? It’s my favourite genre of escape room!

The game begins with an exciting transmission from The Doctor summoning you to the planet TG-88.3Ω. An ancient mining facility once dormant suddenly starts sending strange signals. Something has taken over the planet and it needs to be stopped!

From there, you descend onto the planet and navigate your way around the mining facility. Room by room, shutting down each sector and attempting to get to the bottom of the mystery. Yes, The Doctor is there – but in an absolutely charming twist you also have Graves to help you, the sentient AI tour guide penguin hologram!

*excitedly screams in penguin*

In terms of puzzles, there’s a really creative mix! There’s a few easily recognisable and accessible puzzles, for example a folding one, a cutting and sorting one, a maze … Then a couple that were really ‘wow’ to me. One that involves colouring pencils, one that involves partially cutting and a little bit of weaving, one that’s a rather complex and cool looking nonogram, and a very slick looking ejector chute. Mind you, nothing too tricky! And, if you get stuck there’s a very helpful online manual.

More than anything what really makes this game special to me are the aesthetics of it. I didn’t know the style of derelict, brutalist space mining corps could look so visually wow? But they do! It’s not just pretty pictures though, the designers have really thought about what the tech might look like and how it ages over time. Glitchy holograms, faded terminals, and 100 years of dust. Writers, game designers and content creators take note! This is the dystopian future I want to see more of.

Oh and … Keep an eye out for Easter Eggs! The attention to detail in The Hollow Planet is second to none.

As I round off this review, I played The Hollow Planet in a group of 2 with another non-Doctor Who enthusiast. It worked very well for us, but I’d definitely recommend playing this in a group! Better yet, a group of Doctor Who enthusiasts willing to dress up and drink sonic screwdrivers with you. Are episode premier parties a thing in the Doctor Who world? Because this would be BRILLIANT as a game to play with all your friends to get you excited for the start of a new season.

*sighs in social distancing*

The Hollow Planet can be purchased for £14.99 on the Escape Hunt website.