Doctor Who enters a mystery social media blackout ahead of Series 13, but what does it all mean?
Following a cryptic tweet reading “++ Can you hear me?! ++” the official Doctor Who Twitter account, @bbcdoctorwho vanished this evening. Users were left with errors saying that the account no longer existed. In fact it wasn’t just Twitter. The Doctor Who Facebook page disappeared into a black hole too, and the official Instagram account was exterminated. As for the official Doctor Who YouTube channel… well you really should have remembered to subscribe when you had the chance. Even the BBC’s official Doctor Who website, www.doctorwho.tv, was replaced by an error message. “Oh my giddy Aunt, the stuff, it’s gone wibbly! (1313)”
That last one is particularly significant though. If there was any worry that this may be some sort of disasterous meltdown at BBC Studios, the phrasing of that error dispels it. This clearly isn’t any accidental deleting of router information as with the whole of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp earlier this week, nor any type of hack. Instead, this appears to be a deliberate bit of stealth marketing ahead of Series 13. And it certainly seems to have worked, with #DoctorWho and #WhereIsDoctorWho trending across social media, and hundreds of posts speculating about exactly what was going on.
One strong possibility is that when the social media accounts come back they’ll look somewhat different. It would certainly be a very eye catching stunt with which to launch Series 13 branding across all the BBC’s social media at once. Perhaps we’ll even find them spring back into life with the Series 13 trailer and premiere date attached. As for that error code of the official site… 1313. Perhaps we can expect the relaunch at 1.13pm tomorrow, UK time? We’ll have to wait and see…