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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: Amy’s History Hunt

The BBC’s official site for Doctor Who is chock full of cute games, such as Amy’s History Hunt, wherein you play Amy and try to unlock the Doctor’s safe (for some reason that’s not offered) and retrieve the Doctor’s favorite painting (which he’s locked in there for purposes unknown).

To get bits of the code, you answer a series of questions about historical places, events, and people the Doctor has visited — Pompeii, Stonehenge, Vincent Van Gogh, Agatha Christie, etc. The questions are easy and kid-scaled, and the site offers lots of resources for researching the answers. (Surely, this is one of the best things about Doctor Who: it gets kids interested in history.) There’s a video explaining how to play that I couldn’t watch — the videos are, I presume, only for those in the U.K.; text instructions are available — but the game itself is mostly Flash, and I finished it quickly. I was all excited to find out what the Doctor’s favorite painting is — Starry Night? one of the genuine Mona Lisas the canvases on which he wrote in permanent marker “THIS IS A FAKE”? The suspense was killing me.
And this is what I was greeted with just as the mystery was about to be solved:

*argh* Someone play and let me know what the painting is!

You also get a bonus short story by Paul Cornell as a reward for winning. Don’t tell anyone, but here’s the PDF link to the story, called “The War of Art.” Have a read, and we’ll talk about it on Monday.

(Thanks to reader Steven for the heads-up. If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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