I admit, I haven’t been paying all that close attention to the growing trend of releasing online comics and/or apps to promote TV series, especially those shows with genre connections. (Two recent ones I’m aware of are Burn Notice and Falling Skies.) Is it typical to charge for the application? The ones I’ve noticed have been free, since they’re promotional.
Torchwood: Miracle Day is doing things differently. Their app Torchwood: Web of Lies, available at the iTunes store only, will contain 10 “three-minute motion comic narratives” that provide clues to the show’s plot. Following each week’s airing, additional comics and games will be available for download — at the price of 99 cents for a bundle of three, or $2.99 for all 10. The first comic and game are free. From the press release:
Torchwood: Web of Lies is an episodic interactive experience for iOS that fuses together motion comic and gameplay elements to tell an original and digitally exclusive Torchwood story. Players will participate in a parallel storyline to Torchwood: Miracle Day that includes lead characters Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper — voiced by John Barrowman and Eve Myles.
It reveals a past day in the lives of Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper — a day they’ve both forgotten. The events of that day fuel a modern day conspiracy-laced treasure hunt, as Holly Mokri, voiced by Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Tru Calling, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), labors to uncover the secrets of Miracle Day. Each week a new episode unlocks, allowing players to access another piece of original motion comic narrative and game which ties into and extends plot developments of the show, as well as providing new twists in its own narrative.
I guess they’re justifying the charge by positioning this as an additional product, not marketing material, although they’re also emphasizing how this “narrative” is written by Miracle Day writers Jane Espenson and Ryan Scott. Here are a couple of screenshots: