Blurry photographs from a location shoot of the 60th anniversary Doctor Who story, of what appear to be cuddly but deadly comics villain Beep the Meep, and the Wrarth Warriors from “The Star Beast“, one of the earliest Doctor Who Weekly strips, have dropped online this week.
One of the most popular Doctor Who comic strip villains of all time, Beep the Meep was the creation of Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons, making his debut in “Doctor Who and the Star Beast” in Doctor Who Weekly Issues 19 – 26, and reprinted most recently in the Panini Comics collection, The Iron Legion. (Although Pat Mills and John Wagner are jointly credited in the comics as writers, they in fact alternated on scripts).
“Beep the Meep predated the Gremlins as a furry bundle of fun with a heart of pure evil,” enthuses downthetubes contributor Tim Robins. “By far the most successful strip to channel the dark humour of 2000AD, ‘Star Beast’ really sold the comic to me.”
Needless to say, fan speculation about this appearance, including on YouTube and Twitter (a blurry picture of the alleged “Beep” here, for example), is pretty rampant, and of course there are those hoping it might also lead to more comic strip characters transferring to TV screens – Frobisher the Penguin, companion to the Sixth Doctor in Doctor Who Magazine, in particular.
(Let’s not forget Abslom Daak – Dalek Killer, created by Steve Moore and Steve Dillon, made a tongue in cheek onscreen cameo in the Season 8 story, “Time Heist”, so there’s already precedent for this kind of thing).
If this is not some monumental wind up on the part of series producer Russell T. Davies, a longtime fan of Doctor Who Magazine, then it’s great to hear another Doctor Who comic character will be appearing on our TV screens, although whether this may prove to be some weird dream sequence or alternate reality remains to be seen, given speculation aplenty about the 60th anniversary story.
However this wonderful Who tidbit turns out, it certainly won’t hurt sales of The Iron Legion collection, and audio drama producers Big Finish were quick off the mark in response, promoting the chance to listen to their Sixth Doctor story, “The Ratings War”, featuring Beep, for free, with Toby Longworth voicing Beep the Meep.
In the story, Beep the Meep is back – and he’s found a new channel for his aggression! A brand new series is about to make television history, but can the Doctor prevent his furry foe from turning a docu-drama into a crisis, or will the fluffy-wuffy animals get it in the neck? The first shots in the ratings war have been fired, and the next one is aimed at your head…
Back in 2019, Big Finish released two classic Doctor Who comics strips as audio adaptations, starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Rhianne Starbuck as companion Sharon, as Doctor Who Weekly, The Comic Strips Adaptations Volume One, featuring “The Iron Legion” and “Star Beast”. No further adaptations have followed.
Join the Doctor, that immortal traveller in time and space, on five of his wildest and wittiest comic strip adventures: “The Iron Legion,” “City of the Damned,” “The Star Beast,” “The Dogs of Doom,” “The Time Witch.”
Featuring work from the award-winning Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Pat Mills, and John Wagner (Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog), and Steve Moore (Abslom Daak), this special collection celebrates forty years of the Doctor Who comic strip.
With thanks to Tim Robins