February 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who Classics “Doctor Who And The Star Beast”

The Doctor runs afoul of the Warriors of Wrarth as they search for the Meep.

I may or may not know much about how much these stories “count” as canon or not, but this one introduced some characters that have appeared in other stories in other mediums, including apparently some upcoming episodes featuring David Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor.

Yeah, normally I open these quick write-ups with a panel from one of the comics, but this time around, I’m going with the trailer for this year’s anniversary specials since they feature the first live action appearances of the Warriors of Wrarth and Beep the Meep.  The Warriors are the big insect guys, and Beep is the fuzzy thing that says something about “monsters!”

But here’s where these guys first appeared, all in a story from the “regular” creative team of Wagner, Mills, and Gibbons.  They have, apparently, appeared many times over in various comics and even some Big Finish productions, but that there represents the first time the Wrarth or Beep will be in live action.  And…yeah, they aren’t what they appear to be.

The story here is the Wrarth are hunting the Meep, and Beep has crash landed in a small English town.  Found by two schoolchildren, a girl named Sharon and her friend Fudge…

OK, I gotta say this:  I don’t get Fudge.  Oh, the character is a fairly standard character, this guy Sharron is friends with who wants to go exploring, likes comic books and science fiction, and is a bit of a doofus.  It’s the name I don’t get.  I would have thought a guy named Fudge would be a big fat kid or something, but no, he’s rather average in appearance in all ways.  Is his name actually “Fudge”?  Is that a common name in 80s Britain?  I just don’t know.

Anyway, they find this cute, fuzzy alien that apparently can only say the word “Meep!”

Meanwhile, the Doctor and the TARDIS are intercepted by the Wrarth, and after they took out K9, they knocked out the Doctor and put a bomb in his stomach to take care of the Meep.  The Meep is cute.  The Wrarth are looking to murder the Doctor to take out the Meep because they think he and the Meep are in cahoots.  Clearly, the Wrarth are evil and the Meep is good, right?

Nah!  Turns out the Meep is the leader of a viscous race of alien conquerors and the Wrarth are genetically-engineered police looking to bring it in.  The Meep is a killer, taking out more than a few people along the way as Sharon doesn’t realize he isn’t cute and harmless.  Well, he may be cute, but he isn’t harmless.  Fortunately, the Doctor does a lot of listening, asking good questions, and preventing the Meep from flying away in a way that would destroy the Earth.

Oh, and the Doctor’s repairs to K9 had the robo-dog thinking he was a cat apparently.

There’s a big rescue of steelworkers and UNIT soldiers in the TARDIS, the Wrarth have tea and cake with Fudge and his mother, and in the end, Beep the Meep is taken away in handcuffs and I guess Sharon is now the Doctor’s companion?

I’ve seen the “ugly aliens are really the friendly one” bit before.  It’s an old trope about how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and I can think of at least one instance off the top of my head where I’d seen that before, namely on Thundercats.

But this story was still a bit fun.  That is all I care about.

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