- David Tennant’s love for Doctor Who‘s expanded media is evident through his interaction with the creators of the comic strip adaptation “The Star Beast.”
- Mills and Gibbons join a group of expanded media writers whose work has been incorporated into the main Doctor Who television series.
- “The Star Beast” marks a meaningful celebration of Doctor Who‘s expanded media and allows audiences to appreciate the contributions of the original creators.
David Tennant met Doctor Who comic creators Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons on the set of the 60th anniversary special “The Star Beast.” The first of Russell T Davies’ three anniversary specials led by Tennant and Catherine Tate adapted the story of Mills and Gibbons’ 1979 Doctor Who Weekly comic strip of the same name. In “The Star Beast,” the Fourteenth Doctor (Tennant) and Donna Noble (Tate) are swept into an intergalactic pursuit when an alien fugitive crash lands in London.
With the Doctor Who special “The Star Beast” introducing the Meep (Miriam Margolyes) and the Wrarth Warriors, original creators Mills and Gibbons were invited to see their creations come to life on set.
As revealed in the behind-the-scenes show Doctor Who: Unleashed (via @darkwillowz), Mills and Gibbons were joined by host Steffan Powell and Tennant, allowing the actor to receive a signed issue from them and express his love for the comic strip. Check out a snippet of the exchange below or check out the video above:
Tennant: I got this every week. And I remember this comic strip.
Gibbons: You stole it or you paid for it?
Tennant: I paid for it! Well, my parents did – I mean, I was only nine. But this is so… When I first got the script, and I saw what it was based on the front page, I… it all came back so vividly. I remember these comic strips so clearly.
Mills: That’s great.
Powell: So you remember reading this story?
Tennant: I remember all of them! The Iron Legion, and The City of the Damned. And of course this one, yeah. Very clearly.
Gibbons: He’s passed the test, he remembers all the names, Pat. He’s a genuine fan.
Tennant: It’s true!
Doctor Who Has A History of Expanded Media Tales Influencing The Main TV Series
Mills and Gibbons join a number of expanded media writers who have had their work brought into the main Doctor Who television series. Returning showrunner Davies’ first contribution to Doctor Who was not the 2005 TV series, but the 1996 novel Damaged Goods, while fellow showrunner Steven Moffat penned the short story “Continuity Errors” for the 1996 anthology Decalog 3: Consequences. Other writers who first contributed to Doctor Who‘s expanded media before joining the main series include Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell, and Robert Shearman.
Like how Mills and Gibbons’ creations were brought to the screen, Cornell and Shearman would see their original stories get adapted for the show’s revival. While both writers contributed to season 1, Shearman would adapt his 2003 Sixth Doctor audio drama “Jubilee” for the screen in “Dalek,” where the Doctor’s encounter with a sole surviving Dalek was adjusted to work in a post-Time War setting. Meanwhile, Cornell’s tale of the Seventh Doctor becoming human and hiding on Earth shortly before the First World War in the novel Human Nature would be reimagined by the author into the two-part season 3 story “Human Nature/The Family of Blood.”
“The Star Beast” was a wonderful celebration that allowed wider audiences to enjoy one of Doctor Who‘s most well-known expanded media tales. It was gratifying to see Davies properly credit both Gibbons and Mills for their contributions, and allow them the opportunity to see their monsters brought to life during filming. Though Tennant has been heavily involved with Doctor Who even between his Tenth and Fourteenth Doctor tenures, it is heartwarming to see the actor have the opportunity to have his own moments with them as a longtime fan, as well.
Doctor Who: The Star Beast is currently available on Disney+ for international audiences, and BBC iPlayer for UK viewers.
Source: Doctor Who: Unleashed, @darkwillowz/Twitter
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- Jenna Coleman, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Kingston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi
- Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
- As the last of the alien species known as the Time Lords, the Doctor travels through time and space in his TARDIS, a time machine thats bigger on the inside than the outside, seeking out adventures in the ancient past and unimagined future while also serving as the protector of Earth and mankind. With a human companion by his side, the Doctor meets extraordinary – and sometimes deadly – characters and creatures from across the universe.
- Doctor Who
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- Sydney Newman C. E. Webber Donald Wilson
- Mark Gatiss, Toby Whithouse, Neil Cross, Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall