Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Art Homages The Star Beast’s Comic Origins


  • New artwork inspired by the first Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, “The Star Beast,” is shared on the official Doctor Who Twitter account.
  • The artwork by Butcher Billy depicts the Fourteenth Doctor, Donna, and Rose protecting the Meep from the Wrarth in a retro comic book style.
  • “The Star Beast” differs from the original comic with the addition of the Fourteenth Doctor, the Noble family, and UNIT, as well as a change in setting to London.

The Fourteenth Doctor, Donna Noble, and Rose Noble receive a retro reimagining inspired by the comic behind Doctor Who‘s first 60th anniversary special in a new piece of artwork. The 60th anniversary celebrations of the long-running sci-fi series will be led by David Tennant and Catherine Tate across three specials airing throughout November and December. The first Doctor Who anniversary special, “The Star Beast,” sees the Doctor swept up in an intergalactic chase, as a furry fugitive pursued by frightening Wrarth Warriors crash lands on Earth.

With the first Doctor Who 60th anniversary special introducing the tale of the Doctor’s encounters with the Meep (Miriam Margolyes) and Wrarth Warriors, the official Doctor Who Twitter account has shared a new piece of artwork inspired by the latest episode.

Created by artist Butcher Billy, the artwork reimagines the Fourteenth Doctor, Donna, and Rose protecting the Meep from the Wrarth. They are posed similarly to the episode’s original teaser poster, but stylized to resemble a retro comic book, complete with a corner box featuring the TARDIS. The artwork also features nods to the later specials, including the currently unexplored UNIT Tower along the London skyline in the background.

How Does “Doctor Who: The Star Beast” Differ From The Original Comic?

Created by comic book legends Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons, “The Star Beast” was first published in Doctor Who Weekly from February 1980 to April 1980, with the Fourth Doctor leading the adventure alongside mechanical dog companion K-9. Like in the television story, the Meep (named Beep in the comic) crash lands on Earth and seeks help from the Doctor to escape the Wrarth, though officers Zogroth and Zeep (renamed Zreeg in the show) soon reveal the Meep isn’t what he seems. With the Meep having used mind-controlled humans to reconstruct its ship, it attempts to escape, but the Doctor soon puts a stop to its plan.

While the basic premise and character were adapted for Doctor Who‘s “The Star Beast,” there are a number of significant differences between both stories. Alongside the addition of the Fourteenth Doctor, the Noble family, and UNIT, the story’s setting is also changed from the small town of Blackcastle to London. While the Noble family would take the place of comic companions Sharon and Fudge, the latter would inspire the character of Rose’s friend Fudge Merchandani (Dara Lall).

Between its legendary creators and unlikely villain, “The Star Beast” was a fondly remembered part of Doctor Who‘s expanded media that had been revisited time and again in comics and audio dramas. As such, not only did showrunner Russell T Davies’ reimagining introduce the cutesy malevolence of the Meep to audiences worldwide, but it also treated longtime fans to a fun adaptation. The above artwork is a perfect merging of the new take on the tale and its comic origins to celebrate the Meep’s leap to the small screen.

Doctor Who: The Star Beast is available on Disney+ for international audiences, and BBC iPlayer for UK audiences.

Source: @bbcdoctorwho/Twitter

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    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.

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