Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained

Set photos of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary special have led to speculation over the return of some surprising villains, but who are they?

Set photos from the filming of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary special suggest the surprising return of foes from expanded media. David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and Yasmin Finney have been filming in public for 2023’s anniversary special, penned by returning showrunner Russell T Davies. Given Doctor Who’s popularity, this public filming has taken place in view of eager fans armed with smartphones who regularly upload their grainy set photos to social media. These photos have revealed several aspects of the special, such as the involvement of director Rachel Talalay and the return of Bernard Cribbins as Donna’s grandfather Wilf.

Fan photos have also captured the updated Tenth Doctor costume, which led to speculation that David Tennant would replace Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor. The most recent photos of filming have led to further speculation on social media as to the identity of the monsters that will be faced by the Doctor and Donna when they return. If the speculation turns out to be true, it gives additional weight to rumors that Russell T Davies’ new version of Doctor Who will be more like a comic book.

The photos in question come from a night shoot in Cardiff involving the cast, a black cab, and some UNIT vehicles. Footage circulated on social media of a stunt driver dressed in David Tennant’s costume driving a white furry creature around in the cab. Another much-shared video saw an actor in an insectoid costume being escorted to the filming location underneath an umbrella. Both creatures will sound familiar to long-term readers of Doctor Who comics and would provide a surprising 60th-anniversary return.

 

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Set Photos Hint At Returning Monsters

 

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained

The fluffy white creature in the taxi and the insectoid under the umbrella are incredibly reminiscent of creatures from an iconic Fourth Doctor comic strip. Originally published in 1980 in the pages of Doctor Who Weekly, “Doctor Who and the Star Beast” introduced Beep the Meep into Doctor Who lore, a small, white rabbit-looking creature with a dark side. “Doctor Who and the Star Beast” also introduced The Wrarth Warriors, insectoid policemen whose mission is to bring justice to the Meeps. The ridges on the back of the costume caught on camera and the presence of the aforementioned fluffy white Beep-style costume heavily suggests that these comic creations are about to make an exciting Doctor Who on-screen debut after 42 years.

 

Beep The Meep’s History In Doctor Who Explained

 

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained

Created by writers Pat Mills and John Wagner and drawn by Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons, Beep the Meep quickly became a firm fan favorite. When Beep the Meep is first introduced in “Doctor Who and the Star Beast,” he’s believed to be a cute, helpless alien on the run from authoritarian enforcers. He’s taken in by teenagers Sharon and Fudge, who end up on a collision course with the Fourth Doctor, who’s investigating the trail of the Meep’s crashed spaceship. It’s revealed that, rather than the helpless cutie he first appears to be, Beep is actually the leader of a ruthless conqueror race called the Meeps and is evading the Wrarth Warriors’ justice. He’s eventually defeated and imprisoned for his numerous crimes.

Like all good Doctor Who villains, Beep the Meep doesn’t stay in prison for long, and has returned to take revenge on the Doctor in two further comic strip adventures, including “Star Beast II.” He’s also appeared in a Big Finish audio play, “The Ratings War,” alongside Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, in which he takes over the control of a TV network to inflict pain and misery on the viewing public. If he does indeed appear in the 60th anniversary special, then he may finally get his wish.

 

The Wrarth Warriors’ History In Doctor Who Explained

 

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained

Also appearing in “Doctor Who and the Star Beast” were the Wrarth Warriors, who are visually the more threatening creatures. They’re an insectoid species specifically created from elements of their universe’s five strongest species. They’re known for their bright red eyes (also seen in on-set Doctor Who photos) and tough exoskeletons, and their sole purpose is to tackle the scourge of the universe, the villainous, conquering Meeps. The Wrarth Warriors never returned to the comics, but their peaceful nature compared to the brutality of the cute fuzzy creature is the type of “don’t judge a book by its cover” story that Doctor Who regularly employs, such as in season 4’s “The Doctor’s Daughter.”

 

Why Is Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary Bringing Back Beep & Wrarth Warriors?

 

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Surprising New Monsters Explained

Russell T Davies has often talked of his original career aspirations as a comic-book artist prior to becoming a screenwriter, so it’s no stretch to suggest he read “Doctor Who and the Star Beast.” His book The Writer’s Tale, co-written with Benjamin Cook, is illustrated with various sketches of Doctor Who scenes, giving insight into his visual approach to screenwriting. RTD has also spoken of his desire for an MCU-style Doctor Who and often used Marvel comics as an inspiration for writers during his original tenure on the show. Davies also referenced villainous scientists like Spider-Man’s Doctor Octopus when explaining his expectations for Doctor Who season 3, episode 6 “The Lazarus Experiment” to writer Stephen Greenhorn.

Aside from the shared fictional universe and intertwining narratives, one of the other successes of the MCU is how they’ve popularised less well-known characters from the Marvel canon. When the MCU began with Iron Man back in 2008, cinema audiences were more interested in big-hitters like Spider-Man or the X-Men. Arguably, Doctor Who has now exhausted its own big-name characters like Daleks, Cybermen, and the Master. With a similarly extensive back-catalog of comic book creations to draw from, Russell T Davies can freshen up the show in 2023 by finally bringing the Wrarth Warriors and Beep the Meep from page to screen.

 

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