Beep the Meep
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|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2009)|
|Doctor Who character|
|Beep the Meep|
|Home planet||Not named|
|Home era||20th century|
|First appearance||Doctor Who and the Star Beast|
|Last appearance||The Ratings War|
|Portrayed by||Toby Longworth (voice)|
Beep the Meep is a fictional alien who appeared in the Doctor Who Weekly comic strip based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The cute and cuddly appearance of Beep the Meep — a round, furry biped with large, expressive eyes and long ears — belies his true nature as a malevolent, homicidal would-be conqueror and dictator.
Beep first appeared in the comic strip Doctor Who and the Star Beast, written by Pat Mills and John Wagner and drawn by Dave Gibbons, which ran in issues #19-#26 of Doctor Who Weekly. The Meeps were an advanced and peaceful race, who lived in harmony and happiness until their natures were radically altered by their planet's orbit passing close to the Black Sun. The radiation from the black star mutated them into an aggressive, expansionist species who began to mercilessly conquer and subjugate other planets.
Eventually, the Star Council authorized the use of the Wrarth Warriors, a genetically engineered insectoid race who acted as interstellar law enforcers. The war against the Meeps came to an end with the destruction of the Meep armada at the Battle of Yarras, but Beep, the Meeps' ruler, escaped. Beep's ship was pursued and shot down over Earth where it crash landed in the English city of Blackcastle. Beep sought refuge with two schoolchildren, using his fuzzy appearance to masquerade as a hapless, harmless creature being hunted by the ruthless Wrarth. It was in this guise that he encountered the Fourth Doctor, who protected him from the Wrarth until Beep's true nature was revealed to him. He hypnotised some people and tried to use them to repair his spaceship, deciding to take off in a hyper-space jump, even though this would destroy Blackpool. The Doctor then aided the Wrarth in apprehending Beep, and he was taken away to face justice.
Beep the Meep's weapon of choice was black star radiation, which he used both as a power source for his spaceship and for brainwashing people by exposing them to it. He also usually kept an energy pistol on his person, in a pouch concealed under his fur. Beep is a memorable and popular villain, mainly due to the contrast between his appearance and his true nature, and his constant fuming at not being taken seriously because of his cute appearance. He has returned to bedevil the Doctor several times, often targeting Earth as well because of the indignities both have heaped on him.
Released on parole fifteen years after being taken into custody by the Wrarth, Beep sought revenge in The Star Beast II (published in the 1996 Doctor Who Magazine Yearbook) but the Fourth Doctor used black star energy to trap him inside the children's movie For the Love of Lassie.
Eventually, Beep managed to escape. In Doctor Who Magazine #283's TV Action! he travelled to the 1979 of a parallel world where the Doctor was the subject of a television programme titled Doctor Who. Beep tried to take over the BBC Television Centre, planning to broadcast black star radiation into households across Britain in an attempt to turn everyone as evil as himself. However, he mistook the actor Tom Baker for his hated nemesis and, while distracted, was defeated by the Eighth Doctor, his companion Izzy and various other television personalities.
Beep left the realm of the comic strip in an audio play produced by Big Finish Productions, The Ratings War, which was on a promotional CD given away with DWM #313. In the play, Toby Longworth provided the voice for Beep, who went up against the Sixth Doctor, voiced by Colin Baker. There, Beep tried much the same ploy as he did in TV Action!, except this time he produced a children's programme called Beep and Friends to effect a conquest by guile rather than by force. He was once again defeated by the Doctor and handed back to the Wrarth.
In a cameo appearance, an inebriated Beep tried to kill the Seventh Doctor at a party in the story Party Animals in DWM #173, but simply started a bar brawl instead. A hallucinatory Beep appeared in the Eighth Doctor strip A Life of Matter and Death (DWM #250). The Meeps (although not Beep himself) appeared in the spin-off short story Wish Upon A Star Beast by Steve Lyons, published in the charity anthology Perfect Timing.