Doctor Who and the Star Beast — or The Star Beast — was a Fourth Doctor comic strip published in Doctor Who Weekly. The story introduced new companion Sharon Davies, as well as popular DWM villain Beep the Meep.
Pursued by Wrarth Warriors, Beep the Meep crashes his craft in Blackcastle, where he is found and hidden by school children Sharon and Fudge. The Doctor follows the flames of the neutron drive star cruiser and investigates, unaware that he is leading the Wrarth Warriors directly to the Meep. The Warriors attack K9, making him useless. After he has sent the Meep with Sharon for safety, the Doctor learns from the Wrarth officers, Sergeant Zogroth and Constable Zreeg, that Beep is being hunted by the Wrarth (biological constructs of the five strongest races in the galaxy) for unspeakable crimes.
Taking the Wrarth Warriors with him, the Doctor finds Sharon and the locals turned into zombie drones by the radiation of the Black Star drive. Beep has made them work to repair the ship for a star jump from Earth. The Doctor, along with Blackcastle and the workers, are caught in the star jump.
The Doctor returns the workers (the radiation effect has started to wear off) to Earth in the TARDIS. The Wrarth ship captures and boards the Meep's ship and Sharon is returned to the Doctor and K9, who is erratic and purring like a cat but back together. The Doctor agrees to take Sharon with him in the TARDIS so he can return her to Earth.
- The Doctor expects to land in Benidorm.
- The Doctor wears a sombrero.
- When K9's memory and identity circuits are damaged, the Doctor recognises the speech patterns of Leela.
- The Doctor refers to the Black Guardian.
- Although Pat Mills and John Wagner were jointly credited, they took turns to write the scripts. The Star Beast was written by Pat Mills. (The Iron Legion's Dave Gibbons Interview)
- The story is based on a story by Mills and Wagner that was submitted to and rejected by the BBC. (The Iron Legion's Dave Gibbons Interview)
- Dave Gibbons consistently drew K9 smaller than the actual K9 prop, enabling him to be carried around more easily under characters' arms in the strip – something that was quite impossible on television.
- Sharon becomes the first (known) person of colour to act as a continuous companion to the Doctor, predating Mickey Smith and Martha Jones by more than a quarter of a century.
- The newsreader is modelled upon contemporary newsreader Angela Rippon. Rippon herself played the role in the audio adaptation.
- When the Doctor and his bizarre companions take a bus ride, a worried-looking man is shown thinking "Oh no! Please don't let them sit next to me!" The man is modelled on stand-up comedian Jasper Carrott, who had a well-known routine based around his encounters with "The Nutter On the Bus".
- The Doctor mentions the Black Guardian. This is the second comic in a row which featured a reference to characters from Season 16. The previous issue had featured a reference to Romana II.
- As with the comic story Timeslip, this story appears to take place after the events of the television story The Armageddon Factor owing to the randomiser being in use; however, Romana is absent for reasons not explained, although K9 is still present (Romana's absence is referenced in the previous story, however), placing this before the TARDIS enters E-Space in Full Circle.
Original print details
- Publication with page count and closing captions
- DWM 19 (5 pages) Next Week: The Human Bomb!
- DWM 20 (4 pages) Next Week: The Hunt!
- DWM 21 (4 pages) Next Week: Doctor Death!
- DWM 22 (4 pages) Next Week: Revenge of Wrarth!
- DWM 23 (4 pages) Next Week: Hour of the Beast!
- DWM 24 (4 pages) Next Week: Countdown to Apocalypse!
- DWM 25 (4 pages) Next Week: Stardeath!
- DWM 26 (4 pages) Next Week: Join the Doctor, Sharon and K-9 in... Devil-Spawn!
- DW84 1-2 (Doctor Who (1984) colourised reprint)
- DWCC 25-26 (Doctor Who Classic Comics colourised reprint)
- The Iron Legion
- DWC 4-5 (IDW colourised reprint)
- Doctor Who Classics Volume 1 (IDW colourised reprint)
- Doctor Who Classics Omnibus Volume 1 (IDW colourised reprint)
- Beep reappears in COMIC: Star Beast II and AUDIO: The Ratings War.
- Beep is released after fifteen years in prison in the year 1995, (COMIC: Star Beast II) dating this story to 1980.