The Ratings War was a 2002 Big Finish audio drama, featuring the Sixth Doctor taking on one of his old comic strip foes, Beep the Meep. Originally released as an inclusion with Doctor Who Magazine #313, it was later re-released as a free download on the Big Finish Productions website.
Beep the Meep is back — and he's found a new channel for his aggression! A brand new series is about to make television history, but can the Doctor prevent his furry foe from turning a docu-drama into a crisis, or will the fluffy-wuffy animals get it in the neck? The first shots in the ratings war have been fired, and the next one is aimed at your head...
to be added
- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Beep the Meep - Toby Longworth
- Roger Lowell - Robert Jezek
- Robbie McHale - Alistair Lock
- Lucy / Susan - Jane Goddard
- The new shows on the network include Young Cops in Hospital, Wacky Domestic Mishaps, Look! Cute Animals!, Hospital Street, Appealing Animals in Distress and Audience Shares.
- Beep threatens the Doctor with Grundian Blood Nogs.
- The Ratings War features the return of Beep the Meep, the villain in Doctor Who and the Star Beast. His fate in Star Beast II is also mentioned. Black Sun radiation is also mentioned, though referred to as Black Star radiation instead. To date[update], this is his only appearance in performed Doctor Who.
- The original CD release includes "hidden material" which is heard if the CD is left playing for several minutes after the conclusion of the story. The bonus material includes outtakes, the full version of Beep's improvised rant and a complete version of the Beep and Friends theme song.
- Also included as a bonus on the original CD release is the first episode of the Eighth Doctor audio adventure, Invaders from Mars.
- This is one of only a few stories in which the Sixth Doctor is depicted travelling without a companion.
- The Doctor's speech at the end has several meta-fictional references. The Doctor disparages television, claiming it is limiting and unsuitable to his needs, a reference either to Doctor Who's cancellation or Colin Baker's unceremonious firing. He also claims that he needs a medium that allows him to be "louder" and that the audience will be "hearing more from me, I can assure you", a reference to the audio stories. Robbie McHale asks if the audience will ever know who he is (a reference to the Doctor's mysterious past) or if he would ever come back (a reference to the potential return). Further, Beep & Friends is placed on "hiatus" for eighteen months, referencing the eighteen-month hiatus that Doctor Who suffered in 1986 after barely avoiding cancellation by the BBC.
- This marks Beep's first appearance in an audio story. Additionally, it is his first not to be in comic or comic-strip form.
- After the 2019 redesign of the Big Finish website, this release was added to The Sixth Doctor Adventures.
- Official The Ratings War page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Ratings War at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide