In an early draft, Beep the Meep revealed himself to be the antagonist of The Star Beast much earlier than he did in the broadcast episode.
Written by new showrunner, Russell T Davies, The Star Beast has the Meep’s true intentions come to light around halfway through the first 60th anniversary special, but that wasn’t always the case.
“In draft one, it was practically straight away, or in Rose’s shed, as in the comic strip, he reveals himself a significant chunk earlier – before the chase, not after the chase. So in the very first script, it’s like he’d be in Rose’s shed and she’d say, ‘I was making toys,’ and things like that, and every time she turned her head… he’d look at camera and go, ‘Soon, I will feast on her blood!’ which I thought was really funny.
“I was told, my bosses gave me notes, they said he revealed himself as a villain too soon. I don’t know to this day. I still watch it thinking, I think that was really funny. And then Rose would turn back to him, she’d go, ‘Did you say something?’ And he’d go, ‘Meep Meep!’”
This feels quite satirical, in line with Partners in Crime, an episode which The Star Beast already reminded this DWC writer of. Plus, it would’ve further broken the fourth wall, a rarity though something the special did straight away in the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) relaying the events of Doctor Who Series 4 to the audience. You have to wonder whether this aspect of the story will be the basis of the upcoming Target novelisation of The Star Beast too…
It’s a curious thing, breaking the fourth wall. A very small sample of shows do it, and while Doctor Who has done it on occasion before — in episodes like The Feast of Steven and Before the Flood — some people love it and others hate it.
Either way, it’s always interesting to hear about the path untravelled.