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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: Adventures in Space > MOBY DOC

MOBY DOC

The Song of the Space Whale is one of the best-known ‘lost stories’ from 1970s and 80s Doctor Who. As writer Pat Mills recalls, it took 30 years for his ambitious ideas to be realised…

Pat Mills has long since acquired legendary status as one of the guiding lights of British comics. In 1977 he created and edited 2000AD, still known 40 years later as ‘the galaxy’s greatest comic’ and home of Judge Dredd. Then in 1979, he and co-writer (and Dredd co-creator) John Wagner wrote the very first comic strips to grace the pages of Doctor Who Weekly, including the classic The Iron Legion.

Around the same time, the duo attempted to step from the printed page to television Doctor Who with an imaginative adventure called The Song of the Space Whale. The idea was destined to become one of the series’ mythical ‘lost stories’ and would be three decades in the making…

“John Wagner and myself submitted a story to [Doctor Who script editor] Anthony Read which got turned down”, recalls Pat from his home in Spain. “And then along came Doctor Who Weekly and we got rooted in that direction.” But this didn’t stop Pat and John from having a second crack at the TV series. “We thought up this space whale story and I mentioned it to my then-wife, Angela. She thought it was great and that we should submit it to the BBC, which we did. It was read by the script department, who referred it to Christopher H Bidmead who had just taken over as script editor on Doctor Who. Chris responded very, very positively to the story.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

“Space: the final frontier. Final, because it wants to kill us...” The TARDIS doesn’t just travel through time – stories set in space have been an essential part of Doctor Who for six decades. The inhospitable void between the stars has served as the backdrop to epic space operas and nerve-racking thrillers, while harbouring some of the most dangerous adversaries the Doctor has ever encountered. This lavish publication navigates a revealing course through the space lanes of Doctor Who, with exclusive interviews, rare images, and guides to some of the most memorable episodes.