Season 6, 1969; 6 episodes

For those of us who can remember, 1969 was a big year for space travel. The first lunar landing had yet to happen, nor was it by any means a foregone conclusion. Possibly this inspired the Doctor Who production team to do an ambitious space story. Concurrent with the first episode of The Space Pirates being broadcast, NASA flew Apollo 9, a mission leading up to the actual first lunar landing four months hence.

One feature of The Space Pirates was the many model shots of contrasting white spacecraft moving slowly and silently in featureless black space. These were no doubt influenced by the spectacular NASA footage of the Sixties.

The Space Pirates is set far into the future, near and on the planet Ta. Miners in the form of the loner Milo Clancey, and the huge Issigri Mining Corporation are seeking the rare mineral argonite. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves caught up in a conflict lifted straight from any Wild West story. Law and order is represented by General Hermack and his International Space Corps, while the the boys in black hats are the ruthless argonite pirates. The travellers arrive on a navigation beacon and are soon separated from the Tardis. The beacon is made of argonite and is a prime target for the pirates....

Episode 2 of The Space Pirates survives, and can seen on the BBC video "The Troughton Years". The remaining five episodes are missing.

Click to read the script for:

Introduction by GARY ZIMMER (

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