The Wheel in Space

The Wheel in Space is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from April 27 to June 1, 1968.

The explosion of the mercury fluid link forces the Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon to evacuate the TARDIS to avoid mercury fumes, and until the mercury can be replaced, the craft is marooned. They find themselves on a space vessel, deserted apart from a Servo-Robot.

To look at this story 'in depth' go to;


Only Episodes 3 and 6 exist in the BBC Archives. Episode 6 was transmitted from a 35 mm film print and retained in the BBC Film Library (although Episode 5 was not). A private collector obtained a copy of Episode 3 and returned it in 1983. A few other clips have been discovered as well.

A persistent fan myth was that an early edit (known as a "slash print") of episode 6 was held by the BBC, with an incomplete audio track. Unusually, but not uniquely, for 1960s Doctor Who, the electronic output for episode 6 was recorded directly onto 35mm film, rather than videotape (episode 5 was likewise recorded onto film but all copies of the film were later junked for this episode).

The associated optical soundtrack of this film contained the raw studio sound and was subsequently altered during the physical cutting of the film to form the edited transmission master of the episode. This did not matter because a separate magnetic film containing the final audio track to be used for broadcast, including music and sound effects, was prepared.

Early fan bootleg copies of the episode mistakenly sourced the audio from the film's optical track, which gave rise to the myth that a different version existed. The BBC video and DVD releases subsequently used the (correct) magnetic soundtrack. However, if the audio commentary option is selected for episode six on the DVD release, an audio snippet of from the recording session, sourced from the optical soundtrack, can be heard after the end credits.

Episodes 3 and 6 were released on VHS on Cybermen: The Early Years in July 1992, and again in November 2004 on DVD in the three-disc Lost in Time set. All six episodes' original audio tracks were released on the 2-disc BBC audiobook CD Dr Who The Wheel in Space with narration by Wendy Padbury (Zoe) in May 2004.

Here is a recon from 2234dw on YouTube;

The DWM index can be found at;


A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in March 1988. Only 23,000 copies of the paperback edition were circulated (reportedly due to stocks being destroyed in a warehouse fire), leading to this book becoming a rare collectible.

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