Dolphins of Tangalooma was inspired many months before I wrote it. I discussed it with my friend, Prue Thomason, of Brisbane. She was working on a Ninth Doctor story set in Yorkshire and I wanted to do a story set in Australia – or maybe more than one. I had decided against a story set in Brisbane itself, because I was already working on one set in Canberra, ACT, for the Theta Sigma series and wanted an alternative to urban settings. Prue told me about Moreton Island and the resort of Tangalooma, with its dolphins, and I was hooked.

I have never been to Australia. I have to admit that from the start. My knowledge of the coastline of Moreton Island comes from Google Earth. This is why much of the description of the place is the view from an aeroplane. Following the coastline of the island around on Google Earth is just about as close to flying around the island as I could make it.

The dolphins that actually come into the resort to be hand fed were a gift. Way back in 2005 I wrote the Theta Sigma story, Lagenorhynchus which introduced the idea that dolphins were a sentient species that could morph into humanoids and communicate with people. The dolphins of planet Earth were descended from that sentient species, but kept their morphic abilities secret from humans.

So a story set on an Australian island associated with dolphins was a great time to introduce the idea into the TEN series. And since it was set in Australia, there had to be a reunion with Tegan Jovanka. Exactly what Tegan did after leaving The Doctor is anyone’s guess. Learning to fly and running her own freight and tourism business is a perfectly sensible possibility.

A lot of the meeting between Tegan and the new companions was taken from what had been my original opening of ‘Translations’. I had intended for Donna and Ben to meet Tegan in London and then go to Downing Street together. But there seemed to be too many characters in the story and I decided to drop Tegan out of it and introduce her again in her own environment. This is that story.

Sadly, my friend, Prue, died of cancer before she had chance to see how my first attempt at a story with an Australian setting came out. So this is another tribute to her.

Translations Introduction
http://www.tangalooma.com/info/home/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangalooma_Wild_Dolphin_Resort
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangalooma,_Queensland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moreton_Island