Moondust was a VERY popular story with readers. There was something about the juxtaposition of a crashed ship full of felinites and the moon landing that appealed at so many levels. It was one of those stories that was satisfying to write and very nice to get feedback from.

The cat people first appeared in New Earth, as the cat-nuns who ran the hospital. They were seen again in Gridlock where we were introduced to Brannigan the motorist, who had married a Human and fathered a litter of kittens. Don’t ask! Just don’t ASK!

There was never a name given to their species. I decided to call them Felinites for the sake of clarity. I decided on the surname McDevitt, an Irish name, in line with Brannigan, also an Irish name. Petra and Gordo seemed like nice names for a pair of cats. Their house moving, is actually something real cats do. They don’t like to have too many of them in one place. It makes perfect sense. Gantus III, like Felinites, is a detail I added in as the previous name for the planet of New Earth.

A splenectomy is not a dangerous operation, per se, but any operation, especially under such circumstances as described here, is tough. The Doctor has to prove himself as a ‘doctor’. And he does. Then he has a lot more work to do.

The time ribbon which caused the damage to the Felinite ship was previously seen in my Theta Sigma series, in the story called Missing Years. I decided that something as interesting as that should get used again.

As for the Moon Landing, well, it is the key moment in Human space exploration. Everything else stems from it. The Doctor had to get things right. His eventual solution is one that goes back to a previous story. Remember the shrink ray gun from Lit., Art, Music!

That poem at the end, is called High Flight, by a poet called John Gillespie Magee, Junior. He was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and died on a training mission in 1941 – yes, rather like the REAL Captain Jack Harkness, according to the episode of Torchwood by that name. That in itself is enough to endear him to Doctor Who fans. The poem is most famous for being quoted on the memorial to those killed in the Challenger space shuttle crash. The Doctor, here applies it to a happier space adventure.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.,_Jr.