Space Moby


Space Moby
The Synopsis
as re-told by Dan Fiorella
Originally aired 9/24/1986

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We open in the profitable Tetragram asteroid mining colony, where Mel the robot pilot, Farley and Bob go about their usual job getting readings for 'roids with mine-able content. Suddenly a giant creature, the size of a space craft, sneaks up on them (trust me on this, it could happen) and begins chomping down on the asteroid they're working on! It's attacking and they realize there's a swarm of them invading.

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Back at the employee cafeteria, Bob and Farley are describing the "monster attack" when an odd space-faring man begins playing his space-bag pipes (well, that's what they were in the script). This man is Emerson Maalox, captain of the SS Melville, who has been hunting these great asteroid-eatin' monsters. And the chase is back on.

Bigalow, CEO of Tetragram, is on Cmdr. Walsh's case demanding the Rangers rid the mining colony of these creatures, since they're cutting into the profit margins. Since these creatures are new to them, the Rangers are attempting to ascertain their species.

Back at BETA Mountain, Q-Ball, Goose, Niko and Buzzwang are studying the data Tetragram has given the League but all they've determined is that these monsters, now dubbed "space whales," are a silicon-based life form. They eat asteroids and expel gas out their "blowholes." But are they intelligent creatures? Who can say?

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Maalox is in the process of hunting and capturing as many space whales as he can. His actions triggers protests back on earth, opposing the use of force on these creatures. The protests are lead by the organization Space Peace and its leader, Zoot Martin, who oppose mankind's habit of fouling every environment it enters and will not allow man to muck up space as well. Since they feel the Galaxy Rangers are not taking any action, Zoot vows they will take the matter into their own hands. You know that means trouble, right?

Walsh assigns Niko and Goose to CS41 to investigate and assigns Buzzwang to join them, as he has downloaded the files about the whales into his system.

The Rangers arrive just in time to see Capt. Maalox's ship capture a "silicon gigantius" and Zoot Martin's ship free it. This angers Maalox. But Zoot will not remove his one-ship blockade, announcing these creatures are only babies. Turns out Maalox is aware of that. He is attempting to draw out the leader of the herd, the great white one, the space whale what bit off Maalox's leg (no, the other one). As if on cue, scanners pick up the arrival of a "very big" thing. It's Space Moby, who seemingly heads right at the three ships. Ranger One executes evasive actions, which fly them through the path of the blowhole gases, causing a major flame-up.

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Maalox attempts to go after the Space Moby, but the Space Peace ship flies in front of them, running interference. The Space Moby makes a break for it. Zoot and Maalox fight it out. Maalox fires upon and disables the Space Peace ship and takes up the chase for the whale. But the whale eludes them, hiding in a dense asteroid field.

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The Rangers offer help to the damaged Space Peace ship, with Niko and Buzzwang jumping on their pod to help with repairs. Goose decides this is a good time to drop in on Capt. Maalox, who allows him to board.

As Niko and Buzz finish up repairs, Zoot tells them what Space Peace has learned about the space whales. They are peaceful, grazing animals which migrate about space looking for asteroids. They're intelligent creatures with a musical language, notes for letters, songs for speech which Niko starts to groove to. They allow Buzzwang to download the files into his data base.

Meanwhile, aboard the Melville, Goose confronts Maalox about the attack on the whales and Space Peace. In this really, really, truncated scene, Goose seems to get really angry very fast and tries to arrest Maalox. Maalox will not be deterred from his quest of killing the great white space whale and (now follow closely, because this is what is happening, even though you really can't tell what is happening) hits Goose with sonic waves from his space-bag pipes, rendering Goose helpless. Now, remember, they are sound waves here.

Okay, so Niko and the now-groovy Buzzwang (suffering some side-effects from the download) leave Space Peace to rejoin Ranger One, when they suddenly wind up in the path of Space Moby. Space Moby swallows them. Bummer, huh?

And the chase is back on. Goose is unconscious, Maalox is tracking the Moby. Space Peace tells Maalox Moby ate Niko and Buzz, but he's having none of that. And Niko and Buzz, they're slowly being digested.

Niko attempts to re-enforce the force fields of the pod with her psychic powers, but her charge is draining quickly.

"If there was only some way to tell Space Moby we're in here," Niko laments. There is. Buzzwang can speak the whale's language now. But the whale won't be able to hear him from inside the ship, so he'll go outside.

What follows is my favorite exchange from any of my scripts:

  • "You'll be dissolved."
  • "Niko, Niko, Niko. Q crafted me from the finest and most durable alloys."
  • "I know you've wanted to show us what you're made of, but this isn't the time to prove your metal."

    (get it? Metal/mettle? Sci-fi puns, gotta love 'em)
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Anyway, Buzz stumbles out of the ship and begins serenading the whale from the belly of the beast. They are able to establish communication with the whale and learn of the long-running battle between the whale herd and Maalox. The Melville attacks Space Moby, netting it, but she begins dragging the ship off course, and breaking the net. Goose comes to and tries to stop Maalox. Maalox attempts to give Goose another sonic jolt, but this time Goose is ready and is able to resist the sound waves by, get this now, making his ears disappear! Well, that's what was written, I don't know what that glowing stuff is. But it works and he can continue fighting Maalox. Up until the Moby rams the ship, disabling it. Maalox makes a break for it, rushing into a launch pad. Now, remember he's got no ears, so when Goose demands to know where the door leads and the crew member tells him to the longboat launch pad Goose says "what?" because he can't hear him, he's got no ears. The reading is definitely off on that line.

Be that as it may, Maalox goes after the whale on his own in one of his long boats. He nets the beast and the beast pulls him into the asteroid field. As he gets bounced off the asteroids, he gets all dramatic, vowing to "grapple with thee to the death." Where you gonna hear that kind of dialogue in cartoons? No where, I'll bet. Anyway, Maalox gets dragged into a asteroid and blows up. Blows up real good. So the "grapple to the death stuff" is what we call "foreshadowing."

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But it's not over. Niko and Buzz are still in the whale! And Buzz's feet are beginning to dissolve in the digestive juices. Before Goose can set off after them, they are released. Seems Buzz is a "real rib-tickler" and the whale vomits them up (implied). They next free the corralled baby whales.

Once they return home, they visit Tetragram and outline the plans for co-existence with the space whales and they discover the whale's waste matter would make excellent rocket fuel. Bigalow will have his lawyer's call the whale's lawyers and firm things up. And for some reason Zoot get all upset when Buzzwang states the plan is "radically far-out, for sure." Another odd reading the one-word sentence "what?"

And they lived happily ever after.

Additional Notes

Emerson Maalox almost didn’t make it to the page. While reviewing the script, one of Robert’s assistants asked “Maalox? Like the Maalox Antacid?” I admitted yes, I like they sound of the word as a offbeat Scottish name. Mandell paused a moment. There was a little back and forth, then he decided “what the hell” and let it Go. I think I may have spelled it Mylox in the script. But I was lucky they didn’t notice Emerson was the name of an appliance company.

- Dan Fiorella [1]

Thank You

  • Special thanks to Ryan Murphy for the screencaps and Dan Fiorella for the submission.


  1. @DanFiorella (Dan Fiorella). Twitter, Mar 20, 2019.