Food for Thought (comic story)

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Food for Thought was a First Doctor comic story featuring Ben and Polly.

As of 2023, it is the only wholly-surviving story told in a visual medium which featured this particular TARDIS team, since Ben and Polly's only complete serial, The War Machines, also included Dodo. In fact, it was the comic debut of this TARDIS team, as Polly and Ben had only appeared in World Distributors annuals prior to this story — and then only with the Second Doctor.


The Doctor visits a planet under the control of massive slugs.


The Doctor, Ben and Polly materialize on Apresar IV, where they find giant slugs roaming a deserted city. One such slug consumes the TARDIS, and while hiding from it Ben falls through a panel into the city's control network. There, he is pursued by robot service units who are feeding the cryogenically frozen Apresarians to the slugs' young. A spaceship lands on the planet to investigate the lack of response from the surface; Captain Galloran is returning terraformer Ellis Melthorpe following a survey of the outlying planets. They are attacked by a slug which the nervous, terrified Ellis identifies as a Mollusi, and Ellis flees as the Doctor is consumed by the Mollusi. Polly accompanies Galloran and his crew to planetary control, where they find Ellis and Ben. Ellis accuses Ben and Polly of killing his people, but before Galloran can execute them the Doctor arrives with a vat of larval Mollusi which he found in Ellis' quarters on Galloran's ship. Ellis admits that he was consumed by a Mollusi on his last expedition and gave in to its will in order to survive; upon returning to Apresar IV, he initiated the Apresarian emergency control procedures, placing the entire population of the planet into cryogenic stasis and programming the robot service units to harvest them as food for the Mollusi. The Doctor has used his own willpower to turn the Mollusi which attempted to consume him against its fellows, and he now instigates a security shut-down procedure which deactivates the service units. The Mollusi young break out of the cryogenic chambers and attack them, but Ellis, blaming himself for the deaths, flings himself at a Mollusi which consumes him. The Mollusi then becomes overwhelmed by Ellis' suicidal self-loathing and despair, and turns on the other Mollusi, killing them all.





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