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Wikipedia suggests that the first mention of a bioship (an organic spaceship) was first mentioned as an idea in a 1953 short story "Specialist".

In the science fiction short story "Specialist" by Robert Sheckley, published in 1953 in Galaxy magazine, it is revealed that many galactic races are actually capable of symbiotic cooperation to become bioships, with each race forming a different part. Earth, apparently, is one of the planets inhabited by creatures that are supposed to function as FTL drives (Pushers), and, it is stated that all the conflicts and discontent of humanity are due to the fact that, while they have matured, they have nowhere to apply their true purpose. This story is perhaps the first mention of a bioship in science fiction.

And it mentions the alien spaceship Gomtuu as one of the first to appear in TV, but not necessarily as THE first to appear.

Is there any other earlier instance in flim or tv of an organic "bioship"? (Piloted by humans or not, either way)

I've narrowed this down to TV and Film, because without evidence to believe otherwise, I have no reason to doubt that the book example is probably the first in print.

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    If you hadn't narrowed it down to TV and film, I'd say something about Damon Knight's "Cabin Boy" (Galaxy, September, 1951) and Robert Abernathy's "Strange Exodus" (Planet Stories, Fall, 1950). – user14111 Apr 9 '14 at 19:59
  • @user14111 almost wish I hadn't, now that you've brought those up. – Zibbobz Apr 9 '14 at 20:05
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I could be wrong but the first ship to be described as a Bioship while looking at the wikia would be the Claw of Axos in Doctor Who.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioship

This was in 1971

The Axos (in the episode The Claws of Axos) is a bioship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Claws_of_Axos

The Claws of Axos is the third serial of the eighth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 13 March to 3 April 1971.

In 2006 it was stated that TARDISes are actually bioships as well.

  • Really? 8 Doctors and none mentions that Tardi(ses?) are grown? – user1129682 Apr 10 '14 at 11:15
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    @user1129682 That's because the idea that TARDISes were grown was introduced into New Who (aka after 2005 revival)... I don't recall if there were any episodes in Old Who that involved how they were made explicitly either. – DoctorWho22 Apr 10 '14 at 12:54
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    @DoctorWho22 there's a number of places in Old Who where it's indicated that TARDISes can be built by anyone with the required technical knowhow. In particular, the Patrick Troughton series The War Games revolves around a renegade time lord giving TARDIS technology to another race. I'm pretty sure the phrase "I'll just build another one" is uttered by either the Doctor or the Master at some point around the Peter Davison era, too. – Nathaniel May 3 '16 at 5:52

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