TV REVIEW Doctor Who 4.03 Planet of the Ood

Original UK air date: 19/4/08

Written by: Keith Temple

Directed by: Graeme Harper

Rating:

The One Where:
The Ood go on a killing spree at a distribution depot on their homeworld. Donna and the Doctor soon realise that the second great and bountiful human empire is endorsing slavery...

Verdict:
A welcome return for the “live to serve” Ood (from “The Impossible Planet”/”The Satan Pit” two-parter), who still have the ability to switch from sweet to scary in the flash of a glowing red eye. Tim McInnerny is suitably slimy as the businessman making a packet exploiting the Ood and their native Ood-Sphere (a beautifully realised iceworld), but the real baddie turns out to be a 42nd century human race that’s happy to subjugate (via lobotomy) an entire species just so they don’t have to do the jobs they hate – a surprisingly political sting in the tail. Plenty of good stuff from Donna, too, who continues to do her best take on Jiminy Cricket as the Doctor’s conscience.

Trivia:
“Voice of the Ood” Silas Carson also lent his vocal cords to several aliens in the Star Wars prequels, notably the Trade Federation’s Nute Gunray.

Whoniverse:
Sorry, but Mr Halpen (McInnerny) turning into an Ood is totally inconsistent with the rest of the episode. Has someone read Roald Dahl’s “Royal Jelly”?

Speculation 1:
Donna mentions AWOL bees for a second time. What’s going on? Could their disappearance have anything to do with the Shadow Proclamation and the missing planets mentioned in the first two episodes of the series?

Speculation 2:
Ood Sigma’s revelation that he thinks the Doctor’s “song must end soon” seems to take the Time Lord aback somewhat – what does Russell the T have in store for the Tenth Doctor?

Best Line:
Donna: “Now that’s what I call a spaceship. You’ve got a box, he’s got a Ferrari.”

Richard Edwards

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