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


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...

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.

“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.

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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Available platformsTV