Doctor Who: Planet of the Ood
(S04E04) The Ood return.The race was seen two years ago in the two-parter "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" as a servant race. In this episode, we learn exactly why they're so good at being servile. Here's a hint: it's not by choice.
Gallery: Doctor Who: Planet of the Ood
Russell T. Davies had this episode made to go further into the characterization of the Ood. The central theme of the episode was slavery, and we soon learn that, unlike the Dish of the Day, the Ood have no interest in being slaves. It's only after they get their secondary, external brain removed that they become subservient.
Making a guest appearance as CEO Klineman Halpen (the shippers of the Ood) is a familiar face to Britcom lovers, Tim "Captain Darling" McInnerny. He plays exactly the sort of self-justifying evil bastard that you'd think would run such a company. Doctor Who, under Davies' rule, has been quite anti-corporate.
The callbacks to the original series continue. The Ood are reminiscent of The Sensorites, an alien race from William Hartnell's time as the Doctor in the 60's. They even lived on the "Sense-Sphere", which is similar in name of the "Ood-Sphere" and is located in the same solar system. The Ood and the Sensorites even have a similar look and similar telepathic abilities. The Doctor even mentions in the beginning that he's been to that solar system before.
The use of the grant Ood-brain at the end seemed a callback to the abysmal Sylvester McCoy episode "Time and the Rani", but I think that was unintentional.
It's interesting how the Ood's red-eye phase was used here. Last year, it was influenced by the beast in the pit (Satan, Sutekh, or whatever he was called). This year it's an effect from getting half-lobotomized. I liked how the Doctor felt he owed the Ood because of his failure to save a bunch of them last season.
Overall, the show has been acknowledging its history more this season than it ever has before. It would really be impressive if they acknowledged the 1996 television movie, but that could be too much to ask.
Donna remained her usual vocal self and remains my favorite companion ever. "You've got a box and he's got a Ferrari." It was also touching how she shed a tear when the Doctor allowed her to hear the telepathic Ood-song.
David Tennant abandoned the tie of his outfit this week, making him look even more hipster than usual. It's an amazing evolution of the character from the hippie Tom Baker.
The Ood also give an ominous warning to the Doctor about his song ending. Considering that early reports indicate that David Tennant will be on through the specials that are being broadcast next year, it is uncertain how that would translate. My guess is that David Tennant will still die/regenerate at the end of the season and the four specials (including the Christmas special) will be "filler" from the times he travelled alone between seasons. But that's just me.
The missing planets arc continues in this episode. The missing bees also got mentioned (they were mentioned by Donna in the first episode this season and therefore it must be presumed as part of the season's arc). There also seems to be a subtle arc about people telling stories about the Doctor ( The reporter in the first episode, The Doctor's warning to Caecilius' wife, The Ood Song about Doctor-Donna). This is just hypothesis, but maybe someone is trying to change history and create a universe without the Doctor?
This is just an observation, but why did the Doctor and Donna get an Ood-song and the guy who spent 10 years of his life infiltrating the company to free the Ood-brain got merely to be brain-food? Truly the universe is unfair.
Next week: another evil alien race from the classic series returns. Awesome.
|Yes, they're an interesting race.||128 (60.1%)|
|No, they're done.||85 (39.9%)|