Doctor Who – Planet of the Ood

The Ood are back!

Many spoilers follow, do not carry on reading if you don’t want the story spoilt!

Series 4 Episode 3, the Ood are back, there’s an ice planet, an evil corporation, great characters and some seriously weird moments. That pretty much sums up the whole episode!

The Ood first made an appearance as willing servants in the the two parter of ‘The Impossible Planet’ and ‘The Satan Pit’ in which the Doctor and Rose are trapped on a mining facility next to a black hole. One by one the crew get killed by something that possesses them and the Ood with the Doctor later finding out it was the devil.

A very beautiful ice planet, shame there wasn’t more to be seen..

The Doctor and Donna land on a ice planet and encounter a dying Ood who had been shot after being affected by the ‘Red Eye’ phenomenon indicating that he was being possessed. He mentions something about a circle that must be broken, but dies before being able to elaborate. They quickly encounter a facility build which breeds and markets the Ood as slaves managed by Klineman Halpen, sneak in disguised as prospective clients and wander off to investigate more.

Donna: We don’t have slaves
Doctor: Who made your clothes?

The Ood are being treated as slaves

As you can see, the Ood are happy to serve and we keep them in facilities of the highest standard. Here at the double O, that’s ‘Ood Operations’, we’d like to think of the Ood as out trusted friends. We keep the Ood healthy, safe and educated. we don’t just breed the Ood, we make them better. Because at heart what is an Ood but a reflection of us. If your Ood is happy then you’ll be happy, too.

Solana Mercurio’s sales pitch

Both aiming for the ‘Employee of the Month’ award!

I spent all this time looking for the Doctor, because I thought it was so wonderful out there; I wanna go home.

Donna after hearing ‘the song of captivity’

There is a lot of back and forth happening with several confrontations, explotions and the finale involving Mr Halpen turning into Ood kind as a long planned revenge by giving a replacement instead of medicine. It was a quite shocking twist I didn’t see coming up until the moment he’d finished changing!

You think you’re taking a hair tonic, but instead you’re turning into Oodkind..

You idiot. They’re born with their brains in their hands. Don’t you see that makes them peaceful. They’ve got to be, ’cause a creature like that would have to trust anyone it meets.

Donna questioning Mr Halpens decision.

Some thoughts about the episode:

  • Donna was incredible, especially with the song and how she couldn’t bare to listen to it.
  • Donna is a great character and I like her relationship to the doctor, but there’s something missing that Rose and Martha had.
  • Another episode in which it wasn’t possible to really tell apart what’s right and wrong with Donna starting to question her own morals.
  • The Doctor seemed a little disappointed at Donna refusing to listen to the song further, it is almost like he was hoping to share some of his burden with her but can’t.
  • The Doctor is so enthusiastic about things, it’s brilliant! For example his speech when they leave the TARDIS or when they’re in the cage.
  • Commander Kess [Roger Griffiths] and Solana Mercurio [Ayesha Dharker] were absolutely brilliant and it’s a shame they didn’t have more screentime or the chance to reappear in a future episode.
  • The Doctor and Donna didn’t actually do anything. The Ood would have most likely freed themselves, especially with the planning of Sigma and the poison, yet they are being praised?
  • The infiltrator from ‘Friends of the Ood’ died far too easily! Surely an older man about to transform into Oodkind doesn’t have enough strength to throw him off the bridge.
  • I know I shouldn’t have found the ‘comedy classic’ option funny, but it did make me laugh. A lot!
  • Another mentioning of the missing bees.
  • The Ood are great, but I can’t stop thinking there is more to them that will be revealed in a future episode.
  • A very ominous prophecy at the end, does that indicate the Doctor will change or possibly die at the end of this season?
  • The Ood songs are beautiful.
  • I keep thinking I’ve seen the logo on the barrels and elsewhere in the episode before?

The Doctor and Donna’s reaction to the transformation

I think your song must end soon. Every song must end.

Sigma of the Ood to the Doctor.

Overall I didn’t like the episode all that much, I think it is mainly due to Donna and how I don’t really see her as a companion the way I saw Rose and Martha. She is a brilliant actress and had some great moments, but there were too many bits in which she didn’t come across too well. 5/10.
Next week, Martha is back in ‘The Sontaran Stratagem‘. Can’t wait to see her again!

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20 Responses to Doctor Who – Planet of the Ood

  1. Michael says:

    “The infiltrator from ‘Friends of the Ood’ died far too easily!”

    Maybe to us he has died by being digested by the Oodbrain, but perhaps his knowledge and even his consciousness has been integrated into the Ood consciousness. If that were the case, then the Ood have the advantages of being distributed across the galaxy, being telepathic, and knowing his cell contacts.


  2. Cat says:

    That is a good point.. but he still went over quite quickly.

    I’m surprised he didn’t harm the brain though!


  3. Wriggy says:

    “The Doctor and Donna didn’t actually do anything. The Ood would have most likely freed themselves, especially with the planning of Sigma and the poison, yet they are being praised?”

    Not sure about that one, Mr Halpen was going to destroy the brain which would have killed off the Ood and the Doctor stopped it. I’d (personally) give the episode 7/10 because it was entertaining and full of surprises.


  4. Cat says:

    All the Doctor did was stop the bombs which was effectively flicking one switch and then, with the permission of Sigma turned of the field surrounding the brain. Effectively everything was done by the Ood.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind, just seems a bit odd with the Doctor always being the one most involved with everything.


  5. B0bbyG says:

    I was so confused by the speed at which the plot moved and the general weirdness of the episode that I didn’t notice that the Doctor wasn’t doing much. To be honest, to me, the whole episode felt like one action sequence after another, held together by handwaved deus ex machina. I mean, what was in that drink that could possibly transform a man from one species to another?

    By the way, I think the reason the Ood brain wasn’t harmed was that it seemed to absorb whatever fell into it. Maybe that’s how it feeds.


  6. Cat says:

    Yeah, I only got most things when watching it the second time. Things like how he transformed right that moment and not weeks lateror well, most of it really! It was very confusing.

    And that drink, I still don’t understnad what was in that drink.. A human fell into the brain and it doesn’t damage it? He fell from like 10 metre height and I thought brains were such vulnerable things.

    What do you think of Donna?


  7. B0bbyG says:

    In “The Runaway Bride” I thought she was really annoying, but this series I like her. I prefered Martha, but it’s refereshing to meet a sidekick who isn’t perpetually angsting about how desperate she is for the Doctor to notice her.


  8. Cat says:

    Yeah, I suppose and I do like their more mature, grown up relationship, like he was able to tell her how he met the devil when he could never tell Rose.

    Do you not feel like somethign is missing though?


  9. C. Conway says:

    I thought this episode was REALLY good. I gave it a 9.5/10 because i gave the other 2 ood episodes a 10 and i did think they were better :D

    To check my ratings for all the Doctor who episodes, and more… feel free to have a look here:


  10. Cat says:

    Just about letting you get away with that shameless plug there!

    I loved the other two Ood episodes, but didn’t think this one was as great..


  11. B0bbyG says:

    Something missing? No, nothing that I noticed. I don’t think I’ve seen enough episodes with Donna in to really form an opinion, though.

    I don’t think “The Impossible Planet”/”The Satan Pit” was really an Ood story so much as a “the Beast” story. This was the first time we got to see an episode where the Ood get centre stage. Incidentally, I got the impression that the Doctor told Donna it was the devil because he couldn’t be bothered to explain; in “The Satan Pit” he himself wasn’t sure.


  12. Cat says:

    I guess we have only seen four episodes with Donna, so she might yet convince me. :)


  13. Xavier Sullivan says:

    I personally loved the episode, even though I do agree with you that there were quite a few things that didn’t make sense, and that happens more often than not in Doctor Who.

    But that’s where the viewer’s imagination comes in. Some people don’t like to use their imagination to fill in the blanks and hold their suspension of disbelief, but I for one enjoy it, as long as the plot holes aren’t too gapping…

    Let’s have a look at some of the problems in this one…

    *The Doctor and Donna didn’t do much: Well, the Doctor did turn off the bombs, and without him Ood Sigma couldn’t have entered the place where the Ood Brain was kept (The Doctor unlocked the door, remember?) So without him Mr. Halpen’s plan would have worked… and if that’s not good enough… tell yourself Ood Sigma is a fan.

    *That scientist died too easily: Let’s pretend Ood have higher than average human strength. Mr. Halpen was becoming an Ood and his strength was increased.

    How did Mr. Halpen become an Ood: Didn’t the Doctor mention something about Ood enzyme or… and about the timely change, I shrug it off as it being the proximity to the Ood brain that triggered the change.

    All good.

    And about Donna. I personally love her, the dynamic between her and the Doctor is simply brilliant; fresh and entertaining. It’s only in last’ week’s episode that I figured out what it was, when that pompeii man mistook them for brother and sister. That’s what they’re like, brother and sister; bickering, arguing, laughing, joking, learning from one another… I’m still unsure which is the older sibling though… I’m thinking Donna is the youngest sister most of the time.

    Anyhow, my two cents.


  14. Cat says:

    I am one of those people looking for small things, pointing out errors. I’ve been told I’m very annoyign to watch a film with! I mean I do enjoy Doctow Who a lot, infact it is one of my favourite shows these days.

    Yeah, he turned off the bombs.. which was effectively flicking one switch when they started beeping! I’m sure the Ood used to household chores would have been able to figure that out themselves?

    I didn’t think that Mr Halpen was almost an Ood at the point, but you’re right. With our little knowledge of the Ood that is a very logical explanation.

    Enzyme, I don’t know, could be, but yeah, the brain was probably responsible.

    I miss the cheery companions I think. Donna is much more down to Earth.

    Thanks for stopping by..


  15. Michael says:

    The drink could have been stem cells in liquid form. Sigma said it was Ood cell complex/grafts? If Mr. Halpern had been drinking them for six months to a year, it could have taken over his physiology. While it does seem a bit sudden to go from human brain to Ood brain in a few minutes, it is biologically possible for some tissues to break down and disintegrate or build up within seconds.

    That’s one thing I’ve also noticed with some episodes – the Doctor doesn’t really get to make any major decisions that change the course of events one way or another – he just has to find a solution to a particular problem like unlocking a locked door using the Sonic Screwdriver or running down a set of stairs to rescue someone.

    Avon in Blakes Seven was more of a strategic thinker, it would go like; Cally: “Why don’t we just go and attack Servalan’s ship now – it’s at the space port?”, Avon: “At the moment, she doesn’t know we’re here – if we attack now, she will have this star system surrounded by the entire federation fleet within a light-day – we wouldn’t make it past the first moon. If we let her leave, and wait to see which star system she goes to, we can go in the opposite direction. By the time she realizes she has gone in the wrong direction, we will be at least three star systems away from her”.

    Having watched the old series, it is much better that an entire story is in one episode. There was nothing more annoying than the cliff-hanger that you would have to wait a week to find out what happened, only to find out that the chain of events was completely different, like someone else had switched the central energy grid off moments before the ‘fire’ switch of the defense system or execution chamber had been pressed.

    In the previous episode, I thought it would have been more Edgar-Allan-Poeish to have had the nanny be converted into those little fat aliens, rather than have her just go splat onto the ground.

    I like Donna – the Doctor’s assistant was always meant to be someone you could meet in the street while going to work or the supermarket. It meant everyone could identify with her.


  16. Cat says:

    Yeah, I suppose you’re right, plus there’s always the boost from standing so close to the brain.

    I suppose this could all lead to a big finale that the Doctor doesn’t get to make any decisions in order to make decisions later on in the series seem more than they really are. Although, he did do quite a bit in the latest episode.

    Having still not watched any of the old series, were there no cliffhangers in them?

    Which ones would you recommend I start with watching?

    I think killing the nanny was a good decision, plus I’m sure she never took the pills!

    I always felt that I could associate myself with Martha quite well, but Rose always seemed a bit too different. Donna is definitely growing on me, she was great in the latest episode.


  17. Amy says:

    i think donna is definately the best ‘partner in crime’. She has some very emotional moments which she gets spot on and she is realy funny. it’s good to have some more humou in the series also.

    it was sad to see her leave doctor who and i fell sorry for the doctor because she didn’t remember him so he couldn’t say goodbye to her properly.


  18. Myrddin says:

    The Doctor’s part seemed minimal, but maybe it was crucial. True, Dr Ryder was the true hero – it was his plan that enabled the brain to reach out to the ood, and his sacrifice. He lowered the barrier to a minimum.

    But the Doctor may even have helped unconsciously – Time Lords telepathic abilities are in tune with Ood / Sensorites, so merely by his presense and willingness to open his mind to them, he could have acted as a conduit to amplify the Brain’s signals. He also provided an extra distraction which bought a few extra minutes, giving the transformation of Halpen time to take effect. Though is part was small, it was decisive. Without the doctor’s intervention, Sigma would not have gained entrence to the building – Ryder would have tried to stop Halpen and died anyway, Halpen would have left emediately (remember it was proximity to the Brain that accelerated his change) and the Brain would have been killed.

    Incidentally, is it a coinsidence that the Cheif Ood has the same name as the Doctor?


  19. Cat says:

    Great comment, thanks. :)

    I do have to watch this episode again as I don’t actually remember that much of it.


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