Donna is terrified at her first off-world trip where she and the Doctor encounter the Ood. It's the year 4126 and they seem to have arrived at factory where the Ood are prepared for sale to anyone willing to pay the price. The Ood from all appearances are a subservient race and are fitted with a communications device. Some of them however seem to be going rabid with their eyes turning a bright red. The company has been selling the Ood for some 200 years now and while it all seems benign on the surface, there is something far more sinister at work here. Written by
You can always spot a Graeme Harper directed episode - it may be the pace or the themes but there's a certain gritty atmosphere in his tales that's quite unique.
In "Planet of the Ood", The Doctor and Donna visit the Oodsphere, a beautiful snow covered world where humans are exploiting the planet's occupants. It's a welcome change to see the action taking place on an alien world and the episode successfully captures the feeling of another planet.
Tim (Percy from "Blackadder") McInnerny is a memorable balding baddie whose follicle obsession takes centre stage in his thoughts. McInnerny's treatment of the Ood race is despicable but there's the feeling throughout the episode that his comeuppance is nigh.
This is very much an "old school" episode. It feels like "classic" "Doctor Who" and contains at least one disturbing scene and quite a high body count. There's questionable morality in this story, as acknowledged by The Doctor himself. This could well be a darker season of new "Who" but early signs are that this is going to be the best one yet.
Observant viewers will by now have latched onto the "disappearing bees" sub-plot. I wonder what this could be about? Whatever the outcome, it's definitely this year's "Bad Wolf" / "Saxon" guessing game. And then there's the musical cue from "Doomsday" to consider. I have thoughts about how and why The Doctor's "song" will end but time will tell...
8 out of 10. A strong episode, beautifully produced and directed by the team.
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