Doctor Who: Season 4, Episode 4: Planet of the Ood
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  • I think this is the first time that the relaunch has ever truly gone off world before
  • One might think that this would not be as interesting, but the Ood still manage to be extremely creepy, even when they aren't being possessed by an ancient evil that could very well be Satan himself
  • It's amazing how different Donna is compared to how she was originally portrayed
  • I have to say, I like this interpretation of her much better
  • This is an episode I definitely recommend checking out


    • by David Finniss

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      The Doctor and Donna arrive on an alien planet in the 42nd Century. I think this is the first time that the relaunch has ever truly gone off world before. We’ve been to New Earth and to various spacecraft, but never to a bona fide alien world before. I do kind of wish the show would do that more often, but oh well.

      The planet in question is actually the homeworld of the Ood, the supposed slave race introduced back in “The Impossible Planet”. Where the alien race were more or less forced to take a back seat to the freaking devil, they take center stage here.

      A lot of elements introduced in the aforementioned two parter do crop up here though. Once again, we see the Ood’s eyes start to glow an eerie red and, much like they did before, they are able to kill people using the translators that they carry around. While the events


      are alluded to early on, this story more or less stands on its own while still following up on ideas and themes introduced in their first appearance.

      One might think that this would not be as interesting, but the Ood still manage to be extremely creepy, even when they aren’t being possessed by an ancient evil that could very well be Satan himself. The writers even managed to add a new level by making some of the Ood go rabid. It’s pretty chilling stuff.

      Donna still seems to be adapting to her role as companion. The events of this episode put her through an emotional roller coaster as her initial excitement about being on an alien world is filled with guilt and horror at what is being done to the Ood. It gets to the point where she actually considers throwing in the towel and giving up her role as companion due to the shock of what she sees. You ...


      • can’t blame her though, this was some heavy, heavy stuff.

        She still acts as a sort of moral center, going on about how the Ood shouldn’t be treated this way and she is outright appalled when she finds out how the Ood are made to be so subservient. You really do empathize with her a great deal. It’s amazing how different Donna is compared to how she was originally portrayed. I have to say, I like this interpretation of her much better. I don’t know if I could’ve stood a whole season of Donna as we saw her in her first appearance. As she is now, she makes a great foil for the Doctor and she’s a pretty solid character to boot.

        I think the real highlight of the episode is the final reveal as the nature of the “tonic” is brought to light. Even though I had seen the episode before and knew what was going to happen,

        that sequence was pulled off so well that my jaw still dropped as the drink took effect.

        This is one of those instances where “social commentary” is done well. A lot of times, it just ends up being eye roll worthy, but while it’s not exactly subtle here, it works within the context of the story so well that you don’t feel like you’re being lectured or preached to.

        This episode is much more action oriented than you might expect. The show is regularly fast paced and gripping, but there was a lot more emphasis on gun fights and big action sequences. It works well enough, so one can hardly complain.

        While the episode wasn’t quite as mind blowing as it was the first time I saw it, it still managed to keep me gripped and entertained for the entire runtime. It still manages to be creepy and the message still feels sincere. This is an episode I definitely recommend checking out.




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