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Doctor Who - Planet of the Ood

episode 4.3

UK 2008
produced by
Susie Liggat, Phil Collinson (executive), Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Graeme Harper
starring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Tim McInnerny, Ayesha Dharker, Adrian Rawlins, Roger Griffiths, Paul Clayton, Paul Kasey, Tariq Jordan, Tony Gibbons, Silas Carson (voice)
written by Keith Temple, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Donna Noble

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The 42nd century: humankind has extended its reign over 3 galaxies, and has found its perfect servant in the Ood, beings from a strange world that are always polite and subservient, that never complane and that can almost be mass-produced. Sure, every now and again an Ood runs amok in the Ood-factory on the Ood-sphere (their homeplanet), but5 then again, nothing's perfect, now is it.

As it happens, the Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) stop by the Ood-Sphere, only to find out that something's not perfect indeed, as the Ood are indeed enslaved by businessman Halpen (Tim McInnerny), who has put their collective brain under a forcefield to keep them from organizing a rebellion, but not the forcefield seems to show inexplicable weaknesses, so much so that the Ood, with a little bit of help from the Doctor, actually start to rebel. Ultimately they manage to free themselves from their human oppressors with a song (really) and punish Halpen by turning him into an Ood ...

 

The premise of this episode is almost great: Humankind has rather accidently enslaved another lifeform just because of not caring enough to even notice, and a businessman is making great profits from it. Likewise the Ood with their three brains - one in the head, one in hand (really) and one collective brain - are quite an interesting concept. Unfortunately, the episode based on all this is less than great, based more on action and effects than on actually exploring its subject, giving the whole thing a rushed look, and the finale of the Ood freeing themselves with a song is more than just a little cheesy. Still, taken as a mindless piece of science fiction TV, The Planet of the Ood is not too bad, it's just nowhere near it could have been - and would have been at the height of the classic series (circa the early to mid-1970's), when a slower pacing and longer running time gave the series' stories plenty of opportunities to develop.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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