Doctor Who Review: Planet of the Ood

The circle must be broken.

Primary Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Catherine Tate as Donna Noble
Tim McInnerny as Mr Halpen
Silas Carson as the voice of the Ood
Paul Kasey as The Ood
Tariq Jordan as Rep No. 1
Roger Griffiths as Commander Kess
Paul Clayton as Mr Bartle
Ayesha Dharker as Solona Mercurio
Adrian Rawlins as Dr Ryder
Tony Gibbons as Rep No. 2

Written by Keith Temple

Directed by Graeme Harper

Originally aired on the 19th of April 2008 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.


Utilising a random navigation programme which fortunately selects a destination with a breathable atmosphere, the Doctor takes Donna to her first exoplanet, in the first half of the forty-third century. It seems the TARDIS also has a knack for choosing places where there’s trouble, as they soon discover that they have arrived on the world where the Ood originated, and there’s a revolution brewing.

High Points

  • The Ood now make a bit more sense (with caveats: see the low point)

Low Points

  • A natural life form which has a telepathic group mind in the form of a giant brain, and also requires to use one of its two hands to hold its secondary brain? Somebody didn’t ever learn about evolution, did they?
  • A crane chase? Randomly sadistic murderous entertainment by the security commander? WHY?

The Scores

Originality: A genetically-engineered servant species turns out to be an enslaved sentient race. Gosh, I didn’t see that coming… two out of six.

Effects: Pretty simplistic. There’s nothing special demanded, but there’s nothing particularly brilliant about what was done either. I’m sure glowing red eyes should look more like phosphorescent insects than plastic things with lights behind them. Three out of six.

Story: The story is coherent, makes sense and admits to a decent amount of backstory. It also ties in with our previous encounter with the Ood. It is, however, nothing special or exciting. Four out of six.

Acting: Catherine Tate really does go overboard with the tears. She portrays Donna as either shrieking or bawling, with only occasional moments of equilibrium. Tim McInnerney was, however, rather good. Four out of six.

Emotional response: I assume I was supposed to feel frightened of the Ood, and then sympathetic and then happy. They’re not particularly engaging creatures though. Too many tentacles. Three out of six.

Production: Lots of matte paintings and fake snow, and Blue Peter wrist communicators. Three out of six.

Overall: Nothing special, but not particularly objectionable either. Three out of six.

Planet of the Ood receives a total of twenty-two out of forty-two. Oh dear.

7 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Planet of the Ood”

  1. The CLAW rocked!
    If you can’t enjoy the simple pleasure of a giant claw chasing the Doctor around a maze, then you’re watching the wrong show.

    Aside from that. Again with the bees. Odd.
    The Doctor and Donna are again worshiped by the people they save.
    Hinting at the end of the series :(

  2. Next week episode …
    No, I haven’t seen it, and yes, no spoilers. :P But from the previews it looks fun.


  3. Was there anything about a missing planet?
    We were at 2/2 as of last week.

    Low point for me: They found the giant brain under the ice? I certainly didn’t look like it could survive in ice. Much better would have been a large ‘animal’ with the telepathic abilities, versus something so fragile.

    If they lose their brains, then does the translator unit take care of autonomous actions? Whole thing just seems a little convoluted to me.

    • Re: Was there anything about a missing planet?

      We were at 2/2 as of last week.

      I was watching for it, but didn’t notice anything. We did get some vague-ish comments that amounted to "stuff is going to happen", though.

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