The mysterious Ood return this week in Planet of the Ood. Written by Keith Temple, this episode had an airdate of 19 April 2008, and updated the Ood mythology a bit, as the Doctor (Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) find themselves on an ice planet that serves as a factory for the Ood. It seems the usually servile race are rebelling against their corporate owners.
As the Time Lord and Companion investigate, we learn that the Ood aren’t quite as subservient as we were led to believe, and they have been perverted, corrupted, and changed into slaves.
Donna, proving once again that she is a valued traveller in the TARDIS keeps the Doctor on target and looks at the worlds they visit with a humanity that, as clever as the Doctor is, he doesn’t always have. But once they learn the reality of the Ood, and their secondary brain, he does get angry. Well they both do, and set about helping these peaceful creatures.
I love how the Ood are explored more, and we learn a bit more about their culture, and of course, set up things for the season finale.
The story explores the themes of slavery and deals with it in a very smart way, with Donna being integral, and so wonderfully empathetic. The villains get their just desserts, especially the very cruel, and financially minded Klineman Halpen (Tim McInnerney).
Of course, before completely understanding what is going on, there are some spooky moments, because we know what our previous experience with the Ood was like. But by episode’s end, they have re-positioned the creations and we see them in a whole new way – something Doctor Who does really well.
It’s been a number of years since we’ve seen the Sontaran’s and Helen Raynor brings them back in this first, of a two part story. The Sontara Stratagem first aired on 26 April, 2008.
Donna and the Doctor are summoned back to Earth by a call from Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and UNIT. Donna and Martha hit it off, but Donna is less than impressed with UNIT.
There is something strange going on with the Atmos factory, and it’s owner, young genius prodigy, Luke Rattigan (Ryan Sampson), and their new product. UNIT begins to suspect that there is something else going on. And they are right, it seems there is a plan at work with the Sontarans, led by General Staal (Christopher Ryan).
Martha gives Donna a but of warning about the Doctor, and she goes to see Wilf (Bernard Cribbins – love when he shows up) and her mother (Jacqueline King) over it, all while the Doctor finds himself wrapped up in the Atmos mystery.
Poor Martha doesn’t fare too well in this episode, as she becomes part of the Sontaran’s plans, or at least a clone does. Of course, as the episode reaches its cliffhanger, Wilf isn’t doing so well either, and Luke seems to have drunk the Sontara kool-aid.
Will the Doctor and Donna be able to save everyone and stop the Sontarans?
Guess, I’ll have to wait until next week…