With overnights of 6.19 million viewers, Planet of the Ood gave the freaky baldy squid faces a superb return, adding some welcome colour to their origins and culture in a way rarely seen in Doctor Who.
Russell T Davies recently noted that:
“The whole point of bringing the Ood back is to learn a lot more about them – if you look at ‘The Satan Pit’, they’re a blank slate, really… but at the same time I thought benign, passive Ood for the whole 45 minutes would be a bit disappointing.”
“When a monster’s got a trick, then use that trick… Getting possessed and eyes turning red – that’s what Ood do! So I was insistent that we had to see that happen again, but for a different reason.”
And you have to say that despite criticisms against him, once again he’s proved that he knows how to characterise and storyline.
Praise was notable from The Stage’s Scott Matthewman (I think he’s a chap…) who rightly obvserved how good Catherine Tate has been so far:
…the cream of the lines are given to Donna, fast becoming one of the strongest and most well-rounded companions in the seriesâ€™ history. Whether itâ€™s joshing with the Doctor about being unable to hear in her fluffy parka, calming a distressed Ood while he lies dying in the snow, or begging the Doctor to stop her hearing the telepathic Ood-song, Catherine Tateâ€™s characterisation of Donna is quickly becoming the most interesting aspect of this series of Doctor Who.
There’s also the Sixth Doctor-era comparisons too, in particular the passivity of the Doctor and Donna’s presence, something which struck me as the episodes only weak point straight after broadcast.
One gets the impression that the overthrow of the Corporation and the release of the Ood from their servitude would have happened even if the TARDIS had not landed on Ood-Sphere.
All in all though, a second success on the trot, and with Sontarans to come, who would bet against Doctor Who Series 30?