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All Shows > Doctor Who > Season 4

Doctor Who - 4x03 - Planet of the Ood

Synopsis: The Ood are back with a vengeance. They overthrow their human overlords with the help of Doctor Donna.

Review: "Planet of the Ood" takes advantage of sci-fi's ability to take on modern issues in a non-threatening, otherworldly environment. The issue: slavery. The episode comes dangerously close to making a this-worldly application. Donna scoffs that she doesn't have slaves, and the Doctor replies by asking here who she thinks made the clothes she's wearing. A solid theme only goes so far. This episode lacks the fun of most Doctor Who outings.

This episode mentions the bees disappearing on earth that was first mentioned in the season premiere. At the end of the episode, Ood Sigma tells the Doctor his song will end soon. Thus far, this season has had a fatalistic undertone that seems to be building to a grand finale. While such foreshadowing is fun and suspenseful, the problem is that it builds expectations that cannot possibly be fulfilled. I call it the M. Night Shyamalan Syndrome. Rumors are already flying on internet forums that Ood Sigma's remark indicates the Doctor will regenerate at the end of this season.

This episode required a level of suspension of disbelief that was high even for Doctor Who. A man was eaten by a giant brain, and another man was transformed into an entirely different species just by drinking some kind of tonic. This combined with the general lack of fun brings this episode down to a 3 out of 10. And what was up with the Doctor's Vulcan mind meld and have you noticed the frequent platonic hand holding in Doctor Who?

Spiritual Content: Relativism: Donna says "Being with you I can't tell what's right and wrong any more," and the Doctor tells her it's better that way.

There is a similarity between the plot of "Planet of the Ood" and the Israelites exodus from Egypt. (The Doctor as Moses is an interesting metaphor.)

Rating: 3 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)

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