So, our namesakes arrive… and this was a bit of a masterclass in sci-fi staple elements. An ice planet, a future inter-galactic human empire, a slave race in revolt, misuse of science for personal gain and a scientist with slightly mental hair. And that’s not to mention the warehouse chases and planetary landscape scenes filmed in a quarry…
But that’s not to do it down any. This was well done. Well written and slick, this is an interesting story that was really nicely put together.
Donna’s moral side really does something good here – and really does counter the Doctor well. But, like Chris, I really am not sure about Catherine Tate. She’s OK, and she’s fine with me if her character remains interesting next to DT (who wouldn’t?). But every time she speaks, I just hear characters from her sketch show. At the end of every episode she’s been in so far, I have been expecting her to storm off to the TARDIS shouting “F***ing liberty!”… I’m waiting for the Dalek episode where she’ll just look at it as if its a male model on a cold day, cock her head to one side and shout “I ain’t bovvered!”.
I liked this story though – it reminded me very much of a Tom Baker epic. I was wishing for all the world that the Doctor would come out with one of those lines… You know, like, “You humans… Totally clueless, but you can’t help but love that…” There was an almost palpable atmosphere when the Ood were bearing down on them while they were handcuffed that somehow, the Doctor would slip the cuffs, and offer them a jelly baby (which would then, obviously, turn out to be the Ood’s downfall).
As far as the story was concerned, it was a towering 70s rock supergroup of issues… Can you get much bigger than tying together battery farming and slavery? You can if you add Captain Darling from Blackadder…
But I rather liked the guilt trips that the Doctor went on – being reminded of the first time the Ood appeared, and he couldn’t save them because he’d been too busy looking after everyone else. After last week’s moral bitch-slapping from Donna, this was an interestingly Morrissey-kind-of-perspective. It was nice that the Ood were given a history – a place to come from and a place to go, and not just used as a plot device or as some evil git’s tool of destruction. It was nice that they were a victim, is what I mean. It means that while they were just the forgotten and thrown away bunch of lads the last time round, this time, they ended the story as likeable and friendly creatures.
Oh, and even though I liked this one a lot, the preview of next week made my day… The Sontarans AND UNIT are back in the same week! Oh what unconfined and childish joy! Roll on the weekend!