A story about the Ood. How nice. It’s not like they’re trying to kill people again or anything because the Mother Brain is trapped and the circle must be broken so the Ood can be free. Yeah, nothing like that.

Super-short Recap

This is the one where the Doctor & Donna go on their first outer space journey together. They land on a planet where a strange looking dude, er, Ood, is dying. They investigate the nearby factory and find that it’s an Ood servant processing plant. But something strange is happening. Apparently, the Ood are just totally killing people at random, some have even gone rabid.

As the Doctor investigates, Donna is more and more concerned with the slave treatment of the Ood. They introduce themselves as Doctor, Donna, Friends. Meanwhile, the new head of the plant, Halpen, is trying to keep everything under wraps while the buyers are visiting. All the Doctor, Donna, Friends can find out is that “the circle must be broken.”

Turns out, there’s a circle of energy surrounding the central Ood brain, blocking its telepathic communication. Halpen is going to blow it up and go into the shipping business, but apparently, his servant, Ood Sigma, has been feeding him a special tonic that turns him into an Ood. The Doctor breaks the circle and the Ood are free to sing throughout the galaxies.

The Doctor and Donna say goodbye as the Ood tell them that the song of the Doctor, Donna will be sung forever, even if some songs are soon coming to an end. The end.

Production notes

  • Story # 191
  • Originally aired and April 19, 2008 to 7.5 million viewers
  • Written by: Keith Temple – wrote some for EastEnders and Doc Martin
  • Directed by: Graeme Harper
    • We first saw him on Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel, but he has been with Who since the beginning. Started as the assistant floor manager back in 1966.
    • First (and so far only) director to direct both Classic and New Who.
    • Did a lot of work on this season and the DT specials, culminating with his last directorial work so far, The Waters of Mars.


  • Ood Sigma – Paul Casey, our man in the suit

Misc Trivia

  • Apparently, the transformation of Halpen into an Ood was MORE graphic originally but was toned down after an initial viewing.


  • Baddie of the week
    • Mr. Halpen
  • Oi!
    • Episode count:1
      • Oi, I don’t have slaves!
    • Running count: 2
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • Psychic paper –
      • Made an appearance, nothing new
    • Sonic –
      • Unlocked and locked things, made some nice sparks
    • TARDIS –
      • Has a mystery tour setting – this has been used before in Classic Who
    • Random
      • Vulcan mind meld with Donna

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Donna?
    • Donna Noble, citizen of the Earth, standing on an alien planet.
    • Owner of the Noble Corporation, PLC Limited, Intergalactic
    • She spent all that time looking for the Doctor because she thought it was so beautiful out in space. Now she wants to go home.
  • Who is The Doctor?
  • He still feels the fear and excitement every time he steps out of the TARDIS. That’s why he does it!
  • Donna says that being with him she’s no longer sure what’s right or wrong anymore. He says it’s better that way because people that are certain tend to be like Mr. Halpen.
  • His song must end soon.

Other stuff we noticed

  • The last time we saw the Ood, they appeared on screen as an evil thing that turned good suddenly (we must feed… you!). This time it was the opposite, he seemed like a humble servant, then electrocuted him in the head!
  • Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire, stretching across three galaxies.
    • The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire was the one the Jagrafess ruled over from Floor 500 of Satellite Five.
  • “Real proper snow for once”
    • I thought this was a funny call-back to the snow that the TARDIS created. Remember that there was also the “snow” that was the exploded Sycorax ship, as well as the ballast from the Titanic.
    • However, it also happened to be a really hot day in August when they were filming. The snow was essentially confetti!
  • Doctor, Donna, Friends.
  • Rose had a similar reaction to the Ood’s slavery

Classic Who Connection

  • Jared gives us some info on the TARDIS’ random setting and the brief allusion to the Sensorites and the Sense Sphere.

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 –
    • Austin – 8 hindbrains
    • Corbin – 8 red eyes
    • Tripp – 9 transforming humans into Oods
    • Jared – 6 Sense Spheres
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Austin – 350
    • Corbin – 326
    • Tripp – 317
    • Jared – 295

Let’s talk about the turning Halpen into an Ood

  • What exactly was in that tonic that it jst suddenly (at the most opportune moment) turns him INTO AN OOD!


  • The Planet of the Ood is Europa
    • Europa is made of rock and has a water-ice crust
    • Halpen says they dug up the Ood brain in the glacier
    • You can clearly see Jupiter and Saturn in the sky at the end.

Listener Input

  • New rating on iTunes, but no review with it.

Next Time…

Join us next time as we discuss season 4 episodes 4 & 5: The Sontaran Stratagem & The Poison Sky.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to tardis.wikia.com for the trivia and Jared for the Classic Who Connection.

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