The Impossible Planet
First Broadcast 3rd June 2006 @ 7.00pm (6.31m viewers)
Everyone loves an Ood!
Doctor Who is as well-known for its monsters as it is for the TARDIS and the Doctor himself. The difficulty is often trying to find different ways of visualising an alien creature when the likelihood is that it will have to be operated by a human being. Some attempts have been made at hiding the bipedal form to varying degrees of success. The Daleks are the highlight, creator Terry Nation envisioning a being without arms, legs or facial features for his story, with further contributions such as the Mechanoids, Erato and the Myrka. However when faced with the task of transforming a humanoid the best method is usually to work on the head and make that look less human. Star Trek chose to make changes to the ears (Vulcans) or the forehead (Klingons) for example. In Doctor Who a mask was often the chosen option, combined with a suitably appropriate costume, such as the Silurians or Sontarans. 21st Century Doctor Who continues that trend but with more developed technology, producing highly detailed masks for the Silence for instance. The Ood are another example and one of the best given their unique design.
The design of the Ood is very impressive, with the eye immediately drawn to the fronds hanging from the centre of their face. Responsible for creating these beings was Neill Gorton, the prosthetics designer at Millennium FX who had previously contributed amazing aliens for Gerry Anderson’s Space Precinct series. Another of their strengths is the Ood’s characterisation. Few alien creatures manage to be both friend and foe but the Ood do. Subservient and docile creatures they are adorably sweet and keen to serve, giving their existence some purpose. When they are possessed however the Ood become a menacing creature, their shared telepathy making their collected verse reciting an unnerving moment.
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
Don’t turn around.
For fans of the classic era of Doctor Who ‘Pyramids of Mars’ is a fine example of the show during a golden period with the iconic Tom Baker and his faithful companion the unequalled Sarah Jane Smith battling robotic Mummies inspired by the classic horror genre. The central villain of the piece was Sutekh with a voice provided by Gabriel Woolf and quite aptly he would provide the voice heard by Toby in this episode. It therefore sent a chill up the spine of viewers at home to hear Woolf’s dulcet tones in an episode of Doctor Who once again, knowing full well that things did not bode well for the crew of the Sanctuary Base.
Also First Aired On This Day…
- The Evil of the Daleks : Episode 3
- The Time Monsters : Episode Three
- Doctor Who Confidential: You’ve Got the Look