Donna gets her first trip to the future, and it’s not as rosy as she thought it would be…
The Doctor goes all random on the TARDIS (in other words, business as usual) and he ends up at The Oodsphere, the main planet of the futuristic slaves we saw last time in the episode The Impossible Planet during The Earth’s second galactic empire. Of course, something strange is happening with the Ood again, the eyes are going all possessed and red again, but there’s no Devil this time around. In typical Doctor fashion, he slips into the official party of prospective buyers and soon as he can is snooping around the base and finding out something’s terribly amiss with all of this.
It’s not the scariest episode of the series. Although I do like the crazy army guy’s enjoyment of trying to kill The Doctor just for the fun of it, it’s mainly a go at slavery and how most probably in the future we will be doing all these things again and again. I do like Donna’s reaction. Not seeing the universe is as shiny as she thought makes her want to go home, but by the end she realises why The Doctor travels – to fix things right, when he can. I think it’s that kind of positive step at the end of the episode that makes her keep going. I have to say, Donna keeps growing on me. The whole “marraige” thing is a little on the annoying side, but she has her “oi” moments, and also some sweet beautiful moments that shows us she’s not just another Peri. The bit where she hears the “song” of the Ood is a really nice moment for the both of them.
The setting is a welcome change too. The first big future episode not set on a spaceship or New Earth. Don’t get me wrong, I like the whole “New Earth” setting, but we don’t get to see a lot of the bigger parts of The Universe. And also, big geek points for setting the future history of the human empires around the old series. He might ignore the books, comics etc but you can tell Russell is a big fan of the old series and tries to appease the old fans as much as he can.
The whole arc story is a little small this week. We get a new reference to the bees, and a sly comment to a return at the end of this year, but other than that I think this is probably the most standalone we are going to get.
All up, a good episode. The bad guy was a little rubbish (but his come-uppance at the end was clever) and the Ood are too silly looking to be that scary but a solid episode. 3 outta 5.