Doctor Who Logo 'Planet of the Ood'
(Story Code 4.2)

by Keith Temple
The Doctor and Donna

“The circle must be broken. So that we can sing.” – The Ood

At the offices of Ood Operations, the Head of Marketing, Mr Bartle, reviews the company’s latest campaign for the docile alien servants that they sell. Turning to address his own Ood assistant, Bartle is startled to see its eyes now glowing red – he then dies in agony as the alien electrocutes him with its translator orb… Arriving on an icy, snow-bound world, the Doctor and an excited – if frozen – Donna explore their surroundings; seeing a huge rocket ship flying overhead, they immediately decide to investigate. The rocket ship touches down at a nearby factory complex, where its owner, the ill-tempered, follicly-challenged Mr Halpen, and his faithful servant, Ood Sigma, are met by the new Head of Marketing, Doctor Ryder, and Public Relations Officer, Solana Mercurio. Halpen is concerned over the recent murder of several members of his staff: it seems that the normally docile Ood have begun exhibiting a phenomenon dubbed ‘Red Eye’, which sends them into a killing frenzy. Having reviewed CCTV footage of the attack on Bartle, Halpen learns that guards shot the homicidal alien as it escaped the complex. Elsewhere, the Doctor follows a telepathic ‘singing’ and finds an Ood lying in the snow dying from a gunshot wound. As the creature mutters about a breaking a “circle” his eyes suddenly glow red, but before he can attack the Doctor and Donna, he expires from his injuries. A second rocket ship brings a group of buyers to the factory; however, as Solana escorts them inside an alarm blares out – another Ood has gone rogue and escaped its pen. While Halpen’s soldiers corner the rabid creature and take it to Doctor Ryder for investigation, the Doctor and Donna slip amongst the buyers and observe Solana’s sales pitch, as she shows off the varieties of Ood ‘personalities’ which are available for purchase. Accessing a control panel, the Doctor learns that he and Donna are on the Ood-Sphere, neighbouring planet to the Sensorites’ Sense-Sphere, located in the Horsehead Nebula; the year is 4126, during Earth’s Second Great and Bountiful Empire, when Ood distribution centres are spread across three galaxies. Having examined the rabid Ood, Doctor Ryder recommends that he and Halpen check the contents of Warehouse 15; the area has been sealed for the last two hundreds years, and there is something alive in there... Sneaking off to explore the factory complex, the Doctor and Donna are appalled at the mistreatment the Ood are subjected to: the enslaved aliens are beaten by soldiers, and crammed inside container pallets ready for shipping. Learning that the Doctor and Donna’s credentials are fake, Solana warns Halpen, who gives the order to arrest the intruders. As the soldiers chase their quarries through the warehouse, Donna becomes trapped inside a container full of murderous, red-eyed Ood, while a giant loading crane controlled by the vindictive guard commander, Kess, pursues the Doctor through the complex. After Solana stops Kess’ fun, the Doctor is captured and Donna is freed – however, the rabid Ood get loose and begin killing the soldiers, allowing the two time travellers to escape. Once Commander Kess and his men have subdued the rabid Ood, Halpen decides to write off his entire stock as a loss by gassing them all to death. Entering the Ood Conversion area, the Doctor and Donna find a group of caged Ood awaiting the treatment that will transform them into willing servants of humanity. Befriending the peaceful creatures, the Doctor and Donna listen to their beautiful telepathic song; they then discover that these Ood still have their hindbrains attached – organs situated outside their hosts’ bodies, connected by an umbilical cord; with horror, the Doctor and Donna realise that Halpen’s family business has been lobotomising the Ood for two centuries, replacing the creatures’ hindbrains with control / translation spheres. At that moment, Halpen and his men arrive on the scene and recapture the Doctor and Donna; ignoring his prisoners’ outrage and disgust, the ruthless businessman orders Commander Kess to activate the release of the toxic gas. Elsewhere, the unprocessed Ood telepathically link minds with their fellow slaves and incite them to revolt against their oppressors; as a vicious battle breaks out between the armed soldiers and their red-eyed attackers, Solana and the buyers are slaughtered, while Kess is overpowered and left to die in a sealed area with the toxic gas. Leaving the Doctor and Donna tied up in his office, Halpen heads for the safety of his rocket, accompanied by Doctor Ryder, Ood Sigma and an armed guard. Meanwhile, a number of murderous Ood break into Halpen’s office and close in on the Doctor and Donna; luckily the unconverted Ood hear the Time Lord’s telepathic distress and come to his aid, restoring their fellows to normal via their mind link, and then instructing them to release their friends. When his guard is slain by a rabid Ood, a furious Halpen resolves to kill the occupant of Warehouse 15, hoping that this in turn will destroy the Ood. Halpen and Ryder begin setting explosive charges around the interior of the building, but they are interrupted by the arrival of the Doctor and Donna; the secret of Warehouse 15 is finally revealed: it contains an enormous alien brain, the gigantic organ that telepathically connects all of the Ood in song, which has been deliberately subdued by an electrical dampening field in order to enslave the aliens. Doctor Ryder reveals that he has been secretly working for the organisation Friends of the Ood; he deliberately lowered the dampening field to help the aliens fight back. Furious that this betrayal has destroyed his business, Halpen pushes Ryder over a railing, sending the scientist plummeting into the brain below, where he is absorbed into its mass. The enraged Halpen then pulls a gun on the Doctor and Donna, but at that moment Ood Sigma chooses to inform his master that the hair tonic he has been taking is actually an Ood graft suspended in a biological compound – the Ood have been preparing Halpen for years. Horrified by the revelation of what the Ood have done to him, Halpen convulses in pain; pulling off his scalp to reveal the alien skin beneath, Halpen then vomits up tendrils and a hindbrain – his transformation into an Ood is complete. The Doctor deactivates the mines and lowers the electrical field; with the circle finally broken, the Ood brain is free, and its fellows can sing at last. All over the factory, the Ood stop fighting and begin singing their song of harmony, sending a telepathic message across the empire that will recall their enslaved brethren home. Some time later, having taken Ood Halpen into his care, Ood Sigma and his fellows bid the Doctor and Donna goodbye – promising to keep their noble deeds alive in their songs forever...

David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Tim McInnerny (Mr Halpen), Ayesha Darker (Solana Mercurio), Adrian Rawlins (Doctor Ryder), Roger Griffiths(Commander Kess), Paul Clayton (Mr Bartle), Tariq Jordan(Rep), Silas Carson (Ood Voice)

Directed by Graeme Harper
Produced by Susie Liggat
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

19th April 2008 @ 6.20 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna

*Working title: 'Planet Ood'