Doctor Who: Planet of the Ood, by Keith Temple

When Planet of the Ood was first broadcast in 2008, I wrote:

Russell T Davies was 15 months old when the first episode of The Sensorites was broadcast in June 1964, but it obviously made a deep impression on him – we had two explicit references to Susan’s description of her and the Doctor’s home planet last season, and now we have it confirmed that the Ood are close neighbours to the Sense-Sphere. I think The Sensorites is positively the worst First Doctor story, so to me it is a slightly weird choice, but I’m aware that this is not a universal view.

[My brother] pointed out at the time that evolving to the stage where you have to carry part of your own brain around in your hand doesn’t seem terribly viable. But that apart, I thought that the music was great, the parable about slavery and society decent enough, and Tim McInerny’s performance (and also Ayesha Dharker’s) really excellent.

I rewatched it prior to tackling the recently published novelisation, and I didn’t like it quite as much as the first time. The heavily armed guards seem to have considerable difficulty in hitting the unarmed Ood, and the company’s OpSec in general is pretty poor. But the chemistry between the various actors is good, and of course now we know that there is foreshadowing of the Tenth Doctor’s approaching end.

I noted that one of the reps is played by Tariq Jordan, the brother of Yasmin Paige of the Sarah Jane Adventures.

It seems to me an odd choice of episode to put into book form, given the wide range of available choices, but I guess that when it was published a year ago the BBC were going back to the Ten/Donna pairing in anticipation of the Fourteenth Doctor stories.

The second paragraph of the third chapter is:

A powerful, cutting wind whipped and howled around her, and her lungs hurt every time she inhaled. It was so cold. And it was snowing. Giant icy flakes settled on her cheeks and eyes, burning her skin with their sharp coldness. She wrapped her arms around herself and stomped her feet to stay warm.

It’s a perfectly serviceable novelisation, stretching the story a little bit and giving a bit more depth to the characters and even bringing in a new one (a senior rep). If you liked the TV story you’ll like this, and if you were not so keen on it, it won’t change your feelings. You can get it here.

I’m working through the new novelisations as they come to my attention; looking forward to the ones to be published this summer, but otherwise the next will be The Waters of Mars, by Phil Ford.

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