Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Ood
The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
 Name: The Ood

 Format: Television show

 Time of Origin: The Ood-sphere, unspecified date in the far future around the 42nd century.

 Appearances: "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit", "Planet of the Ood", "The End of Time" and "The Doctor's Wife"

 Doctors: Tenth Doctor and Eleventh Doctor

 Companions: Rose Tyler, Donna Noble, Amy Pond, Rory Williams; Wilfred Mott was indirectly involved in an encounter with the Ood but did not meet them himself

 History: Although The Doctor has fought with the Ood, they are one of the few alien races that he has encountered in his travels who are unquestionably his allies in their natural state; whenever The Doctor and the Ood engaged in battle the Ood were under the control of something else.

The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
 When The Doctor first met the Ood, the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler had just landed on Krop Tor, an anomalous planet apparently in orbit around a black hole, where an Earth expedition was investigating the power source that kept it immobile. Although the Ood initially appeared as a simple slave race, content to serve the human crew of the facility, The Doctor, Rose and the base staff were forced to fight the Ood when they fell under the influence of The Beast, a powerful and mysterious entity that had been imprisoned near the planet’s core at the beginning of the universe, their telepathic link to each other allowing the Beast to control them all as the ‘Legion of the Beast’. With no other way to stop the Beast, The Doctor encouraged the crew to delay the Ood by transmitting a telepathic pulse that disorientated the Ood minds long enough for the human crew to retreat to the expedition’s rocket, evacuating the planet as The Doctor destroyed the gravity field holding the planet in position around the black hole, allowing the Beast to be destroyed forever, although he keenly regretted his failure to save the Ood even if he had obviously lacked the time to do so ("The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit").

Planet of the Ood
Planet of the Ood
 During his second encounter with the Ood, The Doctor found himself on their home planet, the Ood-Sphere ("Planet of the Ood"), where he admitted to his new companion Donna Noble that he was privately ashamed of his failure to save the Ood during his last encounter with them, as well as the lack of attention he had paid to the obvious anomaly of the concept of a slave race. Investigating Ood Operations after he witnessed another red-eyed Ood fleeing the complex, the company responsible for shipping the Ood out, The Doctor and Donna were horrified to learn that the Ood translator ball that allowed them to communicate with humans was actually a replacement for a hindbrain that the Ood had carried in their hands before humans arrived; the peaceful, trusting Ood had been lobotomised by humans to make them slaves.

Although Halpen, the head of Ood Operations, attempted to dispose of the red-eye Ood and The Doctor by leaving The Doctor and Donna in the factory, the TARDIS crew were able to convince the Ood that they were friends, subsequently travelling to the mysterious ‘Warehouse Fifteen’, which Halpen had earlier mentioned contained a particular secret to his family’s control of the Ood. Entering the building, The Doctor and Donna discovered a ‘main brain’ that linked all the Ood together in a telepathic song, allowing their main and hind brains to coordinate with each other, Halpen having kept the brain contained with an energy field that limited its telepathic output. Although the brain had been kept contained for two centuries, the energy field had been recently lowered by one of Halpen’s staff, a secret member of an organisation who objected to humanity’s enslavement of the Ood, with the red-eye Ood being the result of the brain’s anger reaching out to ‘incite’ its fellows.

 Although Halpen attempts to shoot The Doctor and Donna, it was revealed that his personal Ood servant, Ood Sigma, had been secretly working for the brain for some time, the brain subtly influencing Ood Sigma to plan Ood-graft into Halpen’s hair tonic. As a result, when Halpen was in such close proximity to the brain, it mutated him into an Ood, Ood Sigma noting casually that they would take care of Halpen now that he was ‘Ood-kind’. Breaking the field that had kept the Ood brain contained for so long, The Doctor and Donna restored the Ood to their rightful state, allowing them to begin their telepathic song of harmony once again. Although The Doctor and Donna turned down the offer to remain with the Ood, they were nevertheless touched as Ood Sigma confirmed that the Ood would always sing of The Doctor-Donna and their role in restoring the Ood to freedom, although The Doctor was concerned at Sigma’s subsequent comment that The Doctor’s ‘song’ would end soon.

The End of Time
The End of Time
 The Ood returned to The Doctor’s life after he attempted to change a fixed point in time by saving three people who had been destined to die ("The Waters of Mars"), Ood Sigma appearing to The Doctor in a vision transmitted all the way to Earth in 2054 to call for his help. Responding to the Ood’s message - after spending some time attending to the last few things he wanted to do in this incarnation, recalling their warning that his song would end soon -, The Doctor learned that the Ood were being troubled by bad dreams of an approaching darkness that heralded the end of Time itself. As they shared their vision with him, The Doctor witnessed the Master’s resurrection and learned that Wilfred Mott would play an important part in the upcoming events, but despite his subsequent attempts succeeding in averting the end of time, The Doctor was unable to prevent his own death, sacrificing himself to save Wilf by exposing himself to a lethal dose of radiation. As the radiation began to consume The Doctor’s cells, Ood Sigma appeared to him in a telepathic vision one last time, informing The Doctor that he and the other Ood would sing The Doctor to his rest, their song giving The Doctor the strength to get back to his feet and walk the last few metres to his ship. As The Doctor set the TARDIS to dematerialise, Ood Sigma returned to his time, reflecting that, while The Doctor’s current song was over as his tenth incarnation regenerated, The Doctor’s story would never end ("The End of Time").

The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife
 The Eleventh Doctor had another brief encounter with the Ood when the TARDIS was drawn into a ‘bubble universe’ controlled by the mysterious planet-sized entity known as House who ‘ate’ TARDISes, with one of his ‘family’ - a small group of beings sustained by House’s life-force - being a green-eyed Ood he introduced as Nephew ("The Doctor's Wife"). When House attempted to escape the collapse of his universe by possessing the TARDIS after he extracted its consciousness, seeking a new food source now that the TARDISes were extinct, he took Nephew with him into the TARDIS, forcing Amy and Rory to try and escape from him by retreating to one of the TARDIS’s old archived console rooms. After Amy and Rory had lowered the TARDIS shields in the archived console room, The Doctor was able to return to the TARDIS using a ‘junk console’ that he had assembled from the remnants of House’s past meals, his arrival disintegrating Nephew when the console materialised in the same location that Nephew was currently standing in due to the console’s lack of safety protocols.
Video - Season 28 (New Series 2)  - Volume 4
Season 28 (New Series 2) - Volume 4
Video - Season 30 (New Series 4)  - Volume 1
Season 30 (New Series 4) - Volume 1
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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