Way back when the Tenth Doctor was still kinda new, he encountered the Ood. At the time, he was told the Ood are a subservient race that won’t really do much of anything unless someone else gave them orders. It was an uncomfortable situation, made more so when the individually unnamed names Ood, all connected with a weak hive mind, became possessed by a being that was possibly the devil.
Now it may be time to learn where the Ood came from.
As is his habit, after taking a new companion to the past, the Doctor takes her to the distant future. That’s an ice planet that forces Donna to put on a heavy coat, but otherwise, she’s pleased as punch to see the future, a time when the human race has spread out across the stars in a gigantic empire that may be equal parts conquest and exploration.
Humans are, according to the Doctor, complicated beings capable of both.
Regardless, they soon find an Ood dying in the snow. Donna is less than pleased to learn that for all of humanity’s expanse, it still relies on slave labor. Enter the Doctor making a point about sweatshop labor for her own clothes, but beyond that, there is something different going on here: this is the Ood homeworld. Or, more accurately perhaps, this is where an Earth-company produces Ood for sale. The Ood of late have been acting a bit weird with “red eye” that usually comes with possession.
So, really, the Doctor and Donna talk their way into a corporate tour, sneak off, see a “rabid” Ood running around, and hear a lot of talk from the Ood about breaking the circle.
So, are the Ood getting lethal? A bit. But why? It has something to do with something in a pit of some kind in a private part of the facility. The head of the company, a man drinking a lot of “hair tonic” to stop going bald, sure seems to know about it.
Naturally, when the Ood finally go nuts and start killing people, specifically the named characters played by guest stars who weren’t helping the Ood, the Doctor and Donna manage to get through. Yes, something is possessing the Ood again, and it has something to do with what makes the Ood so subservient to everyone. The Doctor and Donna got a good hint when they met some captive Ood who sang a beautiful song only the Ood (and the Doctor) could hear. Unsurprisingly, the secret of the Ood is horrifying.
The giant thing in the pit is a giant Ood brain. Servant Oods have their translation orbs…which is where their brains used to be. The company was effectively lobotomizing them. As Donna pointed out, any species that carries its brain in its hands has to be trusting because they have no way to defend themselves.
That’s rather clever. Even the Doctor likes it.
What else does the Doctor like? Well, sure, some of the Ood got angry. Some went crazy. And some…got really patient, feeding the company boss a hair tonic that was really a concoction that turned the guy into an Ood. From there, the Doctor can free the Ood, their song is heard, and the Ood are free all over.
Well, that was nice. Now what was that the Ood said about how the Doctor’s journey may be coming to an end soon…