Posted in Audio by - November 10, 2023

Released November 2023


On the recycling world of Paraglas IV where all of the Earth Empire’s waste goes in the forty-third century, an Ood has been murdered, and rumours are swelling that the Ood are on the verge of mounting a rebellion. The Torchwood Archive has sent Zachary Cross Flane to investigate in ‘Oodunnit’ by James Goss, and he uncovers a devastating secret.

Since their introduction, the Ood have remained one of the most unique races in all of Doctor Who. Completely docile and harmless by nature as exemplified by an emotionless vocal intonation and a subservience that has resulted in basic enslavement, the psychic element to their basic framework that has been exploited to drive them to commit atrocities previously is a constant and fearsome element that presents a constant source of unease for many around them. This unease is all the more prevalent for Flane who witnessed such horrors while captain of the Sanctuary Base studying the black hole and its impossible planet. To his credit, even as he here investigates the possibility of Ood murdering once more and rising up against humanity, he is not driven purely by fear or malice, and his implicit knowledge that the Ood are harmless and more than willing to help presents a fascinating source of internal conflict as he continues to wrestle with the memories and emotional fallout of what he witnessed.

Shaun Parkes encapsulates Flane’s personal conflict and determination perfectly as he must navigate human and Ood sentiments alike to uncover the truth, and while the small cast size means that there are few viable options for the truth or resulting genuine surprises, Goss manages to expertly delve into the many motivations and emotions fueling so many throughout the Empire at this time. Naturally, the Ood have their allies and friends that continue to fight for their freedom, and the suggestion that the Ood are becoming less common servants and workers is certainly a positive note and glimmer of hope. However, while Mr Brakow and his human forces on Paraglas IV have won better wages and conditions through unionizing, the Company is still one motivated by cold calculations detailing the Ood’s relative expense and efficiency and will continue to act in its own best interest. In fact, the dynamic relationship between Lady Drogba of the Company and Mr Brakow provides a great source of drama throughout Flane’s investigations into why so many Ood seem to be dying here, and while the twist at the end is not wholly unexpected, it again exemplifies just how manipulative certain individuals can be as they look to exploit certain truths and inconveniences for their own and just how far the Ood will go to protect their own livelihood within such an oppressive system that some would like to extend indefinitely.

With so much human emotion complicating the investigation by throwing up so many potential leads for Flane to explore while the Ood steadfastly continue on, the inclusion of the synthetic being Chloe who can offer needed relevant plot information and insight into the actions of others while pointedly asking specific questions with no emotional bias proves to be a surprisingly effective means of plot advancement. Parkes as Flane and Silas Carson as the Ood are undoubtedly the major draws here, but Amanda Shodeko, Paul Panting, and Belinda Stewart-Wilson all help to create a truly developed cast of characters and setting in general that- while perhaps not offering anything overwhelmingly novel or unique to expand upon the Ood situation that has been explored to varying degrees previously- offers a brilliant close-up look at the many motivations surrounding the Ood’s inclusion as a working force in such a vital locale, all amplified by the honour and palpable internal unease of the lead investigator.

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.