AS VISITED BY THE DOCTOR
The Tenth Doctor: 42nd Century. [refer to ADDITIONAL NOTES for more on this date] [RTD2.8&9, The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit]
Universe: Normal Space.
Galaxy: Milky Way [probably].
System: Orbiting black hole K37 Gem 5. [Refer to ADDITIONAL NOTES]
Human Colony: Yes, there is a small Sanctuary Base on the planet.
Also known as “The Bitter Pill”, this rocky and barren planet is around twenty miles in diameter. First the Galis expedition on behalf of the New British Empire [as described by TARDISODE number 8], then later the Walker expedition was sent to investigate the strange phenomena of area. They find the remnants of an ancient civilisation and a hidden “pit” in the core of the planet.
The remaining crew of the Walker Expedition are present at the Sanctuary Base when the Doctor and Rose arrived. Captain Walker has been lost with Zack as acting Captain. Other crew include Ida – Science Officer, Danny Bartok of the Ethics Commitee, Toby Zed of Archaeology, Scooti Manista – Trainee Maintenance. There is also Jefferson – Head of Security, with two other Security crew.
The Ood are a humanoid alien race with tentacled faces – acting as “slave race” for humanity. They share among themselves a low-level telepathic field. [The BBC book Doctor Who – Creatures and Demons states they originate from the “Ood Sphere”, near to the “Sense Sphere” planet of the similar Sensorites, of story C1.7.]
Toby Zed (controlled by The Beast), the Ood (controlled by The Beast), menace the crew. [They all become Zog Monsters.] Of the Beast itself, little is known, except that its fearsome demonic-looking massive body is imprisoned in the core of the planet. It can project its mind onto others. It claims to be from “before time” which the Doctor says is impossible. [Torchwood T1.13 End of Days features a very similar creature.]
[At the end of the story, Toby Zed, and the Ood, are remembered, one by one, by the surviving crew. It seems humanity’s attitude towards the “slave” Ood is beginning to change.]
After variations of Earth earlier in the season, Nu-Who’s first “proper” Planet Zog is a triumph. Strangely for such a “science fiction” story, there is a strong element of religious-discussion mixed in with the science, but it all works extremely well on the screen.
Zog rating: 8
Although in the episode The Impossible Planet, RTD2.8, the fact that the planet is orbiting the black hole is “impossible”- this concept is not impossible at all. The date given for this story of the 42nd Century derives from RTD describing the episode 42, RTD3.7, as being set in the 42nd Century in the Radio Times preview of the 2007 Season – and the BBC podcast commentary for RTD2.8&9 makes it clear that 42 and The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit are set in the same century.