Doctor Who: 10 Years Of The Tenth Doctor: The Impossible Planet

It's ten years since David Tennant's first series of Doctor Who was first broadcast in the UK. To celebrate we take a look back in time...

The Impossible Planet
First Broadcast on 3rd June 2006. Running Time: 45 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 6.32 million.
Written By Matt Jones.
Directed By James Strong.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner.


Rose finds herself further away from home than ever before, in the orbit of a Black Hole. Trapped with an Earth expedition and the mysterious Ood, the time-travellers face an even greater danger.

Extras: Promotional Photos | On Set Photos | Screen Caps | Articles | Videos MP3 Commentary

Production Notes:
The writer of this episode, Matt Jones, wrote the Seventh Doctor novel Bad Therapy and was also the script editor on Russell T Davies' Channel 4 drama Queer As Folk.

Russell T Davies picked the name for the Ood as a reference to the word odd.

An early draft of the script had the part of the Ood played instead by the Raxacoricofallapatorians.

Several Sanctuary Base interiors were filmed at Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate in Pontypool. The cavern was filmed at Wenvoe Quarry and the actual Pit was Clearwell Caves in Gloucestershire, as previously used in The Christmas Invasion.
Space sequences were recorded on the underwater stage at Pinewood Studios.

The Ood actors wore latex masks designed by Neill Gorton and due to the placement of the eyes in the mask, were essentially blind throughout the whole filming process!

The Beast was a CGI creation courtesy of The Mill.

The Friends:
This is the Doctor and Rose's first encounter with The Ood. The Ood are a Hive-minded race of aliens, who believed they were born to serve others and so were treated as slaves by humanity in the 42nd century. They were considered so unimportant that human computers were not even programmed to recognise Oodkind as proper life forms.
They communicate on a low level telepathic field with one another and with their human masters via communication sphere called an interface device.
They are able to give psychic predictions and chilled Rose Tyler to the very core after referring to her as "The valiant child, who will die in battle so very soon..." This left Rose understandably worried and upset and we won't find out until later in the series just what the Ood was referring to.
Sanctuary Base 6 had 50 Ood on board and although they are docile creatures, when the Beast of Krop Tor awoke, he raised their telepathic field to Basic 100. Normally this would kill any sentient being, but it allowed the Beast to use the Ood to observe the Base, as well as enabling it to use the Ood's interface device to deliver a lethal pulse of psychic energy to it's selected victims.
When the Doctor stopped the Beast the Ood were set free from it's mental control but were abandoned on Sanctuary Base 6 as it was drawn into a black hole, where they undoubtedly were left to die.
The human survivors of Sanctuary Base 6 awarded the Ood with posthumous commendations.
This was not to be last time that The Doctor encountered this special friend...

The Foes:
The Beast is a legendary creature of evil imprisoned beneath the surface of Krop Tor by the Disciples Of Light before our Universe existed. It's jailers chose to place it there as the planet was in a permanent geo-stationary orbit around the black hole. It was the ultimate insurance policy as if the Beast was released the planet would crash in to the black hole destroying itself and the Beast.
However the Beast managed to transfer it's thoughts and consciousness into the human crew of Sanctuary Base 6. Firstly a crewman called Curt who went insane from the strain of the Beast, then later archaeologist Toby Zed and a group of Ood. The Beast was willing to take on the body of any living creature for the chance to spread it's demonic evil through the 42nd century.
When it was threatened it placed all of it's mind in Toby Zed, but Rose ejected Toby into space where he and the trapped consciousness of the Beast were destroyed for good. The Beast's empty body and the planet Krop Tor itself where also drawn in to the black hole and destroyed.

  • Rose: Can you build another Tardis? 
  • The Doctor: They were grown, not built. And with my home planet gone... we're kind of stuck 
  • Rose: Well, it could be worse; this lot said they'd give us a lift. 
  • The Doctor: And then what? 
  • Rose: I don't know. Find a planet, get a job, live a life, same as the rest of the universe. 
  • The Doctor: I'll have to settle down. With a house or something - a proper house with... with, with doors and things - carpets! Me! Living in a house!... Now that, that - that is terrifying. 
  • Rose: You'd have to get a mortgage! 
  • The Doctor: No! 
  • Rose: Oh yes! 
  • The Doctor: No, I'm dying, that's it, it is all over. 
  • Rose: What about me? I'd have to get one too! ....... I don't know, we could have the same one, we could both... I don't know, share... or not. Whatever. I don't know, all sorts of... 
  • The Doctor: Anyway..
  • Rose: We'll see ..............
  • The Doctor: I promised Jackie I'd always take you back home 
  • Rose: Everyone leaves home in the end. 
  • The Doctor: Not to end up stuck here. 
  • Rose: Yeah, but stuck with you - that's not so bad. 
  • The Doctor: Yeah? 
  • Rose: Yes. 

  • The Doctor: Did you have to say that? 'There's no turning back?' That's almost as bad as 'Nothing could possibly go wrong' or 'This'll be the best Christmas Walford's ever had.' 


  • In Russell T Davies' commentary for the episode, he revealed that in an early draft of the script the aliens were going to be Raxacoricofallapatorians rather than Ood. 
  • Shaun Parkes previously starred alongside David Tennant in the Russell T Davies version of Casanova for the BBC.
  •  This is the first episode of Doctor Who since it returned to be filmed in a quarry. Quarries and sand pits were often used to fill in for alien planets in the classic series.
  • The voice of the Beast was provided by Gabriel Woolf, who also played god-like villain Sutekh the Destroyer in Pyramids of Mars (1975).
  • The weightless death scenes were achieved by filming the actors underwater in a special stage/tank at Pinewood Studios.
  •  The Doctor rarely has a problem with alien languages. The last major lack of communication was when the Fourth Doctor encountered the lizard-like Foamasi in the Leisure Hive (1980). 
  •  Previous adventures featuring black holes include The Three Doctors (1972), The Horns of Nimon (1980) and The Trial of a Time Lord (1986). 
  • According to Russell T Davies, the name 'Ood' was a play on the word 'odd'. Russell named the creatures, rather than writer Matt Jones. 
  • The corridor sets from the Sanctuary base were later reused as part of the Totally Doctor Who studio, and were influenced by designs for the Nostromo spaceship seen in classic Sci-Fi horror film Alien. 
  • The Doctor is worried about getting a mortgage, although he has owned houses on Earth in the Third Doctor comic strips of the 1970s and the Seventh Doctor range of novels.

  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Billie Piper - Rose Tyler
  • Danny Webb – Mr. Jefferson
  • Shaun Parkes – Zachary Cross Flane
  • Claire Rushbrook – Ida Scott
  • Will Thorp – Toby Zed
  • Ronny Jhutti – Danny Bartock
  • MyAnna Buring – Scooti Manista
  • Paul Kasey – The Ood
  • Gabriel Woolf – Voice of the Beast
  • Silas Carson – Voice of the Ood