Spoilers for "Doctor Who" coming up just as soon as I work on my arcade claw technique...
Ah, the Ood. I think I love saying "Ood" almost as much as David Tennant clearly does, and so I was glad to see them return and move to the forefront after their role as Satan's henchmen in a season two two-parter.
"Planet of the Ood" is a fairly straightforward story(*), but an emotionally strong one, thanks again to the increasingly lovable Donna Noble.
((*) It's also one in which, oddly, The Doctor and Donna aren't very relevant. Other than The Doctor disabling the mines around the Ood brain, everything else would have unfolded the same with or without them.)
I've talked the last few weeks about how Donna isn't starstruck by The Doctor and therefore able to call him on the carpet when necessary. Here, though, her clear eyes are more useful for the way she sees the predicament of the Ood. After being (very) briefly grossed-out by the appearance of the Ood in the snow, she gets her act together and not only comforts him, but seems concerned with a proper burial. Later, after encountering the imprisoned, un-lobotomized Ood, she immediately grasps the nature of their society and character based on the biology of their second, external brain. It's such a clever, empathetic insight that even The Doctor's impressed. If he and Donna don't do much in terms of affecting the events of the Ood rebellion, at least their presence is important as witnesses and explainers of the Oods' suffering.
Comedians often turn out to be superb dramatic actors (almost all of Robin Williams' good screen performances are in serious roles), and Catherine Tate is proving that to be true once again. Donna's comic moments are hit or miss (I liked her going back in the TARDIS to get her coat in the middle of Ten's big speech, but wasn't as wild with her derisively comparing the TARDIS to the rocket ship), but she absolutely nails the moments where Donna bears witness to the ugly truths of time and space. She's open enough to these new experiences that she wanted The Doctor to mind-meld with her (has he ever done that before?) so she could hear the Ood song, but human enough that she realized she couldn't bear to hear it for long. I liked Rose and liked Martha by the end of her run, but Donna is quickly turning into the most entertaining, compelling companion of the new run.
What did everybody else think?