Last SciFi Friday was particularly painful. In addition to the searing vision of a post-apocolyptic humanity that is Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who had me tearing up multiple times. Granted, my emotional reaction could be attributed to the jumbo bottle of shiraz that I was halfway through, but still. I was moved.
The episode is set on Hoth, er, the Planet of the Ood, where the Ood are bred to live as slaves. They are groomed and lobotomized into docile servants, so that they can be sold to wealthy families across the galaxy. Their human captors justify their actions by rationalizing that the Oods' physical inability to communicate verbally signifies their sub-human intelligence.
The few remaining un-lobotomized Ood are kept in their original state for breeding purposes. The species communicates through psychic singing, and the song of the captive Ood is truly heartbreaking. Born with their brains in their hands, the Ood's anatomy predisposes them to be trusting and kind. They are easy victims for the humans who imprison them.
The Doctor and Donna stumble upon an escaped Ood, dying in the snow. Before its death, the creature becomes red-eyed and rabid. This infection spreads rapidly among the Ood, culminating in a violent revolution at the corporate headquarters of evil-doing. Although the episode was far from perfect (the ending was tied up in a pretty convenient bow), I found the plight of the Ood extremely moving.
I wasn't sure if anything could lift my spirits after that heartbreaking hour of television, but io9 came to my rescue. The answer to all my troubles is an adorable Ood knit plush. Unfortunately, the evil BBC has forced the knitting pattern to be taken off the internet. Didn't you watch the episode, BBC? Free the Ood!
A letter writing campaign is currently underway to release the pattern. Whether you're interested in knitting an Ood or just believe in freedom for all alien plushes, send a complaint to the BBC.