The Zygon Invasion

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    Craig @craig


    From Peter Harness, who wrote the controversial “Kill The Moon” last year this is, once again, a two-parter. Unsurprisingly, given the title, it features the return of the Zygons following the 50th anniversary special.

    It also features the return of UNIT and fan-favourite Osgood. How can that be possible?

    In a sort-of “They Live” kind of way, the shapeshifting Zygons have been living amongst us humans on Earth without us knowing. When Osgood is kidnapped the Doctor, Clara and UNIT traverse the planet in an attempt to set her free. Will they succeed and can they stop a possible uprising?

    Picking up from the events in the 50th, this is a fast-moving, globe-trotting adventure. It is very movie-like and sets up a lot for the second half to resolve.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    More detailed thoughts later but I thought that was absolutely excellent.

    And it now becomes painfully clear why The Times were desperate to give Who a kicking this week.


    Well. That should piss the UKIPers off…


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Well, I didn’t expect my rant in the pub about my desire for political subtext to be followed by that.

    Upto this point it’s been subtle, but this is definitely where they throw out the sub and scream TEXT in your face. The enemy within. Filthy outsiders coming here and taking our benefits (laughed a lot at that line). A radicalised youth militarising against their adoptive nation?

    Really interesting to see how the next part goes forward. After his abortion thought line in Kill the Moon, Harness is going for broke.

    Liked the uncertainty about Osgood. Nicely played. The idea that Zygons could hold a human form after death was actually covered in the Eighth Doctor audios. They also suggested that prolonged inhabitation of the human form led to loss of identity. They effectively became overwhelmed by the target personality. Nice to see good ideas like that being taken up.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @pedant  @phaseshift   Well, the first thought that leapt to my mind in the first 10-15 minutes was ‘Those who complain about Doctor Who having a socio-political agenda are going to be really pissed off with this one!’

    Apart from that … Whoof!  Edge of the seat stuff, even if I am well beyond hiding behind the sofa.   Wonderful how many threads they managed to pick up on.   Result: one very happy Mudlark  🙂



    And do you know where we don’t put spoilers ***AT ALL****? (@Craig/ @jimthefish …wave yer wands)



    Well, the writing would have benefit a little from more subtlety, but that may be from an adult perspective. Da Yoofs might prefer it slapped on with a trowel.

    But a damned good episode other than that (I suspected for a moment that @bluesqueakpip had been psychic when Clara started acting a bit…odd.)

    DoctorDoctorWho @doctordoctorwho



    Sorry, I wasn’t aware, how do I delete my comment and where else can I put it??

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @doctordoctorwho — post deleted. If you like you can repost it but only in the spoilers section…

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    I read your impassioned plea in the pub just before the episode, and really smiled afterwards – crikey you must be psychic 🙂

    Meanwhile, The Times should get a grip, the lines about bombing not being a solution because it radicalises could apply to Blair as much to the recent Tory ordered British drone strikes in Syria.

    The Zygon fanatics had a suspiciously Isis-like flag, huh.

    It wasn’t subtle, but for the young audience, lots to think get thinking about, about “us” and “them”, assimilation and identity, which is great.

    It was great to see Osgood again, and she got a much more respectful treatment this time (I really hated the brutality of her end at Missy’s hands).

    Another hybrid cropping up – a theme developing.

    Tarot card-wise I thought Osgood might represent Temperance (the figure in the card pours two liquids together as a sign of mixing opposites to find balance). And Temperance in the Rider Waite is depicted as a hermaphrodite (a hybrid) angel.

    Bit of a naughty adult joke about tickling the Zygon protuberances.

    The Twelfth Doctor’s guitar is officially “his thing”.


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Tarot card-wise I thought Osgood might represent Temperance (the figure in the card pours two liquids together as a sign of mixing opposites to find balance). And Temperance in the Rider Waite is depicted as a hermaphrodite (a hybrid) angel.

    I actually really like that a lot, Osgood as Temperance.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @juniperfish @pedant

    Just on the question of subtlety of the script, I just wondered if this is a lot more direct because of the reaction to Kill the Moon?

    Some misconstrued that episode as prolife or anti abortion, whereas its clearly pro choice (the choice, and who is empowered to make it being central to the episode).

    I wrote something about it here and maybe Harness has set his sights a little lower this time?

    This level of political directness reminds me of Tom Baker in The Sunmakers, which I rewatched recently. That was like agitprop for the Occupy generation 40 years too early!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I don’t think it was meant to be ‘adult-subtle’. I think this was fairly and squarely aimed at the kids; as I said on T’Other Place, the battles for this war are often being fought in the playgrounds. Rather than a load of information leaflets, Peter Harness is telling it as a story.

    Is Osgood human or Zygon? Both. Is a child British or Muslim? Both.

    But yes, @phaseshift, had you seen an advance copy? 🙂

    As for Zygon Bonnie, I’m afraid I spotted the switch the moment it happened. Be interesting to know if the Doctor has too: if Zygons do partly become the person they copy, is he hoping for the ‘Clara’ part to come to the fore?

    But I bet this was a fun episode for Jenna Coleman. 😀

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    Although much about this episode appeals to me greatly, I feel let down by some big issues which either don’t make sense, or aren’t explained very well…. or maybe I just missed the explanation.

    If 20 million Zygons are now living on Earth, how is that a secret? That’s a significant rise in population. Or are they replacing actual humans? Although that makes sense as an evil scheme, this is actually a peace plan co-created by a (human) UNIT officer (and a supposedly very good peace plan according to the Doctor in the 50th) – what happens to those humans? Where do they go? Are they killed? Locked up? Put to sleep? That doesn’t sound like a peace plan, it sounds like surrender. (Perhaps the clue to this is somewhere in the idea of the impartial negotiation where everyone forgets who is who? Maybe…). It’s a tremendous dramatic misstep if that is the idea,  as none of the actors behave the way they surely would when discussing the disposal of so many humans (even if it was the best possible peace plan available in the circumstances). So maybe I’m missing something there.

    Has it been established that Zygons take on the personality of the person they look like? As opposed to just acquiring knowledge from their subject’s brain? Cos it would take very good acting, from so many new born Zygons, to convince people that you were the same person still.

    Does anyone have answers to these questions? I’d appreciate it if you do because I feel like this is exactly the sort of episode I’d really like if it weren’t for my confusion!

    Maybe the answers are there and I’m just not seeing them. If not, there are many deep thinkers on this forum who I imagine might be able to think of something I’m not able to get my head around. Thanks in advance.


    Yes, it’s as well to remember that those of us raised on a diet of metaphor and undercurrent are just that: raised. There are many still with some raisin’ to be done.

    As Ketho said in The Dispossessed: “They say there is nothing new under any sun. But if each life is not new, each single life, then why are we born?”



    If 20 million Zygons are now living on Earth,

    Not even 30 days of population growth at current rates.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    That’s a significant rise in population.

    It was stated that they were sent to various communities worldwide: 20 million Zygons is about a quarter of one percent of the world’s 7.3 billion population.

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    I really rather enjoyed the episode because it reminded me of kind of pre-return doctor who with a proper invasion and important choices. Anyway I found these points in the episode:

    The Guitar: If you are a musical addict (Of which I am) then you will notice the songs the doctor plays always link into the storyline like when he see’s Missy in S9E1 he plays ‘Oh Pretty Woman’

    I also really like how they’ve taken the impossible girl theme tune and expanded it alot.

    The bit where the Doctor introduced himself as the President of the World and the cornel simply stated ‘Yes we know who you are’ made me laugh because of the way that was used in the end of series 8 and this being said to Harriet Jones constantly.

    Once again another ‘hybrid’ mention from the doctor… I seem to be noticing a theme here

    There are two Kate’s but we only see one during this episode…

    And finally: did anyone notice the newspaper front page behind Osgood on the left hand side at the beginning saying: white house appoints alien am.. ssad. Sadly I could not make out the last two words but I’ve insterted a screenshot here.


    But overall a very enjoyable episode 🙂

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    Sorry I can’t seem to insert the screenshot but you should be able to see it round the 6 minute mark best (@craig how do I insert a screenshot?)

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    Ah there it is!

    soundworld @soundworld

    Ooooh! That was exciting, very movie-like.  Before I go any further, ‘hello’ to past friends here.  I’ve been feverishly playing catch-up, having watched all the season’s episodes so far in the last ten days, so it was a treat to watch this week live.  I’ve also been reading as many forum posts as I have time for to catch up on your wonderful theories and feelings.  Too many to mention (sorry), but as ever @purofilion  <waves> I’m impressed by your wonderful humanity when you write about this show.

    Life has been rather full-on in the last year, and not much time for ‘entertainment’ (as if!  Dr Who for me is far from being merely that).

    Beyond the obvious hybrid theme, though, I haven’t a clue.  I’m impressed by the Tarot theory, I know a little Tarot, so I can see how its fitting.  I’m very into the theme of our journey, and how the symbolism helps us to question where we are, who we are, where are we going.

    In that sense, this week’s episode asked those questions overtly rather than through the symbolism we think we had in previous episodes.

    I’ve enjoyed immensely all the episodes so far, the quality seems really high, in storytelling and in production values.  Its all about the storytelling, so far as I am concerned.  I don’t watch many shows, and get totally drawn into the characters.  My partner watches things and says ‘ oh, thats <names actor>, he was in… ‘ whereas I’m totally believing that character, the story (unless the acting is really bad!).  As I think I wrote last year, there is so much in Dr Who that resonates with my own personal life, its been a real companion through difficult times.

    The first 4 episodes all featured dragon/serpent/snake, and I was thinking that we would at some point get some Ourobouros, to symbolise the bootstrap-looping.  Maybe not yet.

    How many hybrids have we had?  Dalek-Clara (plus timelord energy);  Ashilde-Maia;  Zygon-Human; All probably diversions, so far, while Moffat hides the real plan behind a curtain, in plain sight!

    Mentioning Ashilde, another thought on her name: A-Shield.  A shield for the ‘victims’ of the Doctor.

    Anonymous @


    The newspaper clipping reads “White House Appoints Alien Ambassador”

    Did anyone notice the portrait of the 1st Doctor in the UNIT safehouse? Kate and Jac walk past it at around 6:05 (it’s at the bottom of the staircase).

    As to what’s in the ‘Osgood Box’, well obviously it’s me 😉

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Greetings @soundworld, I too had been expecting another Snake to appear but alas not. Some time over the last to weeks I mentioned Oroboros on here, but I can’t remember which thread or what I said, I’ll go find it now now and then post it again on this thread for you to see.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Ah yes I remember now, I mentioned how the tarot theory had the doctor labelled as a magician, and thus made Clara the magician’s apprentice (as shown by the episodes that have followed) The fact that there is a snake on the Magician card reflects regeneration, but it’s specifically as an Oroboros belt, which could mean a bootstrap paradox. and since Clara is training to be “the magician” it could represent the claricles having no start or end. One thing I’ve just realised though, is that it could be some major foreshadowing. What if the Gallifreyans are a hybrid race and The Doctor creates them?

    Anonymous @


    No need to repost it – you can paste a link to it. Right click on the post number and then select ‘copy link location’ and then click on the ‘insert/edit link’ icon and paste the link in the URL box 🙂

    bendubz11 @bendubz11
    RedneckDoctorShelby @redneckdoctorshelby

    Wonder if anyone else thinks the town and church used in this episode (where Osgood was being held) is the same as was used for Christmas on Trenzalore. Anyone?

    Also… this season has been a big stinker, in my humble opinion – which is based almost solely on entertainment level, rather than historical tie-in and canon, etc. However, this episode was FUN!  Can’t wait for next week. 🙂

    winston @winston

    I just finished watching and I thought it was a great episode. Lots of politics , soldiers and Zygons! And did the Doctor call himself Doctor Funkinstein?  This was a fun romp that had the feel of an episode of “24”.  I Can’t wait for a rewatch later.

    Liked the “It’s not being paranoid , if it’s real” line from the soldier. The idea of a monster who can look like anyone around you is pretty scary. This was a good episode for Halloween ,especially after giving candy to many little people who looked like monsters , princesses, the Grim Reaper and even a tiny little cow.  Zygons?  I don’t know , I’m just saying.

    @fatmaninabox it does look like your box, I hope they have it the right way up.

    DoctorDoctorWho @doctordoctorwho

    Sorry if anyone pointed this out but… Turmezistan… what?

    Anonymous @

    @soundworld thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed it and that it’s been so very focussed -almost in an adult manner -on story telling. The emotional wins over the action every time in my opinion.


    Shame you have felt that it’s been ‘a stinker’. Why exactly? Some of us tend to think that these episodes (although the last 2 episodes with Ashildr were not always considered the most strong -though I personally think they were) have been extremely high quality possessing a nuance and gentility which is not always seen in Who. It’s almost as if the show runner decided “stuff it, I’m going to write to a certain level of intelligence with introspection – rather than massive action on different planets, use of squareness guns etc and the typical ‘run run run’ stuff”

    I admire that -no doubt (from what I’ve seen on the Graun etc) people are ‘hating it’ on certain levels but then the opening 2 parter seemed to have an almost perfect score from many watchers  -but disliking it is fine, by the way -the world is big enough to contain those who prefer a certain type of story. I myself was re-watching RTD’s era and the Tennant episodes and could see how much I was switched on by that writing and the massive production elements as well as large amounts of aliens -be they cybermen or daleks and then on a smaller scale, in Eleven’s Big Bang, I could only see just a few of each alien -two daleks, two cybermen and two judoon (like the Ark!) and enjoyed Moffat’s softer, smaller approach emphasising complexities in stories- not always to everyone’s taste.


    Yes, I love the soldier -Rebecca Front worked with Capaldi in The Thick of It and so they get on very well, apparently: see various interviews. She’s done some stage work, I recall -I remember seeing her in England on stage, years ago.

    Anyway, Allons-zy


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I’ll make a prediction that will of course be stunningly wrong:  The real Kate Stewart is pretending to be compromised.  For one thing, in The Day of the Doctor, Queen Elizabeth I was able to make everyone believe she was the Zygon leader and not the human.  (How a mere human could fool the Zygons into thinking she was a Zygon seems rather far fetched to me, but it shows it is possible for Kate Stewart to also turn the tables, especially as she has already experienced being copied.)

    From a political perspective, the criticism from the opposition, of what the writers of this story apparently want to promote, is that the leaders who advocate tolerance are incompetent fools.  Therefore the two real leaders who made the human-Zygon peace treaty, the Doctor and Kate Stewart, must be shown to not be incompetent fools.  They must have a plan, or be able to devise a plan on the spur of the moment to make it look like they had a plan, so that we can trust their leadership when they ask us to do things that appear against our current interests.


    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    Something of an epic feel to that episode and again it’s one that again calls for much bonkers theorising. But a few quick first impressions and a question…

    What’s Clara up to? Why (before she was put into the pod to free the field for Zygon Clara) did she miss 100 plus calls from the Doctor?? That looks like a big-time brush-off. And the Doctor’s been told Clara’s dead for the second time in the series.

    Delighted Osgood is back. I thought that was handled beautifully inside the first 20 seconds.

    Davros and Missy did give us big pointers in The Witch’s Familiar to big themes for this series: hybrids  and <i>”</i>The friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend.”

    Enjoyed another call out to earlier Doctor Who with the reference to Harry Sullivan. Harry was far from the imbecile the Fourth Doctor claimed if he could work out how to reorder the DNA of the zygons to turn them inside out.

    Really, Doctor Disco??

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    This will be interesting seeing how the writers plan to put the genie back in the bottle.

    To me the obvious solution is for the Zygons to voluntarily agree to ingest some formula that permanently suppresses their ability to imitate humans, leaving them in their true Zygon form.  The younger Zygons had a point.  Be what you are, without shame.  After all once the Zygons were known to ordinary humans they would no longer be monsters.  They would probably become celebrities, especially if someone wrote a book on how one could tell them apart by counting indentations or whatever Zygons use to distinguish each other.  After all in some contexts humans regard Cybermen as monsters, but when Missy threw her hat on the ground, everyone wanted to have their picture taken with them.

    In some sense the current Zygon situation is forcing them to pass, to pretend to be what they are not, to be second-class citizens, and be subject to violence if their cover is broken.  There are many political movements today that consider such arrangements unacceptable.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @doctordoctorwho  Turmezistan… what?

    Uh . . . chief export, turmeric?

    @jphamore  the two real leaders who made the human-Zygon peace treaty, the Doctor and Kate Stewart, must be shown to not be incompetent fools. They must have a plan, or be able to devise a plan on the spur of the moment to make it look like they had a plan, so that we can trust their leadership when they ask us to do things that appear against our current interests.

    Sounds right; also impossible, since we still haven’t come up with anything remotely useful in our real-world analog to this situation.  I’m very curious to see what they decide to do.

    @countscarlioni  127 missed calls, I think: that’s a lot.  And I’ve forgotten what she’d been up to on her own that kept her from checking her phone — ?  It’s nice to know now that the “Bad-ass Clara” on her bike with a rocket launcher really *is* a bad-ass, that is, a renegade zygon.  Those who’ve wanted to see a “Clara turned bad” get a chance to see that in this story, though of course it’s not really Clara at all . . .

    geoffers @geoffers

    that beginning: what, no, um “spoilers!” for anyone who hasn’t seen the 50th anniversary movie?! LOL…

    i enjoyed this, realizing it’s only the first half of a nice chess game. i knew that clara had been zygonized by her reaction (or non-reaction, as it were) to the parents’ handling of the upset boy, but i didn’t expect the betrayal and the reveal at the end…

    although i’m wrong 99% of the time at these guessing things, i’m going to put forth my theory about what’s inna the box… the transmitter/translator thingy the zygons used to hide themselves in the paintings (in the 50th). when the dust has cleared, i predict the doctor will use it to grant the zygons (who want to leave earth) the ability to do so. i remember that he offered to find a home for the empress of the racnoss and her children, and i believe he will do the same here, for the zygons who do not wish to live “in hiding” on earth anymore. how many of them will be left… that, i cannot predict! but i bet there will be some help from inside the zygon uprising, as well, to aid him in defeating the ones who are all for conquering the earth…

    Avaris @avaris

    Hi, new member here.  I am not a English native speaker, so I apologize for my grammatical errors in advance.  Some things about myself.  I have started watching Doctor Who since NuWho is released.  Favorite episode: Midnight.  Favorite Companions Clara, Oswin, Miss Oswald LOL.

    I have been reading the posts on series 9 in this forum for a while. I really enjoyed the bonkers theories, tiny observations, connection to Norse mythology and tarots (both of which I have no understanding.)

    So thoughts on the episode.

    This is the strongest first-parter of the series.  The episode had a very nice atmosphere.  It was tense. The threat felt real.  It reminded me of Russel T Davies’ episodes.

    The cliffhanger is nicely done.  No preview is a nice touch.

    Details of Zygon Clara is good and subtle.  Copy of Clara is better than original as usual.  I just love Evil Clara.  I really hope there is Evil Clara vs Missy in the Finale.

    The last scene of the episode is a exact copy of the anime Fate/ Zero which the apprentice killed his master for the greater good.

    I am not sure that this is foreshadowing something in the Series.

    soundworld @soundworld

    Thanks for the link! @bendubz11  Its always encouraging when others are having similar thoughts.

    @countscarlioni It was delightful to see Osgood, and I really like how she played it as there being no difference, it didn’t matter which she was as she and her sister were true twin-hybrids.  And that conversation – question mark underwear!

    In some sense the current Zygon situation is forcing them to pass, to pretend to be what they are not, to be second-class citizens, and be subject to violence if their cover is broken.  There are many political movements today that consider such arrangements unacceptable.

    Tarot-wise, could this be the Justice card?  Overtly, the militant-Zygon sect want their view of justice.  The Doctor of course has his own much wider view of justice!  My limited Tarot knowledge suggests that Justice is about balancing knowledge of one’s inner (Zygon) and outer (apparently Human) selves.  “The friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend”.  Know thyself!

    @purofilion Indeed, I’m very much enjoying that gentler, introspective, storytelling side.  Although (from hard-earned experience), the inner journey ain’t usually gentle!  Thinking back to The Girl Who Died, Ashilde tells stories, creates stories – and then projects them – like a hologram.  All she needed was the technology.

    Back to hybrids.  The question could be, are they a good or a bad thing ?  (Like the Doctor?)  In our society just now we are busy creating all manner of hybrids – specifically genetically-modified organisms and plants.   Is this Dr Frankenstein (@winston Doctor Funkinstein?) out of control, or will everything balance out?  There are theories that life on earth was seeded, and continues to be, by genetic material carried through space, virii and so on.  What manner of hybrids might we already be, unknowingly?   Life adapts, evolves, moves on.  Its different, thats all.  Yes, it matters to the specific personality caught up in that moment, but the Journey is about moving on and identifying with the greater awareness.

    Edited to remove strange <span> formatting

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    If there is a political message, what it must argue against is that the elites that call themselves progressives are instead out-of-touch with reality, incompetent, and have a traitorous agenda.  Therefore I expect to see in the second-parter a burst of competence from leadership.

    I speculate not only Osgood but Kate Stewart established some sort of working relationship with her Zygon counterpart post-The Day of the Doctor.  That counterpart may actually be human Kate Stewart’s backup, as the possibility was raised the Zygons could disguise themselves as animals, or basically anything.

    A long long time ago, decades, the pilot for the original version of the American television show Hawaii Five-Oh was actually science fiction.  Steve McGarrett allowed himself to be brainwashed first by his government so that when he was captured and broken in a sensory isolation tank, he fed prepared lies to his arch nemesis Wo Fat.

    Now imagine this alternative scenario:  Kate Stewart’s Zygon counterpart contacts her about trouble between the Zygon generations.  Osgood allows herself to be brainwashed with whatever Kate Stewart wants the younger Zygons to learn and pretends to go off reservation to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  And what was Clara doing while her phone was ringing while being called by the Doctor?  She was being debriefed and possibly allowing herself to be brainwashed as well by Kate Stewart.   By not answering her phone, she alerts the Doctor not to trust her.  So he doesn’t.  Wouldn’t it be wild if the so-called President of the World’s plane was actually the Tardis with a repaired chameleon circuit?  The Doctor never expected Clara to go back to the Tardis to hide out.

    UNIT headquarters might be fake as well.  After all, Kate Stewart ordered both the Doctor and Missy to be tranquilized in Death in Heaven.

    We might be seeing quite the counterattack from the establishment in the second-parter.  After all the mature Zygon leadership claimed they could get the situation under control.

    Summee @summee

    Hello everyone, long-time follower, first-time posting… I thought this episode was totally brilliant. These Zygons were freaky and terrifying, as they looked like beloved family members.

    No spoilers, but I wondered about Clara when she asked to go pick up a few things from her house.

    Can’t wait to watch it again!

    Anonymous @

    @all what a cracker….A Cracker !!!!

    *I am going a jig*

    All those months ago, let it be said that I recognised that the Clara on the bike with the lipstick and the non-smile was a Zygon. Let it be read from all the high places and Messiahs be sung! (I want all the muffins and bagels in all the land too)

    OK. Excitement dialled down  -but not really because of the vastness of this episode. Brilliant!

    I think of all those silly little episodes way back when – many years and decades ago  -and those silly little ships and now we have huge, expensive aerial shots of trucks and bikes and corpses in bins! We have towns in New Mexico and towns in Saudi  -maybe? Turkmenistan has mainly goats right? 🙂

    We have the creepy lift scenes and children in bags scenes as well as planes and shoulder mounted missiles. And we have excellent dialogue mimicking the magnitude of the surroundings and the vastness of the locations.

    Really, a drop dead episode -enough thrills and spills mixed with metaphors and questions to keep various numb nuts on the Graun complaining about how “radicalising and making extreme our interplanetary enemies is a BAD thing because they look exactly like IS and the Coming Jihad what with people with bags over their heads forced to read weird writing at the end of a gun together with 3 fingered signs that look awfully like extremist Aramaic [or some nonsense].”

    However, I shall not take that bait!

    Bring on Part 2. I hope there are more funnies and I do think the Doctor was surprised at Clara’s  zygonism. I suspected he would have known earlier -hence the glasses and maybe he does/did know: has known hence the “I’m sorry” in Episode 2?

    🙂 Cheers. I shall read all the posts now. No doubt I’ve simply repeated what everyone else has written. But still, let it be said that I picked up one correct thing in umpteen years

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Not long ago it was being argued on this forum that Moffat often reverses what appears to be death.  Perhaps this two-parter will be another example.

    I wonder if the apparent deaths, weren’t. Perhaps they were almost all dragged away and stuffed into pods for duplication, and once the civil war is resolved next episode, a huge number of people will be released unharmed so that the Zygons aren’t mass murderers.


    Anonymous @

    @summee welcome to you and jump in with your theories -me too! I thought “humn that’s suspicious” but actually even the first time when the two ‘parents’ were taking that child and Clara walked out, I also did ‘an about face’ and a “hunh?”

    Love your avatar  🙂

    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore well, I hope so. We hope Clara is saved -but still, there may be more to her story -if she’s been a zygon for months and missed 120 odd calls I can see that the real Clara has been trapped in zygon ‘matter’. They are actually quite scary now. More so than the 50th anniversary. The camera angles and the shadowy places as well as the simple not knowing  -such as the poor soldier believing it was his mother! I absolutely believed they were humans and not zygons! Goodness, the grief.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @purofilion: In the original series Star Trek episode What are Little Girls Made Of, Captain Kirk as he is being duplicated for an android copy deliberately repeats a phrase that he would never say in order for the android to instantly arouse Spock’s suspicions.  Perhaps something similar was done for Clara if as I speculate she was being debriefed and possibly brainwashed by UNIT while she was incommunicado with the Doctor.

    Anonymous @

    ooh and I love the date 1/11 in HQ in Truth and C.

    Anonymous @

    Ah, by reading the notes and posts above people are obviously going typically nutty in the UK and also in Oz regarding “we shouldn’t be giving this stuff to our children. It’s too real. Dr Who should be about normal monsters…”

    Oh, honestly.

    But what a cracker. I’m still wide eyed and thought Harness did an awesome job and the direction and photography was gorgeous too -as good as any film, in my opinion

    Anonymous @

    A great part one, really thrilling throughout. I like the basic premise of following up on that 50th thread that was left hanging, and they way they did it- the Zygons were Time War refugees, were they not?- there’s something a bit Men in Black about about hiding alien refugees throughout society. And the Zygon sect fightback against that situation is also sound. The Zygon tactic of appearing as loved ones was also well done.
    I also really like how they handled Osgood’s return, not just a ‘that was Zygon me! I was never dead!’ but something much more nuanced, and something that actually makes her character more interesting than the fangirl parody.
    And of course the question mark collar, nice to see some affection for the 80s attire.

    Everyone is right of course about the political undertones- I mostly didn’t mind it up until the scene in the Zygon command centre, where having already alluded to it multiple times in a less than subtle way, the writer then proceeds to absolutely bludgeon us over the heads with it. Not that I associate Who with subtlety, but…

    The other thing that stood out to me was the absurdity of Kate, the head of UNIT, just travelling to New Mexico to investigate something completely alone. Given that the lack of backup was highlighted, I hope that it’s been written in as part of a ruse on UNIT’s part.

    @jphamlore That would be wild. Certainly you wonder why the Doctor wouldn’t have travelled to Turmezistan(??? Why the need for a made up country? Is it only a -stan to yet again drill home the ‘THE ZYGON REBELS ARE LIKE ISLAMIC TERRORISTS YOU GUYS’?) in his TARDIS? Or even taking Kate to New Mexico in it, sussing that out, then going to join up with UNIT once they had arrived.

    Anonymous @


    “I spotted the switch”

    You did? So there was a switch in this episode not, say, last month (in show)?

    Alrighty, then I’m gonna find it -it’s before she goes into the apartment and speaks to the little boy because it’s obvious the ‘parents’ are hardly ‘parents’ and are actually mean libertarians zygons!

    @jphamlore that’s quite the theory and @ichabod too -that Kate and Osgood have a double bluff/fail safe to protect against this entire problem occurring. I would think with 20 million of them there would have to be something in the works in case it all fell apart -of course that speaks, metaphorically, to our own impending race and culture wars…do we prepare for the inevitable or do we simply work optimistically with what we actually have?

    Mudlark @mudlark

    I relish the more subtle and multi-layered episodes which have featured under Moffat’s aegis but, as must have been apparent from my brief post yesterday evening, I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace and mood in this, and disbelief did not need to be suspended; it was nowhere to be seen (maybe slipped out for a pint at the local). I did wonder afterwards whether the aforesaid pace might have masked some glitches or gaps in the narrative, but on viewing again this morning in a more critical frame of mind, I could not spot anything.  It all seemed to hang together very well, even if some of the links were in the nature of ‘blink and you miss it’.


    big themes for this series: hybrids and  “The friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend.”

    Exactly so, and very much to the fore in this episode, though without too obvious an emphasis.

    Until next week we are left in a state of uncertainty with questions hovering. Even those whom we assume are not Zygon copies could be other than they seem – including the Osgood rescued by the Doctor, if it is possible for someone who is already a Human/Zygon hybrid to be copied.  The original Clara is presumably still alive in some fashion, entombed in the Zygon pod, but what of Kate?  @jphamlore suggested that it might be the original Kate who survived that encounter, but if so, how did she know that the Clara/Bonnie she contacted was a Zygon commander?  And if not, has she been reduced to a small heap of electrically sparking fibre?

    The socio-political message of the episode wasn’t subtle, but it was embedded organically into the narrative and was not jarring or too obtrusive as far as I was concerned; and, as @bluesqueakpip said, it needed to be reasonably overt for a target audience of children and young people, not to mention some older people with narrow and entrenched opinions on these matters – although the latter are more likely to be simply annoyed and up in arms at what they perceive as leftie propaganda.


    did the Doctor call himself Doctor Funkinstein?

    He did indeed!  Presumably as a nod to his latest persona.


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @supernumerary: That’s why I think Clara was told to deliberately not pick up the Doctor’s phone, so he would not trust her.  Having tried to contact Clara so vigorously, note how quick once they meet the Doctor is to part.

    Flying on the President of the World’s plane also has to be a ruse, as the Doctor was shot down in its predecessor in Death in Heaven.  That is why I speculate that is actually not the plane, or perhaps is a piece of the Tardis wrapped around that plane.

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