The Zygon Invasion

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    Anonymous @


    I understand it did seem like ‘bludgeoning over the head’ -but the thing is, why not? Because no matter how it would be hinted at, with subtlety (and I think there’s plenty of subtlety in Who), with nuance and care, everyone would start pointing and saying “hey, there’s a political story here. In. Our. Faces.” So I think Harness just went for broke with the ‘enistan’ -because, frankly, how many politically motivated people really know the geography of many Poor World countries? The “erministans” for instance or any of the small countries in South America, near India and in Indonesia?

    Mudlark @mudlark

    As a postscript:  The name of the country in which the Zygon occupied village was located, Turmezistan, suggested that a mosque rather than a church would have been more likely, but I’m pretty sure that was the whole point.  One should not make assumptions.

    @purofilion   The switch was signalled by the cut following the appearance of the Zygon in the flat in its true form, and by Clara’s body language as she emerged from the flat and immediately smoothed and tied back her hair.

    Starla @starla

    @purofilion If the switch you refer to is Clara becoming the zygon, it happened when she was speaking to the child’s mother. The father zygon zapped her and then assumed her shape, calling itself Bonnie. Before that she was regular Clara. Well, as regular as the impossible girl can be anyway ☺.

    I thought this was a really great episode. Plenty of substance to it, and it really made the zygons more of a threat than they’ve been recently.

    I personally think the Kate Stewart in this episode, or at least the one who travels to New Mexico, is zygon Kate.  We don’t see what happens to her once the police officer changes into a zygon… we assume she’s collapsed or dead, and the zygon has taken her form… but we don’t see that happen. I think she was zygon Kate, working in cahoots with human Kate… maybe… possibly… 😊 anyway, that’s the extent of my theories! Goodnight!


    Anonymous @


    thank you for that! Now it’s revealed how utterly thick I must be to have missed that! Stupidly I was jotting down notes and may have (:ahem:) missed something important. That’s my excuse, anyway 🙂

    Avaris @avaris

    Back to hybrids.  The question could be, are they a good or a bad thing ?

    On the subject of hybrids, I see them as the consequences of the Doctor’s decision.  Up-till this episode,  there is a hybrid in every single story in series 9 due to the Doctor’s choice.  In Magician’s Witch’s, a dalek/timelord hybrids were created due to the Doctor’s compassion and kindness. In LakeFlood, although none wass directly created as a result of the story plot, Clara, a human/timelord hybrid (owning to the fact that she is becoming more and more like the Doctor), plays an important part in the story and her morality is lightly questioned by the Doctor and Cass.  The hybridization of Clara is the result of the constant influence of Twelve and his re-invitation to her in Last Christmas. In Girl & Woman, Ashildr was accidentally given immortality because the Doctor does not want to lose people anymore.  The twin Osgood is the consequence of the Doctor(s) wanting a peace solution in the Day of the Doctor.

    Back to the question.  Up to this moment, we audience are shown that hybrid are more capable of doing bad than good.  Hybridization of Dalek didn’t turn them from killing machine to become nice Dalek ( but you cannot tell since their translation matrix censor their speech.)  Hybridization of Clara & Ashildr just made them more detach to the world and make them adrenaline seeking junkie.

    However, I believe hybrids have the ability to demonstrate good too.  They are just not shown yet.  Maybe the good Dalek in  Into the Dalek being able to reflect on its action is due to hybridization.

    Perhaps, the more important point is not to prejudge.  Like Missy said in Witch’s “Everyone’s a bit of both. Everyone’s a hybrid.” 

    And yes, Missy’s prophecy came true. “The friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend.”
    Clara inside Dalek, Zygon takes Clara’s shape.

    Hybridizing Osgood has definitely change her.  She is now the embodiment of the Human-Zygon peace.  Really can’t tell she is good or not.  However, I don’t like her withholding information about her specie from the Doctor despite out of good intention.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  Avaris. Reason: Forget about Osgood
    Avaris @avaris


    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.

    Nice theory. I can see the second part of the story resolving this way.  Clara maybe coming back from the Black Archive.  In that way, her dressing, motorbike and 127 missed call will make sense.  Kate and Clara might be working on something for the crisis before they are brainwashed when they left Black Archive so that they could play alone to the Zygon’s plan.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, that was a cracker of an episode!

    Part “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, part “They Live”, and part “The X Files” (and all the best parts!)

    I thought it was very interesting that the Doctor actually did not do all that much in the episode; the main action was dominated by UNIT, by by Kate, by Osgood, and by Clara. In fact, there was no sense of a plan being hatched by the Doctor.

    Loved the dialogue between the Doctor and Osgood, where she refuses to identify as either human or Zygon.

    Next week cannot come soon enough!

    janetteB @janetteb

    An excellent episode. I am loving the two parters. The stories are more satisfying because they have time to play out. I also have a sentimental attachment to Zygons. I love the duality of shape shifting monsters. No one can ever be entirely certain about who is “real” and who isn’t. Even the Doctor might be a Zygon. I also wondered if there can be more than one zygon copy of someone. That raises interesting possibilities.

    I doubt that Kate would have gone to a location known to be dangerous alone. I think there is more at play there. I also wondered if she is a Zygon.

    At this stage the story is very much humans verses zygons. I expect we are going to see more of the peaceful zygon resistance next week. I like the suggestion made on the previous page, (sorry is late and I neglected to make notes of names etc as I was reading through) that the resolution should be that zygons are able to live on earth without having to hide their identity. It is Doctor Who. Ideal endings are allowed.

    I doubt that the Doctor is one the plane. I also doubt that either Clara or Kate are dead though I would not put money on Clara being alive at the end of next week were I a gamboling person which I am not. I would not wager on her being dead either though. I am going to remain on the fence in regards to her fate and enjoy the story as it unfolds.

    Enough from me for now.



    nerys @nerys

    I hope that this episode improves on second viewing. I have a feeling that it may be one of those episodes which I think I dislike initially, but it’s because of the countless jarring commercial interruptions which disrupt the flow. I found the first three-quarters to be a bit plodding, only picking up at the end … and oh, how it did pick up! So I think I should probably be a little less grumpy and watch it again before commenting further.

    @starla Thank you for that explanation about Kate! I kept wondering where the Zygon version of her was. Having it be Zygon Kate who went to Truth and Consequences would explain why she went in without backup. As we learned in “The Day of the Doctor,” the Zygons aren’t good at spotting who is human and who is one of their own.

    RedneckDoctorShelby @redneckdoctorshelby

    Oh… in case nobody else has chimed in on this… that set is NOT the town of Truth or Consequences, NM.

    Probably obvious considering it’s such a small little town in the middle of nowhere, USA.

    But for all you UK Whovians… that is not what TorC looks like.


    nerys @nerys

    Oops, sorry, Truth or/and Consequences. And yes, I figured that’s not the real town, but rather a set depicting (not very accurately, it seems) the town.

    nerys @nerys

    Question: When Osgood (we assume this is Zygon Osgood) visits Osgood’s (copy or original?) gravesite, doesn’t the marker say, simply, “My sister”? If that were the original Osgood, then wouldn’t the headstone be far more detailed? Dates of birth and death, some sort of inscription, etc.?

    Avaris @avaris

    @nerys we have no idea Osgood is human or Zygon.

    The reason there is no name and other information of the dead Osgood is probably that the UNIT don’t want to leak out any information about Operation Double out to the public.  It will be quite bizarre when the alive Osgood visit the dead Osgood grave.  This may raise some questions and induce some background checking which may uncover the whole thing.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @nerys  @avaris   A minor point to note in passing also: the gravestone we saw must mark a cenotaph, not a grave with a body in it, since the Osgood zapped by Missy was reduced to a small pile of dust which would have been dispersed to the winds when the plane disintegrated.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    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)

    For you:



    iusedtobethedoctorrs99 @iusedtobethedoctor

    hi fellow fans of the doctor, im a lifelong 36 year old fan from glasgow who takes pride in being a grown up gfan!!!

    a couple of things i noticed, first of all the osgood box thingy, looks a hell of a lot like the moment eh??  and when the doctor finds the zygon laptop thingy, there was a computer beside it with the word sapphire on it, which is apparently a blue jewel(anyone remember a character with the name blue)

    everyone knows moffat likes to tease, and every series leaves clues that you dont see until the reveal, for me, the biggest hint was missy “the friend within the enemy, the enemy within the friend, everybody is a hybrid”

    what if missy’s “idea” was to travel back and be the “rogue zygons”  who broke the peace treaty, would make sense why she guided clara to the doctor, now that she is trying to kill him!!!  the friend within the enemy, the enemy within the friend.

    i am totally loving this series, its defo the best since david tennant 2nd series, as the doctor is older, its more grown up, but the writing is amazing, acting amazing, but the stories are gripping, i was never great fan of matt smith until the end, i hated all he rory dying again and again and again, but the trilogy, notd,dotd and totd was probably my favourite dr who trilogy ever, it was so dark and amazing!

    i think next week, the doctor will escape the plane, if you notice at the end when bonnie fires the missile, there seems to be some kind of thing on the doctors wrist, almost looks like a wire hanging out, i have no idea what it might be!!

    to sum up, best series in 10 years, best stories!!!   give me your thoughts guys???????????

    iusedtobethedoctorrs99 @iusedtobethedoctor

    so where is the plot leading?  what im preying for is a dalek/missy/zygon/davros masterpiece!!!!!!!!!!

    i know for a fact that we havnt seen the last of missy or davros, did anyone else watch the witch/magician etc and feel there was something sinister behind it??  i think its going to be a time loop and clara’s ending will be her as the dalek that matt smith met in asylum of the daleks, and to my horror, i think its going to be so shocking and cruel, but the doctor knows its already goingto happen and is guiding her towards it, as its a fixed point in time and has to happen to avoid a paradox, but the cruel bit is its going to be the doctor who has to sacrefice clara, as shocking as it could get!!  that is why he is so protective, where davros comes into it im not sure, its exciting though!!!

    iusedtobethedoctorrs99 @iusedtobethedoctor

    who nose??

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    Really enjoyed reading the posts; lots of interesting stuff!

    The current state of my bonkers theorizing for what it’s worth, which is likely in the long run to be very little…

    1) @ichabod    Yes, 127 missed calls is a lot! And this from Clara who is now desperate to go on adventures in the Tardis. Even taking the Year 7s to Tae Kwon Do surely would not lead to 127 missed calls. And, given the switch to zygon Clara was meant to be so obvious, perhaps it was too obvious and Clara had in fact already become a zygon.  That would explain why she was not returning the Doctor’s calls at that point. Another option for the missed calls maybe is she has had a chat with Ashildr/Lady Me (!).

    2) @mudlark   I think you’re right. The Kate in New Mexico is not the human copy but Kate in the form of a friendly' zygon. We did not actually see thedemise’ of Kate and I don’t think it happened. The friendly zygons are helping to battle the rebel zygons.

    3) What’s in the Osgood Box?? Nothing. The box was left by the Doctor simply as a `security blanket’ for Unit and its political masters so they’d feel better about the Peace Treaty. The Doctor really wanted the humans and zygons to work things out rather than rely on some deux ex machina.

    4) @juniperfish  @soundworld  (and others) Yes, the hybrids are key again. I’m hoping Davros was right to poke the Doctor about why he ran away from Gallifrey and that we will get the real reason in this series.  I just went back to check that exchange from TWF:

    “Davros: There was a prophecy, Doctor, on your own world.
    The Doctor: Please, you must, you must stop this.  You must stop this!
    Davros: It spoke of a hybrid creature. Two great warrior races forced together to create a warrior greater than either. Is that what you ran from, Doctor? Your part in the coming of the hybrid? Half-Dalek, half-Time Lord.”

    5) @fatmaninabox  Yes, great spot! A portrait of the first Doctor in the Unit safe house; splendid.

    Anonymous @

    I guess Clara is alive and so is Kate: as far as I remember the 50th, there was a photo in the Black Archive of Kate and Clara together. Clara seems to have similar trenchcoat and blouse on Black Archive photo as she did in this episode (first pic after Osgood’s)

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    On second viewing, loving it even more than after the first viewing!

    Apart from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “They Live”, and “The X Files”, the other influences are “Battlestar Galactica” (the new version, obviously) and, perhaps most importantly, “The Invaders”, the absolutely brilliant TV series from the 1960s with Roy Thinnes. All fabulous shows.

    And interestingly, in light of the ramblings of one of the Underbridge family last week, all American shows.

    As for arc implications, actually, I do not think there are going to be any with this two-parter. I think it will be self-contained and arc-free. But then, I am usually wrong with my predictions…



    iusedtobethedoctorrs99 @iusedtobethedoctor

    ive just been watching the series from the beginning again, the penny has dropped, hybrid, the occuring theme…..

    well watch the witches familiar, right at the beginning, missy says to clara “shoosh now, mummys talking”

    missy has obv been around for a while given the things that happened in the last series, what if missy is actually clara’s mother, she had a tardis, she could easily have went back in time, and missy made a comment about the doctor and a child, what if the “hybrid” is the doctor and the master/missy’s child, “the enemy within the friend, the enemy within the friend”

    that would explain why the doctor is fatherlike to clara

    lisa @lisa

    Well that was quite good! In the States we went onto daylight savings time so I guess
    we can say that we time traveled. 🙂 I have to watch again ! Lots of women in high ranking
    positions which is so opposite the political situation that this episode was trying to reflect.
    When the Doctor made the point about how bombing radicalizes the opposition I thought Yeah! Really
    wish that in our real world that .they would end all the bombing asap

    I still think Clara will end up trapped in another dimension and this Zygon form isn’t her end.
    I’m basing that on several things. I re-watched Listen and Hide together.
    In ‘Hide’ we have 2 creatures trapped and yearning for each other. In ‘Listen’ we
    get that word listen on the chalkboard. I think it had to be written by Clara from
    another dimension. (look at the sticky notes from Dark Water and see the identical way
    of writing letters on sticky note ‘lying’ and the chalkboard word ‘listen’) Also, all
    the traps. In a Dalek, under the water, now in a Zygon pod. Plus the links with myths and
    the clues from other places and at the end of the day I think it all reflects on Clara ending
    up trapped in another dimension in just a few more episodes from now. I know lots of folks think
    she was becoming a Hybrid but my feeling is she has always been so which might be part of a
    big twist we get at her end. Its probably been the bed rock of her story from the beginning when
    she climbed out of the time stream. Zygon Clara is just another deflection IMHO.

    Loved reading everyone’s comments!

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    I hope we remember that two Clara’s walked out of the 50th

    Whisht @whisht

    wow – @countscarlioni – amazing not-actually-bonkers-bonkerising!!

    Kate not really ‘Kate’ but having voluntarily being Zygonned to deal with this threat – brilliant!!
    The Osgood Box being a placebo – brilliant again!

    I have nothing to add to everyone’s great bonkerising and great insights into this episode.
    Instead, some minor spots of ‘colour’:
    It begins with “once upon a time…” – a really interesting reminder of the importance storytelling in this series (especially with this episode which is so based on ‘real’ recent events);
    “The Brits” (rather than ‘the muslims’ etc) were the invaders in the town of TorC.
    The sign with the scrawled “No Brits” deliberately recalls the signs in lodging-homes in 60’s London of “No Blacks No Irish No dogs”;
    The tumbleweed seen when Kate enters the town of TorC, becomes almost poignant when we later realise what it is (rather than my initial reaction of “tsk! c’mon! enough already!”).
    The school called Draketown – “drake” is another name for ‘dragon’, so serpents again…

    But these are all silly asides rather than any insights.

    I really enjoyed this episode and really enjoyed that I had to be very aware throughout to get all the plot elements (and even then needed a second watch).
    “Romp” it wasn’t!


    lisa @lisa

    The Osgood box can be a version of the device that made the Zygons and Humans forget which they
    were? Maybe it will create those clouds around the world that drop seed something just like
    in Death in Heaven? But I agree that it does rather resemble the Moment, the weapon to be
    used when there are no other possibilities left which is interesting.

    This might have already mentioned upstream if so apologies.

    soundworld @soundworld

    @countscarlioni Brilliant, on the ‘box’ being empty.  I like it.  Also Kate as Zygon-Kate, this could work very well.

    The school called Draketown

    Well-spotted! Excellent – serpent theories can continue unabated 🙂

    @iusedtobethedoctor Hi there – I’m about 200 miles North of you… I disagree however that Clara’s fate is to end up as the Clara in ‘Asylum’.  The story there (from memory…) was that she had taken a job on the spaceship so as to see the galaxy, so there was a complete back-story.  It could all have been implanted, of course!

    I personally hope that Clara’s fate is something interesting, beyond our ordinary conceptions.  Her character has grown immensely and has contributed enormously to the Doctor.  My worst ever companion exit was Donna, I just felt her fate was awful, to have lost the memory of how much she had grown, and I felt it was unfair in a storytelling sense.  I’m hoping for something unexpected and sideways for Clara, rather than tragedy.

    I’m off for a much-needed re-watch.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @soundworld  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?

    I think that’s an excellent question!  And it raises one of my ingrained objections to concepts of “purity”, in the name of which so many great crimes have been committed.  How can you tell what’s “pure” unless you’re in a chem lab?

    @jphamlore  a huge number of people will be released unharmed so that the Zygons aren’t mass murderers.

    Mmm, that is another good question: if you can’t tell people from zygons, how can you hope to tell bad zygons (the ones responsible for murdering humans) from good zygons, when it comes time to settle accounts?

    @supernumerary  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.. . why the Doctor wouldn’t have travelled to Turmezistan . . . 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.

    I forgot about using the Tardis, but Kate her own made NO sense.  None.  Really yanked me out of the story; I hope this is addressed next time!

    @purofilion  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?

    Yes.  For the US, I think it’s safe to assume that we’re preparing very incompetently for the possibly inevitable, since we can’t get the damned Thug-dominaed Congress to do *anything* useful with what we actually have.

    @mudlark  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

    I think they hit it just right, myself.


    Mersey @mersey

    Yesterday the russian plane crushed (maybe it was shooted), last year the plane was shooted down. This is actually happening. I think it’s too serious issue to make of it family entertaintment even with such strong message. This is still tv series about funny alien.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @starla  the one who travels to New Mexico, is zygon Kate. We don’t see what happens to her once the police officer changes into a zygon

    Well, not exactly — but our last shot of Kate — isn’t she holding up and looking at what sure looks like a zygon finger or something?  I thought, if she’s a zygon copy but a *good* one, she’s taken out a *bad* rebel one, and then lied to Bonnie over the phone.  Or she’s still Kate, and ditto.  Possible?

    @avaris  And yes, Missy’s prophecy came true. “The friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend.”
    Clara inside Dalek, Zygon takes Clara’s shape.

    Good spotting — I didn’t see that, really, until you pointed it out, so thanks.

    @janetteb  wondered if there can be more than one zygon copy of someone. That raises interesting possibilities.

    It raises the possibility of my head exploding, if I have to try to keep track of more than one zygonic copy of people!

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Clara on the bike with lipstick — Lucy in the sky . . . Thanks for the earworm, dang it!

    @countscarlioni 3) What’s in the Osgood Box?? Nothing. The box was left by the Doctor simply as a `security blanket’ for Unit and its political masters so they’d feel better about the Peace Treaty. The Doctor really wanted the humans and zygons to work things out rather than rely on some deux ex machina.

    Damn, *love* that idea!



    I hope we remember that two Clara’s walked out of the 50th

    How do you work that out? (There is a small possibility I just had a re-watch)

    Arbutus @arbutus

    That was great. Depending on how the second half rolls, I think this will definitely come to be considered a modern classic. I liked the pace of the build-up, and the splitting up of the Doctor, Clara, and Kate. And then suddenly momentum picked up and it was over before I knew it!

    It was a pretty unsubtle commentary on our times, a bit like being hit over the head with a large, metaphor-shaped hammer. I didn’t mind it, though, as even without the metaphor, the story had lots to offer.

    I found the scene outside the church in the fake “Stan” very disturbing. I suspect that would have been an upsetting scenario for the little kids. Also, the creepy elevators gave me a bit of a turn, as it reflected a nightmare I used to have as a kid. Lots of psychological scariness, I wonder if they knew that it would air on Halloween?

    Most of all, I gave a cheer when they acknowledged the old Zygon rule, because I had been assuming all along that it had to be the human Osgood, because of that. But was Osgood telling the truth that the Zygon duplicates no longer needed to keep their human originals alive?

    More hybrids!  Even the Doctor has spotted the arc at this point.  🙂

    Nice cliffhanger. Greatly looking forward to next week.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I think it’s too serious issue to make of it family entertaintment even with such strong message.

    I disagree. I live in an area where children are being groomed by terrorists. This is too serious an issue to NOT make it family entertainment, because families need to find a way of talking about this. Before their fifteen year old child decides to head off to Syria – which has happened, locally.

    As @jimthefish said elsewhere, it’s also a format that can be used by schools as an entertaining discussion starter.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    This is still tv series about funny alien.

    If that were all it was, I doubt whether I would still be watching after all these years.

    I understand your point of view, but I do not see why serious issues should not be addressed in a popular show which reaches a varied audience with a wide age range, because this can, if handled carefully, be a much more effective medium than either a documentary programme or high minded ‘serious’ drama with much narrower appeal.  From the beginning in 1963 Doctor Who has quite often, obliquely or directly, subtly or not so subtly, addressed moral, philosophical and political issues, and the issues addressed in this particular episode are among the most pressing and disturbing of those we currently face.  The fact that they are being addressed in a family show does not mean that they are being taken lightly or treated frivolously, even if the message is wrapped in an entertaining package of fantasy fiction.  In this guise it is much more likely to reach the most important audience; children and young people.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    I think they hit it just right, myself.

    So do I, but perhaps this wasn’t entirely clear in what I wrote  🙂


    soundworld @soundworld


    I think that’s an excellent question!  And it raises one of my ingrained objections to concepts of “purity”, in the name of which so many great crimes have been committed.  How can you tell what’s “pure” unless you’re in a chem lab?

    Indeed! Thats what I was heading towards, although in my normal long-winded fashion I didn’t actually get there.

    @whisht I’m on my rewatch, and just came to the school.  Its actually ‘Drakeman Junior School’ (11:05 in).  Drakeman, or Drake-man ie another hybrid!

    lisa @lisa

    Clara’s appearances seem to have really been squeezed back quite a bit so far this series.
    So I’ve been trying to postulate that it maybe Zygon Clara that Missy trapped in the Dalek.
    Then it means – 1. the real Clara didn’t get the hybrid zap in that instance and
    2. Clara has been in a pod for a while! So @sirclockface you have an interesting point.
    But please explain how you arrived at two Clara’s from the end of the 50th. Because
    its a bit hard for me imagining a Zygon Clara in the series 8 episodes particularly with Danny.
    In fact I cant imagine Zygon Clara writing cheat answer cards for the Doctor like the ones he
    used in Under the Lake. I think the switch just happened in this episode. But Who nose.
    Really would like to know what you were thinking when you say 2 Clara’s walked off.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    The Doctor always knew, somewhere deep inside, that humans and Time Lords were the prophesied hybrid that would one day terrorize the universe.  Why else did the First Doctor go to what was the Time Lord equivalent of worse than a Third World planet relative to Gallifrey?  Why else did not just the Doctor but the Monk and the Master also find their way to Earth?

    See the evolution of the Doctor, how the First Doctor didn’t even want to help at first and was just being a tourist in Earth’s history.   But he knew for certain at least by the end of the Second Doctor’s life when the Second Doctor saw how the War Lords had chosen humans among all of the species in the galaxy to use as the raw material for their army, humans the most warlike because they would fight not just others but also among themselves to the death of all if need be.

    And then he tried to avoid the inevitable fate of humans and Time Lords.  He tried to broker peace between the Silurians and humans and Sea Devils and humans, but failed.  He tried to spread his message throughout human history of kindness and peace versus brutality and war.  And he tried to broker a lasting peace between humans and Zygons.

    But the two prime species in Doctor Who have always been humans and Time Lords.  And the Time Lords are banished, ostracized by the rest of the universe for their use of forbidden weapons that threatened to tear apart the very fabric of time and space.  The Time Lords only hope of return is to do what some of the Zygons tried, to hide among the humans undetected, although this would be a far more ambitious undertaking, trying to hide throughout human history.

    The Time Lords bear the responsibility for the forced migration of Zygons.  But I have to wonder if the Doctor chose Earth as their new home in an attempt to spoil Earth as a possible hiding place for the Time Lords.  Because if the Zygons could truly integrate undetected from the 21st century onwards among humans, the Time Lords could never safely plant their own agents without fear of accidentally exposing themselves to the Zygons.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Sometimes, when the issue is really important, subtlety is not the point. This episode said all the right things–assuming you agree with @phaseshift‘s impassioned plea before the episode, which I do.

    Frankly, just about every popular TV show has a political agenda, and to pretend they don’t is ridiculous. Moreover, to demand that a show like “Doctor Who” (which has always worn its commitment to secularism, tolerance and informed reason on its sleeve from 1963 on) be “non-political” is just a way of saying: “do not support a point of view in opposition to the one we ram down everyone’s throats all the time”.

    It is no surprise that the majority of people who post on this site support the position being advanced in this episode–they are the principles that attract us to this site.

    Dear me, I am sounding rather serious. Perhaps time for a jammy dodger.


    Mersey @mersey


    I was fine with the episode until 44:20. Yesterday russian plane crashed. 224 died. Officials denies that it was a shooting but the plane just broke into pieces in the air. Google it as the Doctor says. Last year another plane known as MH17 was shooted down by the rebels from Donbas with Buk missile system. 283 passenger had no chance to survive. That was not just a scene in which plane was stopped in the air. That had actually happened. And watching when someone tries to shoot down the plane is not entertaining for me.

    Why Steven Moffat has to make everyone miserable? I liked that Osgood was so optimistic and enthusiastic and a little bit naive.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I’d imagine that most people on this site are familiar with the MH17 incident and this weekend’s events in Egypt. However, I personally don’t see it as particularly offensive or in poor taste. This episode was in the can months ago and Steven Moffatt can’t be expected to predict what world events are going to be at the time of broadcast. Especially since the subject matter of the episode is so exceptionally tied into current events. Basically, the chances are there’s going to be some kind of atrocity going on at the time the episode is going out.

    Moreover, if we allowed the episode to be bowdlerised, or even cancelled, because of it then to use that hoary old phrase ‘the terrorists have already won’. Similarly if we continue to insist that we treat their actions in hushed tones and not to be addressed anywhere outside of a news bulletin then once again we’re affording idiots like Daesh more respect than they deserve.

    Who is a perfectly acceptable medium to discuss these sorts of issues because it allows it to involve everyone — not just a bunch of politicians and journalists. It should provoke thought around the water coolers and in the classrooms. And as @blenkinsopthebrave says above, this is not a new thing for the show. There are stories like the two Peladon stories, which were clearly politically charged. The Sunmakers, more light-hearted but still with a political message. And it’s also easy to forget these days that the first Dalek serial, centring around nuclear holocaust would have had a much more contemporary resonance for a country that had come extremely close to that fate itself less than a year previously.

    As to the more general charge of ‘it was too heavy-handed’. It strikes me that the ones saying that on the ‘other place’ are basically saying ‘it was too heavy handed because it’s a political argument I personally don’t like’. If the Doctor was walking around saying ‘send em all back where they came from’ I’d imagine they’d all be calling it ‘timely and subtle’.

    Besides which, I don’t think it was heavy handed and rather was timed just right. As @bluesqueakpip said here and on the other other place, the message has to be delivered in such a way that it could be recognised by viewers of a relatively young age and not too subtly as it gets lost in the mix. But it also couldn’t interfere with the narrative. Which I don’t think it did. In the end, I don’t think it was any more heavy-handed than the political sub-texts of the Peladon stories or the Daleks.

    On a lighter note of just general episode chat, does anyone think that we’re being double-bluffed here and that the Doctor is also a Zygon — a decoy provided by the human-friendly faction — to lure out Bonnie Zygon. It just strikes me that he was rather passive in the whole missile sequence and the ‘try not to kill too many’ was a rather sign-postedly un-Doctor-ish line.

    Only duff note to the episode I think was Rebecca Front who was rather misused and miscast. She’d have been far more interesting as an old-school Pertwee-era blimpish Government minister. Although maybe it would have been a bit weird having her in that persona facing down Capaldi as the Doc. Or on the other hand it could have been all quite meta.

    Anonymous @


    Oh man. Man. That was awesome -thank you -I’m going to the Music Thread where I will digress about this fascinating performance which I know a bit about -it’s fascinating so follow me over there.

    I am amazed that people haven’t gone nuts in the night about the ‘message’ in Who. All I can say is Hallelujah.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish hear, hear.

    I imagine you’re right about Front – I was looking forward to her involvement but it didn’t really work. Her naturalness in The Thick of It was far better -her confusion etc.

    I know what you mean about the other place- exactly, had the message been ‘send em home’ there would be loud hurrahs. How bloody horrible and predictable. I was watching this thinking “o oh” what comments will this episode bring. But here, at least, the waters of Mars are calm. For now.

    Anonymous @

    eer ‘ang on? The Doctor a zygon? ooh really? I shall have watch number 2!



    And lest you doubt @jimthefish on the real risk of nuclear war when the Daleks came along, there’s this. Indeed treating such serious material seriously seems very timely:

    “27 October at 12:25

    53 years ago today, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain’s order to launch nuclear torpedos against US warships and beginning a nuclear war between the superpowers.

    The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War 3 had begun, and 2 of the officers agreed to ‘blast the warships out of the water’. Arkhipov refused to agree – unanimous consent of 3 officers was required – and thanks to him, we are here to talk about it.”

    Separately I read somewhere that the Soviet Union’s standing orders were that if the US attempted to land on Cuba, then the response had to be nuclear. The 1960s were an incredibly dangerous era – probably more so than today on many levels. Pointedly referencing current fears isn’t really materially different from the Battlestar Galactica mini-series freely using imagery rooted in 9/11.

    Not convinced the Doc is a Zygon, but reckon he has a cunning-but-risky plan (presumably involving Osgood’s Little Box Of Mystery).

    And it has just occurred to me with a great bid “Duh!” *Thud*: Truth or Consequences c/w Trick or Treat. Somebody knew the broadcast date and remembered to be a bit subtle.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  I live in an area where children are being groomed by terrorists. This is too serious an issue to NOT make it family entertainment,

    Second.  Absolutely.  Talk about it, don’t hide from it, or hide it from kids.  Darkness encourages mold; sunlight kills germs.

    @mudlark  Yep, I hear you.  And ever since “Mary Tyler Moore” dealt with the death of a cast member by having an episode in which the others dealt with the emotional impact of that real death, the ground has been shifted around this issue: serious stuff in shows that have a lot of comedy content.  I’m also on board with the view that DW is a brilliantly layered show, with a more comic crust that anybody who wants to can just skate over with laughs and light thrills over a much more complex and significant under layer where anyone who chooses can burrow right down into material as dark as you care to take it.

    @lisa  I cant imagine Zygon Clara writing cheat answer cards for the Doctor like the ones he used in Under the Lake.

    Neither can I!  That was Clara her own self; and so was Clara on the phone with the Doctor demanding that he not “die on her”, IMO.

    @jimthefish  the ones saying that on the ‘other place’ are basically saying ‘it was too heavy handed because it’s a political argument I personally don’t like’. If the Doctor was walking around saying ‘send em all back where they came from’ I’d imagine they’d all be calling it ‘timely and subtle’.

    Exactly.  Everyone is entitled to their more tender sensibilities, but it’s the viewer’s charge to stop watching a show — even if only for a few minutes — if it’s bothering them, and then decide whether to come back to it or not.  It’s not the producers’ job to foresee world new months later, and censor themselves over what might or might not happen — although, of course, DW did just that with the beheading scene in RoS, last year.  It has to be left up to them: “I know when I can, I know when I can’t.”  And then you deal with the consequences.  DW already operates under a sort of censorship: no troublingly sexual material — but then they went ahead and turned the Master female, and some of fandom went nuts, and now it’s hardly mentioned as an issue any more (well, not until Capaldi leaves and a new Doctor must be chosen).

    @pedant  Truth or Consequences c/w Trick or Treat. Somebody knew the broadcast date and remembered to be a bit subtle.

    Ha! Thanks for that!  I didn’t occur to me at all!

    Starla @starla

    @jimthefish  does anyone think that we’re being double-bluffed here and that the Doctor is also a Zygon — a decoy provided by the human-friendly faction — to lure out Bonnie Zygon. It just strikes me that he was rather passive in the whole missile sequence and the ‘try not to kill too many’ was a rather sign-postedly un-Doctor-ish line.

    Now that you mention it, something felt ‘off’ about the Doctor’s behaviour and attitude throughout the episode. It’s hard to explain, but little things such as what @jimthefish mentioned, as well as his excitement about being President of the World (which he’s been unhappy about previously), and the fact that he didn’t take the TARDIS … perhaps because it’s a zygon Doctor on the plane!! A zygon wouldn’t be able to fly the TARDIS.

    All very unlikely – but you never know!!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Wow. Just got through two pages of comments, and so much to think about and talk about!

    @phaseshift   Yes, you called it didn’t you, in the pub?  🙂  And good point about the Big Finish Zygon stories, I had forgotten that!

    @bluesqueakpip    Well, I can’t say that I spotted the switch, but I did think that conversation about middle age and the end of the world was a little off. So when we saw Clara in the pod thing, I thought, “Oh, okay, I get it.”

    @sirclockface   Yes! I too laughed at “We know who you are.” I also liked his comment about not wanting to be President, but enjoying the plane! And I agree it was a nice use of music this time, with the Doctor’s choice of guitar tune.

    Several people have referred to Zygon Kate from Day of the Doctor. As far as I am aware, we don’t know if that Zygon retained its “Kate” form after that episode. It could well have gone back to Zygon form and eventually duplicated someone else. No mention has ever been made of there being two Kates. Of course, there may be now!  🙂

    @ichabod   My South Asian cooking would not be what it is without the admittedly pricey but higher quality Turmezistanian turmeric! No cheap knock offs in my spice cupboard!

    @soundworld    Yes, you bring up a good point, that hybridization can be seen as just another form of evolution.

    @purofilion     Puro, really, all the bagels? Some just aren’t worth having. But well done, you! And I agree that DW definitely has been needing more children in bags scenes.  🙂


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mersey   I grew up during the seventies, and in those days, serious and divisive issues were addressed in television comedy all the time. MASH was one well-known example of these, as were the excellent Norman Lear programs such as All In the Family. So this doesn’t seem in any way inappropriate to me!

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @bluesqueakpip yes, I entirely agree  -so ‘thirded’ -as it were!

    I think comedy and drama must draw on current events, as difficult as they are; I recall The West Wing (TWW) doing much the same thing in earlier seasons and being viciously mobbed with Aaron Sorkin and even poor Richard Schiff (the latter directing a small and not particularly well known “leftie” play at the same time as working on TWW) receiving abominable death threats from ‘the right.’

    And I’d agree also @pedant that despite the media’s zeal in America existing to simply frighten people (the “culture of fear” which, in the past few years, has started to gradually infect our country) the 1960s were a decade of incredible intensity and worry regarding nuclear war.

    My father spoke of what it was like in firms and businesses what with certain families being given permission (little hologrammatic styled cards) to enter ‘bunkers’ which, to all purposes, would have been entirely useless and Dad, touring them with my mother (also an engineer), knew this and just shook his head miserably saying something like, “I escaped Prague and my family for this?”

    As to Pip’s revelation of terrorists being groomed as teenagers in one’s own suburb -the very same thing is happening in certain areas of Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Sydney. Not at all a time to be shining a light on this?

    Oh yes, it is: great big halogen sport field’s lights @mersey. I understand, though, that people go to the movies to be given a chance to escape -to be free from the common goings on of the day. But Doctor Who has never done that -I don’t recall which episode it was, but it was in Martha’s time and I believe that there, certain prevailing attitudes were rightfully exposed. It could actually have been The Sontaran Stratagem with Donna as co-lead wherein some interesting ideas were implicit in the writing -not so directly as ichi has said -there’s layers of nuance, generally and for the kiddies they can gloss or skate right over this and enjoy the ‘fun’ story of monsters but as adults I think we may owe the future generation to explain things to them, fully.

    Mind you, my 13 year old took one look at the  black hand prints of the zygons and remembered the mentally ill man in Sydney a couple of years ago, who, outside of the Channel 9 TV station, convinced the nation that he was a terrorist as he had various flags and other ‘merchandising’ indicating he was of an Al Qaeda faction -he was, in fact, mentally ill, and later charged but it was an important lesson to teenagers all over the country.

    If my 13 year old understood it last night straightaway then so did many other young teenagers. Like ichi says, one talks about it -it’s the only way things change properly -to discuss, through education, formally and informally and to talk without fear of repercussion.

    I understand, however, @mersey coming from a country like Prague where fear was an everyday issue and life was incredibly difficult (no-one trusted anyone) that some people don’t always want to be reminded of the current climate. In Czechoslovakia, it was like an alien planet in a matter of two months-exactly like Zygons, and I’d be very interested, if my father were still alive, what he’d make of zygons -the hybrid -and how contentious an issue it would be, but how willing, nonetheless, he’d be to discuss it coming from a place where “no-one talked. About anything. One slip, one word in the wrong sentence, and the family next door would be gone the next morning and all the neighbours would act as if nothing had happened.”

    I recall the episode Turn Left, where Wilf bemoans the removal of the Italians -and Donna runs screaming after the military truck taking these people to ‘work camps’ where, even the Italian gentleman, in an effort to preserve a sense of calm, pretends that there’s plenty of food and “jobs for us all.” But we all know where they were really headed.

    I recall that our newspaper back then, The Courier Mail, in an editorial by a rather disreputable rightwinger, disliked that episode, citing the need for Who to be about traditional sci-fi not liberalism -but thanks to many inflammatory letters to the editor, he actually rebutted his own arguments the following week!

    Onwards and upwards.


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