The Zygon Inversion

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    Arbutus @arbutus

    I can’t say often enough how fabulous I think Capaldi’s Doctor has become. And I loved him from the start, but he just gets better and better. He encapsulates the double-sidedness of the Doctor’s personality to perfection, going from the light and goofy– “You can use mine. They’re sonic” and “poncing around in big planes”- to all the intensity of the scene in the Black Archive.

    In the first part of the scene, he is us. He asks Bonnie exactly what I have often wanted to ask of people who threaten my way of life, if I could ever get them to look me in the eye: What are you thinking, what do you actually want?? Asking with all the contempt and frustration that I sometimes feel. Then the contempt turns to anger, and it is a wonder to behold. His fury at the memories that have caused him so much pain, and at the people who are forcing him to relive them, and their lack of insight. This bit brought tears even on second viewing. I expect I could watch that scene repeatedly and never grow tired of it. And his heartfelt “thank you” to Kate, when she closed the box.

    As we are now down to four episodes remaining (two two-parters, I believe), I wonder if what we have just seen will prove to be the series final transcendent high before we begin to spiral down into tragedy. It is feeling more and more as though Clara’s departure will be a tragedy of some sort. Personally, I no longer think the Doctor has actually seen Clara’s future. He genuinely thought, for a brief time, that she had been killed by the Zygons. I suppose he could have believed that time was being re-written, but dramatically it doesn’t make sense to have him seriously believing that she has been killed by Zygons when he has seen her real end. (Although I do like the suggestion that the future has already happened and this is the past.) However, he certainly seems to know that something is coming!

    tommo @tommo

    @jphamlore great analysis re. the human ignorance toward ET life followed by some great replies. i forget, how is it that the whole RTD era of humanity becoming aware of alien life has been somewhat expunged? was it Smitty’s crack or bang maybe? i realise Amy’s memory was affected due to the crack in her bedroom but was the whole planet memory-wiped too. please remind me someone, i must have missed a line.

    on the subject of memory-wipes; was anyone else feeling echoes of the series 6 episode ‘the beast below’? specifically the idea that citizens were told the truth if requested and then given the choice to forget what they knew. that was one of my favorite episodes of that series.

    @serahni i’m with you on the lack of resolve so far re. Clara’s timeline leap. I thought the same thing at the time. there wasn’t really an explanation offered. whereas you come to accept that sometimes not everything has to be ‘clarafied’ in this show, Moffat certainly has a way of tying loose ends……..eventually-haha, and this seems too significant an event to be left dangling imo.


    Mirime @mirime

    I like the theory, that I think I have by now read in multiple places, that the episodes at some point will not be in an order linear in time to when events occurred.  Thus I think it is quite possible that Clara has died in the future but that the Doctor has gone back in time to when Clara was alive to enjoy some final moments with her.

    @jphamlore It’s looking like that isn’t it.

    I thought the way the Doctor walked away from Clara at the end was a bit odd.

    @everyone who thinks there was no Clara prime or that it was a Claricle who came out of the Doctor’s timestream, I also think one or the other is very likely.

    Maybe it’s not that Clara is already dead (Doctor didn’t act like someone who just had reunited with a person who was gone), maybe he finally figured it out who she is and he’s not really happy with the truth.

    @mersey I still just keep thinking of The Magicians Apprentice when Clara says ‘which one of us in dying anyway?’ or words to that effect. Ok, so we all knew the Doctor wasn’t going to die, but I felt his reaction screamed out ‘you are!’

    DrownedGod @drownedgod

    I loved the story in these two episodes, however I live in New Mexico and I’ve been to TorC many times and I must say the representation of it was cringe-worthy. TorC isn’t a tiny town, it’s a city and the only parts that look like the part they showed in Zygon Invasion/Inversion are the older, lower income areas of town. Also…there are ZERO palm trees. Places in Mexico that have palm trees are close to water. TorC, New Mexico is hundreds of miles away from any Mexican cost. There were three things that appeared in the episodes that made me want to look away: the “No British” on the sign in Invasion was pretty aggravating because that culture never existed in New Mexico to begin with. But the Sheriff sign directly above the police seal was totally ignorant. In America, the Police department and Sheriff’s departments are totally different. They seldom share buildings, cars, uniforms, or funding. Police officers have jurisdiction over cities, Sheriff’s deputies have jurisdiction over the county territory outside of those city limits with a couple of exceptions. The final thing that made me want to smack Moffat was the Mexican flags all over the Zygon police officer/sheriff’s uniform. The only affiliations Mexico has had with New Mexico in the last 50 years are the percentage of Mexican nationals that call New Mexico home and the name “Mexico”. The dialect of Spanish spoken in New Mexico is almost as different from the dialect spoken in Mexico as the Mexican Spanish dialect is from the dialect spoken IN Spain. The architecture is different, the art is different, the food is different, the music is different, the people look different, and the culture is vastly different. The Mexican flag isn’t part of any police symbol anywhere in New Mexico. That’s like setting something in Dublin and making all of the Police wear an English flag on their uniforms except New Mexico has been separate from Mexico for over a century. These errors didn’t ruin the episode from me while I was watching it, but they’re so glaring and they seem to pay no respect to the setting of their story so now it’s all my friends and I are talking about.

    lisa @lisa

    I just wondered if anyone in England or Scotland wanted to start a petition to elect Capaldi
    as your Foreign Minister for a few years when he retires from Doctor Who. I feel he could make
    the transition in careers for a few years. He’s clever, well informed and has charisma. He
    also is the Doctor.

    Just saying….

    tommo @tommo

    on the subject of memory-wipes; was anyone else feeling echoes of the series 6 episode ‘the beast below’?

    sorry my bad – the episode i was referring to was in series 5, not 6.

    Mirime @mirime

    I believe Missy chose Clara for her own scheme but might not be an actual part of the Claradox.

    @lisa I’m inclined to agree – she chose the person who is perfect for the Doctor and if as I tend to think all the Clara’s are Claricles, that’s why she was perfect.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    The comment above (which is not about this episode) really should be on the Spoilers page.

    darbycrash @darbycrash

    @drben why. Would. You. Post. That. I’m crying.

    Anonymous @


    it’s a city and the only parts that look like the part they showed in Zygon Invasion/Inversion are the older, lower income areas of town.

    That’s the bit they used then, innit?:)

    I agree, though, people  put palm trees everywhere. It’s kind of like putting azaleas blossoming in February in Oz. Oh, so annoying, you know?

    mods @craig ?

    post #46742 should be moved/deleted. It’s  a sticky situation.


    welcome to you – I know, @drben posts some sad, sad theories -but he’s pretty clever.  I think it will be quite tragic as @arbutus above suggests but we shall see. There’ll be happiness somewhere. A light at the end of the tunnel

    Anonymous @

    @tommo as I understood it, the Big Bang re-booted the world -as a consequence no Daleks, no void…though this means Rose isn’t stuck on a parallel world with her ‘doctor’ -though she probably still is as the Crack/Bang saved this universe and didn’t affect the parallel universes


    Craig @craig

    @blenkinsopthebrave @purofilion Apologies. Got to them as fast as I could. As soon as the red alert siren went off. Now I have to go to bed. Again.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    To return to the topic of The Zygon Inversion, the episode got off to a sour note for me not because of the second missile hitting the airplane, but the cavalier way in which the deaths of everyone but the Doctor and Osgood were treated.  The Zygon prisoner might have announced he was prepared to die, but I don’t think the pilots or the rest of the crew were.  Cannon fodder, who cares.  Well, for an episode that is trying to deliver a serious message, maybe someone on screen should care for the briefest of moments.

    And then there’s the issue that apparently the entire human population of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, was actually killed off at the start of the first part of this story.  So if this form of the peace is to hold, the government must cover this up with some cover story, say an explosion or something.  (It doesn’t seem the Zygons would have bothered to copy them since living without having to be copies is what their goal was, besides, they were already Brits for their human form.)  Which is apparently close to 6,500 people dead.   So now the show has created what would be one of the most infamous incidents in United States history that is caused by something.  And that something will be demonized, falsely.

    Peter Capaldi and Mark Gatiss have apparently mentioned that they would like to do a certain story pointing out the dangers of a certain form of energy.  How convenient, I suppose the government depending on its politics can scapegoat the form of energy they don’t like and have it permanently banned in the US if not worldwide on a convenient lie.  Oh and let’s not forget how inconvenient it would be if someone who was thought dead actually ran off into the desert and somehow survived.  Better I suppose to kill them off so they don’t spread their false story that is actually true.

    Ripples that turn into tidal waves.  Where does the evil in the name of doing good ever stop once this process of building on a lie starts.

    In another forum I have been pondering the question of what is Doctor Who really about.  An easy answer is the Doctor is simply trying to apply the Golden Run, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Or to state this another way, do not use tactical advantage to treat others as mere instruments for one’s own goals.  To me this episode that is supposedly anti-war is glorifying war because it is justifying treating certain humans as mere instruments for some abstract goal, hiding the knowledge of Zygons from the general public, even to the point of killing these humans.

    Just listen to the rhetoric: If humans found out about Zygons, humans will react badly and civilization will go up in flames.  Does anyone care to see this is a hypothetical, not a scientific fact?   The killing of people for fear of an abstract hypothetical is what is the face of evil today.

    What happened to the Doctor who throughout this season has been advertised as trying to save lives.


    Anonymous @

    Uh, didn’t you already make this post? And didn’t a bunch of people reply to your concerns?

    The barely-mourned deaths of minor characters and large numbers of redshirts is hardly uncommon in Who. And the Doctor not always seeing the collateral damage he causes, favouring the big picture over the little, was even a major plot point last year. If you have problems with these ideas, fair, but they’re not new to this episode.
    The decision was made- the people who had already died don’t receive public recognition, but there is peace and no one else dies; or ther losses are thrown away for a war in which, at minimum, 20 million Zygons die.
    And I’m not sure how anyone could believe that UNIT and world governments wouldn’t want to cover these matters up. Real world governments do it to us all the time.

    What would you have had them do?

    Hudsey @hudsey


    inverse Donna? That would fit the fact that the Doctor didn’t really remember the earlier Claricles either, maybe he realises he soon won’t remember the later ones either – as further time passes in his own timeline from the trensalore incident?

    Anonymous @


    thank you for that! Oh dear -there really are ‘red alerts’? I can picture your whole house flashing red and a cloister bell going off -never to ‘snooze’ unless you fix the problem!

    We thank you as always for your hard work, dedication and kind moderation

    @supernumerary @jphamlore

    Yes, I agree, you have been posting this -and I do agree with some issues regarding the apparent lack of notice for people like Jac; the pilot and the other crew didn’t escape and were given no opportunity to do so.

    On the issue of the plane, there wouldn’t have been time between the first failed missile and the 2nd successful hit to warn anyone else. It just couldn’t have happened. But @blenkinsopthebrave has also suggested that there was a sour note regarding the lack of reference to Jac. As cruel as this is, I wonder about those in the military working in Unit and understanding the significant risk in that environment -hazard pay no doubt (I would hope).  I think Jac would have been aware, at any moment, of the risk she was taking for herself and her (unseen on screen) family -that there were people forced to explode a weapon and were frightened of the repercussions of this was clearly shown when the young female soldier, ordered to confirm the strike, and, seeing her husband and child on screen, sabotaged it instead.

    In no way could I see (though I may be wrong) that this episode was glorifying war. In fact, Twelve’s monologue (possibly the most powerful in Who history) exposed the natural inclination of these ‘two year old children having a tantrum’ because they weren’t getting what they believed was ‘right’ -and so wanted to start an impossible war, the odds not in their favour but instead, according to Bonnie, they would “die burning.”

    The Doctor, more than anyone ,knows the experience of two separate incidents: starting war and being responsible for it  -being reminded of that and experiencing that horrible cardiac plunge knowing he’ll be forever haunted and then later, thru Clara and The Moment, given the incredible opportunity for ‘a do over.’

    The key, that I think that @bluesqueakpip has explained up thread, is that this is the Doctor and Unit not scoring points, not evading the responsibility of what this splinter group did but to acknowledge the power of forgiveness, redemption and atonement. It’s a pretty magnificent idea and very different from AG Who which would have had the Brig calling the Minister of War and declaring imprisonment of Bonnie Zygella in human form forever.

    And this would have caused what? This way the joists holding the peace together would not be so fragile and at least not mired in humanity’s mind forever, causing more temporal disturbances.

    I remember a situation in The West Wing when the Palestinians and the Israelis sat down for peace talks and Toby said “this isn’t good.” I think it was Leo who fumed back, “of course it’s not good, it’s what there is.

    I believe strongly in that. At no point did Unit or the Doctor, or even the Osgoods think what had happened was swept under the carpet by those who had experienced it. I imagine a generational reserve in private mourning for those who had died -citizens, civilians, and those working in the military for decades would have been established across the country. That remembrance would bring them closer to understanding how to do things better.

    But as I have also said, these are not people -this is an alien race embodying aspects of humanity. As the girls claimed, “these are our children.” To create parallels with humanity does not always work satisfactorily.  It doesn’t work in Who to restore or impress upon us these analogies. I think one must be careful in using terms and phraseology such as ‘abstract’ goals including “hiding the knowledge of Zygons from humanity.”

    There is nothing abstract about that, in my opinion. It’s a fair and sensible state to be in considering what happened in Turn Left -“Britain for the British.”

    There is a treaty in place -I think that can’t be overlooked. These zygons, by and large, want to live in peace -now if this was a 2.5 hour film, we would be able to see more of these young Zygons -or elder zygons living out their lives in peace and some harmony. As it was we saw a middle aged man hounded by Bonnie until he suicided. He wanted to “be normal. To live like you do.”

    This isn’t abstract and it isn’t hiding. These zygons take human form: they could be Greek,  Indian, Pakistani or New Zealanders.  Again, I’d strongly recommend not carrying the analogy of war and ‘passing’ too far.

    Kindest, Puro



    Starla @starla

    I am trying not to think too hard about this whole storyline.  It’s ruining it for me because the more I think about it, the more I see massive problems… and I really loved many many elements of both episodes,  especially Capaldi’s performance in ‘the speech’…  however…

    – I <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>keep questioning how an uprising/ rebellion such as the one staged by the zygons, seemingly involving a large number of zygons from around the world, could be quashed so instantaneously by Zygella’s phone call to stand down. Wouldn’t there be a whole bunch of young, pissed off zygons who wouldn’t listen and would disobey? Did they memory wipe every zygon involved? I doubt it!</span>

    – Speaking of memory wipes, what about the rest of UNIT?  It would be pretty hilarious with Kate going back to work and everyone’s all like “so how crazy was that zygon s#!t?” and Kate does a Donna and has ‘missed ‘ the whole thing due to Doctor induced memory malfunction…. hmmm.

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”> – The rebellion/invasion itself – replicating people’s forms, then dragging humans to underground pods. Ok, fine, now you’ve got slightly different human lives to the ones you had, whoop-di-doo… was there more to the plan?</span>

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>- Why didn’t Bonnie just encourage / convince the other young zygons to just normalize on the streets and cause mass panic, instead of the sneaky normalization of one zygon on video?</span>

    – Truth or consequences being written inside the Osgood boxes. I know some of you have come up with semi-plausible reasons for this, but all ideas lead me to the fact that either the Doctor was somehow complicit in allowing the atrocities that happened in TorC to occur, or he’s tricksy and set up the boxes at some timey wimey point… I don’t know where I was going with that. 😦

    – The lack of recognition of the many deaths. Human and Zygon.

    I really did like these episodes, but as I said, I can’t think too deeply aboutit because some aspects make no sense! Sorry! I love Who, and can forgive these issues of course… I think it was just such a grand concept.


    Starla @starla

    What about the people in the pods!? Were they released? If so, were they memory wiped? Seems like this solutiom requires less negotiation between groups, and more ‘let’s sweep this under the rug and pretend it never happened’. 😕

    Anonymous @

    @starla I think I covered some of what you said in my post above. I won’t reiterate it, obviously, but I can emphasise (your 2nd point) that in the first episode Kate said that for obvious reasons not everyone who was involved or could be involved would be told. That goes for both the regular military and the elites in the Unit system.

    What I like about Who is that doesn’t have to explain every teensy little thing. I would assume, that if Kate’s mind is wiped would we really need to be CSI, ER, House, or some procedural where a character has to say (for the benefit of all) “ooh we better text all the members of Unit at a level 3-4 clearance and get them to come in so we can retcon their minds.”

    Nope, as pretty good viewers we don’t need it -the writers are presuming we can make some connections on our own. Whilst I don’t accept the idea that this was some great parable (because it wasn’t -this wasn’t about apartheid, for example, as these were great big aliens with suckers) I don’t doubt that certain parallels can and should be drawn. The thing is the Zygons were quite young -these were the children. If Bonnie, as the commander said, “the ceasefire is back in place” I think they would have ‘stood down’. She didn’t say “we’re not fighting anymore” but simply “ceasefire back in place” = peace.

    Also, in the first episode, the Osgoods clearly said that the Zygons are a ‘peace loving race’ -this also suggests that they’re not likely to go on a separate rampage without their commander’s say so. Also, she was their commander 🙂

    I think, too, they would soon realise that they’d lose everything: their families, jobs, their friends, their peaceful lifestyle. They lacked for nothing except to be seen as a Zygon people in the flesh, as it were. I don’t think society was sufficiently ready to see the Zygons in that natural way yet. Much maturation must occur within both species.

    Also on your point on the lack of recognition -I believe there was plenty of recognition. Who is to say in the first 14 times some of that wasn’t mentioned? What about when Bonnie said “after all I’d done?” I think that’s a pretty heavy pointer and then there’s the Doctor’s monologue.

    On that, Capaldi’s great acting has confounded us. His tears, his accent, his particular and unique emphasis stopped us (maybe) from really listening to the words. If it had been delivered more plainly, calmly, perhaps the words themselves would have sunk in some. There really was a central core – you are forgiven. I forgive you. This is enormous recognition, no? As I also said above, the city of Truth & C would have had its own commemoration -that would be something that, say, in a large movie, would be highlighted. Here, I’m assuming it already has been done -or preparation for same is underway.

    I really believe the end of the speech was the most significant (not the tears, not the hands over the eyes, not Hughie Grant’s accent and the game parallel), in particular the words,  “what do you want? Well, you can’t have it. Not now and not ever. You’ve done your worst, it’s over and I the Doctor forgive you” -and as Kate closed the box, this was the largest symbol, to me, of humans forgiving the zygons.

    How many angry crusades have there been  between militant Israelis and Palestinians  and yet how many times have they tried to sit down and forgive the bombings, the loss of civilians and the ongoing wars? Endless times. The Doctor was willing to wait as long as it took.

    There’s your recognition and Kate’s closing of the box; her forgiveness

    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore @supernumerary in my post # 46779 -where I alluded to Bluesqueak, I meant to say BG Who not AG Who  (rather confusing)

    And yes @starla I think it had great internal logic or sense. It was covered. For this to happen in under 50 mins is nothing short of a masterpiece.

    Would I say it was perfect? No, but it came damn close. And that’s a gem of thing.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Some random musings, it seemed rather in keeping that a poem by Shelley about war and government should be released this week. (not bad from a poet dead for over two hundred years.) I am still reading through it but the last lines reminded me of the Doctor’s speech beginning to disclaiming the horrors of war and ending with the positive line:

    “And error’s night be turned to virtue’s day”.

    @starla I think some of your questions are ones which it is left to the viewer to fill in. I think Kate’s memory wipe is only of the previous few minutes, not the entire episode. Surely all she forgets is what happens in the Black Archive and I am certain that the Doctor would have filled her in with what details were necessary.

    As to the lack of recognition of the dead, as has been pointed out, governments routinely repress details about war causalities. I was just reading yesterday that the death toll from Gallipoli was not reported truthfully in Australia at the time. Mind in these days of social media I am sure that hiding deaths is far more difficult. However if nobody knows that some of the population are Zygon they will be aware that there have been deaths but will not know who is responsible or why. Hardly a recipe for a healthy, secure society.

    Bonnie’s questioning of whether she can be forgiven reminds me of something I once heard someone say, a Chilean I think but it could just as well have been someone from any number of countries around the world, “How can you  forgive someone when they are not sorry for what they did.” This same question has been asked more recently by the East Timorese. People can forgive but only when the perpetrator of the atrocity shows contrition. Even by asking that question Bonnie demonstrates an awareness of what she has done. She demonstrates her contrition by becoming Osgood.

    Now back to transcribing Shelley’s poem for tomorrow’s writing group..





    Serahni @serahni

    @tommo   Yep, exactly.  From memory, what we get is her collapsing in The Doctor’s arms and then, whammo, that’s it.  Next we see of her, she’s riding a motorbike and teaching a storm and able to open the TARDIS with a click of her fingers.  And they’ve never really spoken about it since.  We have no idea what state she was in when she woke up, how long it took for her to recover, whether or not she retains any memories of her ‘other selves’.  It was such a massive revelation, the culmination of an entire season’s story arc, and then it just seemed to vanish.  I understand that sometimes things just need to be resolved but I’m not sure things actually were; they just created more questions.

    (Incidentally, if Clara is a future Doctor, does that explain why the TARDIS has never liked her?  It does so like to kick up a stink when he crosses his own timestream.)

    Starla @starla

    Firstly, sorry if I came across at all trolly… I don’t really want to nitpick the show to death. I was just ruminating on some other people’s posts and thought I’d share my own views. I am very capable of filling in the blanks storyline wise, and don’t need things spelled out to me.  I assumed the same things you guys did, especially on my first viewing. I just started thinking about it from a ‘would this actually work?’ and does this make some sense p.o.v. <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”> It’s one thing to be subtle and allow viewer imagination to fill in the gaps, but sometimes it’s nice to have some resolution on what I see as significant parts of the plot – e.g. people trapped in zygon pods, the fate of unit and zygon people (after all, 12 wants to save people… I found it odd & out of character that he didn’t say anything about those on board the plane after the explosion), what would have to be mass memory removal for humans in pods, unit, and possibly zygons… </span>

    That’s all i will say on the topic anyway… looking forward to this week’s episode, looks l Iike a good one!



    (because it wasn’t -this wasn’t about apartheid, for example, as these were great big aliens with suckers)

    Am guessing you haven’t seen District 9… 😉

    @starla @jphamlore @supernumerary

    There is real world precedent for ‘peace without punishment’, from South Africa to Northern Ireland. Not evertything has to be Nuremberg, especially teenage tantrums.

    And there is an established TV trope that, inside MI5 or CIA HQ there is a wall of the lost: they are remembered, just not publicly.

    And I still have a sneaking suspicion that the town of T&C was part of a Treaty manadated-scenario, rather than happenstance, designed to draw out and address teenage tantrums. Feed them a nice easy slogan; given them a place name (and a fictional istan too!)…. The Doctor did describe it as a scenario. Interesting word, that.

    todeledo @todeledo

    I loved this episode ( Need a more powerful word than that ). It had everything I love with doctor who and did it brilliantly. The speach was awesome, all the acting was amazing and the writing fantastic.

    I liked that the doctor had to do the black archive speach 15 times for it to work. One act does not end a war, but if that act is done over and over again, it might. One act can create a chain reaction, the speach influence Bonnie so she becomes Osgood. In real life the speach can be a picture of a dead refugee, and the reaction is knowledge followed by action.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Just a bonkers Clara thought, based on my comments a few weeks ago that Clara stays when she feels she’s needed.

    The Doctor’s now told her she’s no longer needed. She was needed to pull him back to making the right decision in The Day of The Doctor. She was needed as his conscience, his ‘carer’, the person who cares so he didn’t have to.

    But now, she’s in his head. Now, she can stand there and watch him lead someone else into making the right decision – and she doesn’t need to say a word. The Doctor can get through the whole of The Woman Who Lived, lead Ashildr to making a right decision – and never needs Clara there at all. He could stand in front of another Big Red Button – and know, without Clara, that he shouldn’t press it.

    Clara was born to save the Doctor – but the Doctor no longer needs saving.

    Her job’s done.

    geoffers @geoffers


    I found it odd & out of character that he didn’t say anything about those on board the plane after the explosion

    for what it’s worth, the pilots and the few others on the plane may have been zygon infiltrators, prepared to die for their cause. i glean this from the captured zygon’s comments about the plane never landing, as my first thought when he said that was, “how does he know that?” must have been passed info from the guys who wheeled him aboard, maybe? (and a corollary to this, the doctor was just as upset about the “bad guys” dying, but he doesn’t let his outward emotional reaction reveal this anymore. remember the soldier in ‘into the dalek,’ who was “dead already,” and the doctor wasn’t taking time to grieve because he had to think fast and save everyone else…)

    but that brings up a further sticking point. the doctor asks bonnie who will make the violins, and etc (i.e. how will the zygons go forward in the world, once they’ve won)? if a zygon copies a pilot, surely it copies the ability to fly a plane? logically, if a zygon copies a violin maker/player (or farmer, or footballer, etc), then those abilities are copied as well? why would the zygons hit an abrupt cultural wall by killing off all the humans?

    unless… it’s just a pure numbers game? less than 20 million zygons after the war, and not enough to copy every individual human talent? hmmm… this also brings up questions about zygon society when they’re not blending in with some other species for survival. what was their homeworld like before it was destroyed in the time war?

    Anonymous @


    shit yeah, I have!! I’d forgotten all about it though – I found it intensely depressing and now that screws up the little thesis I got going there.


    Mirime @mirime

    Another thought on Clara, what if she never left the Dalek (I’m so sorry…) and is unaware she’s still in there? Could the Doctor have created a hard light hologram and linked it to her?

    I’m sure this has been said already but can’t find it!

    Holograms were used in Under the Lake/Before the Flood. In The Girl Who Died the plan involved hacking the Mires helmets and altering the visual feed. Now we’ve had Clara trapped and trying to influence a copy of herself.



    the doctor asks bonnie who will make the violins, and etc (i.e. how will the zygons go forward in the world, once they’ve won)? if a zygon copies a pilot, surely it copies the ability to fly a plane? logically, if a zygon copies a violin maker/player

    True, but that wasn’t the point he was making. Zygella had not given the issue a moment’s thought. Like many a teenage extremist she had not noticed that she was living for the struggle – for ‘war’ – and had no idea what life after victory looked like.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Another thought on Clara, what if she never left the Dalek (I’m so sorry…)

    This is beginning to remind me of the long period of speculation between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. One major HP discussion site eventually had to put ‘Yes, we have noticed the gleam in Dumbledore’s eye…’ in the FAQ section.

    Yup, it’s a great bonkers theory. And you’re right, it’s been said before. 😉

    Regarding the solid holograms – it’s possible. She’s certainly solid. But then how did Bonnie copy Clara? From Clara’s memories? And would the Doctor leave a solid hologram by itself while he went travelling?

    I think my main problem with Clara never leaving the Dalek is that I’d expect the Doctor to be doing everything possible to find a cure. Instead, he’s acting as if Clara’s oncoming death is something he can’t do anything about.

    As if, in fact, he’s seen it in her future.

    The Doctor: I can do anything. There’s nothing I can’t do. Nothing. But I’m not supposed to.



    Post two up – mis-spelling >>> no notification!


    I wonder if they are going for a House, Season 4 scenario (the last 4 eps told a very particular story, then in the finale something happened which completely changed – indeed confounded – you interpretation of everything you had seen to then). Would be very clever if they could pull that off.

    nerys @nerys

    Just noticed something on a re-watch: When Clara and Bonnie are conversing via Clara’s TV, Clara reveals to Bonnie where the Osgood box is, and Bonnie threatens Clara, saying she is looking forward to Clara’s death. But Clara insists Bonnie will want to talk to Clara when she finds the Osgood box. Yet, once they’re down there, Clara doesn’t do any of the talking. Only the Doctor speaks to Bonnie and Kate. Hmmmm?

    Anonymous @

    @nerys Really?

    I thought it was about there being two Osgood boxes and that Clara needed to be able to explain this to her -‘out of the pod’ being easier for communication. More direct?

    I thought there was an interval before the Doctor arrived with his “hi there” rocker ‘tude going on?

    On the Spoiler thread I mentioned I needed to re-watch -I keep meaning to but I am spying certain old horror movies on Youtube that are terribly distracting! I saw The Vampire (’57) yesterday -fantastic and I’m currently on The Return of Dracula (’58) -not so fantastic, at the mo

    Anonymous @


    no, no, you didn’t appear “trolly” or “trolley” either. I was simply reiterating some of my opinions about that, is all. Certainly, others, and fair too (I over use commas as you can see!)  have the same niggles you have about the seeming lack of remembrance of the people on board the plane and those living within the housing district visited by the Doctor and Osgood.

    It is a fair point -I liked the opinion above expressed by @geoffers  – hum, I can spell your name correctly!  😈  whereby the pilots may have been zygons -after all, the Doctor was told by the captured zygon “this plane will never land. Bahahbahah”

    Did you think that the trolley on which the zygon was strapped looked a lot like the one Ten was strapped into at the End of Time? I think Wilf was also tied up and those green dudes dressed like baddies freed him but only by jolting him down the steps a few hundred times! 🙂

    Anonymous @

    Yay, the purple devily thing worked! I’ve seen people write ‘twisted’ and I had no idea -absolutely no idea what that meant. I still don’t really. How is twisted some purply alien anyway?

    Modern life. I don’t get it.


    Mirime @mirime

    @bluesqueakpip I mostly agree really. I was just thinking about it last night after rewatching Invasion/Inversion. It was late and though I did a quick search I couldn’t find the posts I’m sure I read.

    Though maybe the Doctor is looking for a cure – maybe saving Ashildr wasn’t just because he felt responsible for her death, perhaps she was a bit of a guinea pig as well.

    Definitely agree that it seems as if he knows her future.

    Anonymous @

    On dead Clara theories. As has been brought up, but with no answer found, if the Doctor has already seen her death, why the apparently genuine belief that she’s died in the Witch’s Familiar* and the Zygon two-parter, and the motivation to save her from death in Before The Flood? Ideas anyone?

    – Does he know that she will die/has seen the consequences, but didn’t see the event itself and doesn’t know when it happened/will happen?
    – Has he seen her death, and must ensure that that death is not changed or rewritten for fear of paradoxical consequences? (Seems a bit cold & unemotional)
    – Or, what if he’s seen her death, but now, travelling with past Clara, he hopes to alter events leading up to it and prevent her death from occurring this time around?- he said in Flood that he would rewrite history to save her.

    *I’ve never bought the importance of Clara in the dalek, and the “sorry, so sorry”- it still seems like a perfectly reasonable response to a close friend you almost murdered in that way, nothing more necessary. What’s more, it means ignoring the scene in the medieval amphitheatre, which was the first ‘Clara is dead’ clue, and the biggest one. The Doctor’s response to her there fits it being the first time he’s seen her since he saw her die. And that makes sense- he would never, upon losing a companion, just go back along their timeline for more adventures- but here Clara comes to him, he has no control.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I’m thinking at the moment that this is going to be an example of ‘What we think we know is not what’s really happening.’

    If we’re going ‘the enemy inside the friend’, then Clara’s ‘death’ could well be that the Clara personality is going to get wiped. Clara will ‘die’ because ‘Clara Oswald’ never really existed. That bluff in Death in Heaven really was a double bluff – Clara was unconsciously telling a truth about herself.

    Just as ‘John Smith’ died when he had to bring back the Doctor to save everyone, and the Master’s human personality died when he opened the fob watch.

    But the personality that’s hidden inside Clara is not the Doctor’s friend. That would explain why there’s been a re-emphasis on Clara’s strength of personality; we might get the ‘Clara’ personality fighting back.

    Another alternative: the Doctor thinks Clara is dead because he’s seen something that tells him that there’s a future where she never returned to Coal Hill School, her family, her life. That would explain why he’s so terrified each and every time she travels with him, and why he’s leaving her on Earth for longer and longer periods.

    It certainly doesn’t seem that he knows when and where she dies. Which is why I’m thinking it may be a case of Clara appearing to have died: but something else has happened instead. Either she gets stuck somewhere like the Ponds, or she dies – and regenerates.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @mudlark, but the Osgoods knew that there was nothing in the boxes, and they were at the negotiations- ironically, the only participants who knew which was which. I think it’s up for debate, but quite likely that in such a negotiations decisions might be made that the parties might be less keen on once they know who is who- the Osgoods exceptions from this aspect made them the ideal peace-holders. As @arbutus says, a treaty made in these conditions probably makes a good treaty. I just wonder if it is one either side would have entirely stamped once the conditions changed.

    @pedant, re: truth or consequences, that does make sense. Unit thought she was going off the rails but she was following the plan. a bit brutal for the inhabitants of both species, but, I suppose, war and peace…

    Mudlark @mudlark


    but the Osgoods knew that there was nothing in the boxes

    Yes, I know.  Where did I say or imply anything to the contrary?

    Whether the idea that they should become the living embodiment of the peace was their own or was suggested initially by the Doctor, the fact that they had been aware which of them was which during the negotiations and had chosen to remain silent was almost certainly the reason he determined that they could be entrusted with the truth about the boxes, whereas Kate and other senior members of UNIT, having a somewhat military mindset, could not.

    Brewski @brewski

    “I’m a big fan”.

    Or “fander”, old Norse “fjandi”.

    Meaning “enemy” or “devil”. English word “fiend”.

    The fiend inside the friend.


    As opposed to God/Friend = “Oswin”

    The prettier sister.

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick @mudlark

    Where @miapatrick says “but I think the point about the peace is that it isn’t dictated by the doctor. It was negotiated between Kate and the Zygon leader” and you yourself, ‘Lark, say ”

    plus the others present at the time.

    In The Day of the Doctor it is clear that this was what the Doctor intended, and presumably what happened.  I think, though, that in the agreement they came to the boxes were intended to be functional…”

    I think then that Miapatrick suggested the Osgoods did know exactly what was contained in the boxes and that they lacked functionality, as it were. So in that way, Kate, and of course the relevant Zygon commanders at the time (possibly back then, the ‘little girls’) had no idea this was the case. That might have led, Mudlark, to some confusion about conclusions.

    I think it’s interesting that the Doctor trusted this seeming ‘little girl’ -seeing as she adored the Doctor but at the same time whilst wanting to travel with him (in Death in Heaven), in this episode, she put that to one side for a higher purpose: no wonder “he’s a big fan.”

    @brewski I find those conclusions and translations very intriguing, indeed: are you suggesting that the Doctor saying “I’m a fan” is somehow hinting something to the Osgoods? A clue meant for them and not Clara? To avoid Clara from knowing that which she mustn’t yet know -the hybrid, the ‘devil’, the enemy in the friend and v.v ?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  Clara was born to save the Doctor – but the Doctor no longer needs saving.  Her job’s done.

    Whew!  That’s strong.  Are you suggesting a voluntary departure?  Or someone else making the determination that she’s no longer needed here and so *should* move (or be moved) on?  I like how you’re thinking here . . .

    I think my main problem with Clara never leaving the Dalek is that I’d expect the Doctor to be doing everything possible to find a cure. Instead, he’s acting as if Clara’s oncoming death is something he can’t do anything about.
    As if, in fact, he’s seen it in her future.  The Doctor: I can do anything. There’s nothing I can’t do. Nothing. But I’m not supposed to.

    Seen it as a fixed point, you mean?  Or would it be sufficient that he’s seen it as one event among many? (me and time travel again — sorry, it’s just not gettin’ in)


    Mudlark @mudlark

    @Purofilion   I must have expressed my thoughts very poorly if I gave the impression that I was confused.  When I wrote the original post on the subject, my understanding of events, and of who knew what and why, was exactly as @miapatrick and you have subsequently outlined them.  Those who made the agreement intended or assumed at the time that the boxes would be functional.  It was the Doctor’s decision subsequently, probably in collusion with the Osgoods, that they should be a bluff; but even if the Osgoods weren’t party to this at the outset, as custodians of the boxes and the embodiment of the peace they would have to have been made aware of the truth.  That reading was implicit in what I said about Bonnie probably being allowed to retain her memory in anticipation of her taking on the persona and role of the second Osgood.  For the bluff to work, however, it was essential that everyone else who was party to the treaty and involved in maintaining it continued to believe that the threat was real.

    What did confuse me was Miapatrick starting her response with the word ‘but’, as if she were presenting a counterargument or pointing out an omission.

    Anyway, it’s a minor point to get hung up on, and perhaps I should have left the matter there and refrained from responding, but I had had a tiring day, my back was hurting, and I was perhaps in a somewhat snappish mood.  I apologise to you and Miapatrick for any offense I have given.

    Anonymous @


    That’s OK, I’m in hospital too (pretty much 3-4 days a week!) so we all have our difficult things to deal with, I suppose. No-one here needs to re-clarify anything or even if there was an omission or a counterargument that wouldn’t be an issue anyway. We’re all amongst friends – probably that, rather than anything collegial like at a university. I’m sure both of you explained yourselves really well. All good:) Happy Friday morning to you (doff cap).

    It’s Friday night for me -yay. I went to the shops. To buy food. It was an exciting event actually except someone thinks it’s Christmas and has put up decorations. Very weird.  🙂

    I do hope, sincerely, your back eases somewhat, I know, from Mum, that backs are very, very bad and at least in the hospital, I can access pain relief in pretty strong doses should I need it. Maybe you need something strong too? Other than a scotch, if that helps? (it helped mum, a bit in her day!)

    Kindest, Puro

    Brewski @brewski

    Hi @purofilion.

    Honestly I’m not sure what I’m suggesting.  🙂 Just found the pattern of words intriguing.

    Your take on them is even better than I was thinking, which is that Osgood, who said “I’m a fan” first,  might be hinting that SHE is really the enemy to watch out for.

    That would certainly be a twist!

    I was also taking it back to the mention of her sister in Day of the Doctor.


    Brewski @brewski

    Her sister being Oswin, the Dalek Claricle.

    Whisht @whisht

    Evenin’ all.

    I’ve still only seen the Zygon Invasion/ Inversion once (tiiiiiimmmmmme!!!) but will admit that I’d never heard of the TV show Truth or Consequences (nor the town).

    Soooooo…. I found this riveting documentary on it.

    (At around 3 mins there’s a bit which shows a box with two buttons the contestant needs to choose from).

    If you like the main actor who re-creates the host, here he is singing a Beatles song.

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