Doctor Who: Review – The Zygon Inversion – Classic Who Comeback

This recent two-part story, the Zygon Invasion and Inversion, are a welcome return to classic Who! Great monsters, references to past episodes, Doctor saves the Earth. These were a lot of fun! If you didn’t watch Day of the Doctor before watching these episodes, you might have missed a lot, because nobody’s got perfect recall, and there was SO MUCH. With the Day of the Doctor actually starting out this story, you could say it’s really a long-drawn-out three-part story!

At the end of DotD, Zygons – coneheaded, sucker-bedecked monsters who had invaded Earth – duplicated Osgood, a UNIT member, and threatened to take over the world. But their history with the Doctor goes much further back than that – it was the Fourth Doctor who brokered the peace when their home planet was destroyed and they came to Earth seeking a new one. One funny bit from DotD – 10 says Zygons are surprisingly good kissers! How does he know? One of the Queen Elizabeths was actually a Zygon. And… yuck.


I’ve been a Capaldi fan since the beginning. I’m sure a lot of you loved Matt Smith – he never did a lot for me (as much as I loved Amy and Rory). Capaldi portrays a Doctor filled with regret, for the most part over the anger that fueled 9; 10 did anything he could find to forget, even though he knew it wasn’t possible; and 11 tried to make up for what he believed he had done. But 12 has matured, both emotionally and physically, and is ready to bring a message to the rest of the galaxy. Part of his redemption is Clara, whether you like her or not – it’s obvious that the Doctor does. If 10 had a great love for Rose (which I never really got), 12 sees Clara as his soul and heart. He’s come to value and respect her strength, her mind, her compassion – he feels that they’re a match for his in many ways. And when Clara leaves, as we know she will this season, how will he manage?

Osgood is a fascinating character – there may be a tendency from earlier episodes to see her as young and starstruck, but in these two episodes, she has a strong will, an unshakeable core value. She’s a definite asset to UNIT, and now that there are two of her, the world should be a better place!

So look at your neighbors a little differently this week. Is that a zit – or a sucker? Is that head just a little pointy? Is their background history a bit shaky? Keep the peace. Respect the cease-fire. And then read the quotes from this episode.


Doctor (after parachuting out of the plane): Any questions?
Osgood: Why do you have Union Jack parachutes?
Doctor: Um, camouflage.
Osgood: Camouflage?
Doctor: Yes, we’re in Britain. Oh! Your specs are broken. I’ll fix them. You can wear mine, they’re sonic.
Osgood: Sonic specs? Isn’t that a bit pointless? Like a visual hearing aid?
Doctor: What’s wrong with pointless? I once invented an invisible watch. Spot the design flaw.
Osgood: You’re talking nonsense to distract me from being really scared. It’s one of your known character traits.


Osgood: Why didn’t that Zygon blow us up with that big bazooka?
Doctor: She did blow us up with that big bazooka. This is us being blown up with a big bazooka.
Osgood: But I mean she seems to know what she’s doing. The first thing I would do if I were to invade the world would be to kill you.
Doctor: Thanks.
Osgood: I wouldn’t even let you get talking. Like you always do. Bullet between the eyes, first thing.
Doctor: Again, thank you.
Osgood: Twelve times, if necessary.
Doctor: Ah yes, well, why limit yourself. You’ve really though this through, haven’t you.
Osgood: I’m a big fan. But she gave you a chance to get out. She hesitated. If she had Clara’s memory print, she’d know better than to give you even a second. You’ve gone quiet because I mentioned Clara. You think she might be dead.
Doctor: Yes.

Osgood: Why do they want to destroy the cease fire?
Doctor: Don’t think of them as rational. They’re different. They don’t care about human beings, They don’t care about their own kind. They think the rest of Zygon-kind are traitors. It’s a splinter group.

Osgood: I’ve never really met Clara. Pretty strong, yeah?
Doctor: She was amazing.
Osgood: No. Not was, is. It’s not from the Zygon, it’s from Clara.
Doctor: How?
Osgood: She’s not dead. She’s in a pod somewhere. They need a live feed to the information in her brain, but she’s fighting back. She’s trying to take control, piece by piece.
Doctor: Texting.
Osgood: How more human can you get? The Zygon probably doesn’t even know it sent this. Or why it misfired that bazooka.
Doctor: You don’t know. It’s just a theory.
Osgood: Yes, it’s just a theory. But how’s that hope phase now?
Doctor: Worse than ever.
Osgood: Then we’ve got a game.

Doctor: Hello! Hello! (holding out psychic paper) Dr. John Disco. That was my plane. I had a big plane for the purpose of, uh, poncing about. It went off with a massive bang about half a mile up. Actually, uh, it’s fine.. we’re fine, aren’t we?

Zygon Clara, answering the phone: You’re dead.
Doctor: Yes, well, I’m dead now, and I think I may be a bit more dead in a minute. What’s your plan, Zigella?
Zygon Clara: I don’t have a plan.
Doctor: Come on, you don’t invade a planet without having a plan. That’s why they’re called “plan”ets. To remind you to plan it. Heh heh, that’s good! Fantastic! Doctor fantastic! Oh, come on, that was a good one, Zigella.
Zygon Clara: Don’t call me Zigella. My name’s Bonnie.
Doctor: You’re winking at me.
Zygon Clara, now Bonnie: I am not winking at you.


Bonnie: I am not winking at you. Where is the Osgood box?
Doctor: OK. Non-verbal communication. I assume you never bothered to learn Morse code.

Osgood: Obviously the Zygon can hear that.
Doctor: Obviously.
Osgood: So she’s going to poke around Clara’s mind looking for answers.
Doctor: The mind of Clara Oswald. She may never find her way out.


Doctor: London! What a dump.
Osgood: London’s OK.
Doctor: No it’s not. It’s a dump.
Osgood: You spend an awful lot of time here, considering it’s a dump.
Doctor: I spend an awful lot of time being kidnapped, tortured, shot at, exterminated. Doesn’t mean I like it.

Bonnie: What’s in the Osgood box?
Clara: The box ends the cease-fire.
Bonnie: So I’m told. How?
Clara: There’s a button inside the box. Press it,  it will transmit a signal that will unmask every Zygon on the planet for up to an hour. What is there to smile about?
Bonnie: Mass panic. Followed by war. Every Zygon on our side at a stroke.
Clara: 20 million Zygons, and 7 billion humans. That’s not a war you can win!
Bonnie: Then we will die in the fire, instead of living in chains.
Clara: Most of your kind don’t want that.
Bonnie: Then it’s time we stopped giving them a choice.
Clara: It’s time you ask the most important question.
Bonnie: Which is?
Clara: I’m waiting…
Bonnie: Why is it called an Osgood box?
Clara: I’m not telling you.
Bonnie: Good. I’m looking forward to hearing you scream.
Clara: I’m not telling you, because when you get to the Black Archive, you’ll find out for yourself. And when you do, you’re going to want to speak to me again.

Doctor: What’s your name?
Osgood: Osgood.
Doctor: No, your first name.
Osgood: What’s your first name?
Doctor: Basil.
Osgood: Petronella.
Doctor: Let’s just, uh, stick to what we had. I need to ask you, because it’s important. Because it might matter. Which one are you, human or Zygon?

Kate: The Doctor is here.
Bonnie: Don’t kill him. We need him alive.
Kate: What for?
Bonnie: Because I just found out why it’s called an Osgood box. There’s two of them.

Bonnie: What in them, Doctor? Tell me now.
Doctor: One boxes normalizes all the Zygons.
Bonnie: And the other?
Doctor: Destroys them.

Bonnie: Which box normalizes the Zygons, Doctor? Tell me. Or she dies.
Doctor: No. This is war. You pull the trigger, you pay the price.
Bonnie: Kill her.
Doctor: The blue one! The blue one normalizes!

Doctor: Why does peacekeeping always involve killing?

Kate: What are we dealing with?
Doctor: 20 million Zygons are about to be unmasked. We don’t know if they’re human or not. And you can’t fight them, not with soldiers.
Kate: Which leads me to a very big question.
Doctor: Oh! was really hoping it wouldn’t.
Kate: The Z67, the Sullivan’s gas, the gas that kills the Zygons. You took it.
Doctor: Well, you know how it is, Daddy knows best.
Kate: That’s what’s in the red box, yes? Of course it is. If I remember rightly, it causes a chain reaction in the atmosphere, and turns every Zygon on Earth inside out.
Doctor: Let me negotiate peace. You can’t commit mass murder…
Kate: Then why did you leave the gas with us?
Doctor: The boxes are safeguards for both species. You agreed to that.
Kate: I never agreed to that!
Doctor: Yes you did. Then I wiped your memory. You agreed to that too, but that’s why there were two Osgoods – to police the cease-fire. One human, and one Zygon.  Keep the secrets, keep the peace.

Doctor: Let me take both of these boxes away. We’ll forgive. We’ll forget. And the cease-fire will stand.

Doctor: This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Make your mind up time! One of those buttons will destroy the Zygons, release the imbecile’s gas. The other one detonates a nuclear warhead under the Black Archive. It will destroy everyone in London. Bonnie, sweetheart, one of those buttons will unmask every Zygon in the world. The other one, cancels their ability to change form. It’ll make them human beings forever. There are safeguards beyond safeguards. I did this on a very important day for me. And this cease-fire will stand.
Bonnie: This is wrong. You are responsible for all of the violence, for all of the suffering.
Doctor: No I’m not.
Bonnie: Yes. You engineered this situation. This is your fault. I had to do what I’ve done.
Doctor: So did I.
Bonnie: We’ve been treated like cattle.
Doctor: So what.
Bonnie: Left to fend for ourselves.
Doctor: So is everyone.
Bonnie: It’s not fair.
Doctor: Oh, it’s not fair. I didn’t realize that, that it’s not fair. Well, you know what, my Tardis doesn’t work properly,and I don’t have my own personal tailor.
Bonnie: Those things don’t equate.
Doctor: These things have happened, Zigella. They are facts. You just want cruelty to beget cruelty. You’re not superior to people who are cruel to you, you’re just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people being cruel to people who will be cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they’re prepared to forgive. Why don’t you break the cycle?
Bonnie: Why should we?
Doctor: What is it you actually want?
Bonnie: War.
Doctor: And when this war is over, when you have a homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it, given it any consideration, because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Get up and go to work? Will there be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who is going to make the violins? Well? You don’t actually know, do you?


Doctor: Let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys. and when it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you’ve finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you – the troublemakers? How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?
Bonnie: We’ll win.
Doctor: Oh, will you? Maybe you will win. But nobody wins for long. The wheel keeps turning. So come on. Break the cycle.
Bonnie: Why are you still talking?
Doctor: Because I want to get you to see. And I’m almost there.
Bonnie: Do you know what i see, Doctor? A box, a box with everyhing I need. A 50% chance.
Kate: For us too.
Doctor: And we’re off! Fingers on buzzers! Are you feeling lucky? Play the game! Who’s going to be quickest, who’s going to be luckiest!
Kate: This is not a game!
Doctor: Noooo! It’s not a game, sweetheart, and I mean that most sincerely.
Bonnie: Why are you doing this?
Kate: Yes, I’d quite like to know that too. You’ve set this up – why?
Doctor: Because it’s not a game, Kate!



Bonnie: I will not change my mind.
Doctor: Then you will die stupid. Alternatively, you could step away from that box. You could walk right out that door and you could stand your revolution down.
Bonnie:No. I’m not stopping this, Doctor. I started it, I will not stop it. You think they’ll let me go after what I’ve done?
Doctor: You’re all the same, you screaming kids. You know that? Look at me, I’m unforgivable. Well, here’s the unforeseeable. I forgive you, after all you’ve done. I forgive you.
Bonnie: You don’t understand. You will never understand.

Doctor: I don’t understand? Of course I understand. You call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war. I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine. When I close my eyes, I hear more screams than anyone will ever be able to count. And you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight. Till it burns your hand. And you say this – no one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.

Bonnie: Those boxes. There’s nothing in them, is there. Just buttons.
Doctor: Of course. You know how you know that? Because you’ve started to think. Like me. Sad, isn’t it. No one should have to think like that. And no one will. Not on our watch. Gotcha.
Bonnie: How can you be so sure?
Doctor: Because you’re at a disadvantage, Zigella. I know that face.

Bonnie: You didn’t wipe my memory.
Doctor: No. Just Kate’s. Oh, and your little friends here, of course. When they wake up, they won’t remember what you’ve done.
Bonnie: You’re going to protect me.
Osgood: You’re one of us now.
Bonnie: I don’t understand how you could just forgive me.
Doctor: Because I’ve been where you have. There was another box. I was going to press another button. I was going to wipe out all of my own kind. Man, woman, child… I was so sure I was right.
Bonnie: What happened?
Doctor: Same thing that happened to you. I let Clara Oswald get inside my head. Trust me. She doesn’t leave.

Osgood: The Tardis.
Doctor: The Tardis.
Osgood. What does it stand for?
Doctor: What? You’re kidding me! Surely you know that.
Osgood: Well, I’ve heard a couple of different versions.
Doctor: I made it up from the initials. It stands for Totally and Radically Driving in Space. Do you want to come? All of future, all of history, all of the universe.
Osgood: More than anything. But I think I have to stay. I have a couple of boxes to keep an eye on. And a world to keep safe.
Doctor: Fair enough.

Clara: You must have thought I was dead for a while. How was that?
Doctor: Longest month of my life.
Clara: Couldn’t have been even five minutes.
Doctor: I’ll be the judge of time.


Some concept drawings from these episodes:

Doctor Who on BBC UK (more stuff than BBC America)

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