Fans were treated to a taste of classic Doctor Who in “The Zygon Invasion” Oct. 31.
The episode mixed flashbacks of three previous Doctors, a worldwide alien threat, UNIT and even a Lethbridge-Stewart into the plot. If they had thrown in a few Daleks, Cybermen and a guest appearance by K-9, they would have had a nice reunion going.
Taken in that light, the episode was entertaining if somewhat pedestrian. The idea of distributing millions of shape-shifting Zygon duplicates among the Earth’s human population seemed a bit far-fetched, although I am now regarding my neighbors with greater suspicion. If I see any blackened, smoking and sparking piles excelsior near my home, I’m going to dial 9-1-1.
Although the episode was a little less humorous than its current series predecessors, it was not without its chuckle-worthy moments.
The Doctor identified himself early as “Doctor Disco” and later as “Doctor Funkenstein.” At last, a name for the Doctor, but which is it?
I laughed at an exchange between the Doctor and Osgood. The Doctor had commented on question marks Osgood had added to her collar in tribute to her hero.
“You used to wear question marks,” Osgood says.
“Oh, I know, yes, I did,” the Doctor replies.
“They were nice. Why don’t you wear them anymore?”
“Oh, I do. I’ve got question mark underpants.”
“Makes one wonder what the question is.”
When the Doctor, arrives at the UNIT drone command center via the special jet airliner placed at his disposal as world commander-in-chief, he makes a grand entrance.
“At ease! I’m the President of the World,” he announces. “I’m here to rescue people and generally establish happiness all over the place.”
While interrogating a captured Zygon, the Doctor makes it clear that one nation is off-limits in the master Zygon conquest plan.
“Well, you can’t have the United Kingdom,” he tells him. “There’s already people living there. They’ll think you’re going to pinch their benefits.”
The rebellious faction of the Zygons have adopted the motto:” Truth or Consequences.” After Clara makes the dubious connection to a New Mexico town by the same name, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart is dispatched to investigate. Upon her arrival, she finds that the community has not embraced the influx of British in the form of Zygon duplicates. In fact. all of the human residents have been destroyed, and Kate may suffer the same fate.
The recurring hybrid theme appears again in this episode with Osgood, who has permanently become half-Zygon, half-human. The theme had surfaced in “The Witch’s Familiar” when Davros referenced a prophesy of a Time Lord-Dalek hybrid. It reappeared in “The Girl Who Died,” when Ashildr is resurrected with alien technology and becomes a human-Mire hybrid.
If “Under the Lake” or “Before the Flood” contained specific hybrid references, I missed them. I suppose the “ghosts” could be considered human-Arcateenian hybrids, just to keep the string going.
The multiple references have led to speculation as to who will be the real hybrid when the season completes its run. I think the smart money is on Clara.
Looks like we’ve got another human-Zygon hybrid in Clara’s evil twin, Bonnie. Somehow, I don’t think Bonnie will survive the second half of this episode pair.