The spoilers are coming.
It’s time to go into one of those world-invasion events in Doctor Who 9×07: The Zygon Invasion(1). This time we’re going to revisit an old enemy, already revisited by three different doctors. The Day of the Doctor gets a follow up. It appears a rogue faction of Zygons, the extra-terrestrial shapeshifters that supposedly lives undisturbed in planet Earth thanks to the truce forced by the Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, has decided to rebel.
We are re-introduced to this storyline by Osgood (Ingrid Oliver). Yes, that Osgood from UNIT, and her doppelganger. One of them was killed and now the remaining Osgood has been taken hostage by the Zygon rebellion. However, not before she manages to send a text to the Doctor: nightmare scenario. The Doctor keeps leaving voicemails to Clara. She’s busy trying to help one of her neighbors’ kids find his parents. When she does, something’s odd about them.
UNIT’s Head of Scientific Research, Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) brings the Doctor up to speed, taking him to the last location of Zygon High Command – which was headed by two Zygons in the shape of two little girls underneath a school. The message left behind talks a lot but has one clear mantra: Truth or Consequences. Which Clara remembers, is the name of a town in New Mexico in the US. In time, because the Zygon rebels are hold up in a settlement somewhere overseas and Stewart wants to just bomb the place regardless of whether they’re good or bad Zygons in it.
But now, they have a clue. So while Kate Stewart travels to Truth or Consequences, the Doctor once again gets to use the plane as President of Earth. There’s a short but meaningful conversation between Kate and Clara mentioning the previous invasion of the Zygons. There’s a veiled reference to Harry Sullivan, naval surgeon and companion to the Fourth Doctor and to a possible chemical weapon created to destroy the Zygons. A weapon presumably stolen… possibly by the Doctor. Foreshadowing? Perhaps.
Clara asks UNIT operative Jac (Jaye Griffiths) to allow her to swing by her place to pickup a few things. That’s when they notice Clara’s neighbors dragging a large sack possibly containing the kid that Clara spoke to earlier into the elevator. The elevator itself brings them to an underground level. Clara and Jac return to the UNIT safe house and gather up armed personnel as reports come in from all over the UK regarding disappearances in lifts.
The Doctor’s plane takes him to a military base. There, UNIT has already deployed a drone to bomb the town occupied by the Zygons. There’s a problem though. Although the strike is confirmed by the Coronel in charge, the remote control pilot zooms into the occupants of a house as they wave to the drone – and they happen to be exact duplicates of her own family. She aborts the strike. The team then assembles to take out what they think is a training ground for Zygons. Unfortunately, they end up being duplicates of the strike team. The Doctor manages to find Osgood and free her. They are attacked by a Zygon rebel, but thanks to a fortuitous bomb strike, it ends up trapped in the rubble. Osgood and the Doctor now have a Zygon rebel in custody for their flight back. I wonder how they’re going to get past quarantine.
Meanwhile, Clara, Jac and the armed UNIT… units, descend on pods that host what appears to be humans inside. Clara tries to get them to fire upon them, but Jac hesitates. Clara finds a pod with her own likeness as Jac explains this is not how Zygon’s replication works. See where this is going? Yes, dear old Clara is a Zygon herself. As her brood swarms the UNIT units and she orders her termination, she smiles evilly. Then she goes back to the surface, gets a surface-to-air missile launcher from the armory and shoots down the President of the World’s plane.
A little too much running around and getting here and there in this one. Yes, I’m nitpicking, that’s what I do, btw. Anyhow, a bit of a mixed bag with some very enjoyable exchanges.
- Nice to see UNIT again. Jemma Redgrave is back as Kate Stewart. Ingrid Oliver is back as Osgood. Jaye Griffiths is back as Jac. Except that Kate Stewart ends up finding the only remaining police officer is a Zygon, Osgood is in the plane being tracked by a missile and Jac might have been killed by Zygon rebels. They’re fine… I hope.
- Hard to follow this episode. I’m glad they gave Kate her own storyline thread, but since that was suggested by Zygon Clara it seems to have been a diversion. I love when they mix up the same timeline, but three different storylines was a little hard to follow.
- Kind of cool to see an evil version of Clara Oswald. Hoping the real Clara and her get their own private combat scene in the next chapter.
- I hate to say it after saying I’m glad Kate Stewart got her own storyline, but it really didn’t go anywhere.
- A little too convenient that the Doctor decides to take a detour into the town and ends up finding Osgood. However it was cool to hear them have a conversation. Osgood is a Doctor Who hardcore fan, after all.
- Super plus for this episode. The number of strong female characters is one of the highest. Then again, some of them might be Zygons.
That will do for now.