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The Zygon Invasion (TV story)

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The Zygon Invasion
Zygons forming
Doctor: Twelfth Doctor
Featuring: Osgood, Kate, Clara, Jac
Main enemy: Truth or Consequences, Bonnie
Main setting: London, England, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and Turmezistan, 21st century
Key crew
Writer: Peter Harness
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Producer: Peter Bennett
Release details
Story number: 257a
Season/series: 9
Premiere broadcast: 31 October 2015
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x45 minute episode
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Doctor Who television stories
The Woman Who Lived The Zygon Inversion
Official trailer
The Zygon Invasion Trailer - Series 9 Episode 7 - Doctor Who - BBC00:26

The Zygon Invasion Trailer - Series 9 Episode 7 - Doctor Who - BBC

Memorable moment
Doctor Who Season 9 - 'Operation Double' (Episode 7 spoilers)04:20

Doctor Who Season 9 - 'Operation Double' (Episode 7 spoilers)

Another memorable moment
Truth Or Consequences? - The Zygon Invasion - Doctor Who - BBC04:03

Truth Or Consequences? - The Zygon Invasion - Doctor Who - BBC

Behind the scenes video
The Return of the Zygons - The Zygon Invasion - Doctor Who Series 902:01

The Return of the Zygons - The Zygon Invasion - Doctor Who Series 9

The Zygon Invasion was the seventh episode of the ninth series of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales.

It served as a sequel to events set up in the 50th Anniversary Special The Day of the Doctor, having a beginning sequence dedicated to the relative plot point of this story.

The episode saw the return of Osgood, curiously after her death in the series 8 finale Death in Heaven, with this episode revealing that before Missy's Cyberman invasion, Osgood and her Zygon duplicate had gotten so identical to each other that they refused to say which was the Zygon and which was the human, making it unknown which Osgood was actually killed by Missy.

It is effectively the second "companion-lite" story in a row as Clara is revealed to have been kidnapped and replaced with a Zygon duplicate called Bonnie.

It also continued the thematic concept of the Doctor apparently facing death, with the end of the episode setting up yet another opportunity for the Doctor to reflect on his mortality.

Synopsis Edit

A long time ago, the Doctor made a deal in the Tower of London. 20 million Zygons walk among us, in human form, living undetected in peace and harmony. But cracks are showing in this delicate peace. Humans and Zygons are disappearing. In city apartment blocks, lifts are going missing, and far below the streets of Britain, alien pods are growing in secret caverns. To top it all off, UNIT's scientific advisor, Osgood, sends a desperate message to the Doctor - but since Osgood is long dead, how is that even possible?

The Doctor, Clara and UNIT must scatter across the world in a desperate bid to set her free. But in a world of shape-shifting aliens, who can you trust? And can the world be saved before it's too late?

Plot Edit

The episode opens with "Once upon a time... There were three Doctors..." It the shows the War, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors giving grim stares from The Day of the Doctor. "Two Osgoods..." Osgood is shown cowering as a Zygon takes her form and asks for her inhaler. "And one treaty" The Doctors are shown erasing the memories of both humans and Zygons in the conflict, forcing them to create a peace treaty.

On video, two Osgoods appear seated next to each other and box that looks like the Moment. Because Osgood is a fan of the Doctor, one is wearing a bowtie and scarf; the other is wearing a question mark jumper. They explain Operation Double - the peace treaty with the Zygons. 20 million Zygons have been given asylum on Earth so long as they maintain human forms. The box is the Osgood Box, which can start and end a war with humans and Zygons. If a Zygon is killed, regardless of the circumstances, it will spark a rebellion.

One of the Osgood is later seen in a graveyard, with a grave for the other Osgood; it simply reads "My Sister".

Later, in New Mexico, Osgood flees from an attack in the town Truth or Consequences. Osgood hides under a desk inside a police department; she readies to call the Doctor, but decides to text once she hears footsteps. The moment Osgood sends the text, a Zygon grabs her.

Inside the TARDIS, the Twelfth Doctor is rocking out to "Amazing Grace" on his electric guitar. Hearing the console beeping, he stops playing and rushes over to the monitor to see an incoming message from Osgood: "Nightmare Scenario." The Doctor looks on grimly, realising that a break in the ceasefire has finally come.

The Doctor is next seen sitting on a swing in a park, trying to call Clara; not wanting to draw attention, he code names himself "Doctor Disco" in his messages. Noticing two little girls, the Doctor attempts talking to them; it's revealed that they're the Zygon high command, Jemima and Claudette. However, at that moment, the Doctor receives a call from Kate Stewart; he attempts to make her see that it's only a splinter group of Zygons wanting war, not the entirety of the race. Unfortunately, at that moment, the leaders are captured by the splinter group, Truth or Consequences. Left with nothing to do, the Doctor decides to go in to UNIT for more resources.

Meanwhile, Clara is leaving for work and checks her phone, to discover that the Doctor has left over 127 messages on her phone. She starts to listen to her voicemail, but finds a child crying on the stairs of her apartment complex. Learning that he cannot find his parents, Clara follows Sandeep back to his apartment, finding it empty; however, the moment she turns around, the child's parents appear, saying nothing is wrong despite the boy's screams. Clara is concerned by this, but is next seen leaving without much of a care; she calls the Doctor, asking if he seriously called himself "Doctor Disco?"

In the meantime, the Doctor learns about the current situation: the splinter group is holding Osgood hostage in order to get information on the Osgood Box. Kate also explains that there have always been two Osgoods, the human and the Zygon, ever since the ceasefire, while the Doctor says that "both of them" were real; the duo refused to single each other out as human and Zygon, seeing each other as equals. Using his status as President of Earth, the Doctor takes his presidential plane Boat One to Turmezistan, near a Zygon-occupied village, hoping to find where Osgood was taken and prevent all-out war.

The Doctor arrives at a command post, giving a flamboyant introduction for himself, only to be told that they know who he is. He learns that they are about to bomb the village; however, the controller of the remote controlled bomber sees Zygons that have taken the form of her husband and child. The Doctor realises that the Zygons' powers have grown; they can now read minds and take the form of whatever their targets love most. Despite the predictable military's suggestion for aggression, the Doctor suggests looking for Osgood before trying to bomb the town.

Arriving in the Zygon-occupied village, the Doctor informs his UNIT troops to avoid killing as much as possible as they are going to need someone to negotiate with. Unfortunately, the troops are tricked by the Zygons, who take the form of their loved ones, and vaporised. Given only ten minutes before UNIT begins bombing the Truth or Consequences splinter group, the Doctor searches the now empty Zygon base, finding Osgood tied up in the cellar; they barely manage to escape as the bombing begins early. A Zygon returns to kill them and gets knocked out by the debris, allowing easy capture.

Elsewhere, Clara assists the London UNIT branch; they discover the lift in her flat has been secretly modified by Zygons to lead to their underground nest. Unfortunately, it is revealed Clara is a Zygon; when she visited the flat early, she was captured and impersonated by a Zygon named Bonnie. Bonnie orders the murder of all the UNIT troops present, including Jac.

At the same time, Kate is investigating what cased the Zygons to attack. Finding an officer in the New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences called Norlander, Kate learns a Zygon had trouble keeping its form, leading to panic. However, Kate then discovers that she's talking to a Zygon, who reverts to its true shape to kill her. Moments, later "Kate" confirms UNIT in North America has been neutralised to Bonnie.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Osgood chat on the plane, which is heading back to the United Kingdom. The Doctor believes that Osgood is human, and not Zygon, as Zygons need the original person they're copying alive to maintain their disguise. However, Osgood reveals that she can be either one (but won't tell which she is), since Zygons only use that method for spying on enemies; if they don't need to copy personalities, Zygons can keep someone's form without the original being alive.

The Doctor interrogates the Zygon, learning that an all-out war is the only thing the splinter group wants; they have infiltrated numerous countries now. At that time, Bonnie is watching the plane fly by; she puts together a rocket launcher, and takes aim. The Doctor calls Clara, only to get Bonnie, learning that he's talking to the leader of the splinter group Truth or Consequences. However, the Doctor immediately realises the danger, warning Osgood. Bonnie launches the rocket, saying good-bye to the Doctor.

Cast Edit

Uncredited cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

References Edit

The DoctorEdit


Osgood Edit


Story notes Edit

  • The Radio Times programme listing was accompanied by a small colour shot of Osgood and the Doctor, with the accompanying caption "Doctor Who / 8.15 p.m. Osgood is snatched by aliens, prompting a round-the-world rescue mission".
  • The "Clara" in most of this episode is a Zygon duplicate, making this the second consecutive episode in which Clara has a brief appearance.
  • Peter Capaldi and Rebecca Front previously worked together on The Thick of It.
  • The strong subtext in the story concerning contemporary immigration and terrorism has been noted by many commentators and reviewers, and has been widely discussed on social media.


  • BBC One Overnight: 3.87 million
  • BBC America Overnight: to be added
  • Final UK ratings: 5.76 million

Filming location Edit

Production errors Edit

  • Right after she gives the Doctor a mock salute as he boards the presidential plane, Jenna Coleman can be seen sneezing, but the scene continues without interruption.

Continuity Edit

Eighth Doctor question mark boxers

The mythical boxers appear briefly. (COMIC: The Glorious Dead)

Home video releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

to be added

Blu-ray releases Edit

to be added

External links Edit


Facts about "The Zygon Invasion (TV story)"RDF feed
1ADDan Mumford +
2ADJames DeHaviland +
3ADDanielle Richards +
ADChris Thomas + and Gareth Jones +
ADR editorMatthew Cox +
Assistant costume designerGeorgie Sayer +
Assistant editorBecky Trotman + and Robbie Gibbon +
Assistant gripSean Cronin +
Assistant on-line editorChristine Kelly +
Assistant production accountantJustine Wooff +
Assistant production co-ordinatorSandra Cosfeld +
Best boyAndrew Gardiner +
Camera assistantCai Thompson +, Matthew Lepper + and Scott Waller +
Camera operatorMark McQuoid +
CarpenterTim Burke +, Lawrie Ferry +, Matt Ferry +, Chris Daniels +, Julian Tucker +, George Rees +, Dan Berrow +, Keith Richards + and Campbell Fraser +
Casting associateAlice Purser +
Casting directorAndy Pryor CDG +
Chargehand carpenterJohn Sinnott +
ColouristGareth Spensley +
Concept artistChris Lees +
Construction chargehandDean Tucker +
Construction driverJonathan Tylke +
Construction labourerMike Cox +
Construction managerTerry Horle +
ContinuitySteve Walker +
Costume assistantAndie Mear +, Ian Fowler + and Jenny Tindle +
Costume designerRay Holman +
Costume supervisorSimon Marks +
DOPMark Waters +
Dialogue editorDarran Clement +
DirectorDaniel Nettheim +
DoctorTwelfth Doctor +
DraughtsmanJulia Jones + and Kartik Nager +
Dubbing mixerMark Ferda +
EditorWill Oswald +
Effects editorHarry Barnes +
ElectricianBob Milton +, Gareth Sheldon +, Gawain Nash +, Rob Fernandes + and Andrew Williams +
Executive producerSteven Moffat + and Brian Minchin +
Focus pullerJonathan Vidgen + and Steve Rees +
Foley artistJulie Ankerson +
Foley editorJamie Talbutt +
GafferMark Hutchings +
Graphic artistMatthew Clark +
GripJohn Robinson +
Has imageFile:Zygons forming.jpg +
Head of productionGordon Ronald +
Head scenic artistClive Clarke +
Line producerTracie Simpson +
Location managerNick Clark +
Make-up artistMegan Bowes + and James Spinks +
Make-up designerBarbara Southcott +
Make-up supervisorSara Angharad +
Mixed byJake Jackson +
Motion graphicsDaniel Lazenby +
MusicMurray Gold +
On-line editorMark Hardyman +
OrchestratorAlastair King +
PainterSteve Nelms +, Matt Weston + and Paul Murray +
Post-production co-ordinatorHannah Jones +
Post-production supervisorSamantha Price +
Practical electricianChristian Davies + and Austin Curtis +
ProducerPeter Bennett +
Production accountantSimon Wheeler +
Production assistantSiôn Crowle + and Jamie Shaw +
Production buyerJulian Luxton + and Linda Morgan +
Production co-ordinatorAdam Knopf +
Production designerMichael Pickwoad +
Production managerSteffan Morris +
Prop handIan Davies +, Scott Howe +, Nigel Magni + and Matt Watts +
Props buyerMay Johnson + and Vicki Male +
Props chargehandKyle Belmont +
Props driverGareth Fox +
Props makerAlan Hardy + and Jamie Thomas +
Props masterPaul Smith +
Recorded byGerry O'Riordan +
RiggingShadow Scaffolding +
Script editorDavid P. Davis +
Script executiveLindsey Alford +
Set decoratorAdrian Anscombe +
Sound maintenance engineerTam Shoring + and Christopher Goding +
Sound recordistDeian Llŷr Humphreys +
Standby art directorJulia Challis +
Standby carpenterPaul Jones +
Standby propsLiam Collins +
Store personJamie Southcott +
Stunt co-ordinatorCrispin Layfield + and Dani Biernat +
Supervising art directorDafydd Shurmer +
ThanksBBC National Orchestra of Wales +
ThemeRon Grainer +
Title conceptBilly Hanshaw +
TitlesBBC Wales Graphics +
Unit managerIestyn Hampson-Jones +
Unit medicGlyn Evans +
VFX editorDan Rawlings +
WriterPeter Harness +

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