The Zygon Invasion was the seventh episode of series 9 of Doctor Who. It was written by Peter Harness, directed by Daniel Nettheim and featured Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald.
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's shown that the newer breed of Zygons have enhanced abilities; they can now read the minds of their enemies and take the form of whatever it is they love to lull them into a false sense of security before killing them.
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; the real Clara, as a result, appears in only one scene, though this fact is not revealed until the end of the episode.
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.
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 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. Zygons, just like humans, have the capacity for both great evil and great good. 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.
Fast-forward to right after Missy's failed attempt to turn humanity, living and dead, into an army of Cybermen. Osgood in a graveyard, crying for the loss of her twin. She leaves flowers for the other Osgood on a grave that simply reads "My Sister".
2015, New Mexico, Osgood flees from an attack in the town Truth or Consequences. Taking shelter in a police department, Osgood tries calling the Doctor. However, hearing someone enter, Osgood hides under a desk and sends a text to him instead. Just when she thinks she's safe, 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, 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 arrives home from 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. Clara joins them.
The Doctor, Clara, Kate and Jac head to the location of the Zygon nest. It's hidden under Drakeman Junior School. The Zygon's high command took the form of two girls posted on the notice board. Kate explains that the new-born Zygons took the form of whatever UK citizen was closest to them; afterwards, they were dispersed around the world to blend in and live their lives as humans. Inside a basement room, the Doctor finds the control node responsible for communicating with the Zygons and birthing more of them. As the Doctor works the controls, Clara asks if he wants to "be alone" with it. He explains it's how the Zygon technology works. He pulls up the thoughts of the Zygons around the world, which is of great paranoia.
They receive a new message, which shows the High Command being executed by the rebels, who declare themselves the new leaders. The group identifies themselves as Truth or Consequences. However, Clara states she heard it was a town in New Mexico, on Trivial Pursuit; it's also where Osgood went missing after a Zygon outbreak. Kate also reveals that UNIT has found what appear to be a Zygon training post in Turmezistan, which may serve as T.o.C.'s base. The Doctor tells Kate to investigate New Mexico, to find out what caused the Zygons to attack; he tells Clara and Jac to remain in the UK, while he heads to Turmezistan. He asks Kate if UNIT still has the presidential airplane, prompting Clara to remind him that he hates being president of Earth. The Doctor states he likes poncing around in a big plane.
At an airport, the Doctor boards Boat One giving a double peace sign to Clara and Kate. Clara wonders if they have any effective weapons against Zygons. Kate tells her of Z-67, created by a UNIT naval officer back in the 70s or 80s, which basically turns Zygons inside-out. When Clara asks about it's location, Kate tells her it was taken by "someone with a TARDIS." Kate leaves for America. Clara asks Jac if they can stop by her flat before they do anything; it's not a problem.
Once Clara collects what she needs, she and Jac spot a body being moved into a lift. However, once they check it on the ground floor, there is no-one in it. They board the lift, finding red ooze coming from the button panel. They pull it back to find that the Zygons have modified the lift; activating the device, the lift goes to a subterranean area full of pods. Jac states that they need to bring in reinforcements.
In Turmezistan, 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.
Back in the UK, UNIT arrives to exterminate the Zygons pods. Clara takes a gun, oddly elated at the idea of violence. Jac is suspicious of the pods, but Clara says that they need to destroy them or face whatever the Zygons are creating with them. She pulls gunk off a pod, revealing a copy of her inside the pod. Clara is shocked she's been cloned. However, Jac points out that Zygons do not clone humans, they replace them; she then comes to the horrifying conclusion that Clara is a Zygon and orders her troops to flee. However, Zygons cut them off, blocking off every available way out. Jac begs for the Zygons to let them live, but fake Clara orders their murders. The UNIT personnel scream in horror.Flashback. Right after Clara sees Sandeep being carried away, a Zygon zaps her head and knocks her out. It takes her form, saying her name is Bonnie. The Zygons needed someone close to the Doctor to impersonate so they could remove him to ease their takeover.
At the same time, Kate is investigating what caused the Zygons to attack Truth or Consequences. Finding an officer with the badge C. Norlander, Kate is shown all that remains of the rest of citizens is piles of sparking wires. Kate refuses to answer whether or not she brought back-up. Inside the police station, Norlander explains that "one of the Brits" turned into a reptile one day; then the rest attacked the residents.
Kate wonders how it happened. Norlander states that a young Zygon had trouble maintaining its body print. Kate becomes wide-eyed; she's talking to a member of the splinter group. The Zygon reverts back to its true shape to kill her; Kate readies her gun. Moments, later "Kate" confirms UNIT in North America has been neutralised to Bonnie. Bonnie states that UNIT is almost neutralized on her part; there's just two threats left...Meanwhile, the Doctor and Osgood chat on the plane, which is heading back to the United Kingdom. He compliments her on the question mark motif; she notes that he used to wear them (between late in his Fourth incarnation and early in his Seventh). The Doctor smiles, telling her that he didn't stop wearing them; "I've got question mark underpants." Osgood jokes that it makes one wonder what the question is.
The Doctor tells Osgood that he'll keep her secret; she's the original. If she was the Zygon Osgood, she would have changed back in days after Missy killed her "sister". However, Osgood tells the Doctor that he's wrong; he's thinking about the rules of infiltration. She explains Zygons only need the original alive if they wish to mimic their personality; their form, however, can be kept indefinitely. (However, should they chose to revert back to Zygon form, they will not be able to change back into that form, as the original is not around.) Startled by this news, the Doctor asks whether Osgood is the Zygon or the human; however, Osgood starts that she is herself and no-one else.
Their captive comes around, and the Doctor begins to try interrogation. The Zygon recognises the Doctor as president of the world, stating that splinter group wants the world. However, the Doctor is quick to point out that the Zygons are outnumbered by the humans. It laughs at the Doctor, stating that they've had months to infiltrate all the countries of the world; Truth or Consequences has won the first battle, but now it is time to initiate the war to claim the planet from humanity.
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.
- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Clara - Jenna Coleman
- Osgood - Ingrid Oliver
- Kate - Jemma Redgrave
- Jac - Jaye Griffiths
- Claudette - Cleopatra Dickens
- Jemima - Sasha Dickens
- Walsh - Rebecca Front
- Little Boy - Abhishek Singh
- Little Boy's Mum - Samila Kularatne
- Hitchley - Todd Kramer
- Lisa (Drone Op) - Jill Winternitz
- Norlander - Gretchen Egolf
- Hitchley's Mom - Karen Mann
- Walsh's Son - James Bailey
- Zygons - Aidan Cook, Tom Wilton
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin|
|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.|
- Drakeman Junior School is located in Dulwich.
- Jac was able to hack CCTV from Scotland Yard.
- A teacher takes her class to the play area.
- Truth or Consequences Police Department was established in 1902.
- A UNIT Command Base has been set up in Turmezistan.
- Tarjeta Agua is a restaurant with posters around Truth or Consequences.
- Daniel Powell was the "approving officer" on one of the Truth or Consequences closed case files.
- The file pertains to Callum Darbyshire (born 1993), living under the address 10 Fictional Close, NM.
- It also details a witness: Daniel Thornes (born 12/21/1993), living under the address 72 Made Up Crescent, NM.
- According to the statement, Derbyshire was placed under arrest after exhibiting "loud [..] behaviour under the influence of alcohol, towards other members of the public". Powell and his partner confronted Darbyshire. The offender attempted to assault a police officer, but was subdued and attained. The officers "gave him his rights and took him into custody".
- A portrait of the First Doctor hangs in the Unit Safe House in South London.
- The Doctor plays Amazing Grace on his guitar.
- The Doctor refers to Jemima and Claudette as "Monster High" and "Cinderella" based on their backpacks.
- The Doctor gives a Richard Nixon double peace sign pose before boarding Boat One
- He gets "Harriet Jones-ed" by being told repeatedly "Yes, we know who you are."
- Clara's voicemail greeting says she's either on the tube or in outer space.
- As "Clara", Bonnie claims she heard about Truth or Consequences being named after the TV series Truth or Consequences on the game Trivial Pursuit.
- A poster in Osgood's office says that the White House has appointed an alien ambassador.
- The Doctor gave the Osgoods an Osgood Box that was only to be used in the Nightmare Scenario and if Operation Double was broken.
- Osgood has the TARDIS phone number. She uses a question mark as its contact photo.
- The Zygon rebels have training camps.
- The Zygons use pods to contain humans.
- Places the Zygons have been dispersed include the Mexico border, North Asia, West Africa and Australia.
- 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.
- Fuerteventura ("New Mexico" scenes)
- 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.
- The human/Zygon treaty is referenced. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) Since then, a version of Osgood has died. (TV: Death in Heaven) The Doctor is apparently aware that there were two Osgoods.
- Kate mentions a previous attempt at invasion by the Zygons which occurred in the 1970s or 1980s. (TV: Terror of the Zygons)
- The Doctor mentioned that he snogged a Zygon once (as the Tenth Doctor). (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- The Doctor and Kate talk about there always having been two Osgoods ever since the ceasefire. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- Kate wants to bomb areas of the Earth, and the Doctor asks if that's always the solution. She almost detonated a nuclear bomb beneath London when she first encountered the Zygons. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- The Doctor plays his electric guitar. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice, Before the Flood, The Woman Who Lived)
- Osgood continues her tendency to wear clothing suggestive of outfits worn by the Doctor. (TV: The Day of the Doctor, Death in Heaven) In this case, she wears question marks on her shirt lapels. She also reminds the Doctor that he used to wear question marks on his clothes (TV: The Leisure Hive-Survival)
- The Doctor says he never stopped wearing question marks, as he wears question mark underpants. His eighth incarnation wore question-mark boxer shorts, suggesting his war, ninth, tenth, and eleventh incarnations also did. (PROSE: Seeing I, COMIC: The Glorious Dead)
- A weapon called the Z-67, confiscated by the Doctor, was invented by Harry Sullivan shortly after he stopped travelling with the Fourth Doctor. (TV: Terror of the Zygons) Harry Sullivan was mentioned as having worked at chemical and biological weapons facility Porton Down. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
- Clara is once again shown has having authority with UNIT up to and including being able to command UNIT soldiers to use deadly force. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice)
- Clara is kidnapped by the Zygons and replaced with a Zygon duplicate called Bonnie. Kate Stewart and Osgood were both copied (TV: The Day of the Doctor), as was Harry Sullivan (TV: Terror of the Zygons) and Lucie Miller. (AUDIO: The Zygon Who Fell to Earth).
- The Doctor wears his sonic sunglasses. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice / The Witch's Familiar, Under the Lake / Before the Flood, The Girl Who Died / The Woman Who Lived)
- The Doctor resumes his title of President of Earth, and requests use of his presidential plane just so he can "ponce around". (TV: Death in Heaven, COMIC: The Hyperion Empire)
- Clara's flat (or, at least, the building) is seen. (TV: The Time of the Doctor, Listen, Dark Water, COMIC: The Fractures) She no longer appears to be living in the same building as seen in TV: Last Christmas.
- Hybrids are mentioned, referring to the Zygon dopplegangers. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice / The Witch's Familiar, The Girl Who Died)
- Clara has been impersonated by an enemy before. (PROSE: The Crawling Terror)
Home video releases
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- ↑ Coleman also plays Bonnie while she impersonates Clara.
- ↑ Oliver plays both the human and the Zygon members of Operation Double. Both are seen together in the recorded video messages.
- ↑ Think I was just left off the credits of Doctor Who just now. I did the Zygon voices. If I'm mistaken, apologies. Credits move so fast ;-) - Nicholas Briggs on Twitter
- ↑ Credited on the DVD and Blu-ray version, as well as in DWMSE 42, but not on broadcast.