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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'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.

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?

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. 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. 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.

Kate Stewart

Kate defends herself

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 his Fourth and Seventh incarnations). The Doctor smiles, telling her that he didn't stop; his underpants have question marks. The Doctor tells Osgood that he will keep her secret; she's the original. If she was the Zygon that copied her appearance, she would have changed back in days after Missy killed her "sister".
Osgood confuses Twelve

Osgood states she is only "Osgood", refusing to answer whether she was the original or the Zygon double

However, Osgood counters the Doctor's theory; she can be either one of the duo, because the Zygons no longer need to follow their old rules.A Zygon can maintain the body print of someone they have copied if they no longer need to mimic their personality. 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.

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 Doctor Edit

Clara Edit

Osgood Edit

Zygons 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.

Ratings Edit

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

Filming location Edit

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • 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

References Edit

  1. Coleman also plays Bonnie while she impersonates Clara.
  2. Oliver plays both the human and the Zygon members of Operation Double. Both are seen together in the recorded video messages.
  3. 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
  4. Credited on the DVD and Blu-ray version, as well as in DWMSE 42, but not on broadcast.

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