TARDIS Index File

The Zygon Inversion (TV story)

58,975articles in progress
Add New Page
Talk9 Share
The Zygon Inversion
The Zygon Inversion doctor and osgood
Doctor: Twelfth Doctor
Companion(s): Clara
Featuring: Osgood, Kate
Main enemy: Bonnie, Truth or Consequences
Main setting: London, 21st century
Key crew
Writer: Peter Harness
Steven Moffat
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Producer: Peter Bennett
Release details
Story number: 257b
Season/series: 9
Premiere broadcast: 7 November 2015
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x50 minute episode
←Previous Next→
Doctor Who television stories
The Zygon Invasion Sleep No More
Production order
The Zygon Invasion Face the Raven
Official trailer
The Zygon Inversion Trailer - Series 9 Episode 8 - Doctor Who - BBC00:26

The Zygon Inversion Trailer - Series 9 Episode 8 - Doctor Who - BBC

Memorable moment
Good Clara vs Bad Clara - The Zygon Inversion Preview - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8 (2015) - BBC00:39

Good Clara vs Bad Clara - The Zygon Inversion Preview - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8 (2015) - BBC

Another memorable moment
Zygon Transformation - The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who - BBC01:54

Zygon Transformation - The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who - BBC

One more memorable moment
The Doctor's Speech - The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who - BBC04:13

The Doctor's Speech - The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who - BBC

Behind the scenes video
Introduction to The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8 (2015) - BBC00:53

Introduction to The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8 (2015) - BBC

More behind the scenes stuff
Steven Moffat's teaser to The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8 (2015) - BBC00:33

Steven Moffat's teaser to The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 8 (2015) - BBC

Another behind the scenes moment
Human or Zygon - Doctor Who Series 9 (2015) - BBC00:35

Human or Zygon - Doctor Who Series 9 (2015) - BBC

The Zygon Inversion was the eighth episode of the ninth series of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales.

This episode saw the Twelfth Doctor describe the immense pain he felt while fighting in the Time War in an emotional and angry speech for the first time since his predecessor discovered that the War Doctor had not destroyed Gallifrey in The Day of the Doctor. It also revealed that there are two Osgood Boxes, and their design is based on that of the Moment; this symbolises how the Doctor nearly destroyed his entire race with a box in The Day of the Doctor, just as Kate and Bonnie were about to destroy theirs.

It did not elaborate if the human Osgood or Zygon double was still alive, instead having Bonnie fill the vacancy in the form of a replacement double for the one of the two who had been killed by Missy in Death in Heaven. Osgood explains that she can be either version; Zygons don't need the person that they copy if their memories are unneeded. In a behind the scenes extra, Ingrid Oliver, who played Osgood, has chosen which of the original Osgood duo is left; she keeps which one she picked a secret.

It also saw a new way of Zygon-transformation for the first time, showing the immense pain of a lengthy forced transformation from human-form into Zygon-form.

This episode also deals with the concept of war, and the consequences of it. As the Doctor points, no matter how many lives are lost or what destruction ensues, it always boils down to both sides sitting down for negotiation.

Synopsis Edit

With the splinter group of Zygons now ahead of the Doctor, there is only one thing standing in their way of obliterating the human race and taking the Earth for themselves: a moral dilemma!

Is Bonnie willing to compromise the peace already in place, just for the sake of Zygons not needing to hide, even if it means making enemies not only of humanity, but of her own race?

Plot Edit

Clara awakens in her apartment, deciding to get ready for the day; however, when she tries to brush her teeth, she finds black gunk coming out of the toothpaste tube. Tossing it aside, Clara soon hears Bonnie's voice taunting the Doctor, finding her living room television filled with static. She quickly checks a magazine, finding it filled with gibberish, except for the words she hears Bonnie speaking; she's dreaming. Running through her apartment, Clara finds walls blocking her door and windows. In the real world, Clara spasms as if trying to wake up.

Grabbing a remote, Clara manages to have her television show her what Bonnie is looking at; Bonnie has Boat One in the cross-hairs of a bazooka. Realizing the Doctor is in danger, Clara knocks her television over. As a result, Bonnie's arms fly to her left the moment she fires the rocket, changing its trajectory. It flies just past Boat One, with the Doctor and Osgood noting that she missed them.

Bonnie passes this off as a spasm, reloading her bazooka. Seeing that Bonnie is targeting the Doctor again, Clara tries to toss the television aside again, but finds it stuck. Frantically thinking, Clara tries using her link with Bonnie to force her to hold off on firing another shot. Finding herself losing, Clara bites her finger, hoping to stop Bonnie; however, the Zygon gets her shot off and blows up Boat One successfully this time. Bonnie smiles at the smoldering remains of the plane falling through the sky.

Later, members of Truth or Consequences have murdered more humans in London, and covered the area with their symbol as a message. Returning to their human forms, most lounge around the area while one in the form of sanitation engineer sweeps up the remains of their victims. A man, Etoine, is running in fear with his shopping bags; he trips, losing his shopping. Fearful of what's behind him, he leaves the bags behind and runs into the nearby apartment complex. Moments later, Bonnie approaches calmly, with a smile on her face.

Etoine gets to his home and locks the door; hearing a knocking, he looks out to see Bonnie. He runs further inside, as Bonnie forces the door open; she corners him in his living room. It turns out that Etoine is a Zygon. Bonnie tells him that the humans will never accept them for who they really are, and that he will be the first to make them see. Despite his pleas to leave him alone, Bonnie zaps his head, prompting Etoine to flee. She follows with a dark smile on her face.

Outside, Etoine asks his fellow Zygons to help him maintain his disguise, but they ignore him because they work for Bonnie. Unable to keep his human form, Etoine completely reverts back to Zygon form; hoping to avoid causing a panic, he runs into the nearest building.

Bonnie films Etoine

Bonnie films Etoine

Unknown to Etoine, Bonnie was merely using him as a pawn; she recorded his transformation. She posts it on the internet to spread panic and paranoia among the humans, hoping to force the rest of the Zygons to join the splinter group. With this task done, Bonnie informs Truth or Consequences that she is heading to the UNIT HQ to retrieve the Osgood Box to ignite a war.

At the same time, Clara reviews Bonnie's memory of seeing Boat One explode. She pauses it and looks closer at the scene. Two dots are seen falling away the moment the plane exploded; she smiles, realizing that the Doctor parachuted away from the plane right as it blew up.

On a beach, Osgood frees herself from her chute and notices her glasses are broken. The Doctor asks her if she has any question, to which she asks about the Union Jack on his chute; he responds that it's camoufluge for being in Brittan. He offers Osgood his sonic sunglasses in the meantime, telling her not to look at his user history; she finds the idea of sonic eye-wear silly. She then catches him talking nonsense to distract her, one of his best known traits. Osgood then tells him that Bonnie made the mistake of giving him a chance; if she wanted to takeover Earth, she would kill him outright with a bullet between the eyes for each regeneration and not let him talk. The Doctor notes how oddly prepared Osgood is for that scenario; she tells him it's because she's such a big fan.

As the Doctor and Osgood trek on, she notes that it's rather odd that Bonnie didn't blow them up with her big bazooka. However, the Doctor retorts "this is us blown up by a big bazooka". Osgood explains that if Bonnie had Clara's memories, she would know better than to give him a chance as that will come back to haunt her. Realizing the Doctor has gone silent because she's mentioned Clara, Osgood asks how he's feeling; the Doctor says he's still in his "hope phase". When Osgood asks him how that is, he tells her it's Hell and to change the subject.

Elsewhere, Bonnie is walking through the streets. Unknown to her, Clara uses their link to manipulate her right hand; Clara is using her phone to text. The Doctor gets the text, which says "I'm awake.' Wondering if it means a political awakening, he becomes confused as to why the Zygon is sending him propaganda if it thinks it blew him up. However, Osgood tells him that it came from Clara, telling the Doctor that she's fighting back. She asks how his hope phase is, to which the Doctor says is worse than ever. Smiling, Osgood tells him that they have a game now.

Bonnie enters the UNIT base and opens a safe behind the portrait of the Doctor's original incarnation. She finds a laptop inside and turns it on. A message from the two Osgoods plays, explaining that if they were captured and interrogated, they gave up the location of this laptop. However, the Osgood Box is not there; they firmly explain that it's the truth and further looking would be a waste of time. They smile, asking the watcher if they've figured out why it's called an Osgood Box. Seething with anger, Bonnie snarls and tosses the laptop to the ground, stomping on the worthless device until it's in small pieces.

Back on the beach, the Doctor and Osgood see a police car. Racing up to it, the Doctor passes himself off as "Dr John Disco", telling the officers that his plane blew up, but there's nothing to worry about. However, the officers don't appear that surprised by what he's telling them. Worrying that they may be Zygons from the splinter group Truth or Consequences, the Doctor and Osgood begin walking away. However, another pair of officers begin approaching from where they came from.

Osgood video calls Clara's phone, surprising Bonnie that they're still alive. Taking the phone, the Doctor asks what the plan is, only for Bonnie to say she doesn't have one; he tells "you don't invade a planet without a plan; that's why they're called planets, to remind you to plan it." Bonnie asks him where the Osgood box is, winking due to Clara trying to signal the Doctor. Thinking the Zygon is flirting with him, he states "I'm old enough to be your messiah".

However, Bonnie insists that she isn't winking; realizing it's Clara, the Doctor tells Osgood to use the sonic sunglasses to break into a nearby van. As Clara wouldn't know morse code, the Doctor learns from her winks (which stand for "yes") that her pod is in London; he then tells Clara not to let the Zygon know what's in her mind. Boarding the van, he is told by Osgood that obviously Bonnie heard that; he smiles, knowing that - "The mind of Clara Oswald; she'll never find her way out."

At the Zygon nest, Bonnie approaches the pod holding Clara and telepathically talks to her; Bonnie appears on the TV screen in Clara's dream. Clara uses the link to force Bonnie back to Zygon form briefly. However, upon saying she's a great liar, Clara is shocked by the news that Bonnie shares her pulse and will be monitoring it to make sure she's telling the truth. Bonnie interrogates her, learning that the Osgood Box is at the Black Archive under the Tower of London, and that Clara does has access. Bonnie is then surprised to learn Clara can't give her the access, because she already has it; she has Clara's boydprint, so she automatically has access. However, Clara taunts Bonnie, saying that even though she's given this information, the Zygon will still need her. "Kate" arrives, explaining that the Doctor is on his way; Bonnie orders that he be copied, if possible, but disposed.

Seeing the video Bonnie posted on the Internet, the Doctor and Osgood head to find the Zygon she attacked in the south London shopping centre the Fleet Estate Centre. They find several piles of dead people. The Doctor asks Osgood for her first name, but she asks for his; going with "Basil", the Doctor learns her full name is Petronella Osgood. Not liking it, he tells her they should stick to what they had. They see Etonie and run after him. Cornered, Etoine explains he was just defending himself. Having trouble keeping his human form due to the zap Bonnie gave him, he says he didn't want to be a part of their war.

The Doctor and Osgood try calming him and offering help; however, he thinks they may be more of Bonnie's stooges. Not wanting to live under the rule of Truth or Consequences, Etoine kills himself out of fear. Kate arrives with two guards, telling the Doctor and Osgood that she knows where the nest is; it's also where Clara's pod is. The Doctor is elated by the news, telling Kate to lead the way.

The Zygon Inversion doctor and osgood

The Doctor and Osgood, surprised by Kate

At the Black Archive, Bonnie is amused she got waved through due to looking like Clara; Clara's pod is wheeled in by her guards. At the Zygon nest, Kate attempts to show the Doctor where Clara's pod was. However, the Doctor then realizes that he just walked into a trap. Bonnie calls to gloat, but soon finds out why the device is called the "Osgood" Box - there's two of them. Bonnie has Clara awakened, but learns she doesn't know which of the boxes is the right one; Clara points out that Bonnie should have already known this because their minds are linked.

With Clara threatened, the Doctor is forced to tell Bonnie that the red one will revert the Zygons to normal, while the blue one kills them. However, much to Bonnie increasing anger, there are two buttons in both boxes, and the each say Truth and Consequences. "Operation Double, two Osgoods; what did you expect?" the Doctor laughs. He refuses to tell which button does which, making Bonnie order his exectution. However, Kate shoots the Zygons instead. A surprised Doctor asks who she is, to which Kate says "I'm me". When the Zygon attacked her back in New Mexico, Kate emptied her gun into it and took its place to get close to Bonnie.

Angered, Bonnie is left to wonder which box to use. Clara tells her that she can't win; however, Bonnie voices the fact that she doesn't care. The Doctor, Osgood and Kate arrive, with the Doctor asking to be let to take the boxes away; without them, they can forgive and forget what has happened here. However, Bonnie is defensive, believing that she won't be forgiven for all the deaths she caused.

Kate goes over to the red box, ready to use it to defend the human race, while Bonnie goes to the blue one, ready to liberate the Zygons. The Doctor tells them that Bonnie's box will either cause the Zygons to revert to their true forms for an hour or cancels their ability to change form, thus making them human for good; Kate's box will either release "imbecile's gas" (a gas poisonous to Zygons created by Harry Sullivan) into the atmosphere or detonate the nuclear warhead beneath the Black Archive, destroying London. "There are safeguards beyond safeguards. I did this on a very important day for me. This ceasefire WILL stand."

Zygon guards (The Zygon Invasion)

Clara, held hostage

The Doctor asks Bonnie what it actually is that she wants, to which she answers: war. He then asks her to paint a picture of what the future will be like; will there be music, jobs, etc? As she can't give an answer, the Doctor scolds her, telling Bonnie that she's like every other tantruming child; she doesn't actually know what she wants. He further asks what will Bonnie do once everything is right and just, with all "the bad guys" gone, what will protect her "glorious revolution" from the next, because there will still be rebels in any species. When Bonnie says that they will continue to win, the Doctor says that they might, but NOBODY wins for long.

With both Kate and Bonnie willing to press their buttons on the gamble of a 50-50 chance, the Doctor can't resist making fun of the situation like a game show announcer; he then snaps at them, saying this is a scale model of war. The Doctor continues, saying no matter how right you feel at the beginning, you don't know who's going to die, whose families are going to be torn apart, who's lives are ruined forever. This situation is what it always boils down to: "Sit down and talk!" Bonnie accuses the Doctor of setting up the entire problem. They then get in a fight over what's fair, to which the Doctor points out is part of life. Bonnie still refuses to stand down, claiming that she will be punished for her revolution. The Doctor chides her, comparing her to a child thinking that they're unforgivable, yet he tells her that despite her atrocities that he forgives her.

When Bonnie says the Doctor could never understand her situation, the Doctor is incredulous, he tells her that this little squabble isn't a war; he fought in a bigger war than she will ever know. Growing more angry and traumatised as he remembers, the Doctor tells her that he did more horrible things that she can imagine and when he closes his eyes, he can still hear the countless screaming of the victims. Clara closes her eyes in response, having seen the Time War herself and knowing of the true horror the Doctor's seen. He tells Bonnie that what you do with this pain is to hold it tight until it burns your hands, and say: "No-one else will ever have to live like this. No-one else will ever have to feel this pain."


The Doctor sees that he's won Bonnie over

Bonnie is swayed by the Doctor's words, telling him she's figured out the boxes are empty; the Doctor says that she only knows this because she's started to think like him - "it's hell, isn't it.". However, Kate is less than amused; they know the boxes are empty now, so this can't work twice. Telling Kate that she's already scolded him 15 times, the Doctor again wipes her memory with the device in the ceiling; Bonnie's guards also had the memories wiped. Bonnie wondered how the Doctor was able to know she would side with him; he tells her it's because Clara got into her head, just like him. She helped him on the day he planned to use the Moment; Clara made him see a better way. Bonnie looks at Clara with a smile. The Doctor smiles at Bonnie, telling her that once Clara gets in your head, "she never leaves."

Bonnie returns to her nest, telling her comrades the revolution is over and that they're safe. Outside the nest, the Doctor asks Osgood to travel with him; however, she turns him down, saying that she needs to be around to make the Nightmare Scenario work out like this again. Per the Doctor's request, Clara hugs Osgood on his behalf. However, the Doctor is left bewildered that Osgood never thought of what the TARDIS stood for; he tells her it stands for "Totally And Radically Driving In Space". Clara boards the TARDIS, waiting for the Doctor to take her on another adventure.

The Doctor tells Osgood that he needs to know which she is: human or Zygon? Osgood smiles, telling him that she will answer that one day. To the Doctor's shock, another Osgood walks up, telling him that the day will be when the answer doesn't matter. The two of them explain that it wouldn't be OK to use Clara's face when there's a vacancy for an Osgood. Both of them say that it doesn't matter which is Osgood and which is Bonnie, only that Osgood lives. The Doctor tells them that they are a credit to their species. Both Osgoods reply that they're a credit to both species. Smiling, he tells them he's a fan of their work.

Back in the TARDIS, Clara asks the Doctor if he thought she was dead for a while. Solemnly, the Doctor states "Longest month of my life". Clara laughs, saying it could have only been for a few minutes. Pulling a lever, the Doctor tells Clara to let him be the judge of time.

After the TARDIS departs, both Osgoods decide to get ice cream before heading back to work.

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

  • The Doctor jokes to Osgood that his real name is "Basil".
  • The Doctor jokes that as he is over 2000 years old, he is old enough to be the Messiah.
  • The Doctor jokes around with Bonnie, using puns, calling himself "Doctor Pun-tastic".
  • The Doctor escapes the plane in a parachute with a Union Flag on it. Similarly, James Bond used a parachute with a Union Flag on it to sky-dive in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • The Doctor once created an invisible watch, which had an obvious terrible design flaw.
  • The Doctor keeps a browser history in his sonic sunglasses, and advises Osgood not to look at it.
  • Osgood says that if she wanted to kill the Doctor, she would do so quickly by shooting him in the head, twelve times if necessary, referring to his regeneration cycle.
  • The Doctor apparently has question marks on his underwear.

Clara Edit

  • Clara has apparently unfettered access to the Black Archive.
  • The newspaper in Clara's dream that she checks to ensure she's dreaming reads gibberish, indicating that to her it holds no significance.

Osgood Edit

  • Osgood's first name is revealed to be Petronella.
  • Osgood claims that she can be thought of as both human and Zygon, acting like a 'hybrid'.

Zygons Edit

Bonnie Edit

  • Bonnie is compared to a child having a tantrum by the Doctor.
  • Bonnie is nicknamed "Zygella" by the Doctor.

Conflict Edit

  • The Doctor likens Bonnie's proposed war on humanity to a game compared to the scale of the Time War.

Cultural references Edit

  • The Doctor affects an American accent and briefly impersonates a stereotypical game show host.
  • The concept of a box containing a secret that was revealed after the contestant chooses which button to push was an aspect of the real-life Truth or Consequences TV game show.

Story notes Edit

to be added

Ratings Edit

  • BBC One Overnight: 4.13 million
  • BBC America Overnight: to be added
  • Final UK ratings: 6.03 million

Filming location Edit

Maelfa Shopping Centre, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff

to be added

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.
  • When the Doctor, Clara, and Osgood arrive at the TARDIS, the Doctor is a few feet away from it. In the next shot, he is standing right next to it.
  • When the pod lid is taken off you can see Clara's hair is messed up but when the Doctor is talking to Bonnie and Kate her hair is bushed and neat.

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

to be added

Blu-ray releases Edit

to be added

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.