TARDIS Index File

The Zygon Inversion (TV story)

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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
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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

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, even from the story's co-writer and executive producer Steven Moffat.[source needed]

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. It also shows Zygons can now read the minds of their enemies and take the form of their loved ones; using this method, they can disarm their enemies and leave them vulnerable.

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 what seems to her apartment. However, she soon finds many inconsistencies with her home, such as the lack of windows and being unable to leave. Clara checks a magazine, finding it filled with gibberish; she's dreaming. She soon hears Bonnie's voice as the television in the living room turns on, showing exactly what she sees. Clara, realising that the Twelfth Doctor is in danger, forces minimal control over Bonnie, making her miss her first shot with a rocket launcher.

Bonnie pays no mind to this, thinking she slipped up; she fires another rocket at Boat One, this time destroying it. Though Bonnie thinks the Doctor is dead, Clara pauses the image on her TV, zooming in on the shadows of the Doctor and Osgood falling away from the smoke: the Doctor is alive!

On the ground, Osgood removes her parachute, only to find her glasses have been broken in the fall. The Doctor manages to free himself of his own, which has a Union Jack printed on it; he explains its for being incognito in the UK. The Doctor gives Osgood his sonic sunglasses, allowing her their use until she obtains a replacement pair of glasses. However, Osgood points out how silly sonic eyewear is, comparing it to "visual hearing".

Elsewhere, members of Truth or Consequences have murdered more humans in London. Having returned to human form, most lounge while another sweeps up the remains. The area has been covered in graffiti of their symbol. A man, Etoine, is shown running with his shopping bags; tripping, he leaves them and continues running into his flat. Walking calmly behind him is none other than Bonnie.

Etoine gets to his home and locks the door, running into his living room. Hearing a loud knocking, and then a crash, Etoine shivers in fear. Bonnie surprises him, having broken down his door. Telling Etoine she knows he is a Zygon, Bonnie tells him that the humans will never accept them; he will be the first to make them see them for who they are. 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, as his disguise starts to fail. Changing, back completely, Etoine flees into the nearby market. Bonnie records his transformation and posts it on the internet to spread panic and paranoia among the humans.

The Doctor and Osgood trek on, with her noting it's odd that Bonnie didn't blow them up. However, the Doctor retorts "this is us blown up by a big bazooka". Osgood points out 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". Osgood then goes on to explain that if it was her, she would have made sure to shoot him between the eyes, not let him talk his way out of it, and as many times as he has regenerations. The Doctor notes that Osgood has really planned this out; smiling, Osgood says it's because she's a big fan of his.

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 tosses the laptop on the ground and stomps it into 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. 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.

Bonnie video calls the Doctor, trying to get him to surrender; however, Clara makes Bonnie wink repeatedly, making the Doctor think the Zygon is flirting with him. "I'm old enough to be your messiah" the Doctor points out. However, Bonnie insists that she is not winking at him; realizing it's Clara, the Doctor tells Osgood to use the sonic sunglasses to break into a nearby van. Knowing Clara doesn'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.

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. 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. Descending to the Zygon nest, Kate attempts to show the Doctor where Clara's pod, only to find it gone. However, the Doctor then realizes that he just walked into a trap. The guards change back to Zygons, but are shot dead by Kate. 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 its place to get close to Bonnie. Kate wonders where Clara is, to which the Doctor already knows: the Black Archive, where the Osgood Box is held.

At the Black Archive, Bonnie learns why the device is called the "Osgood" Box - there's two of them. Bonnie has Clara awakened, but finds that 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. The Doctor, Osgood and Kate arrive; Kate and Bonnie each stand before a box, discovering that under lids each has two buttons labelled "Truth" or "Consequences". 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 Z-67 (a gas poisonous to Zygons created by Harry Sullivan) into the atmosphere or detonate the nuclear warhead beneath the Black Archive, destroying London.

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? Scolding her, the Doctor tells Bonnie that she's like every other child throwing a tantrum in history; 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 Truth or Consequences 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.

When Bonnie says the Doctor could never understand her situation, the Doctor tells her that this little squabble isn't a war; he fought in a bigger war than she will ever know. Growing more angry 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 screaming of the victims. Clara closes her eyes in response, having seen the Time War's victims. 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."

Bonnie is swayed by the Doctor's words, telling him she's figured out that 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 fifteen times, the Doctor again wipes her memory with the device in the ceiling. However, Bonnie was allowed her memories, so as to prevent this disaster again.

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 compliments the Osgoods that Osgood is a credit to her 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

to be added

Production errors Edit

  • 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

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