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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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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
Doctor Who Season 9 - 'The Old Question Marks'01:39

Doctor Who Season 9 - 'The Old Question Marks'

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

Zygon Transformation - The Zygon Inversion - Doctor Who - BBC

One more memorable moment
Doctor Who Season 9 - The Doctor's War (Ep 8 Spoilers)04:51

Doctor Who Season 9 - The Doctor's War (Ep 8 Spoilers)

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, Bonnie corners a peaceful Zygon called Etoine, zapping him; unable to maintain his form, the Zygon accidentally transforms in public. He runs off into a shop to hide, while Bonnie smiles at the act, posting a video of the transformation on the Internet.

The Doctor and Osgood trek on, talking about the Zygons' abilities; the Doctor is then left a bit shocked when Osgood tells him that she would shoot him between the eyes for each regeneration, if she wanted him dead, to keep him from talking his way out of the situation. At the same time, Clara subtly makes Bonnie text the Doctor with a simple message "I'm awake"; the Doctor is confused by this, wondering if the message is political. However, Osgood realises that it means that Clara is aware of what's going on, despite being asleep in a Zygon pod; the Doctor then notes his hope is getting worse.

Seeing a police car, the Doctor and Osgood attempt to get help. Passing himself off as "Dr John Disco", the Doctor tells the police 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, but then realises that Clara is signalling him. Seeing an abandoned van, the Doctor has Osgood use the sonic sunglasses to open it; the Doctor manages to hot-wire the vehicle and they escape.

At the Zygon nest, Bonnie approaches the pod holding Clara and telepathically talks to her; Bonnie appears on the television screen in Clara's dream. Since they share a heart-beat, Bonnie will know when Clara's lying if her own pulse increases. Bonnie interrogates her, learning that the Osgood Box is at the Black Archive under the Tower of London, and that Clara 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 Etoine, who is having trouble maintaining his human form due to the zap Bonnie gave him; he says all he wanted was to live in peace, but Truth or Consequences wouldn't let him. The Doctor and Osgood try calming him, but the Zygon kills himself out of fear.

With Kate appearing with two guards, the Doctor and Osgood head into the apartment complex and find the secret elevator switch. Descending to the Zygon nest, they attempt negotiation with the fake Kate and her two guards. However, Kate shoots her guards, revealing that she's the real one; when the Zygon attacked her back in New Mexico, she emptied her gun into it. She took the Zygon's place to get close to Bonnie. Attempting to show the Doctor where Clara's pod is, Kate discovers that it's gone. The Doctor realises that Bonnie has taken her to the Black Archive.

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.

Comparing her to a child having a tantrum, the Doctor points out Bonnie hasn't thought ahead about the destruction her desire for war will bring; even if she wipes out humanity, there would still be trouble-making Zygons. With both Kate and Bonnie willing to press their buttons, the Doctor can't resist making fun of the situation in a game show announcer voice; he then snaps at them, saying this is a scale model of war. This situation is what it always boils down to: two sides sitting down to negotiation after too much suffering and death. After Bonnie says that the Doctor could never understand her situation, the Doctor launches into an agonised tirade, screaming at her that he fought in a war bigger than she could imagine and when he closes his eyes, he can still hear the screaming of the 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. However, Kate is less than amused. 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". However, at that moment, a second Osgood appears, saying that the day she will answer if she's human or Zygon is the day that nobody cares about the answer. the two of them explaining 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.

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

Facts about "The Zygon Inversion (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:The Zygon Inversion doctor and osgood.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 (prop master) +
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 + and Steven Moffat +

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