Doctor Who started with a bang, literally, in the second part to “The Zygon Invasion,” “The Zygon Inversion,” I still can’t say it five times fast. There was that huge cliffhanger from the last episode, but spoilers sweetie, the Doctor lives!
If you thought the first episode was heavy, this one caved the floor in. As I said about the last episode, the parallels to current day events are palpable. If you didn’t make the connections you need to re-watch both episodes until you do. I was very happy to see the follow-up episode not only complement the first but really drive everything home at the end. It wasn’t just a solid finish, it was the grand finale with fireworks and champagne.
I want to start off with saying that these past two episodes beautifully exemplify the spirit of Doctor Who. Even with a topic that tends to be divisive, it is presented in such a way that you’re not only rapt in the content but also the emotions of the story. The story of the antagonizers wasn’t quite as developed as it could be, but the show is aimed at being from the perspective of the Doctor so that’s not terribly egregious. However, you still feel the loss of Clara as Twelve is in “hope phase,” the determination of Clara to get out of the Zygon prison, the desperation of the outed Zygon, and the conviction of Twelve as he tries to get people to think. From start to finish this story was compelling and powerful and superb.
It definitely couldn’t have been as superb if the actors weren’t as good as they were, and boy they were good. Twelve finally got his shot at the emotional convincing of people to not commit mass genocide against other people. This was his “No one dies” today, his standing triumph against fear and hate when everybody lives. Just this once. Did you catch the line that he’d done this 15 times before? Can we just immerse ourselves in the Whoverse and imagine Twelve having to make that same plea to the same people not to kill each other? Not tiring of the ignorance or absurdity of anything and still having that powerful conviction that people shouldn’t kill other people. That’s moving. And Capaldi nailed it. In every way, he could not have done better in these past two episodes. From deadpan puns to slobber-spitting arguments for peace, the range of his acting skills is impressive and his ability to pull it all off with such ease is phenomenal. Another point for Twelve’s house.
Oh Osgood, how I wish you would have said yes and been Twelve’s companion. Their chemistry was superb, Osgood being the die-hard Doctor fan to the point of sporting clothes inspired by him and the Doctor admiring her for her heart and determination, it was great. I enjoyed that we never found out if she was Zygon or human, and I hope we never will. I understand the Doctor was probably only asking because he’s the type that wants to know everything just to know, at least I’d like to give him credit enough that it wasn’t more than that.
Truth be told, I was fooled by the boxes for the first bit. But when buttons for Truth or Consequences came up, it clicked, why on Earth would the Doctor leave such a device for people to more than likely screw up? Plus he’d miss an opportunity to give a long-winded speech! He’d never give that up. More importantly, it’s heartwarming to know that even though they’ve been through that scenario over a dozen times, the conclusion has been the same. How touching of the Doctor to be so forgiving continually, even to Kate who continually finds herself in the same scenario every time, though unbeknownst to her.
I was sad to see we didn’t get a scene with two Twelves, the episode was moving and powerful and is another solid step for Capaldi upwards into the ranks of his predecessors. Clara has definitely survived quite a bit longer than expected, though I have a feeling she’ll be gone before the Christmas special. Who knows! I am definitely ready for a little bit lighter episode but it looks like we get no reprieve with a seemingly scary one next on the docket. Stay tuned!
What did you like/dislike about about “The Zygon Inversion?” Do you wish Osgood was a full time companion? Were you tricked by the Osgood boxes? Tell us your thoughts and reactions in the comments!