Doctor Who “The Zygon Invasion” Spoiler-Free Preview


Leaving the woman who lived to get on with the rest of her very long life (and put into action whatever her mysterious plan is) the Doctor returns to present day Earth for a story that involves old enemies The Zygons. But not perhaps, in quite the way might be expecting. So what can we tell you about this Saturday’s Doctor Who episode, “The Zygon Invasion”, without giving anything away that you don’t know already?

1 It starts like a fairy tale but that doesn’t last very long at all.

2 This is the episode that some fans have been waiting for for over 10 years – it’s the kind of Doctor Who many old-school fans were hoping for before the relaunched show went for a more family entertainment angle instead.

3 It’s part urban thriller, part James Bond (Daniel Craig era), part Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (which isn’t a spoiler, honest… you must know the Zygons’ MO by now, surely?)

4 Osgood’s return is very satisfactorily explained. Then expanded upon. Then becomes one of the best things about the episode.

5 It’s incredibly tense in places.

6 And if you want gritty, you’ve got it – though that’s gritty through a prism of Who. It’s not Alien, it’s about as gritty as Who’s ever been.

7 The Doctor looks in danger of being arrested for loitering at one point.

8 You get to see at least five different Doctors.

9 The use of the Zygons is very clever. And that doesn’t mean gimmicky clever, but good writing clever.

10 Like in the Barry Letts/Pertwee era, it takes an issue in the news and dramatises is; sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly. Capaldi has never sounded so much like the third Doctor.

11 Is telling you that the cliffhanger is brilliant even necessary by now? Clearly this “season of to parters” was partly created to produce some of the best cliffhangers ever.

12 It’s a very good episode for Jenna Coleman.

13 Clara is not impressed with what the Doctor calls himself. He calls himself something even stranger later.

14 “It’s a Trivial Pursuit question.”

15 The Doctor makes use of something left over from series eight.

16 A past companion is referenced – though not named – in great piece of fan-pleasing continuity.

17  A rolling cliché of the western genre suddenly takes on a sinister new meaning… 

18 The Doctor claims he’s carrying on a tradition… but he keeps it well out of sight.

19 The rules have changed to stop “I think you’ll find…” fans (and the Doctor) making a logical leap.

20 Despite one spectacularly bad piece of casting (too much baggage) and and a couple of “huh?” moments this could well earn our first five-star review of the series so far. There’s a lot to love.


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  1. Callum says:

    Re No2. The series was al
    ways meant to be family entertainment, it was at its best when it was family entertainment in the past. Whether that be 1963/1973/2005. It was at its worst when it was aimed at a tiny number of fan boys as it was when it constantly gorged on its own cult

    • THX11384EB says:

      That’s not what the author means. He means it is in a more realistic, believable tone, as opposed to the dweeb fanboy schlock that currently infects the programme.

      • Dave Golder says:

        I’m merely acknowledging that there are a lot of fans who have a certain idea of what “Doctor Who” should be in their minds, and this about as near to it as they’re going to get. Yes of course it was always family entertainment – what I’m referring to is the fact that when it was off air for a decade and a half a lot of fans grew up and when the show came back they expected it to have grown up with them. To acknowledge that doesn’t mean that I agree with that point of view – just that I understand it.

  2. Cryer says:

    “Though that’s gritty through a prism of Who. It’s not Alien, it’s about as gritty as Who’s ever been.”…..

    Have you watched The Caves of Androzani, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, The Seeds of Doom, Vengeance on Varos…. etc? (I could go on and on)…. Doctor Who has been VERY gritty in the past, not just “through a prism of Who” but on any scale.

    • Dave Golder says:

      Um, are you really, truly, hand on heart saying any of those are as gritty as Alien? I simply didn’t want to oversell the “gritty” angle and give an incorrect impression – the “grittiness” has to be put into context. There’s no need to be oversensitive. And yes, I have seen them all many, many, many, many times.

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