Doctor Who S09E07: British Invasion

We begin with a helpful reminder of some of the events in the 50th Anniversary Special for those of us who mostly remember it for the Three Doctors thing and having to suffer through Billie Piper’s acting again.

There was, the show reminds us, this whole thing where Zygons existed and could take the shape of humans to hide themselves but the Doctors forced them to make a treaty with humans wherein they would stop trying to murder each other. In the process one of the Zygons because a permanent twin of Osgood, who you may remember got murdalized by Missy at the end of last season.

So the episode starts in earnest with a vlog from the two Osgoods talking about how UNIT decided it would be a super cool idea to let 20 million Zygons take human form and live on Earth and presumably breed with the populace which would make three reference now to human/alien hybrids which I’m sure won’t come up at all later. And the Doctor left behind some mysterious box to be opened in the event that somebody breaks the treaty and the Zygons and humans go to war.

Which (shockingly!) seems to have happened, as the remaining Osgood hides in a police station for long enough to shoot out a “We’re fucked” text to the Doctor before getting caught and forehead-lightning-zapped by a pissed off Zygon. The Doctor is very annoyed when he receives the text because it interrupted him in the middle of playing a very wanky guitar version of Amazing Grace.

His first course of action is to go sit on a swingset on a school playground looking very pervy in a hoodie and his GD sonic sunglasses. While creepily watching the children he leaves a voicemail for Clara, whose outgoing message mentions that she is probably either on the tube or in outer space which means she may be the least covert TV character since Buffy Summers.

He’s there to have a chat with two little pigtailed girls about how they’re not doing their job to uphold the cease-fire since of course they are Zygons in disguise. They’re like “Chill bro, we’re on it” but then a couple of non-hidden Zygons drop a smoke bomb and take the little girls away in a kidnap van at the same time that the Doctor gets a call from Kate Stewart about how the Zygons have declared war and stolen the map of where all the secret Zygons are and kidnapped the remaining Osgood.

He heads to a UNIT safehouse to watch an ISIS-y kidnap video of Osgood saying that the Zygons are going to destroy everybody and the Doctor tries to call Clara again but she is not picking up hopefully because she is busy getting some tail because girlfriend deserves some action.

But nope, she’s just riding home on her motorcycle. She sees she has 127 missed calls from the Doctor and starts to listen to them but is distracted by a little boy from her building who says he can’t find his parents. Instead of asking him for any useful information like where he’s looked and where they’re supposed to be or where he last saw them she’s like “Cool, I’m going to leave you here in this stairwell by yourself and go into your apartment to look for them.”

His dad finds her creeping his apartment and is like “?” so she says his son is outside looking for him. He doesn’t say anything and goes outside to grab the kid, who starts screaming while the mom creepily comes in and is like “Everything is fine, don’t worry about it.” Clara is like “Booyah, another problem solved, I’m awesome and those parents definitely aren’t Zygons!”

She finally calls the Doctor to get the scoop and joins him at the school where he was at the beginning of the episode because apparently those two little girls were the “Zygon High Command” and the school was where they kept the giant blobby thing that controlled all the Zygons or something. I don’t know. It looks gross and the Doctor pokes and prods at it and Clara asks him if it’s giving him a boner and he’s like “Eh maybe.”

They get another video from the Zygon kidnappers who are like “It’s bogus that we are forced to wear these disgusting human suits and we’re not super happy that we weren’t given a choice in it so now watch us murder the two little girls and dub ourselves the new Zygon High Command, assholes.”

After the video ends Kate is like “Yeah we know sort of where their base is so we’re just going to drop a big-ass bomb in its vicinity” and the Doctor is like “No thanks, I’m not into murder.” Clara joins in to add that in the videos the Zygons keep saying “Truth or Consequences” which aside from being a VERY cool terrorist catchphrase is also the name of a city in New Mexico. Another UNIT lady named Jac is like “Well that’s where the current Osgood ran off to after her twin’s death drove her nuts, what a coincidence!” The Doctor decides he will go to the area where the Zygon base is supposed to be to try to negotiate, Kate will go to New Mexico and see what’s up and Clara and Jac will hold down the fort at home.

After a quick parting conversation with Kate in which Kate tells her that once upon a time there was a special gas that could kill Zygons but the Doctor took it away, Clara decides she needs to pick up supplies from home and she and Jac see the kid from earlier being carted away in a burlap sack by his doppelparents. They run down the stairs to catch them when they come out of the elevator but unfortunately it is empty by the time it gets to the bottom. They go inside and discover the panel with the buttons is oozing because it has a Zygony blob inside it which Clara of course immediately touches because she is gross just like the Doctor. It transports them down to the tunnel from that episode last season with the monsters that sucked people into walls.

They go back to UNIT HQ and learn that there’s been weird shit happening all up in England’s elevators for a while.

Apparently the doppelparents weren’t the only people dragging body bags into them and then disappearing! Seems like if they already had the footage of this somebody should have been looking into it, but whatevs.

The Doctor makes it to the UNIT base in Zygonville and sees that they’re about to make some kind of drone strike on the Zygons. He’s like “Hellz no!” but luckily the drone pilot sees Zygon replicas of her husband and son standing outside the building she was about to bomb and calls it off. The captain of the base is like “We need that murder gas ASAFP” and the Doctor is like “Double no 7.”

Meanwhile in New Mexico Kate rolls up at the police station Osgood was abducted from that is deserted aside from one local cop who tells her about how all these random British people showed up one day without any money or practical skills and they were all weirdos and then some of them got murdered, no big deal, who even knows why, and then one of them turned into a monster and all hell broke loose and it’s like “Hmm, I think we may have discovered why the Zygons are pissed.”

The Doctor goes with the head honcho UNIT lady to a church where the Zygons are hanging out in Zygonville and there’s a whole SWAT team ready to kill them all while the Doctor looks for Osgood. But the Zygons all come out of the church looking like relatives of the soldiers and because the soldiers are complete dummies they decide to put down their weapons and go inside the church despite being fully aware that the Zygons can shapeshift.

So they all get killed and the UNIT lady is like “F this S, It’s bomb ‘o clock!”

The Doctor runs down into the basement and finds Osgood chained up. While he’s undoing her chains a Zygon pops in and is like “WHAT UP PARTY PEOPLE!” but before he can kill them UNIT starts dropping bombs and our new Zygon buddy gets knocked unconscious by some rubble.

They manage to escape with the napping Zygon and board the Doctor’s plane (which you may remember from last season when he was named President of Earth (don’t ask me why they travel in a plane instead of the TARDIS, it doesn’t make sense)). While waiting for their prisoner to wake up, the Doctor is like “So Osgood, are you human Osgood or Zygon Osgood?” and Osgood is like

She says that she and her dead twin were the physical manifestation of the treaty and that they were both essentially human-Zygon hybrids. When the Zygon prisoner wakes up the Doctor is like “Tell me what you want what you really really want” and he is like “I really really really really wanna Zygon Zygon this whole planet.”

Meanwhile Clara and Jac go back to the creepy underground tunnel with some backup and they find a whole nest of Zygon pods. Clara is like “We should destroy them all because these are clearly Zygon impostors growing in gross sacs” but Jac is like “I don’t really get it because Zygons don’t grow copies, these are probably the originals of people the Zygons copied” and they look into one and see Clara’s face and Clara is like “SURPRISE, DUMMIES! I’VE BEEN A ZYGON EVER SINCE I SNOOPED IN THAT KID’S APARTMENT LIKE AN IDIOT!”

She gets her Zygon buddies to murder everybody and then heads off to do some more nefarious Zygony things.

Things also go a bit sideways for Kate in New Mexico with the totally unsurprising revelation that her new cop friend is actually a Zygon. She explains how a baby Zygon accidentally was seen in its Zygon form and the people in the city decided they were all monsters and started killing them. So the Zygons murdered everybody in the town because why the hell not!

We cut away to Zygon Clara calling the fake lady cop, and what we are led to believe is a Kate clone answers and tells her that UNIT North America has been neutralized. Clara is like “Sweet booyah” and then goes out for a nice stroll while carrying some heavy weaponry. She stops where she has a good view of the plane and calls the Doctor to say “Hey boo, just so you know, Clara and Kate are dead and your plane is next” and then shoots a bazooka at it.


About catweazle

Catweazle is an 11th century wizard trying to make his way through the modern world while living in a disused water tower with his pet toad.
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10 Responses to Doctor Who S09E07: British Invasion

  1. hotspur says:

    I am so far behind in Dr Who, I didn’t let myself read this post. I just started the Capaldi ones — I guess I’m 2 in? I feel like this show is running out of gas. I do like Capaldi. Maybe I’m sick of the impossible girl. She was a big mystery and then it was sort of solved? I don’t remember the solution though. I remember thinking “Oh.” and then it never comes up again, apparently, that she was in all these different times and places saving him? Now she is just a regular companion? I dunno. This show — anyway, catweazle, as of today I will go back and read your old recaps, up to the point I’ve watched.

    • catweazle says:

      Clara gets so much better over the season you just started. That season as a whole is a million times better than the one before it. I came to love Clara very much, and she’s much better as a normal companion than as a ~*~mystery lady~*~

      • hotspur says:

        Okay, whew. I do like Jenna Coleman a lot, but it felt a bit like, “Well, we wrapped up her plot… now what do we do with her?” Good to hear they figure it out.

        You’re right about the previous season being a slog — man o man, I had a real hard time with some of those episodes. The old west one was terrible, and the whole Trenzalore arc started out fascinating (the disembodied head of a consul delivers a cryptic warning from the space catacomb!!!)… but it ended with Matt Smith turning into sort of Santa Claus for a thousand years? Yeah, I dunno, that wore me out.

        • catweazle says:

          Yeah I really didn’t like Matt Smith’s last episode. Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t really liked most of the Christmas specials. Christmas Invasion was boring because the Doctor was napping through most of it. The Titanic one was awful. The one with Donna’s wedding was a very bad introduction to Donna that made it really hard for me to get on board with season 4 at first. The other Matt Smith ones were marginally better with the exception of the last one.

        • hotspur says:

          Oh, but the Christmas Carol one where they keep waking up the girl once a year on the planet with airborne sharks, that is one of the all-time best episodes.

        • old man fatima says:

          The Christmas Carol one and the Narnia one were super good, but yeah. Nuts to the rest. (Season 8’s is pretty good too, so you have that to look forward to)

    • old man fatima says:

      I hated 90% of the writing in season 8, but catweazel is right that Clara gets way way way better. I like Capaldi as the doctor, I just wish they had written him better episodes! I think this season is better for the writing, but they gave him a bit too much freedom maybe and he is turning the doctor into a very embarrassing old man who is desperately clinging to relevance. But I still stand by liking Capaldi as the doctor.

    • Simon Spidermonk says:

      The Impossible Girl thing and its total lack of impact on Clara’s character makes me very angry, but Clara gets an actual character arc (of sorts) in the season you’re on, and the series going forward is a lot less up its own ass with the wannabe clever, season spanning plots that reduce characters to props and ultimately don’t make any goddamned sense when you think about them, so it’s easy to move past it. Matt Smith’s first season was a masterpiece but as a general rule, Steven Moffat needs to stay away from serialized storytelling, and he has been, so thanks Moffat. (I have to look up his name every time I type it. Why not two f’s and two t’s, or even one f and one t? What’s with this two f’s, one t bullshit? I take it back. Thanks for nothing, Mofffatt.)

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