The Zygons, though a classic Doctor Who species, has never been given a bunch of credit despite being memorable. In fact, when they appeared in Day of the Doctor, many fans (myself included) believed they honestly weighed down the whole movie/special. Here though, in their first appearance since Day of the Doctor, they showed just how menacing they can.
“The Zygon Invasion” was done very well right from the start, as they recapped what happened in Day of the Doctor, and revealed via a “diary” tape of the Osgoods that the Zygons were now on Earth living peacefully. 20 million of them in fact. And now…things aren’t going well.
What really sold this episode for me was the tension. Especially as we had The Doctor, Kate Stewart, and Clara all split to handle different parts of the invasion. To finding those responsible, to finding Osgood (whichever one is left). And finding out what was happening under London and all over the world. The fear that “anyone” could be a Zygon was very well done. This kind of fear is very well known in the world today, with the idea that “enemies are everywhere!!!” it’s happened many times before, and to a degree it’s still there today.
Then of course, there was the reveal at the end that I would guess no one saw coming, with Clara (Bonnie) being a Zygon! True, she was taken earlier in the episode, but the way it was cut made you not think about it. And then with the Zygons systematically killing all of Unit (more or less), it showed just how far they were willing to go this go round.
The Doctor was of course, hilarious, from his guitar rendition of Amazing Grace (is the guitar going to be his trademark?), to his numerous calls, to his chat with Osgood and the Zygon, it was all great. Capaldi continues to shine.
That’s not to say this episode wasn’t full of holes per se. There were some “curious” moments that honestly didn’t work. The Zygon’s tricking the soldiers for instance really didn’t work in my mind. Cause the moment the “mother” couldn’t answer the questions, even though she should’ve been able to do it right off” showed just how dumb those soldiers were. They’re trained to fight aliens like this, so why did they break?
And yes, we all know the Doctor is going to live, how will be revealed soon no doubt. So why do they keep having him in these “he’s going to die!” cliffhangers when we know he won’t die?
I am looking forward to the conclusion of this arc, and the first part was well done. Let’s just hope it just have as many holes in it as this one.