DWO’s Spoiler-Free preview of episode 9.8: The Zygon Inversion:
There’s always a worry in the back of your mind with a two-part story; will the second half live up to the promise of the first? It’s fair to say that last week’s The Zygon Invasion was met with near universal praise, and we’re glad to say that The Zygon Inversion doesn’t… um… invert that.
If last week’s episode was all about showing us the action of the Zygon revolution, with lots of death and destruction, this week focuses more on the individuals caught in the crossfire. We get to see some very real arguments both for an against the Zygon cause, and they come from a range of sources. People complaining that the Doctor keeps bringing up the ‘good’ Zygons without presenting any as evidence should be pleased to find that we get to check in with some of the less extreme viewpoints of our alien neighbours.
Peter Harness has crafted a story in these two episodes that follows in the footsteps of a great Doctor Who tradition; shining a light on current political issues, and refracting them through the eyes of the Doctor and those who travel with them. Many recent events are touched upon in this week’s episode, and it’s fair to say that it’s presented as a balanced view, giving us one of the finest scripts to come out of the programme for a very long time. In many ways, this feels like a throwback to the Russell T. Davies era of the programme, with a large-scale alien threat to modern-day Earth, yet with characters put front and centre against that backdrop of the end of the world.
It’s held up by some fantastic central performances at the heart of the story. Peter Capaldi gets what many seem to be describing as his ‘Doctor moment’, in a scene that really opens up the part for him, and allows him the chance to show us what he’s made of. It’s perhaps the most emotion that this incarnation has been allowed to show to date, and it’s because of that the the entire sequence is very moving and very raw. Praise should also be given to Jenna Coleman, who manages to make her Zygon duplicate a distinct enough character in their own right, to the point that on a second watch, I completely forgot she was even a regular - it’s one of the finest guest turns we’ve seen in a while!
And then, of course, you’ve got the fate of the Osgoods, but did you ever really think it was going to be that simple?
Five things to look out for:
1) "We will die in the fire instead of living in chains"
2) We find out the names of two important characters.
3)"Nobody wins for long"
4) Count your Osgoods.
5) This is toothpaste.
[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]