08th Nov2015

‘Doctor Who: 9×08 – The Zygon Inversion’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


Doctor Who annoys me, it is a show I love but it manages to disappoint me so much at times. Doctor Who: 9×08 – The Zygon Inversion at first raises many questions and feels like it is struggling to find its footing. Then with around twenty minutes to the end, becomes something very special for all fans of the show.

Carrying on from the The Zygon Invasion this episode becomes the typical “how will The Doctor get out of this?” type episode. Can he save the day or will the world descend into open warfare? Oh and how did The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) survive Clara’s (Jenna Coleman) attack anyway?

For most of the episode I found myself questioning why Clara had become Miss Roboto while all other Zygons managed to show some emotions. The answer to that one is never actually given. Getting past that, Inversion continues to run with the themes of terrorism and furthers the plans we saw in the first part of the story. While this at times seemed over complicated and felt like it was dragging itself along, it was making its way to something very special.

If you ever wanted to see why Capaldi was chosen to be The Doctor, the last twenty minutes of The Zygon Inversion gives the answer. As all the important people in this story are gathered together and The Doctor has them exactly where he wants them, Peter Capaldi puts on one of his best performances as The Doctor (but for a slightly dodgy American accent) and finally everything fits into place. Using the knowledge that fans have of him, have of this story and can relate to because of the world we live in a script has been woven that shows this show at its best. The fact that we have Capaldi to act it out shows how lucky we are.

Even though the conclusion of this episode is very good, and yes, it finally manages to hit the important themes spot on the weakness of the show is how to get there. As I’ve said in the past, you can’t have a weak first half of the episode only to rely on the conclusion to win the audience over. You will be won over, for sure but after you’ve thought about it you can’t get away from the glaring weaknesses in the story.

Now to Osgood, will she be the next companion? Probably not but she should get her own show. This episode ends in a way that almost teases that and once again I have my hopes up. All I can do is cross my fingers as I’m sure plenty of other Doctor Who fans will do too. Ingrid Oliver and her Osgood character(‘s) are quickly turning out to be one of the best things about the recent seasons of the show.

So does Doctor Who: 9×08 – The Zygon Inversion deliver? Yes, and no…but mostly yes. The conclusion to the story is very well done and Peter Capaldi shows why he is one of my favourite Doctors. The Zygon Inversion holds a mirror to society and raises many questions about terrorism that some people would probably not like to think about, and that is the sign of good television. Even The Doctor has a history of war as every fan knows, and that is the strength of this episode. A weak first half of the episode, but good second with a stellar performance from Capaldi makes this an episode that is a must watch.

**** 4/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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