I didn’t even bother watching Doctor Who this week because I felt like I had enough after the beginning of the season but as all Doctor Who fans tend to know you just can’t help it.
So Zygon’s are back after their treaty in Day of the Doctor?
Right first off how dare anyone play with my emotions by having a flashback with Matt Smith in it as Eleven!!!
Also I truly wish that I never knew that Osgood was back because I would have cried if it hadn’t been so wildly publicized. I do love that character and I love that she’s a real fan of the Doctor.
The episode was amazing and I think half the reason it was so amazing was because it touched home so well. I didn’t like his episode from last season, which I think was the big turning point for me watching Season 8, the fact that regardless of whether or not he intended to write a episode that seemed to talk about abortions etc it felt heavy handed and like he then told us the “right” answer to his question. Of course I’ve read that he never intended that to be the case. In this instance though I’m not sure we can truly say it was a coincidence that so much of the episode shadowed current events.
Even away from the political theme so much of the episode was just so much better then anything we’ve had really in this series. As Before the Flood proved though a second episode can ruin a first episode if it drags the story down. The acting was just so much better and it was nicer to see Clara step back and not be the know-it-all that tells UNIT what to do. Though Clara herself is another matter altogether. The Doctor is still too caught up in Clara though, the sooner she goes the better.
It was interesting having different points of interest telling different parts of the story. It plays on a paranoia that the media loves to stir right now.
You had the Doctor and his team trying to go to war against people they knew. Of course the Zygons were using that to play to their empathy, and I understand why some people didn’t like the scene in front of the church feeling that the troops should have been more prepared and realized that it was a plot by the Zygons, personally though I loved it. Its easy to say you KNOW something but what do we really know? Shapeshifters like Zygons have been used in this way since Shapeshifters were created and there is a good reason why a good Shapeshifter can be the most terrifying “villain” of all. Do you really know that woman wasn’t going to be a Zygon? Because we had the whole picture of course WE knew that but if you were face to face with your mother would you be so sure?
Its a interesting contrast to the fear mongering that ISIS is using the Immigration crisis to smuggle in ISIS fighters to Europe.. You lose all sense of proportion and have to question yourself. Yes all these people coming in look and act just like us and the people we know but do we really know who the person is deep inside? Its a common train of thought that the media likes to pull when talking about things like that. Yes you’ve lived next to your neighbour for 10 years and he hasn’t done anything, but he’s different therefore at any given moment he COULD hurt you because of his difference. The media would have you throw away your humanity and believe everyone claiming asylum, anyone trying to run from war COULD be a enemy to us. In hindsight, and because we knew we weren’t going to get any “good” Zygons in this episode (other then possibly Osgood) it was obvious that these people were going to be “bad” Zygons but in reality you just don’t know! The question is do you then shoot the unknown or let them prove themselves with the risk of getting hurt yourself?
Obviously it had to take it a step further and introduce their families because its easier to have to rethink when its someone you know then when its a stranger trying to persuade you, a good plan by the Zygons. Personally I would have found it more interesting if they HAD stumbled onto a camp of peaceful Zygons who DIDN’T attempt that trick but tried to reason with them as strangers.
For me Kate’s trip felt much like the whole rhetoric “They came over here with no money… etc etc” just this time it was the “British” (Zygons) that were unwanted. It also gave you a look into the way the “problem” was handled and how the immigrating Zygons as it is, were just left to their own devices and therefore suffered because they were just shifted away from sight and told to integrate.
Then you had Clara. Clara was much more the sci-fi part of the story, the actual invasion itself. Showing the roots that the minority group had planted and how far the invasion had actually came.
The episode was perfectly paced with such interesting themes to explore, some downright scary moments and brilliant acting.
I loved the look of anything Zygon, everything looked so organic yet so… I don’t even know the word for it, there was something so alive about anything the Zygons had/did/used that it just felt like something Zygon-ish could erupt from my floor and start…. Covering me in some Zygonic slime. I remember when the Zygons photo came out when it was announced they’d be used in the 50th anniversary and people laughed asking how could THEY look terrifying? Well they don’t need to LOOK it to BE it. I was slightly disappointed that they were so tame in the anniversary, the show being more to do with the moral question before the Doctor then the Zygon invasion itself, but this episode they were scary.
By the end of the episode I had to remember to breath because it just hit me so hard. Quite like the Cyberman episodes at the end of the last season I was taken with just how brave they were to just kill people off. Not that a show would be brave to kill people but Doctor Who in recent years has been so against killing people on screen (or on screen/off screen) and KEEPING them dead that it was a bit of a shock to see so many piles of dead dust in one episode.
Clara was much better utilized in the episode and the character and the Doctors undying love for her didn’t bog it down at all. Jemma Redgrave was once more superb as Kate Stewart but it really for me was Ingrid Oliver as Osgood and Jaye Griffiths as Jac that really made the episode. I have always felt like Osgood has been the perfect love note to fans the world over, she’s cool and intelligent and just loves the Doctor I’m hoping her part is bigger in the next episode. Jac and her slow realization of what was happening was perfect.
I get the feeling I’m missing something and I also get the feeling I’m probably babbling so I’ll leave it on that.
WHAT A CLIFFHANGER!