Well, that wasn’t as grand of a spectacle to what I was expecting. But, Osgood and the Osgood Box (or should that be boxes?) really does save the day. We follow on from the invasion (which doesn’t really seem to be much of one. Radicalisation Of The Zygons would have been a good episode, but would it have been controversial?) and we see Zygon Clara about to blow up the plane which is holding The Doctor and Osgood. Obviously that fails and the duo make it back to land without a scratch. Now, a few police officers who are clearly Zygons look to capture The Doctor and Osgood, and the creep factor really is strong as they look to escape and get to London to save the world. So, we don’t know who is human and who is Zygon anymore. We only know that The Doctor is still the real one and that Osgood is still herself (but is she human or Zygon? It really is a great mystery). ‘The Zygon Inversion’ (or the title I came up with) gives a great dynamic which shows Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and shows he can make a great combination with any actor or actress (but, I wish he actually got more time with Rebecca Front again).
Zygon Clara is also interrogating Clara on where to find the Osgood Box as it can decide between starting a war and stopping one in its tracks. Meanwhile, The Doctor and Osgood find a man who was forcibly changed back into a Zygon by Zygon Clara and he is possibly the most dangerous character in this episode, he kills humans out of fear and not hatred. We get to see the side that The Zygons just want peace, and this small group could ruin everything. Clara is stuck in a pod while Zygon Clara (or Bonnie, why Bonnie?) is about to use the Osgood box. It’s at this time you really wonder if anyone wanted to write for Clara this series, Jenna Coleman has had some notable absences for majority of episodes and most of this two-parter has shown her as a different character. Anyway…we finally return to the Black Archive, where humans and Zygons last were together and the ceasefire was first set. The Doctor is pleading for the fighting to end and a showdown with Kate Stewart and a Zygon reflects the 50th anniversary episode perfectly. Though, we do feel the build-up was no way near as epic as you would hope it to be. Then we also get more questions for us to talk and debate for a long time to come.
The good thing we get from this two-parter is a lot of material about how The Zygons work, and how they can mutually share many attributes with the persons they imitate (including heartbeat, memories, thoughts and even their actions as noted on the attack on the plane). Whereas Zygon Clara got a great part to play, you feel bad for Jenna Coleman whose Clara seems to be really lacking at this point. Jemma Redgrave is still great as Kate Stewart, but she needs to be more primary in her episodes than secondary. Ingrid Oliver continues to be superb as Osgood, her character is effortless and I can see an alternative River Song coming through her. More Ingrid Oliver is always welcome. Peter Capaldi once again is the best performer of the show, he brings out The Doctor’s past and the emotion he shows to Zygon Clara is almost upsetting, and his conversation with Clara about missing her is a sad foreshadowing. Overall, I felt a little let down by this episode. The acting is superb and the writing is a massive improvement on this point last year when Peter Harness wrote ‘Kill The Moon’ (I know I gave it a favourable review at first, but the second view really killed for it for me. Pardon the little joke). The major gripe is the invasion is not an invasion, Clara felt very underused and I could just see that the conflict was not built up well enough for any real tension. But, I still really enjoyed the episode and the last 15 minutes of this episode is truly magnificent (and minimal use of the sonic sunglasses, which I think are ok but some people really hate them). A slight dip, but the third act and the acting saves it. Next week, we will see if we can ‘Sleep No More’…
Final Rating: 7.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove