Last weeks The Zygon Invasion was a very good start for this two-parter, setting up all the necessary ingredients for a delicious part two, and The Zygon Inversion does not drop the ball with this quality. Thus leading not just to a tasty 45 minutes of Doctor Who, but to an episode that just leaves you incredibly satisfied by the time the credits roll, whilst at the same time being unsatisfied because it makes you want to see even more Doctor Who straight away.
Whilst a lot of kudos must be given to Steven Moffat and Peter Harness for creating such a fantastic episode on paper, true thanks must go to Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman for bringing this episode to live so excellently. Capaldi is an absolutely incredible actor, but his talents have been mainly underutilised so far during his reign as The Doctor. We saw during brief moments in the series his deepest acting capabilities, yet in The Zygon Inversion, these capabilities are allowed to shine brightly throughout.
Let’s not forget Jenna Coleman’s performance too. She’s pulling double-duty throughout the episode as both Clara, and her Zygon counterpart, Bonnie. Every thinkable emotion was portrayed wonderfully by Coleman; anger, vulnerability, sadness, resilience being amongst my favourites.
Osgood fans should be very happy with this episode because we finally got some character development for her. And it happened! The Doctor invited Osgood on board the TARDIS- but she rejected him. I know, surprise right! However, this was undoubtedly serious character development for her. For as long as I can remember, her biggest dream was to travel with The Doctor, but she’s realised that her priority now has to be on protecting the Earth, showing how she’s clearly evolved as a character, by putting others before herself.
All those in favour of an Osgood spin-off please raise your hand!
I had previously mentioned that the only thing that I felt lacking in The Zygon Invasion was that it didn’t pose the moral questions, like Harness’ previous episode, Kill The Moon, had. However, this quibble certainly doesn’t apply to this episode, as this may be the most morality based Doctor Who episode in years. During a spine-tinglingly superb scene towards the end, based around the mysterious Osgood boxes, The Doctor heart wrenchingly discusses the futility of war, and the importance of diplomacy; themes that are so relevant and applicable to today’s society, and also very close to the heart of The Doctor.
What was one of my favourite aspects of The Zygon Inversion was that the conflict was resolved in such an understated way, but it didn’t make you feel as though you had been undersold. We didn’t get big explosions, or impactful deaths. All we needed for a five-star ending was great dialogue and fabulous acting, both of which were delivered in spades.
Remember a few weeks ago, how I was jubilantly raving about how fantastic the final 10 minutes of The Girl Who Died was? Well, the final 20 minutes of The Zygon Inversion is like that- just on steroids. Although, thankfully, unlike The Girl Who Died (my least favourite episode of the series), The Zygon Inversion is a fantastic quality throughout the entirety of the episode, but it is risen to a stratospheric level in the final act; making it easily my favourite, and probably the best episode of this already brilliant series.