Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion
Beware Possible Spoilery Bits Ahead
Okay, what is up with all my favorite series being so incredible all at the same time? I have never written a blog post so quickly before. That's how much I loved, loved, loved this epsiode. And because of one scene, it will be absolutely unforgettable. It's hard to believe that was the eigth episode of Doctor Who already. I liked "The Zygon Inversion" more than "The Zygon Invasion," but I think that's been happening with all these two-parters. Usually it seems the most emotional moments come in the second half, while the first half is the set up. But they do set them up brilliantly, so then I take them as a whole.
I could probably write about this episode for days, but it's late. I need sleep. It's my Mom's birthday. Busy day ahead. So, I just wanted to leave you with the best speech I've ever heard on war or anything. The best speech the Doctor has ever had. The most beautifully acted and deeply felt speech I've seen. Peter Capaldi was so emotional. It's like he pulled his heart out and showed it to us. He was utterly invested in the scene and was incredibly affecting because of that. He needs to win an award for this.
And so does whoever wrote the speech. Both Peter Harness and Steven Moffat are credited. They did an amazing job, too, because without the words it would have just been Capaldi standing there, making faces, and throwing his arms about. That would have been more funny than gut-wrenching, a miming Doctor.
When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who's going to die! You don't know who's children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they were always going to have to do from the very beginning - SIT DOWN AND TALK!
And because it was so hard to choose one section of this to quote, here's a bit nearer the end. This is the moment that goes with the image I used. I'll have to replace that one when the episode is available, because I got it from my TV, so it doesn't look that great.
You're all the same, you screaming kids, you know that? 'Look at me. I'm unforgiveable.' Well, here's the unforeseeable. I forgive you.
After all you've done... I forgive you.
Again, hard to choose. Needed this part, too.
Do you call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war. I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know! I did worse things than you can ever imagine, and when I close my eyes...I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count!
Though Capaldi has been exceptional all along, this right here proves like nothing before that he absolutely deserves to be the Doctor, is the Doctor, and that there could have been no better choice in this time, for these stories. He just keeps proving himself and it culminated in a ten minute-long, desperate plea for two people on the brink of destruction, thinking they hold the destiny of billions in their hands, to think before they act, to realize what they are about to do, to understand that there are living beings on each side who have done nothing to deserve their fate. Just...WOW.
I adored the previous Doctors and so many other superb episodes, but if I had to choose one scene to show someone who had never seen the series, I think this would be it.
Oh, and Clara and Osgood were also in this episode. But Capaldi! Come on, he was spectacular. This may now be my favorite episode of the season, of Capaldi's run so far, and one of my all-time favorites. I guess I have to give you a little something about the ladies, though. They were both wonderful: Clara being able to control her Zygon doppelganger, Bonnie, while she was still asleep in a pod; and the lovely Osgood being a great companion while Clara was away. It's another beautiful bit of writing that Osgood kept saying she was herself, never revealing to the Doctor whether she was human or Zygon, and would keep that secret until it didn't matter anymore. And just love when an actor has to completely change their personality and play two, or more, people in the same scene. Terrific work by Jenna Coleman. Reminded me of Anna Torv in Fringe and Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black.
Tweets and More Quotes
Well, that's all the time I have. I'll leave you with my reactions and some more great quotes, all of which I actually tweeted.
And another great episode of #DoctorWho is already over. Peter Capaldi deserves an award for his heartbreaking speech about war.— Erin Bates (@Reinbeast) November 8, 2015
This series has way too many fantastic quotes to keep up with.
The Doctor: "Don't look at my browser history."
The Doctor: "Yeah, I said don't."
The Doctor: "London! What a dump." I really didn't expect that line.
The Doctor: "I'm dead now. And I think I might be a bit more dead in a minute."
The Doctor: "I'm over 2,000 years old. I'm old enough to be your messiah."
Bonnie: "We've been left to fend for ourselves."
The Doctor: "So has everyone."
The Doctor: "The only way anyone can live in peace is if they're prepared to forgive."
The Doctor: "I let Clara Oswald get inside my head. Trust me. She doesn't leave."
[Edit] Oops, forgot this one! Don't know how. It's one of those quiet, poignant moments that fits a universe of feeling and character into a small package.
Clara: So, you must have thought I was dead for a while.
The Doctor: Yeah.
Clara: How was that?
The Doctor: Longest month of my life.
Clara: Could only have been five minutes.
The Doctor: I'll be the judge of time.
Oh, the moment where he paused before he said that last was so full of pain. And if I could never watch anything else until the end of time but for the Doctor saying "yeah" then I could console myself knowing that just that one word conveyed so much.
[Update, 11/8/15] I rewatched the war speech scene the next morning. Remember how I said that would have to be what I would show to someone who hadn't seen the series? There have been countless scenes that could do the job, but this now is the definitive moment of who the Doctor is, a lengthy and intense bit of brilliance, and it worked. I don't know if my brother will ever get a chance to start Doctor Who. He's seen bits of episodes here and there, but he picks his shows carefully since he has little enough time to watch what he already does. Work and chores just demand too much. This new season he's already 6 weeks behind on everything and that includes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Walking Dead! But my brother stood quietly in the doorway for the entire ten minutes that Capaldi was pouring his heart out into this performance. It was like a miracle. So, good news; if you have someone in your life who's on the fence about trying Doctor Who, they won't be anymore after this.
[Update, 11/14/15] So, I had a bit more to say when I went to
Peter Capaldi was sheer brilliance in #DoctorWho's The Zygon Inversion. He gave us all of his heart for ten uninterrupted, emotionally-piercing minutes. This is the scene to play for the uninitiated if they only think they might want to watch the series eventually, some day, when they have nothing else to watch. This is the scene to sneak attack with, to play louder than normal, so the person you've been wanting for years to start watching this beautifully imaginative and poignant series will stop in the doorway and quietly stand there, no joking around or commenting, for the entire scene. This is a scene where you just stare enrapt, wrapped in tension, stilled by the raw emotion, stunned at the power of the impassioned words that are truth without being preachy, as Doctor Who does so well, so often. To be able to think about those words and Capaldi's indelible performance over and over again for the rest of my life will be a privilege. If one of you gets the chance to meet Capaldi, please give him a hug from all of his fans...especially me. ;-) But only if it's appropriate, of course.
Missed the Episode?
Did you miss this episode or want to see it again? I will no doubt, 100 percent be rewatching this as soon as I can. If you feel the same, you can buy The Zygon Inversion on Amazon. The Zygon Invasion and the previous 6 episodes and seasons 1 through 8 are also available. And don't forget, it's on BBC America on Saturdays at 9 PM Eastern and their OnDemand channel soon after. For some reason AMC.com also has new episodes the Monday after they air. They seem to keep only two new episodes at once, plus some from the previous season, so they disappear quickly. I'm not sure if AMC's cable channel actually airs the series. BBCAmerica.com has more links where you can watch.
And if you haven't seen the episode, I don't know why you kept reading after the spoiler warning, but here's a trailer and a preview. Now please go watch it.
Image belongs to the BBC.