It was interesting revisiting the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, wasn't it?
There were quite a few dangling plotlines that were finally addressed, including the Zygon peace treaty and all those doppelgängers. While we still have no clue regarding the Osgood Box, it does seem the Zygon rebels have the upper hand. What will become of Clara, Kate and UNIT?
Join TV Fanatics Kathleen Wiedel and Hank Otero, plus our pals Tom Gardiner of threeifbyspace.net and Zach Wilson of AfterBuzzTV as we chat about Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 7 in our latest Round Table discussion...
How clearly do you remember the events of the 50th-anniversary special? Did you enjoy revisiting this subplot?
Kathleen: I have an excellent memory of what happened in "The Day of the Doctor" – it's one of my favorite episodes to rewatch on Netflix. It was nice to revisit the Zygon storyline and provide some sort of continuation to it; remember, the last time we saw them, they were still negotiating the Perfect Treaty in the Black Archive.
Tom: The 50th is also one of my favorite episodes, so any excuse to revisit those events is good with me. I know there are a lot of people who don't really care for the Osgood character, but I've always enjoyed her, and if "U.N.I.T.: The Next Generation" is going to be a semi-regular thing, it needs more stand-out characters than just Kate Stewart. Even her father had the likes of Sergeant Benton and Captain Yates as familiar faces of U.N.I.T., so I think we need more of that in the new iteration.
I realize I just veered off onto a tangent, but how can I focus with all these questions? I'm no good under interrogation, dammit!
Zach: I almost want to have a dissenting opinion, but the 50th is also one of my go to rewatch episodes. Not only is it a great, fun episode, but it's standalone nature makes it very easy to turn on at any time. Needless to say, it may be the single episode I've rewatched more than any other (even though I guess it only qualifies as a single episode if we're using Sherlock standards). It was definitely worth a revisit too, because I was always curious how in the world the Zygons could possibly exist amongst humans. Well... now we have our answer.
Hank: While I enjoyed the 50th tremendously, it was all about the three doctors for me. I watched it just a couple of times, but didn't pay much attention to the Zygon peace treaty and was mostly confused by the doppelgängers. haha. The quick flashback at the top really helped me focus on the story elements that played an important part in this episode. Without that, I might have had to hit Netflix before watching the "The Zygon Invasion." The 50th was two years ago, right? I don't remember what happened yesterday.
The Doctor thought Osgood was human. Do you buy her explanation that the rules changed?
Kathleen: I'm on the fence. There's a good chance that she's lying, if for no other reason than to preserve her status as a bridge or intermediary.
Tom: I'm famous for being wrong (actually, I'm wrong so often I should be famous for it), but I completely bought Osgood's explanation. Maybe it's because I like her character, and I want her to be good and fun and friendly and wonderful, but I'm going to trust she has the best interests of both species in mind.
Besides, there are already enough naked, sucker-faced slime monsters with bad attitudes running amuk to cause sufficient havoc. And, hey, what's up with the Zygons and nudity, anyway? I'm all for letting your freak flag fly, but when you're trying to conquer a planet, or just gain societal acceptance you should really put on a little something before lounging on your neighbor's fancy leather couch. It's just good manners, invasion or not.
Zach: I think Kathleen pretty much nailed it. Although it would totally be in Moffat's wheelhouse to rewrite rules (he does this all the time as it is), I don't think this one holds up. Especially after the reveal that they've had to kidnap all of these Londoners (plus Clara) and put them in the pods to maintain their forms, it lends itself to the idea that the rules have truly not changed and that this is the OG Osgood.
Hank: Tom, we're in the same boat my friend! It's not just with Doctor Who either, I consistently theorize incorrectly about The Flash, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a ton of other shows. I also really like Osgood and I'm hoping she's the original. It just seems like Moffat's out to mess with us more than usual. Missy probably killed the human "sister," so this one's the Zygon. Would the real Osgood be that upset her double is gone?
How about that Clara/Bonnie twist? Is Clara a hybrid now too? Will we lose her to the Zygons?
Kathleen: Clara's not gone yet, and I find it a bit silly that they keep putting her in apparent dire peril when she still has several episodes to go before the end of the season. Though it might actually be interesting for Bonnie to take Clara's place as the Doctor's companion for the remaining episodes...
Tom: I completely agree with Kathleen – the "faux peril" Clara seems to wear like gas station perfume is just cheap. I worry that it'll tarnish her true departure, and that would be a sheme. At least she got a little more to do this week and "Evil Clara" could be very interesting. Ooh, just think what fun Bonnie could have on a girls' day out with Missy! I'd pay oodles of cash to see that.
Zach: Agreed, agreed! Just like the "twist" at the end of "Under the Lake" that the Doctor was supposedly dead, it's not really a cliffhanger if the audience knows you're not going to actually kill the character. That said, I think it's nice to give Jenna Coleman this evil role to play, and she is doing great with it. So, both of your ideas about Bonnie's potential adventures (be they with Missy OR The Doctor) would be amazing.
Hank: They've cried wolf so many times with Clara, I doubt her eventual departure will have much of an impact. Kathleen, I love the idea that Bonnie will stand in for Clara in her remaining episodes. As Zach mentioned, it's cool they've given Jenna Coleman something different to play in her final episodes. I'm just ready to learn Clara's fate either way. Does she die or simply give up traveling with the doctor? Bring it on, this way I can grieve and move past it.
Clearly the Doctor will figure out a way to save the day, but will all Zygons have to go? Or will he do away with the rogue faction?
Kathleen: The Doctor always wants to find the best solution for all parties. I suspect that the Osgood Box will play into this somehow, though I can virtually guarantee that it's not the sort of final option that the Osterhagen Key was, back in Journey's End. Maybe it will be like the Point-of-View gun in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which causes the target to see everything from the shooter's point of view.
Tom: Again I agree with Kathleen. I don't know the particular machinations by which it will happen, but the Doctor will make everything right for all sides. I doubt the Osgood Box will take the cheap way out and reproduce the amnesia so neither race knows which they belong to, but I'd place a huge wad of sweaty sock money on the Osgood Box being used. I like Kathleen's suggestion of it being like the POV gun. Really, if we all could see things from our opponent's perspective we'd quickly run out of opponents and have a lot of friends. Or at least people that we don't want to kill ... or invade ... or enslave ... or just snarl at.
Zach: While I love the idea of the POV gun coming in here, it feels like it would be too close to the end of the 50th and would feel kind of like cheating. Thinking about the intense political commentary at work in this episode, I think this could be an episode of Doctor Who that actually doesn't tie it up in a nice, neat bowtie (apologies, I couldn't help myself). While, the revolution will inevitably be stopped, I think we may see a day not get saved in the mean time.
My initial thought for the Zygon problem was why not find another planet? Surely the Doctor could find an uninhabited place to send the Zygons in a nearby star system, right? If he actually does present this solution though, I think you may find the rogue faction determined to react with a violent refusal (the new generation was born here, after all) and a devastating end for the Doctor. Too dark?
Hank: Yeah that's pretty dark Zach, but I love it! Personally, the thought of 20 million Zygons living among us doesn't appeal to me. The Doctor should have found an uninhabited planet somewhere and dropped them off. After all, one bad apple spoils the bunch, right? Look what's going on with this rogue faction. I mean, I'm sure the Doctor will do right by all parties, but I want the Zygons gone.
What was your favorite Osgood cosplay moment? Do you hope she's back for good?
Kathleen: I enjoyed Osgood's conversation with the Doctor regarding the question mark motif he had going with his clothes. I'm still trying to erase the mental image of Peter Capaldi wearing question mark underpants! Hopefully, we'll see Osgood again after this two-parter is over.
Tom: I would SO wear the Doctor's question mark underpants! Somebody make this a thing and I'll buy a pair for every day of the week. I'll either make you wonder what the question is or wish you'd have never thought to ask.
The question marks make me long for an appearance by Sylvester McCoy in any capacity. And as I said way up in question #1 I think U.N.I.T. needs some recurring and familiar faces for this new series. It would also make it easier to possibly have them show up in the upcoming spin-off, Class, that, sadly, Jenna Coleman isn't starring in. If only Coleman were the lead in that show, it would be almost like continuing "The Sarah Jane Adventures" and that would be a wonderful thing.
Zach: I think I've gotta go Osgood classic on this one and say that, while the question marks were great (and the speech around them was fantastic), the scarf wins for me. It's not even really a 'which Doctor' question for me, there was just something about the combination of the white lab coat and the giant multi-color scarf that just made my heart sing. Building on that, I think Osgood will stick around and, as Tom started on, she could be a key crossover character for Class, which I'm still not convinced isn't somehow a Jenna Coleman vehicle.
Side note: Twelfth Doctor cosplayers everywhere are currently prepping their iron-on question marks for full cosplay authenticity. You might not want to think about it, but it's definitely happening!
Hank: I like the scarf as well Zach, it's just so iconic and reminds me of my father watching Tom Baker's Doctor. I didn't really jump aboard until Matt Smith, but the scarf is memorable regardless. I honestly love the idea that Osgood is a fangirl of the Doctor. It endeared her to Whovians instantly. I'm hoping she sticks around, whether Zygon or not.
NOTE: Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 8 is titled "The Zygon Inversion" and airs on Saturday, November 7.