I’m not going to go into too much detail about this two parter, The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion. But it is worth discussing if only for one scene in particular.
As far as the plot goes this two parter was ok. Basically it worked as a follow-up to a sub plot from the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor where the Doctor(s) helped broker a peace treaty between Earth and some shape-shifting Zygons.
Now two years on there are 20 million Zygons living peacefully on Earth in human disguise. A faction of Zygons don’t want to live under the conditions dictated by the peace treaty and are trying to start a conflict that will drag in all Zygons with the objective of taking over the earth.
Episode 1 had a bit of shape-shifting paranoia. It wasn’t a bad episode at all but there was a lot of faffing around and I felt strangely detached from it. There was a nice reveal at the end where it transpired that Clara had been replaced by the Zygon rebel commander.
But episode 2 on the other hand…
Initially there’s lots of guff featuring the “Osgoods”. Apparently the Osgood character is a “fan favourite”. Whatever.
And then there was some guff about some mysterious “Osgood Box”.
And then we get to the pivotal scene of the episode which was basically Mr Peter Capaldi showing what he can do.
And it was stunning.
In a long ten minute scene that is largely a monologue Capaldi’s Doctor pleads with the Clara Zygon (whom he calls Zygella) and Kate Stewart of UNIT not to start a war. It’s amazing stuff. He’s on fire.
On a table in UNIT’s Black Archive are the Osgood Boxes, two super weapons that Zygella and Kate Stewart are considering activating. At one point Capaldi indicates the weapons and says “this is a scale model of war.” So for me this is forever the “Scale Model of War Speech”.
And it all ties into The Day of the Doctor where during the a Time War the Doctor almost activated The Moment, a Time Lord super weapon that would have wiped out both Gallifrey and the Daleks.
My words can’t do justice to Mr Capaldi doing The Acting. It has to be seen.
It’s probably the most exciting scene in Doctor Who since the show came back.
Additionally the scene is more powerful because the makers don’t bother playing any music over the top. It’s Capaldi’s performance and the words that make it work. Then they loose their courage and they stick a bit of music in towards the end. But it doesn’t need it.
Mention must also be made of Jenna Coleman who plays the Zygon rebel commander Zygella. The scene also depends on her reactions to Capladi’s performance as he pleads for her to think, “a fancy word for changing your mind.”