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'Doctor Who': A Fan-Favorite Returns To Save The World From 'The Zygon Invasion'

A whole lot of people die.

The Day of the Doctor -- or at least, a continuation of the Zygon invasion plot from "The Day of the Doctor" -- is here at last! "The Zygon Invasion" hit Planet Earth in full-force tonight (October 31), in a good old fashioned "aliens invade London"-style "Doctor Who" that delivered a solid amount of twists and turns (Bonnie!) and fun Doctor (Peter Capaldi) moments ("Doctor Disco!"). It didn't reach the depths of "The Woman Who Lived," but it was definitely a solid opening to yet another two parter.

Here's what went down when Doctor Disco -- sorry, the President of the World -- faced the Zygons. Again.

  • Osgood returned -- with a terrible message.
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    Okay, Osgood's (Ingrid Oliver) message was technically recorded sometime shortly after the events of "The Day of the Doctor," but still -- we quickly managed to find out how the woman killed by Missy was able to return. Osgood remained close with her Zygon counterpart after the duplication in "Day of the Doctor," and as 20 million Zygons peacefully settled around England, the two Osgoods lorded over a mysterious black box that was only to be used if you-know-what hit the fan. (The box was not used tonight, however, so count on the Doctor resorting to Chekov's Box next week.)

    When one of the Osgoods died during last year's finale, the other went off to investigate the "peaceful" Zygons in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico -- which Google tells me is a town that actually exists, holy God -- and we found out in the episode's early moments that this Osgood was later captured in a Zygon takeover of the town. She managed to text the TARDIS in her final moments, and once the Doctor was done with his guitar riffs, he got the message loud and clear: "NIGHTMARE SCENARIO."

    Indeed.

  • A "splinter group" rebelled.
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    As Osgood said in her message, it would only take one bad egg to send the human-Zygon truce into shambles. And by the time the Doctor arrived in modern-day London, whoever this Zygon was had clearly set something very, very sinister in motion. He met up with Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) at UNIT headquarters in London, after visiting two peaceful Zygon leaders who assured him that everything with this splinter group of rebellious Zygon youngsters was under control.

    However, a message sent from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico quickly let them know that this was not the case -- the Zygon leaders had been taken, and were executed live on camera in a message of war from the splinters. Kate suggested bombing them, but of course, the Doctor suggested the more peaceful option of sending Kate to "ToC" to find out what had happened there, and himself to the Turkmenistan (or Turmezistan, I wasn't quite sure if they were making up a fake country, here) village where the Zygons had taken Osgood. Clara (Jenna Coleman) and this week's resident redshirt, Jac, were to stay in London, which is how we all knew pretty much straight away that London was due for some trouble.

  • UNIT was slaughtered.
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    After the Missy-centric season premiere and this implausible church massacre in Turmezistan, will there even be any UNIT soldiers left to defend Earth from this Zygon invasion? Seriously, I loved the opening moments in Turmezistan because the Doctor -- who arrived in style via his President of the World plane -- introduced himself as "Doctor Funkenstein;" there to "generally establish happiness all over place," (I'm loving the cool, funky-fun Doctor of Series 9 so, so much more than the magician grump Doctor of Season 8), but everything that happened with the UNIT soldiers in front of that church was... a bit of a stretch.

    Basically, a small army of UNIT's best and brightest soldiers were tricked by a few Zygons that had morphed into clones of their loved ones -- despite them being warned MULTIPLE TIMES that this would definitely, 100 percent happen -- even with a clone of the leader's mother failing to answer the most basic questions about her son's life to prove that she was really his mother, and not a Zygon. Stupid, stupid stupid. I could believe the soldiers hesitating to shoot people who looked like their families, but following the Zygon clones into the church -- and being slaughtered as a result -- just felt like an unnecessarily silly way to A, remind us that these aliens meant business, and B, reduce the amount of people involved in these scenes.

    But enough about that. The Zygons departed the village through a series of tunnels after they killed the majority of UNIT, and the Doctor found Osgood chained up in the basement of the church, alive and well, which was great news. Not-so-great, however, was that the Zygons were headed back to London -- which is where the Doctor, Osgood, and the Zygon they captured headed next in their fancy plane.

    (ASIDE: I should definitely mention here that the show kept talking about a nerve gas that Earthlings developed back in the '70s that would melt the Zygons from the inside-out. The Doctor stole it because he knew that using this on the bad Zygons would radicalize the good Zygons -- a very solid commentary on our own relationship with terrorism if I've ever seen it -- but, like the black box, we didn't see it tonight, meaning stay tuned for next week.)

  • Truth came out in Truth or Consequences.
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    Meanwhile, in the good old U.S. of A, Kate reached the completely desolate, former Zygon-populated town of Truth or Consequences. And when I say "completely desolate," I mean there was a literal tumbleweed blowing in the wind.

    The one remaining person in the town, a lady police officer, pretty much let the audience know right away that she was a police officer when she wouldn't stop asking Kate whether or not she had backup. However, Kate still chose to trust her, as the woman told her a tale of Zygons invading (and then slaughtering) the poor, human citizens of New Mexico. She even showed her multiple dumpsters full of fried human remains, which was actually sort of terrifying. But even more terrifying, of course, was the fact that she (seemingly) murdered Kate then duplicated her body mere moments later.

  • "Clara" killed the Doctor.
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    OK. So it's time to talk about Clara.

    We knew when Clara had a seemingly random aside with a lost little boy and his shady, clearly Zygonian parents and escaped unscathed at the beginning of the episode that something had probably happened to her, but so much happened within the hour that I found it effective when it was revealed that the invasion had been going on in London the entire time -- and they'd already taken Clara. As the Doctor chatted up the kidnapped Zygon on his plane, Clara wandered the underground tunnels of London with Jac, in order to find out why people had been mysteriously disappearing from elevators all over the city. They soon came across a cave of pods that was seemingly filled with hatchling Zygon babies -- but when they got closer, it was revealed that one of the figures trapped inside the pod was Clara.

    Jac assumed at first that this meant that the Zygons were hatching a duplicate Clara, but then she remembered that that's not how Zygons work; they can duplicate on sight -- so clearly, the hatch-ling in the pod was human Clara. The Clara she'd spent her day with was a Zygon duplicate named Bonnie, who promptly murdered Jac, phoned the Kate-duplicate in ToC, then -- most terrifyingly -- aimed a missile at the Doctor and Osgood's plane.

    ... To Be Continued!