Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode94This week Deb, Erika, and Liz cover the second part of Peter Harness’ Zygon two-parter. Let us know what you thought in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus link:
Boston Legal

Download or listen now (runtime 1:37:42) 

Comments on: "Ep 94 – The Zygon Inversion Table" (20)

  1. Call Me Fred said:

    Deb says she has no idea who Peter Andre is.

    In Under The Lake, the Doctor said that two weeks of Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre had left him “begging for the brush of death’s merciful hand” and as a result took the radio in the TARDIS apart and made a clockwork squirrel.

    That is the Peter Andre who is on Strictly.

  2. Neil Ottenstein said:

    Zygon Inversion was great as was the podcast. Maybe I was distracted, but I don’t recall the Verity team mentioning the callbacks to The Day of the Doctor in his speech and in the Osgood boxes being eerily like the Moment box. I also liked the Hartnell portrait by the false hiding place. I was quite glad that Osgood survived and it seems we may now always have 2 Osgoods running the operation.

  3. Regarding 15 times. I understood this to mean that they had repeated the current negotiation, and not that there had been 15 rebellions. The idea being that they had kept trying until they got it right. It didn’t seem credible otherwise. I need to watch it again!

    • I had thought “15 times until they got a replacement Osgood” as the resolution. The situation was unstable while there was no Zygon/Human hybrid. I’m assuming Bonnie was most often the instigator, but the only positive outcome was when both Bonnie and Kate choose to not press buttons. If either or both do – it’s a reset for everyone and the Doctor tries a different speach next time. The replacement Osgood was an extra bonus and goes towards stabilisation. His (to me) seemingly too rude continual interrogation of Osgood as to her identity, most likely shows his anxiety as to whether he needs to try to get a Human or a Zygon to change their minds enough to become the replacement Osgood.

      • Where are the ethics in wiping someone’s memory 15 times until you get the answer you want? It is slightly more sophisticated than holding a gun to someone’s head until they agree with you, but how is it any more ethical.

    • Squib said:

      I agree completely. I understood it that the Doctor had kept them talking in that room through 15 variations of the conversation until it got through to both of them.

      It also explains Bonnie’s conversion as she heard variations of the “change your mind” conversation 15 times

    • Marc Kugel said:

      That was my take as well. I was picturing Bonnie/Zygella pressing the button, nothing happening, and the Doctor sighing, “Let’s go from the top. Why genocide would be bad – take no. 12!”

      • Korina said:

        I’m still not clear why Kate was wiped *after* the Doctor succeeded.

      • Neil Ottenstein said:

        Kate was wiped so she wouldn’t remember that there was nothing in both boxes. I can’t remember what her line was before being wiped but it was enough for the Doctor to take the action.

      • Korina said:

        Riiiight. So she still remembers the uprising, and maybe some of the negotiations. I wonder what she’ll think about the gap in her memory? I don’t think ‘you fainted’ will work. ^__^

  4. Alistair vs Kate. Just want to mention that Kate is the head of UNIT, but the Brigadier was only the head of the UK branch of UNIT. He had superiors within UNIT.

    • I don’t believe Kate Stewart actually is the single executive in charge of UNIT. Right now I cannot cite any support for that from a television, but the new Big Finish box set UNIT: Extinction includes a telephone conversation between Kate Stewart and an unnamed superior in Geneva (or was it Zurich?). Perhaps more authoritatively, her official character bio on the BBC website refers to her as “one of UNIT’s top people”. It goes on to say “Kate Stewart is the Head of Scientific Research at UNIT, and as science now leads the organisation, that means she’s one of the people in charge.”

      Regarding the fifteen times, we first cannot be certain whether the Doctor’s statement is an accurate reporting or perhaps a bit of hyperbole (the Doctor may or may not lie, but he is decidedly prone to hyperbole). Assuming the number is accurate, there is nothing to suggest the previous instances ended the same way. Perhaps earlier circumstances ended with someone pushing a button? Perhaps some were even ended before they got into the Black Archive? Although I admit, I am drawn to the assertion above that those fifteen times all took place that same day, each ending with a mind wipe and a do-over. The implications of that are that some of the desperation and resignation in the Doctor’s demeanor in that scene comes from his attempts to be patient while he tries once again to convince them.

      I loved the Zygon Invasion/Inversion stories. While I may have one or two quibbles, I think Peter Harness’ script was amazing, and the performances were extraordinary.

      I certainly do not share the idea that Kate was somehow being written poorly. While she is an exceptional intellect, with a presumed high level of experience, she is still a member of UNIT and likely will often react in a manner that is informed by UNIT tradition and expectation—i.e., with guns a little half-cocked.

      By the way, it wasn’t mentioned in the Verity! podcast, but the “five rounds rapid” line came originally from 1971, a season-eight Jon Pertwee story entitled “The Dæmons,” which is the same classic serial story that included a technical NCO by the name of Sergeant Osgood. Stephen Moffat has publicly implied there is a parental connection between that classic-era character and the wonderful cosplaying science advisor from the modern era. Another bit of trivia, Jon Pertwee has suggested that “The Dæmons” is his favorite story from his time as the Doctor—mostly because the story reflects so many of the things he felt defined the show (including, I would argue, many different vehicles being driven by himself and Captain Mike Yates).

  5. I’m about to listen to your episode now. So please forgive me if you’ve already covered this. Your wonderful examinations always give me something, and I so often mean to comment, but I listen to you at work or on the road, so I can’t usually post a comment. So this time, I’m commenting pre-emptively (to borrow a page from Warren).
    Anyway, I just shared my pet theory with RFS, and now I’m going to share it with you. Wasn’t Osgood with Kate Stewart when she greeted the Doctor and Clara at the opening of “Day of the Doctor”? Oh! And they were both also there at the climax when the three Doctors negotiated the peace treaty. That would mean that the zygon-Osgood met Clara once, and the the REAL Osgood met Clara TWICE in one story! So…here’s my theory. The Osgood that was murdered by Missy? Zygon. The Osgood we’ve seen in this story? Zygon. In fact ALL of the Osgoods we’ve been seeing are ALL zygons. The real Osgood volunteered to be put in a pod indefinitely to serve as a template for all of the Osgood-zygons to access until the day comes when humans and zygons truly live in peace.

  6. Rodney said:

    I really loved this episode. Deb, Erika and Liz did such a wonderful dissection of this episode and the broader brushstrokes of the story.

    I don’t believe that UNIT is the same as it was when the Brig was in charge- much like S.H.I.E.L.D. after season 1 of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, it’s now a smaller and tighter organisation. I also don’t think Kate is a willing leader, she’s kind of foisted into the job.

    Thank you again for a great podcast.

  7. Another great episode Deb, Liz and Erika! I wonder if anyone else thought of the “soufflé girl” when Clara was in the pod facing Bonnie?

  8. Korina said:

    Interesting episode, as usual, with only one quibble. Any chance you could make Liz a little louder? Her sound levels are always lower than the others, so when I crank up the volume to hear her clever, insightful words, my ears get blasted by the responses. Thanks. 🙂

  9. Paul A. said:

    Liz is right that it’s always problematic using an alien race as a stand-in for a real group of humans, but I think part one is doing something more complicated than she gives it credit for. My reading is that it’s using the familiar “those people are literally aliens” metaphor to try and make the audience think about the mindset it represents. There are characters in the story who represent the idea that “those people are different from us so we don’t need to think of them as real people”, but I think the story is presenting them as being wrong. In particular, the Doctor isn’t one of them; in part one he’s already championing the position that Zygons are real people too.

    So it does have a representation of “those people are aliens”, but only so it can turn it around and tell us that those aliens are people. (Turn it around? Invert it? Yes, that’s a good word. It’s an inversion. A Zygon inversion.)

  10. jezbez said:

    I don’t think the speech will become Capadi’s Doctor’s defining moment as it’s just too long. If it was 1/5 of the length then it would easily be. I’m wondering whether it will be rescuing Davros – emotional and significant.

    Love that the contents of the Black Archive are in constant development and that we already see a Mira helmet.

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