There’s an odd bit of dissonance that occurs with the long-term Doctor Who fan, specifically, because nu-Who has now been around so long that many many fans could happily live just within the 2005 time frame, that we, as fans, want to see callbacks to the classic series, but then aren’t really sure how to feel when stories present this to us, the ‘old cliché’ of bringing “name-your-monster-here” forward to the 21st century. Every one of the ‘big five’ monsters from the classic series, save for the Yeti, have undergone this treatment (some such as the Daleks and Cybermen more than once), and it was almost always, and save a very notable exception in Victory of the Daleks, was almost always a success.
Although not in the ‘big five,’ the Zygons also got this treatment in The Day of the Doctor. In fact it’s almost easy to forget, what with all of the moving parts that made up the 50th Anniversary, that the Zygons were in that story, so one could be forgiven for thinking this is their true nu-Who treatment/premiere. And for those of us old-schoolers who adore Terror of the Zygons, this is where the disconnect begins. The Zygon Invasion is a direct follow-up to events in The Day of the Doctor, but watching The Zygon Invasion the THT Brain Trust got that slow-sinking feeling that we also got from The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood, meaning that this is a very well-intentioned but ultimately warmed-over bit of nu-Who trying to invoke classic-Who kitsch.
Then again in this season of two-parters, The Zygon Invasion is surely the most incomplete front-half of any episode so far. We honestly have no idea what to think about it, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Images and caps for The Zygon Invasion are now online. BTW we should mention there are a ton of pictures the Tour is holding for this story, but most of them–we think–are attached to the ‘Inversion’ end. In case we’re wrong, it’ll be worth re-visiting The Zygon Invasion again.