Osgood Has Returned to Doctor Who, But Did We Just Lose Another Character?

Sunday, 01 November 2015 - 4:37PM
Doctor Who
Sunday, 01 November 2015 - 4:37PM
Osgood Has Returned to Doctor Who, But Did We Just Lose Another Character?
This week's episode of Doctor Who entitled 'The Zygon Invasion' featured the return of the fan favorite character, Osgood. The premise of the episode was centered around a peace treaty which had been made between UNIT and the Zygons. This treaty allowed the Zygons to take the forms of human beings and thus live their lives in peace with the rest of the world. However, if either side took unwarranted action against the other, the treaty would be broken.

Apparently, Osgood happened to be one of the humans that a Zygon chose to imitate. The human Osgood and the Zygon Osgood thought of each other as sisters until one of them was killed by Missy last season - it still hasn't been revealed which one it was.

Anyway, the peace treaty was broken by a splinter group of Zygons who seem to be bent on showing their true forms and taking over the world. So this group set a plan in motion to begin their takeover, which involved disposing of UNIT as well as the Doctor. While all of these things are taking place, the Doctor desperately and unsuccessfully tries to reach Clara. She ends up working with another group from UNIT, but the big plot twist at the end revealed that this wasn't Clara at all, but rather a Zygon. The Doctor also worked alongside a military officer that aimed to put down the Zygons due to the breach of the peace treaty. However, her plans seemed to be largely unsuccessful due to how well the Zygons were able to manipulate her men by appearing as their family members and loved ones. And of course the episode wrapped up in a big way with a scene implying the death of Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and a rocket launcher being fired by imposter Clara at the very same plane the Doctor was in.

Even though there was quite a lot of action in 'The Zygon Invasion,' it seemed to fall just a bit flat. It's hard for a show not to fall into the usual trope of making the first part of a two episode story arc simply a buildup, and that's exactly what this episode of DW seemed to do. Likewise, it was obvious that the show was attempting to draw some modern day parallels, as the Doctor comments that how UNIT responds to the splinter group that broke the ceasefire could have the potential to alienate and radicalize the rest of the usually peaceful Zygons. Yet this point isn't explored nearly enough in order to make any sort of lasting impact on the viewer. And of course, the Zygons really aren't a very original sci-fi enemy to begin with and simply aren't that fun to watch.

However, it was certainly nice to see Osgood back in action, even if it was done via retcon. Likewise, the scene featuring the soldiers being tricked by the Zygons into believing that the alien creatures were actually their loved ones was somewhat entertaining, and more of that sort of thing could have definitely went a long way. And with the idea of Osgood being a hybrid coming up during the show, it's getting clearer and clearer that the question of 'which hybrid is THE hybrid?' is the real subject of the overreaching arc in series 9. For these reasons, this week's episode wasn't a bad episode, but it certainly wasn't a great one either.

So what about the apparent death of Kate Lethbridge Stewart? One of the ending scenes seemed to imply pretty heavily that she had been killed and was subsequently being impersonated by a Zygon. Yet there aren't many recurring characters that seem to get killed off (or at least who stay killed off) in Doctor Who. It also seems a bit odd that the writers would kill Lethbridge-Stewart in the very same episode that they revealed Osgood wasn't really dead, so there's a real possibility that Lethbridge-Stewart's death is nothing more than a bluff.

Is it possible that the Zygon who supposedly killed her wasn't an evil Zygon, and that Lethbridge-Stewart is actually impersonating an alien that's supposed to be impersonating Lethbridge-Stewart in attempts to divert the splinter groups evil plans? Or could some other twist be waiting around the corner? Perhaps setting up these big questions is where 'The Zygon Invasion' succeeded most, as fans will simply have to tune back in next week to find out.

Catch the next episode of Doctor Who Saturday, November 7th at 9 p.m ET on BBC America.
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