9 questions and some answers we have after Doctor Who The Zygon Invasion

Is Osgood human or Zygon? Is Truth or Consequences a real town? And just where can you get a pair of the Doctor's question mark underpants?

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What is in the Osgood box? 

The Osgood box is said to be “the last resort” if the peace between humanity and Zygons ever breaks down. But what’s so dangerous about it that you should “pray this box is never needed”? What does it do? Or what’s inside it?And what does it have to do with the Osgoods? 

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Obviously, we’re not sure, but it’s worth pointing out that it does bear a similarity to a box we’ve seen before, in The Day of the Doctor – the one that contained Billie Piper’s The Moment. Seeing as the Osgood box was left to Earth by the Doctor, could it be an intentional similarity? A super-weapon that isn’t all that it seems?


Is Osgood human or Zygon?

Just who did Missy blast into dust in last year’s series finale, Death in Heaven? Was it human Osgood, or her Zygon duplicate? We’re left none the wiser in The Zygon Invasion, where it’s revealed that the Zygons no longer have to keep their hosts alive in order to duplicate them. So there goes that theory. 

Even when asked directly, Osgood herself refuses to answer the Doctor’s question. Understandable, of course. Why be judged by anything other than the content of your character? 


Is this Doctor Who’s most political story ever?

The Zygon Invasion certainly feels like more of a statement than usual, but Doctor Who has always flirted with the political. It’s what happens when your hero is a staunch pacifist. 

Back in 1963, for example, we had the Daleks as allegory for the Nazis, while Helen A, the dictator of 1988’s The Happiness Patrol, was a parody of Margaret Thatcher. Even more recently Peter Harness’ 2014 episode Kill The Moon has been read as a take on the debate that surrounds abortion.


Is there really a town called Truth or Consequences? 

Amazingly, the dusty deserted settlement where we found Osgood hiding beneath the desk isn’t just a figment of the writers’ imagination – it’s a real town, and that’s actually its name. It’s in the US state of New Mexico and no, it wasn’t always called Truth or Consequences – it was formerly known as Hot Springs. 

Read the full story of how Truth or Consequences got its name here


 Or Turmezistan?

Nope. This one was definitely made up. Given the themes of the episode, it was probably chosen to draw a parallel with Afghanistan. 


 What was in the police report? 

It appears to be a closed case concerning two people named Daniel Thornes and Callum Darbyshire who have been arrested for exhibiting less than satisfactory behaviour towards the public. The arresting officer says he responded to complaints about Darbyshire and was confronted by him when he entered the building. Could Callum Darbyshire be a Zygon? Whether or not he and Thornes’ identities have been created as a cover, their addresses certainly have – they’re recorded as residents of 72 Made Up Crescent and 10 Fictional Close…


Why wasn’t Kate sure whether Terror of the Zygons took place in the 70s or 80s? 
 
“There was an attempted Zygon invasion before – [in the] 70s/80s…” It’s a seemingly throwaway line, but there is a story behind it…

You see it’s all part of the UNIT dating controversy: the confusion over exactly when stories featuring UNIT took place during the classic series. In the 1975 story Pyramids of Mars, for example, Sarah Jane Smith states that she is “from 1980”, while 1983 story Mawdryn Undead contradicts that by saying the Brigadier retired from UNIT in 1976 and that Sergeant Benton left the army in 1979, despite the fact that they also featured in that adventure. Cue frenzied fan debate. 

This is not the first Nu Who reference to it either. In the Sontaran Stratagem, the Doctor says he worked for Unit in “the 1970s, or was it the 80s?” In The Day of the Doctor, Kate Stewart asks for one of her father’s files; she says it may be filed under the 70s or the 80s “depending on the dating protocol”.


Is Kate really a Zygon?

One of the golden rules of television is that if you didn’t see it happen on screen, then it probably didn’t happen. So who’s going to bet that the Zygon didn’t really kill Kate, and that she’s just pretending? 


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And finally… Just where can we get a pair of the Doctor’s question mark underpants?