“Why have you got a Union Jack parachute?” asks a bewildered Osgood after she and the Doctor narrowly escape UNIT’s exploding plane in The Zygon Invasion.
“Camouflage,” replies the Doctor. “We’re in Britain.” A set up for a funny throwaway line, yes, but also a chance for a neat little nod to the best James Bond film ever, The Spy Who Loved Me…
In the pre-credits sequence of the 1977 outing Roger Moore’s 007 is seen skiing down a mountain, pursued by a group of black-clad assassins. Bond is doing well: he dodges their bullets, takes a couple of them out and even throws in a few somersaults for good measure. Then suddenly, he’s racing towards a cliff edge – how will he avoid it?!
He doesn’t – he skis straight off it and into oblivion…
There follows a heart-stopping moment much like the one when evil Zygon Clara blew the Doctor’s plane out of the sky. He must be dead, we think, even though we know he can’t be.
Then… a parachute unfurls with – what?! – a Union Jack emblazoned across it, and we know that Bond is safe. Just like when we spotted the Doctor and his Union Jack parachute sailing away from that exploding plane.