10 questions and some answers we have after Doctor Who The Zygon Inversion

Was Osgood human or Zygon? Is the Doctor's name really Basil? And what's the deal with Truth or Consequences?


Was that Zygon really called Bonnie? 

Apparently so. But Bonnie doesn’t sound very Zygon, does it? You’d expect a name with ‘X’ and ‘Z’ like ‘Excelsior’, or ‘Zygor’, which is actually the name of their home planet.


1975 serial Terror of the Zygons gave us enough Zygon names to show that really isn’t the case, though. In that story we meet the warlord Broton, and Zygon soldiers such as Madra and Odda. Not exactly Bonnie, but hey, maybe the Zygons have softened their names since living on Earth?

Hasn’t Clara been trapped in dreams before?

We’re getting a bit of déjà vu around Jenna Coleman this series; in episode two The Witch’s Familiar she got put inside a Dalek again (having already been stuck in one for her first appearance in 2012’s Asylum of the Daleks), and this week she’s trapped in a sort of simulated dream for the third time.

The twisted version of Clara’s flat definitely brought to mind the imaginary quarters of Oswin Oswald (who had actually been turned into a Dalek. There seem to be a lot of Asylum of the Daleks references this year), but also recalled the layers of dream Clara was trapped in for last year’s festive special Last Christmas.

Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe it’s a subtle ‘greatest hits compilation’ for departing companion Coleman, but we’re loving it either way. We’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled for any more homages in later episodes.

What was Clara whispering to herself?

In the pre-credits sequence, Clara ‘wakes up’ only to find that she is trapped in her flat – there’s another door behind the front door, a wall behind the curtains, and then a voice starts speaking to her through the TV.

It seems like a dream, but Clara has been in situations as weird as this in real life so she needs to check. What is she whispering to herself as she scans the newspaper for clues? “Dream checks. Dream checks.” And it must be a dream, because in the paper she finds a message to the Doctor…

Did everyone else in the Doctor’s plane die?

Disaster! The Doctor and Osgood have been shot down by a Zygon-inhabited version of his beloved Clara! Oh, but thank heavens, the Doctor rescues them both by parachuting out of the plane, The Spy Who Loved Me-style, complete with a union jack parachute. Brilliant.

Oh, but hang on a minute – what about the pilots that were flying the plane? Or the captured Zygon? We don’t see them clambering out of the wreckage laughing at the Doctor’s comedy parachute and his question mark underpants. That is because they are, most definitely, all dead. 

Did you spot the James Bond reference?

“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. Find out more about the reference here.

Where did Rebecca Front go?

Remember Walsh? She went on a massively significant mission with The Doctor in Invasion of The Zygons, and then completely disappeared this week. We’d have expected her to be in the thick of the action. Did the Zygons get her? Or was she a Zygon all along?

Is the Doctor’s first name really Basil?

It could be… The history of the Doctor’s name is a long and turbulent one, so we’ll do our best to explain it here.

How did the Doctor know the Zygons would use Truth or Consequences?

Good question. Given the Doctor’s revelation that Kate Stewart – via a memory wipe – had played the Truth or Consequences game 15 times before, you have to think that the entire scenario has been orchestrated.

But that’s weird, right? Does that mean that every few years the world just goes to hell? That now and then the Doctor has to pop back to Earth and give a rousing speech to settle it all down again?

And what about the actual town of Truth or Consequences? Did the Doctor arrange it so that the Zygons happen to have a connection to a town that is coincidentally named after his faux-doomsday device? It’s not the sort of thing you think about when you’re getting swept up in one of Doctor Who’s greatest ever scenes, but inevitably our one question brings up loads more.

Was Osgood human or Zygon?

It looks like we’ll never know, but we’re not entirely sure we’re supposed to either. You see, Osgood has become so much more than human or Zygon. She has became a symbol for peace – an idea that must be preserved so that the two races have a connection with each other.

What we’re basically trying to say here is that, A) She’s basically Batman, and B), It no longer matters who Missy blasted into dust in Death in Heaven. With Bonnie now having taken the place as the second Osgood, it shows that Osgood is now just simply Osgood. And as long as she keeps wearing bow-ties and wearing question mark jumpers, that’s fine with us. 

Will Osgood be the next companion?  

Based on the end of this episode, no. It seems that both Osgoods are required to stick around on earth for the foreseeable future, looking after the fragile human/Zygon peace. That said, who’s to say ANOTHER Zygon couldn’t become a third Osgood and accompany the Doctor on his travels? Perhaps reporting back to her sisters and occasionally swapping with them so they all get to go in the Tardis.


OK, we’re probably grabbing at straws here, but stranger things have happened – it is Doctor Who, after all. And who wouldn’t want to see the personification of the Whovian fandom get to go on a few adventures in time and space?