Doctor Who Season 9, Episode 7 “The Zygon Invasion”
Directed by Daniel Nettheim
Written by Peter Harness
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver BBC America
Air date: Saturday, October 31, 2015
Doctor Who is not a series that generally tackles contemporary issues head-on. It was primarily started as a children’s entertainment designed to educate and inform, where possible, but not directly enter into controversy. So the Daleks can attempt genocide, we can all boo and hiss, and the Doctor can stop them, commenting about why they are so very wrong along the way. Looking back over the last 50-plus years, there are only a handful of serials that take stands on pressing political or social topics of the day. The Jon Pertwee serial “The Green Death” is remembered for its mention of environmental issues, as one example. The Tom Baker serial “The Sun Makers” dealt with the high British tax rates that made musical artists like the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin into tax exiles, as another.
In this context, “The Zygon Invasion” that we see this week is a very rare bird indeed. It is a UNIT story, perhaps the first real UNIT story in a very long time. It is also one with a very contemporary edge. With the Zygons now settled on Earth through a treaty created in “The Day Of The Doctor,” this episode takes on what happens next… which turns out to tie in very neatly with issues of terrorism and surveillance in a post-9/11 world, the ethnic and social identity of refugees, and social reactions to the Syrian refugee crisis. How does the episode perform? Let’s find out.
For Doctor Who fans, the countdown to the fiftieth anniversary of the long-running television show is a road that goes ever on and on. Despite the fact we still have some time until November 23, 2013, some fans are already gearing up for the celebrations.
YouTube video maker, BabelColour, has released an updated tribute that is essentially all 224 adventures (which adds up to 784 episodes) of Doctor Who in ten minutes. You can view the video at the bottom of this post.
We bid farewell to the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen, as The Sarah Jane Adventures concludes, with a story that includes an odd CEO of a big tech corporation that Sarah Jane and her companions must investigate. With some underhanded references to modern tech companies, we soon learn that the company is nothing more than a front for something far more sinister and disturbing.
During TARDISblend 45, we review the events of The Man Who Never Was, and pay tribute to Elisabeth Sladen in final adventure in the Whoniverse. Later we make a few recommendations for people to check out, both in earlier Sarah Jane episodes, and in the era of Classic Doctor Who.
The Sarah Jane Adventures continues, with a new adventure that’s become considered to be as good as a Doctor Who episode. An odd meteorological occurance leads Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and her team into investigating a strange totem pole on display in a museum. While examining the exhibit, Clyde Langer (Daniel Anthony) gets cut by a splinter from the totem, causing an unnerving series of events.
Following his blood being spilt by the totem, Clyde’s name becomes cursed… turning everyone around him to hate and despise him after the mention of his name. Disowned and kicked out from home, Langer finds himself on the streets alone, homeless, and without hope… until a homeless girl he had previously helped callled Ellie (Lily Loveless) enters his life, and helps him adjust to the street life.
Elisabeth Sladen may be gone, but she is not forgotten, as her final episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures are released at long last. The fifth and final series begins with a strange knock on the door in the middle of the night, in which Sarah Jane finds an infant abandoned at her doorstep.
Naming the baby Sky, she soon discovers this child has the strange ability to conduct and absorb energy, causing havoc across the area. But Sarah Jane is convinced that Sky was brought to her for a reason – and it turns out that it is central to a galactic war between two civilizations who have now brought their battles to Earth.