Reviewed By: TCar96
Review Date: 1/22/17 4:24 pm
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Another reviewer, Newt, rightfully points out that going in - the Zygon who fell to earth oughtn't work on paper with its terrible premise - a Zygon (figuratively) falling to earth, before falling in love and 'going native'. Reminiscent of No More Lies, I was expecting the usual trite plot beats and a wholly unsatisfying attempt to pull at the heart strings.
What a delight that the story actually ended with my struggling to recall a more enjoyable EDA! Making the most of the shorter format, the significant other of our Zygon Trevor, is Auntie Pat from Season 1's Glam Rock. As a result we cruise straight into the story, with no messing. Its assumed we 'get' the Zygons and given the cover and title, there's no attempt to shock the audience with their introduction. Furthermore, they're played for laughs, bringing (as is discussed in the interviews) a fresh take that significantly subverts expectations, being a retelling of Terror of the Zygons.
Popping comic dialogue; solid character arcs; subverted expectations and some lovely character moments thrown in - the story taking place in the Lakes, with some borderline hokey, but utterly lovely, Wordsworthian flourishes.
There are definitely a few gripes. As I've complained often, whereas the main range often subtlety engages in political commentary or satire, the EDA's and FDA's come to think of it, engage in political moralising. It's not only irritating to see writers make the Doctor pick sides in contemporary issues the character ought to be above - but it also leads to some cringe inducing exposition, often to the detriment of plot beats or internal logic and credibility of the story. Toning down the politics of the writers really ought to be a priority of the script editors, fortunately this seems to have kicked in and isn't an issue in the more recent shorter releases (Dark Eyes, War Doctor etc.).
The ending too left me cold. After a cracking resolution - with both plot and emotional beats working together, we're given a morally and ethically uncomfortable finish. Following the 'wait - he's not dead, really!' snag, akin to the worst excesses of New Who, it's uncomfortable to ponder the ramifications of Trevor's macabre body-swapping. The extras point out the potential insofar as it places the Doctor in a real quandary, This would've been spectacular drama, but unfortunately the story runs out of time, leaving far too little time to mull over the ethics of what's just taken place.
Gripes aside, its a genuinely funny and heart warming (and breaking) little story. Well, well worth your time and a real gem of the EDA's thus far.
Just to conclude with a snipe at New Who - THIS, Zygon Invasion / Inversion, is how to tell a subversive piece of your villains having the potential to be more than simply monsters!