Sunday, 13 January 2013

Doctor Who 'Terror of the Zygons' Review

The villainous Zygons capture the Doctor.

In ‘Terror of the Zygons’ the Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry are called in to help investigate the destruction of several oil rigs off the coast of Scotland by the Brigadier and Unit.  Assisting Unit in their investigations Harry is shot, receiving a glancing blow to the head that leaves him unconscious.  Meanwhile the Doctor investigates parts of the ruins of one of the rigs, finding what appears to be giant teeth marks.

It soon becomes apparent that not everyone is trying to assist the Unit investigation, with several members of the local population being evasive, and an attempt on the life of both Sarah Jane and the Doctor.

Investigating further the Doctor discovers that the destruction of the oil rigs has been caused by the alien race, the Zygons, who have the ability to imitate human beings and have used their advances technology to enslave and control the Loch Ness Monster.
The Zygons use the Loch Ness Monster to acomplish their plans.
‘Terror of the Zygons’ is the one and only appearance of the Zygons on screen to date, though they have been referenced in several episodes and appeared in a number of Doctor Who novels and comics.  They’re brilliant looking monsters that are used to great effect in this story, with their intelligence and technology used to great effect.

Compared to some of the one-off creatures used in the show the Zygons have successfully captured people’s imaginations to the degree that many fans of the show are clamouring for their return.  Tenth Doctor David Tennant has even said that the Zygons are his favourite classic series aliens.

The episodes here are some great earthbound episodes that would feel right at home in the Pertwee era, with Tom Baker and his companions working well with Nicholas Courtney’s Brigadier and John Levene’s Benton.  The term ‘Unit Family’ is used a lot in Doctor Who, and here it is easy to see that they are indeed a family.  The characters are at ease with each other, they banter together and have fun and really do feel like a group of close friends.
The last adventure of Harry, Sarah Jane and the Doctor
This story also marks the end of Harry Sullivan’s time as a traveller in the Tardis, though he would appear once again later in that series.  The dynamic between the Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane is another fan favourite time in the show, with current show runner Stephen Moffat having stated that he is a fan of this particular trio, and that he modelled the eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory dynamic around them (the Doctor travelling with a journalist and a nurse).

‘Terror of the Zygons’ is a great earth based episode that uses the Unit family to great effect and has some truly iconic monsters. 7/10


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