Why Don’t You Break the Cycle? – “The Zygon Invasion”/”The Zygon Inversion”

zygon inversionI would never presume to claim that Doctor Who can offer an adequate response to the horrors unfolding in Paris and Beirut, because nothing can offer an adequate response. But isn’t that why we create art and tell stories? To try to come to some sort of grips with the world around us.

The episodes themselves were really good. The scripts are a smart, logical extension of “The Day of the Doctor.” The Zygons are used in a scary and effective way. Jenna Coleman gets to flex her muscles, portraying Clara’s cleverness and cool-under-pressure as well as Bonnie’s icy villainy and subsequent repentance. I’m not sure that I’m as crazy about Ingrid Oliver as everyone else is, but I thought they made really interesting and ambiguous use of Osgood.

But, look. All I really care about today is the Doctor’s speech–his appeal to think and talk–brilliantly and passionately delivered by Peter Capaldi. With all credit to Harness, Moffat, the BBC, and the incomparable chakoteya.net transcript site, I’d really rather just let the Doctor talk:

DOCTOR: Ah. Ah, right. And when this war is over, when you have a homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? Will there be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who’s going to make the violins? Well? Oh, you don’t actually know, do you? Because, like every other tantrumming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and when it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?
CLARA-Z: We’ll win.
DOCTOR: Oh, will you? Well, maybe, maybe you will win! But nobody wins for long. The wheel just keeps turning. So, come on. Break the cycle.

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About Katherine Sas

I graduated from Messiah College in 2009 with a B.A. in English Literature. I'm a student of all things arts and humanities, in particular Tolkien, the Inklings, and the fantastic and imaginative tradition in storytelling.
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3 Responses to Why Don’t You Break the Cycle? – “The Zygon Invasion”/”The Zygon Inversion”

  1. tphillman says:

    The trouble is, there is no adequate response. In the real world the Bonnies don’t repent. They can defeat everyone and everything except their own example. There is no Doctor.

    And even if we could somehow target those behind these attacks and all their self-righteous henchman and all their murderous thugs with such precision that no innocent would be harmed in the least, that response would never be adequate.

    They may be as bad as any orc. They may deserve death. But we know what the answer to that is.

    • Exactly. We don’t know the answer. Which is why we can’t respond in kind. We have to break the cycle. Easier said than done, I know.

      It also occurs to me that “The Zygon Iv–” is the entire series of Battlestar Galactica condensed into one story.

  2. tphillman says:

    That is a very interesting idea, Kat Sas. It’s worth thinking about.

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