Wow . . . wow. Wow. That was good. That was really good. I'm still in afterglow but "The Zygon Inversion", or the story it and "The Zygon Invasion" collectively make, may be my favourite Twelfth Doctor Doctor Who
story. Hell, it may be one of the best of the entire series since it was relaunched in 2005. Then again, I don't quite trust myself because it's the kind where the euphoria of the first viewing might eventually pass. Then again, I think it's impossible I'll ever stop liking the Doctor's lines in the climax. The lines and, gods, the delivery. If there are people who aren't sold on Capaldi after this I would be very much surprised.
"I'm over 2000 years old, I'm old enough to be your messiah," a throwaway line from earlier that gains significance later when this becomes really the first episode since the Russell T. Davies era to do the "Doctor as Jesus" thing. But I liked this way more than "Last of the Time Lords". It's better than Jesus, too, since Jesus couldn't really talk about what it's like to commit genocide.
Jenna Coleman is really good too, the episode giving her chance at duel roles. I wonder if she requested it, like Patrick Troughton wanted to play the lookalike villain in The Enemy of the World
. Her reaction shots at the climax were certainly crucial.
I'm on more than one record as being not a particular fan of allegory. While this episode may have been intended as an allegory for refugees or Muslims having their attempts to assimilate into western society frustrated by a comparatively small number of terrorists, the story avoids specific correlations which allows it to function as a reflection for a kind of human problem that repeats again and again, a point which the Doctor in fact makes.
I wonder if Osgood appearing in two versions of the Seventh Doctor outfit is a coincidence. The story has a very Seventh Doctor quality when you find out how much the Doctor had manipulated everything, it's very like The Curse of Fenric
. With the cameo of the "Rice Pudding" speech in the première and the Doctor wearing tartan trousers for the first time since McCoy did this season is starting to feel very much like an ode to Seven. Wikipedia points out that Twelve actually quotes Seven at the end of "The Girl Who Died" when he says, "Time will tell, it always does." I'd like to hope we'll see a guest appearance from Ace or something. Yeah, that's probably asking too much.
Anyway. This episode made me weak in the knees.