Terror Of The Zygons: Doctor Who: Season 13
Terror Of The Zygons SYNOPSIS:
The Zygons have lived for centuries in Loch Ness and have a very powerful ally that has long since been a myth, a monster rarely sighted until now.
Having regained the Tardis, the Doctor responds to an emergency call from the Brigadier on Earth. The crew rejoin their fellow colleagues of UNIT in Scotland. UNIT is investigating the destruction of several oil rigs off the coast. Harry attends one to a survivor he finds on a beach front but he is shot by an unseen assailant. The Doctor and Sarah attend harry in hospital but he is then kidnapped by the Zygons and Sarah and the Doctor narrowly escape death imprisoned in a decompression chamber.
On board the Zygon ship Harry discovers the Zygons are shape changers, using his body print to change one a zygon into a duplicate Harry. The Doctor, Sarah and Benton find the village where UNIT HQ is located unconscious. While a revived Brigadier and Doctor find evidence of a giant monster, the duplicate Harry steals back a Zygon signal device and is pursued by Sarah until falling to his death reverting back to his true form. Zygon Leader Broton activates the signal device to ensure their pet Skarrasen will destroy the UNIT task force. The monster ends up chasing the Doctor before the device is finally destroyed.
The Village Inn landlord discovers a monitoring device within a gift given to the inn by the Duke Of Forgill before he is killed by another of the aliens. This leads UNIT to meet with the Duke Of Forgill. Left alone Sarah discovers the entrance to the Zygon spaceship and frees Harry. They inform the Brigadier that the Duke and his staff are aliens and the Doctor is captured by them shortly after. Broton's ship leaves Loch Ness and hides in a quarry. Shortly after the Doctor nearly dies using alien technology to let UNIT know where the ship has gone. The Doctor frees all prisoners aboard and causes the craft to self destruct. However Broton escapes disguised as the Duke and plans to destroy world leaders with his pet Skarrasen and show the world the true Terror Of The Zygons.
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Terror Of The Zygons SERIAL DETAILS:
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Terror Of The Zygons CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan)
Nicholas Courtney — Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
John Levene — RSM Benton
John Woodnutt — Duke of Forgill/Broton
Lillias Walker — Sister Lamont
Robert Russell — The Caber
Angus Lennie — Angus
Tony Sibbald — Huckle
Hugh Martin — Munro
Bruce Wightman — Radio Operator
Bernard G. High — Corporal
Peter Symonds — Soldier
Keith Ashley, Ronald Gough — Zygons
Writer - Robert Banks Stewart
Director - Douglas Camfield
Script editor - Robert Holmes
Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
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Terror Of The Zygons REVIEWS
Terror Of the Zygons is somewhat a favourite of mine. As it has some genuinely scary moments. We're back on Earth again but this time it's a UNIT story with all the shock and horror tactics of Genesis. The Zygons are brilliant, it's been so long since they attempted an organic monster that looked well...totally believable. Their ability to shape change lends much to the story, moments like the duplicate Harry lunging at Sarah with a pitchfork. Or the scene where Harry gets shot. Or UNIT hunting the wounded Zygon in the woods.
Douglas Camfield makes it all very atmospheric, with the lighting, location's (specially the moors) and acting from the regulars to every one of the supporting cast. UNIT and it's regulars go out with a blast, the Brigadier and Benton seem to have found their characters lost arund Season's 8 to 9 and yes the skarassen is hokey and very bad in part 4 but for me it's a minor quibble in a almost flawless production. Try eating pizza while watching all the part one close up's on the Zygion's control panel - who'll be put off pizza for years (which is what happened to me around the age of 9 or 10) Speaking of which want to give it a 10 but ok Skarrassen does drag off a couple of points so it's 9.7/10
Also why does the Dr have to go and pick the one UNIT vehicle that brakes down when the Skarassen is after him? Then again that's using Grob logic and forgetting what makes a good story.
Terror Of the Zygons...........I love this story. I bought on VHS a couple of evenings before Christmas one summer night when Southland was open until 10pm. Everything in this story just reeks of atmosphere and genuine Who creepiness and thrills and chills. Its got the Zygons that look like walking fetuses and sound really scary too - whispering death threats instead of going all latter-day Davros and yelling and ranting. When you finally see one at the end of part one its a real "Holy fuck! What is THAT??" moment.
The spaceship looks great both inside and out. It looks a lot more organic and alien than the Axon ship ever did and its a great piece of model work when you see it finally rise out of Loch Ness. Good ol' Dougie Campfield wrings as much tension out of the script as he possibly can - in particular the fleeting glimpses of the Zygons as they dart behind closing doors or leg it through the forest. The cast are all good too and you never really know who is going to turn out to be a Zygon or not.
UNIT are back to regaining some credibility for their final outing (again thanks to the no nonsense Campfield) and the Doctor, Sarah and Harry work together brilliantly - sadly for the last time (well, until Android Invasion). Tom is both intense and alien here while Sarah gets to use her investigative skills. And poor Harry gets shot but that scene on the beach is just sodding well done where he gets it. Actually - with no offense to Harry - it would have been the icing on the cake if he sacrificed himself at the end on board the Zygon ship. It would have been a fitting end to his character and under Campfield's astute direction it would have been one of the finest exists for a character ever.
So there are some good bits. Lets talk shite bits now. Okay, the Skarresen looks and moves appallingly. In fact it is one of those glaring errors you pray that the Restoration Team will fix when it comes to releasing it on DVD. What else? Plotwise it rips off The Silurians and The Sea Devils with a bit of Invasion of the Dinosaurs for good measure. The Zygons plan to take over the world is a bit rooted too - they only have one Skarrasen so will they do it one town at a time? Speaking of which, why does the Skarrasen destroy the oil rigs? Oh, and the Brig, Harry and the Duke go from London to Scotland to see the Doctor and Sarah off at the end right? And then what do they do? They go STRAIGHT BACK TO LONDON AGAIN???? Oh, and Terror of the Zygons has one of the funniest laugh out loud line heard for a while;
"The Duke - the real Duke - is president of of the Scottish Energy Commission!"
"That's right, I am!"
Now THAT is comedy.9/10
Think of the title Terror Of The Zygons....."Terror of" isn't used that often in Dr Who... only 3 times... and all 3 have been good quality stories... maybe it's time to re-introduce some "Terror ofs"... mind you, balancing it out there's "Reign of Terror" which certainly didn't rate highly and "Macra Terror" which may or may not have been... ok... I'll get on with it...I'd file Terror of the Zygons firmly under "flawed classic".
The first three parts are brilliant. The Zygons, and their organic ship (looking a little like the modern day TARDIS interior" are realised brilliantly. And the Zygon reveal at the end of part 1 is certainly one of the most memorable Dr Who moments. The plot for the first three parts makes a lot of sense too... sure there are some similarities to the Silurians, but the Zygons are actually from another planet, so the fact that they live underwater is where the similarities end.Then we get part 4. And we get the Skarrasen.
Originally this was meant to be a six parter to finish off series 12 - maybe with two extra parts it would have been better realised (like Robert Banks Stewart's other story), but this one kind of feels like it was made up on the spot. When will people learn that trying to take over the world by attacking a fricking government conference never works!! I guess maybe it could have held up ok if the good old Loch Ness Monster looked OK... but really, it was shit. The scene where the Doctor kind of wrestles with it and throws the pager thing at it is just bizarre... and crap. It's a pity, as it almost ruins a brilliant episode.
Thankfully Terror Of the Zygons is saved once again by having the Brigadier in a skirt. 8.9/10
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