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'The Zygon Who Fell to Earth'

Released June 2008. 1 episode.

Writer: Paul Magrs
Director: Barnaby Edwards

Roots: The Man Who Fell to Earth. Trevor's earlier, covered-up death may be inspired by the apocryphal 1960s 'deaths' of Bob Dylan and/or Paul McCartney. The Doctor quotes from Wordsworth's The Prelude (see: Untelevised Adventures) and calls Lucie Nancy Drew (Lucie doesn't recognise the reference), Pat paraphrases Elvis Presley ("he's my great big hunk of Zygon").

Intertextuality: The Doctor's mention of encountering Zygons 'down south in the nineteenth century' refers to the events of Mark Morris' BBC Book The Bodysnatchers, from whence the Zygon 'sting' also originates - however...

Goofs: ...It's odd to hear the Eighth Doctor earlier struggle to remember to having 'last' met them 'so long ago' in his own personal timeline - specifically the 'Scottish' group in Terror of the Zygons while he was in his fourth body, when the events of The Bodysnatchers took place more recently in his timeline [in this current incarnation in fact.]

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor's 'History could have blinked and missed her' speech.

Double Entendres: "So many years since we've seen her in the flesh - such a beauty" (and everything else following from the Zygon milking scene)

"The Zygons have made their comeback!" (this being Big Finish's first Zygon story)

Continuity: The Zygons have stings (see: Intertextuality) and use healing slime. Zygons can alter their form without their body-print technology, but Trevor says he can create an image that will last a couple of decades of its own accord, but only if he stays inside that form forever. They extract their victims' memories and minds using organic crystallography (including a vital crystal lattice for their torpedo launchers). Their ship [which is large enough to contain a Skarasen] is currently under Lake Ullswater, while their Skarasen is closer by, in Lake Grasmere (there have been occasional monster sitings in the past - fact, it's helped the tourist business and visitors flock to stay at their guest house). They travel largely by underground tunnel, bored by the Skarasen. Now they can imbibe the necessary [lactic] supplies fresh, there's no need for them to take powdered substitutes. Judging by the actions Grakus, it would appear that alcohol has a lesser effect on Zygons than humans. The Doctor describes the Zygons as "hideous foetus warlords from the deepest, murkiest fathoms of space". The Skarasen is 'half-electric', according to the Doctor, can be programmed to obey the will of one Zygon over others, and has a hatchway through which it secretes its lactic fluid to the crew. The ship was badly damaged after it crash landed and its crew had to hibernate for many years. The Doctor guesses it must have been around the same time as the Scottish clan. (The Doctor tells Grakus there are a number of Zygon ships on these isles and this group is by no means alone)

Aunty Pat met 'Trevor' in 1979 at a Folk Festival at Kendal. She moved on from heavy metal to punk.. Trevor's really dead and frozen after a motorcycle accident back in the late 60s. His record company hushed it up and put his body in cryogenic suspension as he requested in his will.

The Web of Time, according to the Doctor, is resilient and events can be reshaped if those caught in its workings lead a quiet, unobtrusive life. History can potentially "blink" and miss them.

Lucie is prone to 'endless' Sunday morning lie-ins, according to the Doctor.

The Doctor doesn't know what a 'remix' is. He takes six sugars in his tea. He uses his sonic screwdriver to confuse the electronic half of the Skarasen

Links: Terror of the Zygons. Also, see: 'Intertextuality'. The Horror of Glam Rock.

Untelevised Adventures: Yhe Doctor claims he was with William Wordsworth when he composed Daffodils, which he alleges was really about a 'big man called Biffo'.

Location: The Bygones Guest House near Lake Grasmere (five miles from Ullswater, three via underground passage) 1984

The Bottom Line: "The British love nothing more than a monster in a lake!"

Magrs' lightweight and silly tale of retired pop stars in tourist traps and the shapechanging aliens tracking them down is wonderfully stocked with characters and great performances. There is, however a darker twist to the Doctor's lie with 'Pat', which jars with Magrs' usual 'outsider coping in society' theme, not to mention the Doctor and Lucie's relationship. It's hard not to see the resolution of this one coming back to haunt them...

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