Number : Season 13, episode 1 of 6.
Which One : Shape shifting Zygons, the Loch-Ness monster and UNIT.
Cast : The Doctor : Tom Baker
Sarah-Jane : Liz Sladen
Harry : Ian Marter
The Brigadier : Nicholas Courtney
RSM Benton : John Levene
Duke of Forgill/Broton : John Woodnutt
Sister Lamont : Lillias Walker
The Caber : Robert Russell
Angus : Angus Lennie
Huckle : Tony Sibbald
Munro : Hugh Martin
Radio Operator : Bruce Wightman
Corporal : Bernard G. High
Written By : Robert Banks Stewart
Produced By : Philip Hinchcliffe
First UK Broadcast : 30 August – 20 September 1975.
Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.
Plot : The Doctor, Sarah, Harry – and UNIT uncover a plot by a shapeshifting group of aliens; called Zygons. The Zygon are infiltrating British government and plan to destroy British energy policy – with a huge aquatic robot lizard called; the Skarasen.
Whats good : The Zygons are useful baddies being shapeshifters. Their spaceship is horribly Organic.
Whats bad : The Skarasen. The Brig’s final regular appearance.
Review With Spoilers : Terror Of The Zygons introduced the Zygons, who were shapeshifting aliens -from a doomed planet.
The Zygons intended to invade Earth and turn it into the equivilant of their own destroyed homeworld, using Earth slave labour and Zygon tech.
To back this up, the Zygons have the ability to mimic the form of any creature they captured and plug into a booth on their ship. They also had backup from a huge aquatic remote-control cyborg lizard, called; The Skarasen.
It was – in their shapeshift ability, that most of their impact exists – in Terror Of The Zygons. In one memorable scene, an evil duplicate of Harry tries to kill Sarah-Jane with a pitchfork, in a barn – before falling to it’s death.
The actual Zygon design though, was no less impressive and it’s unveiling at the end of the first part, attacking Sarah. All bright orange, wet and covered in suckers, which was also quite a chilling moment. Similarly, the Zygonian ship had a similar repulsively organic look – about it.
“This one they call the Doctor is a threat to us. Already he has found out too much. He must be destroyed!” Broton
The only let down here, was the obvious puppety-looking Skarasen monster and overlay effect. Maybe it would have been better to leave the Skarasen, to fleeting glimpses – than a full-on reveal.
After the Zygons are defeated, the Doctor sends the Skarasen off to Loch Ness, to become the legendary Loch Ness monster
Terror Of The Zygons was also the last regular appearance of the Brigadier and UNIT. RSM Benton and Harry would figure once more, in later season episode – The Android Invasion; but the Brigadier wouldn’t be back until Mawdryn Undead; 8 years and a new Doctor – later.
It’s notable, that the Zygons made such an impact as a monster in Who and strange perhaps, that they didn’t get another dust off until 2013’s; Day Of The Doctor.
Ask any classic fan to name – the most memorable monsters in Who and the Zygons will no doubt figure, in any top 20 list. Remarkable, considering that they only featured in 1 episode.
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