Number : Season 13, serial 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 episodes.
Plot : The Doctor, Sarah, Harry (and UNIT), uncover a plot by a shape-shifting group of aliens; called Zygons. The Zygon are infiltrating British government and plan to destroy British energy policy, with a huge aquatic robot – called; ‘The Skarasen’.
Whats good : The Zygons are useful baddies – being shapeshifters. Their spaceship is horribly Organic.
Whats bad : The Skarasen. The Brigadier’s final regular appearance.
Review With Spoilers : Terror Of The Zygons introduced the Zygons, who were shapeshifting aliens – from a doomed planet; in the opening serial of season 13.
The Zygons intended to invade Earth and bio-engineer it to be more like their homeworld; using a combination of Earth slave-labour – and Zygon tech.
To back this up, the Zygons had the ability to mimic the form of any captured creature. The Zygons also had backup from a huge aquatic remote-control cyborg lizard, called; ‘The Skarasen’.
It was – in their shapeshifted form, that most of the Zygins impact exists. In one memorable scene, an evil duplicate of Harry tries to attack nd kill Sarah-Jane Smith; with a pitchfork, in a barn. Before falling to it’s death and changing back, to it’s Zygon form.
The actual Zygon design though, was no less impressive and the unveiling – at the end of the first episode – attacking Sarah-Jane; all bright orange, wet-looking and covered in suckers. Was also quite a chilling reveal moment. Similarly, the Zygon ship had a similar repulsively organic look about it. As the Zygons, themselves.
“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 monster off to Loch Ness. With a nice homage – to the real-life mystery, of the 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. However, the Brigadier wouldn’t be back – until Mawdryn Undead; 8 years later and a alongside a new Doctor (Fifth).
It’s notable, that the Zygons made such an impact as a monster in Doctor Who and strange perhaps, that they didn’t get another dust off, during the classic era of Doctor Who.
Ask any classic fan to name – the most memorable monsters in Doctor Who – and the Zygons will no doubt figure, in any top-20 list. Remarkable, considering that they only actually featured – in one story.
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