The Zygon Apotheosis

Part 1. Part 2.

All day long I’ve been mulling over one thing, and getting angrier and angrier about it. And honestly, getting angrier and angrier at myself for taking so long to notice it.

Look, like I said before, I’m sure Peter Harness means well. And I’m sure that Steven Moffat means well. And I know that, being American, I come from a background where the dynamics are radically different, and so stuff can end up meaning things over here that they should not be held responsible meanings that only exist on a different continent from where they wrote it.

But they set out to write a story centered around the idea that the dangerous radicalized members of the refugee minority aren’t representative of their race. They made a story which was unrepentant in the idea that the right to live your life in the skin you were born in is not worth fighting for. They made a story which was unrepentant in the idea that the right thing to do for a minority is to keep your head down, don’t spook the “ordinary” folks, hide who you are until the day you die, because otherwise, they’re going to hunt you down and murder you and it would be wrong for you to fight back. That the right to just not be murdered in the street is actually a privilege we may deign to confer on you if you’re good enough at “passing”.

It had a powerful white man, a literal lord preach about how bad war and fighting is, because he’s real sad about the great big war between his godlike people and a race of super-powered killing machines, and do it to a young woman who just wants to not spend every second of her life living a lie as if their situations were remotely similar. Don’t talk about revolution, that’s going a little bit too far.

To put it bluntly, the argument made by Truth Or Consequences was #ZygonLivesMatter, and The Doctor responded, #AllLivesMatter.

And you know what? Fuck this show for doing that. And fuck me for taking all day to notice it.


Please do read Jack Graham’s excellent “The Zygon Invocation” for a response which covers similar ground, though not quite the same, and does it far more eloquently than I could.

3 thoughts on “The Zygon Apotheosis

  1. Nate

    The thing that gets me is:

    What in the Galaxy is the ‘true form’ of a species with the biological ability to shapeshift?

    I mean, if you lock a greyhound up so it can’t run, it gets unhappy. If you have a species of natural shapeshifters, wouldn’t it be unnatural for them *not* to shapeshift? Shouldn’t their ‘natural form’ be that they constantly mimic everything around them, from people to trees?

    also I’m pretty sure that a holographic projection or chameleon skin or whatever isn’t going to fool a DNA scanner and if any kind of alien can change its DNA then it’s going to *be* the thing it adopted the DNA of.

    (I know, I know, do not attempt to apply actual SF logic to the vague allegorical threat-monster)

  2. Ross Post author

    I find it a little suspicious that this is the first time we’ve heard anyone suggest that permanently shapeshifting and living cuckoo-style among host populations is a standard Zygon thing; every other appearance has implied or stated outright that the Zygon MO is outright conquest (I’d even say that until this episode, it was never really clear that the shapeshifting was a natural Zygon ability and not a bio-technological weapon they’d developed along with their cyborg plesiosaurs). Feels a lot like a writer on board trying to preemptively justify something morally dicey, a la “No, really, the Ood are biologically predisposed to be happy slaves”)

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