‘Zygon Inversion’ coercion: After 12 lifetimes, Doctor Who should get the last word when it comes to war

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Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who: "The Zygon Inversion"Peter Capaldi’s ‘Zygon Inversion’ speech among show’s most powerful lessons

With the news that Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year, it’s worth noting that there’s still a full season and a Christmas special left for the Twelfth Doctor. (Am I the only one hoping they call it “Twelfth Night?”)

So anything can (and probably will) happen in the hit sci-fi series. But it’s natural, even this early, and with casting speculation as to his replacement already ramping up, to look back and ponder the actor’s greatest moments in the role of the tortured Time Lord.

While Series 9’s penultimate “Heaven Sent” is a solo tour de force performance from Capaldi, hands-down I would say his character’s crowning moment was his fierce anti-war speech in that season’s earlier “Zygon Inversion” episode, where he takes both humans and aliens to task for their warring tendencies and the always too-high cost of conflict.

Long before the Time War devastated his own people, the Doctor was weary of the universe’s endless cycle of war. When Gallifrey’s time at the battlements came, he had to literally become another man entirely in order to embrace the savage struggle before him.

The memory of that weighs heavily upon the Doctor, as does the burden of having to share the same lesson time and again with the denizens of his favorite insignificant planet.

“Fingers on buzzers!” Now, with geopolitics on this little world suddenly seeming to be more unstable than ever, it’s worth considering the Doctor’s simple advice yet again: “SIT DOWN AND TALK!”

“No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.”

Someday, we may finally learn.

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About the author

Jayson Peters

Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.