|Doctor Who alien|
|Affiliated with||Zygon Empire|
|Home planet||Unknown (possibly Zygor)|
|First appearance||Terror of the Zygons|
The Zygons are a fictional extraterrestrial race in the long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. They first appeared in the Fourth Doctor serial Terror of the Zygons, where it was revealed that centuries ago, the Zygon homeworld was destroyed in a stellar explosion. A craft escaped and somehow made it to Earth, where it then crashed into Loch Ness. When the Doctor encountered the Zygons, they were led by a warlord named Broton. Broton wished to conquer the world to allow a refugee fleet of Zygons to colonize Earth.
The Zygons have shape-shifting abilities, allowing them to replicate the appearance of another being, but they must keep the subject alive in order to use its body print. This skill was vital in their concealment and in their scheme to seize power despite their small numbers. The Zygons were also accompanied by an armoured cyborg creature called the Skarasen, the lactic fluid of which was necessary for them to feed. Broton planned to unleash the Skarasen (or Loch Ness Monster as it was known) on an energy conference in London as part of a bid to conquer the Earth. The plan was foiled and both he and his crew were killed due to the intervention of the Fourth Doctor and the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT), while the Doctor caused the Skarasen to return to Loch Ness. Zygon technology is biological in nature: in essence their ships and equipment are actually alive.
The Zygons first appeared in the 1975 serial Terror of the Zygons, where they planned to conquer Earth.
The Zygons are briefly mentioned in "The Pandorica Opens" as one of the many races in an alliance against the Doctor.
In the Eleventh Doctor episode, "The Power of Three", a Zygon ship is beneath the Savoy Hotel where the Doctor takes Amy Pond and Rory Williams on their wedding anniversary. However all the Zygons seen in this story have taken the form of humans working in the hotel and are never seen in their more 'monstrous' original forms.
The Zygons returned in "The Day of the Doctor". Having lost their world during the Time War, a squad placed in suspended animation in Elizabethan England awakens in 2013 to infiltrate the Tower of London posing as members of UNIT.
The episode was novelized by Target in 1976, written by Terrance Dicks, under the title Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster. The book further expounded on the concept of the Zygon "sting," poisonous barbs protruding from their hands, which explains why, in the television episode, the Zygons were able to inflict pain on other beings with a mere touch. (The original shooting script for the episode also included references to the sting but the on-screen portrayal of the concept failed to make it clear to the audience.)
The comic story "Skywatch-7", written by Alan McKenzie (under the pseudonym "Maxwell Stockbridge") and illustrated by Mick Austin, features a UNIT team encountering a single Zygon at a remote base. It was first published, in two parts, in Doctor Who Monthly #58 and the Doctor Who Winter Special 1981.
The Eighth Doctor encountered the Zygons in the spin-off novel The Bodysnatchers by Mark Morris, which also named the now-destroyed Zygon homeworld as Zygor. The novel also revealed that Zygor had been destroyed as a result of an attack by an arachnid alien race from Tau Ceti, the Xaranti.
The Zygons have been featured in three audio plays produced by BBV, Homeland by Paul Dearing, Absolution (not to be confused with the Big Finish play Absolution) by Paul Ebbs and The Barnacled Baby by Anthony Keetch.
The Zygons were featured in the second Doctor Who Weetabix promotional set, and were card number 9 in the Typhoo tea card set. Harlequin Miniatures produced two 28mm figures, and Fine Art Castings produced two Zygon figurines, sized 80mm and 40mm.
In 2008, a Zygon figure was released by Character Options in the first wave of their classic Doctor Who toy line.
Zygon (BBV production)
Zygon is a spin-off drama production from BBV, featuring the Zygons. Early drafts were written by Lance Parkin, and later ones by Jonathan Blum, although both authors removed their names from the final version (which was heavily rewritten again). It was eventually released in 2008 as Zygon: When being you just isn't enough (with an 18 certificate due to scenes of an adult nature), after a post-production period of about 5 years.
- 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Episode To Feature Daleks, Cyberman And Zygons, huffingtonpost, retrieved November 2013
- Dicks, Terrance (2012). Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster. ISBN 1446417735.
- Morris, Mark (1997). The bodysnatchers. London: BBC Books. ISBN 0563405686.
- Cole, Stephen (2007). Sting of the Zygons. London: BBC. ISBN 1409073408.