God is in the detail (9-7)

Good morning, class. Right, we’ve got a lot to get through, so let’s skip the pre-amble and crack on with this week’s CLUES AND SYMBOLS. Today we’ll be looking at ‘The Zygon Invasion’, which is crammed full of detail. Pay attention, as there may be questions later, but no need to make notes; I’ll be providing a handout as you leave.

First, take a look at this – an image which, for the sake of clarity, I have lightened slightly.

9_7 Zygon Invas Det (3)

The dials may appear to regulate temperature or something, but this is a show about TIME TRAVEL and they really ought to be viewed within the context of clock faces. By that rationale, ostensibly the one on the left refers to Matt Smith, as it’s clearly pointing to Eleven, while the right-hand gauge refers to Patrick Troughton.

Except it doesn’t. “It doesn’t?” I hear you cry, audibly enough I suppose although with a little less ardour than I’d have liked. Still, it’ll do. Anyway, to answer your question, no, it doesn’t. It instead refers to THE ELEVENTH HOUR and THE SECOND COMING. In other words, references to Jesus Christ in the Eleventh Doctor’s opening episode. But there aren’t any.

Or are there?


Biblical narratives are typically avoided in Doctor Who, but that doesn’t stop iconography from making frequent appearances. This, of course, is the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro – itself noteworthy as a location that the Doctor, Amy and Rory singularly failed to visit in ‘The Hungry Earth’ – but most significant is that this exact moment happens at 53:11. Timestamps, as we’ll discover later on, are very important this week, and this particular one may be translated as an embodiment of the Doctor and his TARDIS, if we assume that 11 is the Doctor and ’53’ symbolises a sentient, classically unreliable means of transportation – in other words, a vehicle with a mind of its own.


Told ya.

Next we move to the notice board in the deserted town of Truth or Consequences.

9_7 Zygon Invas Det (4)

The first thing to say is THAT’S NOT A ZYGON LOGO, IT’S A TRIDENT. Which, of course, we’ve dealt with before. However, to really get to the meat of what this image is trying to say, we need to examine the posters for the jazz festival, all of which feature a quaver, followed by two semiquavers and a crotchet (all right, quarter note if you’re in the U.S.). Quavers and semiquavers are also known as 8th and 16th notes respectively, and thus if we were to express this sequence mathematically we would get


Merging the two semiquavers gives us a year – 1616 – pointing to something happening on 04 August of that year. But what? Google is on hand to give us the answer. Examination of Fernando Braudel’s The Wheels of Commerce reveals an exchange on that date between Don Hernando Carrillo and Philip III, in which Don Hernando informed the monarch that:

“Everything is kept going by means of silver…and Your Majesty’s strength consists essentially of silver; the day the silver runs out, the war that will be lost”.

From this, we may CLEARLY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY infer that series ten will feature a Cyberman story, set in seventeenth century Spain. There is no other possible explanation.

Next, have a look inside the Turmezistan building where Osgood was kept prisoner.

9_7 Zygon Invas Det (1)

In this game of what looks like Risk we can see:

– 24 red pieces
– 5 yellow pieces
– 9 green pieces

(Note that this is the number of total pieces; each doubled-up piece is counted as two.)

We may break this down in terms of the story running order as follows:

005 – The Keys of Marinus
009 – Planet of Giants
024 – The Celestial Toymaker

Those of you who read our previous edition will remember that ‘The Celestial Toymaker’ has already featured, linking once more back to the IMMINENT RETURN of Peter Purves. However, this also ties in heavily with Jacqueline Hill – or, more specifically, her character Barbara Wright, again for reasons that will become apparent later.

But there’s more, and for this we must specifically examine the patterns laid out by each colour – to be specific:

Yellow (Keys of Marinus): four pieces, representing the four leads, moving away from a box-shaped piece, thus mirroring the characters’ journey away from the TARDIS

Green (Planet of Giants): note the two single circular pieces perched on top of the elongated piece at the edge of the board, symbolising the consolidation of episodes three and four into a single episode three

Red (The Celestial Toymaker): the nearest red tiles form an upside-down letter ‘C’, mirroring the inclusion of a character named Clara in the Toymaker’s lair, and her namesake’s treachery (or INVERSION) at the end of this week’s story.

Back in Truth or Consequences, there’s a gloomy-looking sheriff’s office.

9_7 Zygon Invas Det (2)

There is not much to say about this one, except to point out that THE THING ON THE DESK IN THE MIDDLE IS CLEARLY A SNOWGLOBE. And snowglobes, as we’ve already established, are VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY REMIND US THAT THIS WHOLE SERIES ISN’T REAL.

Finally, let’s look at the lift camera.

9_7 Zygon Invas Det (5)

For this, we need to carefully examine the timestamp at the top left. 18:46 is the information to be taken, specifically how this relates to previous episodes in the series. Extracting footage from the six previous episodes (‘The Zygon Invasion’ is, for reasons that should be obvious, not included), I’ve compiled the images shown at each of these points, as well as the deliberate visual clues that stand out. Thus:


And there it is in – well, I was going to say black and white, but it’s really more a sombre shade of dark blue. The first thing to note is that this relates specifically to London, as that is the home of the underground – also known as the Tube. Furthermore, adopting a slightly different spelling for the final image in the sequence enables us to narrow it down quite specifically. In other words, we are looking for a brick building that lies between a cafe, a Boots chemist, an underground station and a post office, within the vicinity of Hyde Park.

And here it is.


This street view image is of a spot right next to a Caffe Nero, itself apparently attached to High Street Kensington station, with a Boots pharmacy clearly visible next door and a post box just about visible in the top image (up the street, next to the approaching taxi). And the location? 12 Wrights Lane, Kensington. And the name of Susan Foreman’s history teacher? Barbara Wright. You couldn’t make it up. I swear.

(Incidentally, the 46th day of 1846 was the day that Parliament discussed the issue of bone-crushing in workhouses, but I did think this was pushing it.)

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