Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons (Story #80)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Love the Loch Ness Monster and Zygons

Wish that the Zygons and Loch Ness Monster had been separate stories


Who’s up for seafood?

Something is destroying oil rigs off the coast of Scotland and the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) have been called in by UNIT to investigate.  The Doctor discovers the threat might be from an alien race known as the Zygons…and the Zygons have plans for Earth.  As the Doctor and Sarah Jane seek to find out what the Zygons have planned for Earth, the legend of the Loch Ness Monster might finally be revealed!

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Zygons aired during the thirteenth season of the long running British series in four episodes from August 30, 1975 to September 20, 1975.  The series features the first appearance of the Zygons and the last regular appearances of Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan and Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.  Following Doctor Who:  Revenge of the Cybermen, Doctor Who:  Terror of the Zygons was collected as part of The Tom Baker Years as Story #80.


Oh no, I’m being hunted by a giant super-imposed creature!

As a big fan of cryptozoology (the study of legendary animals), I was interested in this serial due to the ties to the Loch Ness Monster.  I had hoped that the serial would focus more on the mythic creature, but it instead focused on the Zygons which were controlling it.  Despite being a short four episode story, I found this one seemed to plod more than I hoped.

Like many Doctor Who series, the story just doesn’t have enough meat to stretch it as long as it goes.  That is why I wish that the “monster” (called the Skarasen) had been tied in a bit more as initially planned.  I must admit that the Zygons are a great designed creature, and I wish they had almost been in a different storyline…give me Nessie then give me the Zygons.

The series features the end of the Doctor’s real ties to UNIT (or Unified Intelligence Task force…or United Nations Intelligent Task Force).  UNIT was a concept that mimics other big organizations like Bond agencies and kind of evolved out of series like The Avengers.  It is a little sad to see UNIT go, but with severed ties to UNIT, the Doctor allowed more freedom to explore.  I just wish that Lethbridge-Stewart had appeared in more adventures later on (he did show-up a few times)…his final appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures is rather touching.


We’re going to need a bigger boat…

The visuals of course are cheesy but that is what you have to expect from Doctor Who.  Much like the Drashigs in Doctor Who:  Carnival of Monsters (Story #66), the Skarasen is just a superimposed creature.  The squidlike Zygons however have an interesting design and despite a few mentions do not return until “The Day of the Doctor” but did appear in books and audio adventures.

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Zygons is a fun entry in Doctor Who, but it could have been much better.  With a ton of big moments for the series in the serial, I feel that some of the events were downplayed or could have been better suited for their own serials.  Doctor Who:  Terror of the Zygons was followed by Doctor Who:  Planet of Evil.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Revenge of the Cybermen (Story #79)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Planet of Evil (Story #81)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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