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The Doctor has made his fair share of friends, allies, and even a had few romantic interests over the course of Doctor Who’s 50+ year history, but not all of them have made it though their adventures with him alive. Such was the case for UNIT scientist Osgood, who met her demise at the hands of Missy (a.k.a. The Master now in female form) in the episode “Death in Heaven.” Fortunately for fans, that wasn’t the last we've seen of her, as Osgood will return to Doctor Who soon.
It was announced today that actress Ingrid Oliver will reprise her role as Osgood for Doctor Who Season 9 (Series 9 for U.K. viewers) later this year. The press release from the BBC states that she will come “face-to-face with the shape-shifting extra-terrestrial Zygons,” alien adversaries who were introduced in the 1975 story “Terror of the Zygons.” No other plot details were provided, but Osgood will appear in the same episode as Chief Scientific Officer Kate Stewart (played by Jemma Redgrave), a.k.a. her boss.
Osgood first appeared in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” serving as Stewart’s assistant. This episode also featured the Zygons, who were using a Gallifreyan painting to travel from 16th century Earth to the present-day to invade, and in the process disguised themselves as several UNIT operatives, including Osgood. She returned with Stewart in Series 8 for “Death In Heaven” when Missy’s Cyberman army began their invasion of Earth. Osgood was charged with keeping an eye on Missy as the insane Time Lord was being transported on a plane. Unfortunately, Missy escaped custody and vaporized Osgood, leaving nothing but her distinctive glasses, which were quickly crushed.
Outside of a miraculous resurrection (which has been known to happen), the most plausible explanation for Osgood’s return will likely be that the Doctor is interacting with a past version of her. However, one of intriguing lines in the announcement is the question about whether the Doctor can trust Osgood, a.k.a. “his number one fan.” Since the Zygons are shape-shifters, it’s entirely possible that the Osgood we see in this episode is a Zygon masquerading as her. The Doctor is aware she died, so it’s a mystery how they will be able to convince him she’s the real deal. Regardless of whether this is the real Osgood or a fake, the fact that the Zygons are back to cause trouble is bad news.
Doctor Who Season 9 debuts for Whovians everywhere on BBC this fall.