Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 9 is a weird romp through Norway, through a mirror dimension and through the concept of death itself. It’s a weird one and harkens back to some of the more “out-there” episodes from the 70’s. Let it take you away into a world of imagination.
As the episode opens, we discover the TARDIS crew is in Norway. The Doctor deduces this not by the fjord in the distance but by the soil composition. That she tastes. Time Lords are weird. The year is 2018, and the crew quickly bumps into a blind girl named Hanne. Hanne and her father, Erik, live in a cabin in the woods. They moved out to this remote location following the death of her mother, Trine.
Erik has gone missing, and Hanne is scared. She already lost one parent and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do without her dad. The Doctor being The Doctor offers to help find him in any way she can. This leads to something rather absurd.
The Doctor and the crew find that there is a mirror with no reflections cast. Ryan aptly asks if they would know if they became vampires. The Doctor assures him that they aren’t undead, and the TARDIS crew passes through the mirror into a different dimension.
In the mirror-verse, there are six-legged rats, eerie red lanterns, and everything is mirrored. There is a demonic presence known as Ribbons who is harrying the crew, as well. It’s not dissimilar from the Upside Down in Stranger Things, at first glance.
Thankfully for the crew, they are able to locate Erik in this nightmare world. Even the Slayer logo on his T-shirt is mirrored, driving home the mirror theme. Much to the crew’s surprise, he’s also living with Trine in this mirror universe. Yes, his dead wife. She’s been somehow revived.
As has Grace, Graham’s beloved. This is quite the bombshell, as Grace can even remember the conditions of her death. That’s… morbid.
The Doctor tells the crew about a fable from her childhood. The Solitract is a powerful intelligence that had to be expelled from existence so the universe could go on. At this point, we’re beginning to get some serious Doctor Strange vibes.
It is revealed that this mirror dimension is the Solitract’s pocket world. It wants to learn more about the world it never knew. As such, it was able to revive people and mirror the universe it was observing. However, too many people have now entered its shadow dimension, and it’s beginning to unravel.
The Doctor offers to teach the Solitract about the universe. It agrees and appears to the Doctor as a talking frog with Grace’s voice. Uh, okay. The two chat about philosophy and that’s that. This season really doesn’t like doing traditional villains, huh?
Some people really loved this episode, while others thought it was just weird. I, for one, am cautiously hopeful that it will grow on me upon second and third viewings. In any event, we’ll see you back next week for the season finale!