Doctor Who series 11’s ninth and penultimate episode It Takes You Away was full of all sorts of intriguing ideas, in a story that revolved around lonely gods, parallel worlds and, er, a talking frog.
But one of the episode’s most impressive feats may have completely passed you by if you weren’t paying proper attention – because for a large portion of the action, the cast’s appearances completely flipped.
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We’re speaking specifically about when the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) end up in the Solitract’s parallel dimension, having travelled through a bedroom mirror (via the Anti-zone buffer).
The Doctor is quick to realise that they’ve gone through the mirror, and if you look closely it’s obvious why – because the appearances of the Doctor, Graham and Yaz have flipped, ie they’ve become their mirror images.
Graham and the Doctor’s haircuts are now parted on the other side, Yaz and the Doctor’s earrings have moved around, their clothes have flipped (keep an eye out for the flap near Graham’s collar) and even their actions are different to usual, with the usually right-handed Doctor using the sonic screwdriver as a lefty.
Elsewhere in the Solitract world, the mirror images continue – Hanne’s dad Erik is wearing a Slayer T-shirt that runs backwards, which is probably the most obvious nod to the change in circumstances – and the whole thing just had us wondering how the production team (and specifically director Jamie Childs) pulled it off.
Was it just flipped footage, or did they have different costumes, hair styling and a second set? We’re currently leaning towards the flipped footage angle based on this promotional shot of Erik with his Slayer T-shirt looking normal – but maybe they just flipped this photo instead to hide the episode’s secrets.
When RadioTimes.com contacted the BBC they opted to keep the secret, for now – but hopefully they’ll reveal how they managed to create the effect in the coming days.
Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Sundays