9. Who Was Ribbons And Where Did He Come From?
The Anti-Zone is inhabited by the wonderfully sinister Ribbons of the seven stomachs, an alien being who claims he has always lived there. That may well mean he's part of the Anti-Zone's defenses, and that the Doctor and her friends were unwise to accept his guidance; notice that he wanders around the Anti-Zone with a lantern, a convenient lure for the Flesh Moths. When sentient beings stumble into the mirror, his obsession with bartering means he takes away their useful survival aids - Erik's boots, or the Doctor's "tubular" - and then takes them deeper into the Anti-Zone, where they're at risk of the Flesh Moths. Unfortunately for Ribbons, his greed gets the better of him, and he moves at the wrong moment. Nobody mourns his passing.
8. What Is The Solitract?
To the Time Lords, the Solitract is a bedtime story, a fairy tale told to help their children get to sleep. It seems there's truth in this myth. According to the Doctor, the Solitract was a consciousness that existed before the Big Bang, its mere presence was inimical to existence. "Our reality cannot work with the Solitract energy present," the Doctor explained. "The most basic ideas of the universe just get ruined." In a typically zany metaphor, the Doctor explains the Solitract is like a kid with "nuclear chicken pox," who wants to get involved but always ends up infecting everybody else. At first, the Doctor suspects the Solitract may be malicious, but by the end of the episode it's clear that the entity is simply lonely.
7. Who "Exiled" The Solitract To This Plane?
According to the Doctor, the Solitract was "exiled" to a separate plane of reality, the Solitract Plane, allowing the universe to come into being. Her word choice seems to suggest that something conscious was behind the Solitract's banishing. It's interesting to note that the story of the Solitract appears to be a Gallifreyan creation myth; notice that the Doctor's story opens with the sentence, "In the beginning." That's surely a deliberate, formulaic parallel to the Biblical account of Creation in Genesis, which opens with the phrase, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth." It seems that this episode dropped a hint as to Gallifreyan religion - and, indeed, suggested that the Time Lord deity may well exist.
6) How Does The Doctor Have So Many Grandparents, And Was One A Zygon Spy?
Of course, this is Doctor Who, so the most obscure cosmic revelations happen side-by-side with obscure, random observations from the Doctor. She explains that she was told the story of the Solitract by her favorite grandmother, Granny Five. Apparently, the Doctor had seven grandparents, which raises odd questions about just how Time Lord families work. While the Doctor is happy to learn that one of Granny Five's fairy stories was true, she still remembers her as an unreliable narrator - after all, she used to claim Nanna Seven was a Zygon spy.