Greetings my TV Geeks!
Doctor Who has come across beings of all shapes and sizes. The Timelord has dealt with Gods, Devils, Daemons, Ghosts, Robots, Devouring Stars, farting aliens, and even Satan himself. So where can the Doctor go to meet something new? What can be bigger than a God? How about a lonely sentient Universe that enjoys the form of a slimy frog with the voice of Graham’s wife? Let’s have a look at Season 11’s penultimate episode ‘It Takes You Away’.
The Doctor and her friends land in Norway. They encounter a cabin where a girl has been left scared and alone. She is called Hanne played by Ellie Wallwork and has been left to fend for herself. Being unable to leave the cabin due to the monster that prowls the woods. But the threat isn’t outside; it is inside as an interdimensional mirror allows for travel into a parallel universe.
As the Doctor leads Graham and Yaz through the mirror, leaving Ryan to protect Hanne and the cabin, they find there is a series of caves. The caves it turns out are part of a buffer zone between the two universes.
It turns out the sentient parallel universe cannot cross over into ours and if people go through the whole of existence could collapse. But, as with most of this series, the villain is not really a villain. Yes it tricked people to go through, att5racting them with projections of dead loved ones. But it only did it because it has been lonely since the Big Bang. The first One!
As stated earlier in this series of Doctor Who reviews, it was believed that there would be a reconciliation of sorts between Graham and Ryan, and with this episode we have it. Ryan finally calls Graham, Granddad and it couldn’t have happened in a better episode. Having Graham be tempted with a life with Grace (Sharon D. Clarke) in the other universe, Graham has been the main heart of the show. I have been surprised at how entertaining his character has been, with both the comedic side and emotional side.
But as we see happen, Ryan and Graham aren’t the only ones who come to an understanding. The Doctor stays with the Universe as it is lonely. She promises to stay, but as they are not compatible things are collapsing. The Universe, now in the guise of a frog, allows the Doctor to leave because even with the Doctor there the universes can’t exist. The Doctor leaves knowing she has a new friend.
All build up
Despite the ending being rather nice, giving the Doctor to use her words to settle the situation and the threat being level-headed enough to listen. The build-up of the episode is far better than the payoff. When there was a monster roaming the woods, to the attack of the killer moths this section of the episode is filled with tension and chills.
It’s unfortunate that the only temptation in the episode was for Graham. As the Doctor is over 2000 years old you would have thought the universe would have manifested someone from her past! But I suppose there are already enough guest stars in this episode without muddying it up with past characters or assistants!
It just seemed to be a bit of a waste of a reveal when the rest of the episode had been atmospheric, to have a frog be the big threat. But I suppose it was a surprise. A ‘we didn’t see that coming’ moment that was punctuated with the heavily advertised sad kiss the Doctor does when leaving the universe. It could have been so much more.
Two episodes left!
This was the penultimate episode to the series so that means there is only one episode left this year. The Christmas episode moved to New Year’s Day. Remember the last time that happened?
I’m hoping they will tie the series together, at least bring something back that has appeared before, because as I mentioned in an earlier review, the standalone episodes have started to bug me a little. But as it stands there has been little to not enjoy with this series, but I’ll hold back on my overall reaction to the series until we have the finale in the bag.
It Takes you Away started as an atmospheric episode, only to be let down with the frog puppet universe. I’m sure I’m in the minority when saying that this isn’t a perfect episode. We did have a swarm of flesh-eating moths and the resurrection of Grace. It also had the emotional moments that have been built up throughout the series with Ryan and Graham finally becoming a family. Let’s see what happens next week!