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A frog convinces the worst dad in Norway to reenact the plot of The Village in an emotionally complex story with a lot of retro-rewrite potential

Expectorated by the TARDIS into a frilly bit atop Norway, The Thirteenth Doctor and her fellow desolation ambulance chasers come upon a teenage girl holed up in a solitary cabin, hiding from strange monsters roaming outside every night. Her dad’s been missing for the past few days, the monster’s approaching again, and there’s something very strange going on with one of the mirrors upstairs.

The mirror, they soon learn, doubles as a gateway into an Anti-Zone between universes, where a guy who presumably has an interesting backstory makes a cameo appearance, and where carnivorous flesh moths flap around in horrifically homicidal droves. Where’s that monster at, though, eh? What’s at the other end of the Anti-Zone? And can someone please call child protection services?! Emotional sci-fi drama ensues.

 

Here's what we think of N153 It Takes You Away

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

3.6

Drew | @drewbackwhen

3.7

Here's what we think of N153 It Takes You Away

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

3.6

Drew | @drewbackwhen

3.7

Here's what you think 6 Responses to “N153 It Takes You Away”
  1. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    Ah, a strange one here. Well, I’m all for it. I like it when the show goes mental and has talking frogs and the gang getting stuck in an interdimensional cave with flesh eating moths. Several misdirects in this one and genuinely I think it works very well. Definitely not boring (unlike next time…though I still need to rewatch that one tbf).

    Ah, Graham has emergency snacks. Sensible man. Always be prepared. Maybe have rope instead of string? Harder to cut.

    ‘Can I just say, I love my sonic’ Yes we know…Huh, as you’ve just mentioned in your 9th anniversary special, she uses it so much. Can we just put a Visitation and destroy it? It encourages such lazy writing. Oh, to go back and stop them introducing it back in the 60s.

    Erik is such a c*nt. Ok, he might have been influenced to do things but still a shitty dad. Presumably his powerful sound system is from him blasting Slayer all the time (on brand for Norway tbf).

    And now we have resolution between Graham and Ryan? Maybe? Though that does point out the issue that the writers finish off their character development in one series and then don’t do much for another one. But oh well that’s a future issue.

    Genuinely one I like, maybe a little rushed? An issue of the eps not being an hour long. 3.9/5

    Cheers

    Kieren

  2. GP Haynes

    Hello wonderful Podcasters.

    Here is my mini Review for “ It Takes you Away”

    Well, here we have another beautiful production, which fails to live totally up to expectations.

    This episode does have, however, some interesting ,and dare I say high level sci-fi concepts which I always love when explored. The ideas of parallel universes co-existing, separated by the thinnest of margins, and even the exploration of sentience is always fascinating.

    I don’t feel the story was particularly well executed. Jodie’s Doctor is by now well established and she is more than adequate, but she was clearly overshadowed in this episode by Bradley Walsh’s rather touching performance, you can feel the heartache he feels for his dead wife. Top marks!

    The performance of Eleanor Wallwork as the blind girl was also fantastic

    But in the end, the story leaves you unsatisfied, like an order of Chinese food, where half an hour later you are hungry again.

    I’m not sure Kermit ( with Graces voice for heavens sake! ) talking to the Doctor, was the best interpretation or presentation of the ideas put forward

    Continuing my analogy, it’s not a particularly unlikable watch. If it was Chinese food, it’d be a good one, with Sizzling King prawns, special fried rice and stir-fry veggies. You’re sitting on plush velvet chairs, and the name of the restaurant is something grand like “ Imperial Palace”

    Sometimes though, you wished you had ordered a kebab or fish & chips instead.

    Rating: 2.8 Flesh eating moths

    Cheers

    GP Haynes
    Australia

  3. Daniel McGinley

    The Norwegian setting gives this story a different and unusual vibe. Shame the regular cast are predictably dull, apart from Graham. Cheese and pickle sandwiches anyone? Legend. Actually that’s a bit harsh, Ryan finally showed a tiny bit of gumption but despite his experiences in the Tardis, seems to be regressing. The long-awaited conciliation with Graham was terribly written, it made no sense after them being apart for half the episode. Would have been understandable if they experienced seeing Grace together. Thirteen had a great moment of passion at Trine, the most Doctor-like we’ve seen her.

    Solitract and antizone are interesting concepts, very Classic season 18. Anyone else secretly hoping that Gollum would win and keep the sonic?
    Doc talking at the Solitract had all the hallmarks of a moralising lecture; body language, delivery and tone. But she just wanted to be friends with the frog. I can’t believe I’ve written those actual words. I’ll leave the frog critique to others, but the takeaway is there were NO moralising lectures this week. I’m not counting having a go Erik for abandoning his daughter, that’s justified and isn’t hectoring the viewer. Series total remains at 18. Hope I’m not being made redundant.
    Rating: I chuckled when the Doctor gave herself a ‘Solid 7, maybe 6 ½ out of 10’. Good confidence Thirteen, and a significantly higher rating than any episode in this season. The usual criticisms apply but at least it tried for something interesting. 2.3/5
    PS Did you see the trailer? The season finale looks EPIC. Can’t wait for next week! 🤣

  4. Justforwhoo

    Hellooo friends – what in the wibbly wobbly is time? (and by that I mean – how are we already at episode nine). I should preface this by saying I am sitting down to review this after watching it almost two weeks ago so I’m basing this review solely off what I can remember (spoiler: not much). Without further ado, here’s what my noggin thinks:

    1. Ryan called Graham grandad – nice.
    2. The big bad was a misunderstood universe – um okay?
    3. It was nice seeing Grace again – damn it, why didn’t they kill Ryan off and keep Grace instead?
    4. The doctor was very doctor-y – LOVE IT.

    Something I’d like to hear your thoughts on: when this episode came out, I remember hearing a lot of discourse about how this particular episode was shitting on single dads. I’m not really sure that’s the impression I got from it… thoughts?

    BEST BIT: Jodie Whittaker. I wonder if her back hurts from carrying the weight of this series – sheesh.

    WORST BIT: Any scene with ribbons, flesh moths or the antizone rubbish. To think they could’ve gotten rid of this and done something for characterisation instead – but no let’s have Ryan acknowledge Graham as his grandad, that’ll be enough character development over nine episodes right?!

    A solid 2.7/5.0 for this one.

    (Could we maybe skip the Battle of What’s It’s and Hoo Hah’s and go straight to resolution?)

  5. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Likes:

    • Crazy whacko Ribbons. Spin-off please.
    • The frog. Full-on Twin Peaks weirdness.
    • Creepy Nordic setting.
    • A feel-good baseline for fatherhood that makes me feel less inadequate. I’ve yet to stoop to surrounding my house with speakers with fake monster noises to keep my kid busy so I can sneak off for a good time.

    Beefs:

    • I wanted a really evil twisted villain. There were IT vibes with the balloons, a creepy entity behind some wavy washing and emotional trickery. Alas. It was just a sentient micro-universe in the guise of a frog. Sigh.

    Rating: 4.3/5 fleshmoths unleashed upon a Hustings Event attended by all 180,000 members of the Conservative Party.

  6. Tracey from America | @yecartniatnouf

    Ok. This is a fantastic episode. The concept of a conscious universe that’s lonely but somehow poisonous to ours is brilliant. The episode gets quite heavy in parts but there is an awful lot of whimsy snuck in there to balance it out-
    Sheep maybe plotting a rebellion.
    The Solitract taking the form of a frog.
    Doc eating the local dirt.
    The quick little anecdote about Doc’s Grannys and the Zygons.
    Even the red balloon light is an almost magical touch.
    It’s also these little tidbits that make this not just great scifi, but great Doctor Who. The Doctor should be weird while being incredibly nonchalant/unaware about it. And the universe should be a strange place full of odd balloon keepers, devious sheep, and far too many Grannys.

    Husband from America liked this episode as well, saying it reminded him of the movie Labyrinth. It’s easy to see why. The antizone is a maze of rock and mists populated with strange, dangerous creatures. Check out how great those moths look! Especially the one coming out of Ribbons’ eye socket. Straight up Henson Creature Shop vibes.

    Yaz and Doc moments: Yaz steps right up to join Doc through the mirror into danger. And Doc basically Sherlocks at Yaz with her “unless…” speech.

    Rating: (insert Dr Who theme performed by David Bowie)

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