“It Takes You Away” Teasers Explained
Clint Hassell reveals the answers to last week’s hints and teasers for Series 11, episode 9 “It Takes You Away.”
- “You wouldn’t believe me if I explained why, so, just trust me: ‘It Takes You Away’ is different, and special, and everyone will be talking about it.”
Well, was I wrong? If I had told you that “It Takes You Away” ended with the Doctor saving our universe by seducing a sentient cosmos who took the form of a frog that sounded like Grace – – and that it was all in service of a story that examined loss, longing, and isolation – – would you have believed me?
I hope that you enjoyed the episode, but if you didn’t, I at least hope my warning kept you from being spoiled by all of the frog images that were trending, last night. (My favorite meme: “Frog in a chair, DON’T YOU DARE!”) #doctorwhofrog
- 1. Wait, did she just say that the Woolly Rebellion was going to be an “udder bloodbath”? Because that’s actually hilarious. (It’s coming and ewe better be afraid!)
The Doctor reveals that, in 2211, there will be “a total renegotiation of the sheep/human relationship” termed the “Woolly Rebellion.”
(The other sheep jokes were here shearly for you to ruminant on.)
- 2. So, the Doctor says, “Three locks, on a deserted house, in the middle of nowhere” . . . and then Ryan says arguably the most sensible thing a companion has ever uttered in the show’s history.
Ryan says, “Maybe we shouldn’t be in here.”
- 3. A tiny bit of continuity from “Rosa” gets addressed. It’s minor, but it’s a really funny moment.
After missing lunch, in “Rosa,” it is revealed that Graham carries sandwiches with him, every time the group leaves the TARDIS.
- 4. “I wasn’t ‘lured.’ It’s not like I gave it credit card details.”
– Graham, referring to the mirror portal in Erik’s bedroom
- 5. Hardest gut-punch (in an episode full of them): the “map of the house” the Doctor draws in chalk.
Despite her claim, the Doctor doesn’t draw an actual “map of the house,” but writes a message about the blind Hanne, instead: “Assume her dad is dead. Keep her safe. Find out who else can take care of her.” Unfortunately, Hanne is aware that the Doctor and her companions are hiding details of her situation from her. Further, the message is still on the wall at episode’s end, as Erik returns to face his daughter and reconcile his actions with his sense of loss.
- 6. “Let him go, because you do not want those words to be your last ones.”
– the Doctor, to Ribbons, who is holding a knife to Graham’s throat
- 7. The “sonic Swiss Army knife” gets yet another moniker.
Ribbons refers to the sonic screwdriver as a “tubular.”
- 8. Number of times this episode made me gasp out loud: four. Number of times I cried: three.
For the record, the moments that made me gasp were: the revelation that the monster sounds were produced by a stereo speaker, Hanne hitting Ryan with a door, the Solitract banishing Yaz from the mirror universe, and Erik seeing the Doctor’s chalk message on his bedroom wall.
The moments that made me cry were all quotes:
“Don’t do this to me.” – Graham, to can’t-possibly-be-Grace
“Sounds like you’re doing fine without me.” – really-seems-like-Grace to Graham
“So close. You were so close.” – Graham, to definitely-not-Grace
- 9. I take that back – – the most sensible thing ever uttered by a companion may be: “I’m going to hit him.” “No, you’re not. I am.”
Realizing that, in “a shocking bit of parenting,” Erik “turned [his] house into a fortress to keep [his] daughter scared,” Graham threatens, “I’m going to hit him.” Yaz counters, “No, you’re not. I am.”
- 10. Zygons!
The Doctor tells Yaz that her “Granny 5” thought that “Granny 2” was a secret agent for the Zygons.
- 11. Want a difficult one? “117.590 532.330.651.287.22.532 22.214.171.124 925.330.651.477.35 22.330.117.287.70 51.117.287.35 782.117.590.92.330.651.590 247.35.”
This pentagonal number cipher translates to, “It sounds like you’re doing fine without me.” Pentagonal numbers previously featured in “The Tsuranga Conundrum.”
- 12. Strangely, not a quote from the Doctor: “Reverse the polarity.”
When the Doctor is unable to use her sonic screwdriver to access the anti-zone a second time, Yaz asks, “What if you do something it hasn’t dealt with before, like, reverse the polarity or something?”
- 13. For long-time readers who know me, the list is now: “It Takes You Away,” “Listen,” “Kerblam!,” “The End of the World.” Have I made myself clear?
Long-time readers know that this is an updated list of my favorite episodes. My introductory note was meant to alert everyone that the unique aspects of “It Takes You Away” were sure to be discussed, potentially spoiling the ranine ending for anyone waiting to watch the episode. This teaser was included to indicate that I also really liked the episode, too.
Note that this is just a personal list of my favorite episodes, and not a critical list of “best” episodes, which surely would include “The Empty Child”/“The Doctor Dances,” “Blink,” “Silence in the Library”/“Forest of the Dead,” “Midnight,” “Turn Left,” “The Waters of Mars,” “Vincent and the Doctor,” “Heaven Sent” . . . and countless others!
Oh, and for all of you who asked, before Series 11 began, my top 10 list was something like:
“Listen,” “The End of the World,” “Cyberwoman,” “Nightvisiting,” “Everything Changes,” “The Unearthly Child,” Death of the Doctor, “Blink,” “Something Borrowed,” “Vincent and the Doctor.”
- 4 is the best foreshadowing ever.
Though it’s not obvious until a second viewing, Graham was lured by the mirror universe, meaning his claim, “I wasn’t ‘lured.’ It’s not like I gave it credit card details,” (teaser #4) foreshadows Grace’s return.